ExpressionEngine Evangelism

During the few days at and around FOWA last week, I got to spend a lot of time talking to people about ExpressionEngine.

So for those that are interested, the following it a little mind-dump / link store of EE related gubbins.

So what is it?  According the the official site:

ExpressionEngine is a flexible, feature-rich content management system that empowers thousands of individuals, organizations, and companies around the world to easily manage their website.

Ok.. that tells you very little!  Basically ExpressionEngine is a commercial, PHP driven Content Management System that is truly flexible, powerful and extend-able.  As a core product, out of the box, it supports blogs, news feeds, rss, xml, pagination, navigation, mailing lists, wikis, membergroups, galleries etc etc.  It does come with a fairly steep learning curve, but it is a path worth climbing.

Unlike many other CMSs, EE’s templating system is completely flexible.  By default it works from the URL structure of:


Inside your templates, you can just have nice, simple, clean html/css or xml, or JSON, or whatever format you want EE to spit out for you.  Just drop in simple tag / tag pairs for you content.

When you first get started with EE, the first thing to do is to rename the rather misleading “weblogs” to “sections”.  Each “section” can have unlimited fields, group, categories, status levels, membership levels etc associated with them, so that really you can do more or less anything with it.  I’ve seen people build simple websites with EE, I have also seen those that have really pushed the system, using it to power betting syndicate sites, live racing results, plotting the position of boats on the ocean etc etc.

Anyhow… as you can tell, I am a big fan of EE.  There are other systems out there for sure, even those that are free and can do much of this stuff, however none that I have used have come close to the speed at which I can now knock out sites with EE.

There are 100s of available plugins, modules and extensions, some free, some commercial.  These allow things like fully featured forums or bridges into other systems.

As things stand, EE is at version 1.6.8 or so, the revamped version 2 is in private beta and is due out “when it’s ready… soon… ish”.  Version 2 promises a revamped work-flow, new control panel, 101 new features and most importantly will be built on top of the excellent Code Igniter PHP framework.

To me, the biggest advantage of EE, is it’s support and community.  The forums are just plain awesome.

Later this month I will be travelling to Leiden in Holland for the first ExpressionEngine / CodeIgniter Conference (woo hoo!).

Righty… link dump…

Hope this helps, and if anyone wants a demo of an EE site, just yell… I’m always happy to gush about it!