Expressions on ExpressionEngine
April 11, 2014
Expressions on ExpressionEngine
Score 9 out of 10
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ExpressionEngine was used as a CMS option for clients of the business. We would take sites from concept to completion, utilizing the best CMS for each clients needs. ExpressionEngine was used for medium to large e-commerce web sites that required much more user interaction than a traditional e-commerce store front.
- User Management -
- Robust user management system that allows for a very flexible account configuration.
- Content Management -
- Extremely customizable content management, with a very in-depth configuration. This can be done by a non-technical person with very little training, but with more technical knowledge, a more robust system can be developed.
- Front-End Templating -
- The templating system that ExpressionEngine has is by far one of the best out there. Very straight forward tags and logic, but with the ability to be very robust.
- Module Development -
- There are third-party modules for ExpressionEngine that can really take this CMS to the next level. Built on top of this very solid core, the modules are only limited by the developers skill level.
- Software Updating -
- To update the core files in ExpressionEngine, it takes a lot of manual work and time. There are a lot of moving parts, and it can be very nerve wracking to update the system.
- Content Building Error Checking -
- Right now, ExpressionEngine does not have anyway to let you know when you are missing a piece when it comes to building the actual content management piece. It would be nice if there was a more stepped approach to this, and with visible error messages to let administrators know where things might be wrong.
- Steeper learning curve on the development side of the project. There are a lot of distinct things that ExpressionEngine can do that takes time to uncover and determine how to utilize.
- Much faster content input for employees. Since the content is added to forms that is customize for each content type, it's much easier for the content manager's to enter the information that is really needed versus not needed.
- WordPress,Custom Development
Each of the competitors have their own unique uses and strengths. ExpressionEngine has a lot of flexibility that the others may not have. WordPress has a lot of strengths in the way that it's great for tight time framed projects as well as smaller sites. Custom development is great for projects that need to have complete control over all aspects of the site, but the cost, both financially and in time, is much higher. ExpressionEngine really is a great option for medium to large projects that have a lot of unique content that needs to be flexible.
I currently don't have a need to use ExpressionEngine, but if I were ever in need of something like this I would definitely consider ExpressionEngine again. The licensing of the software is a little bit of a concern as it does cost money, but the benefits that come with this far outweigh this cost. It really is a great product, and I'd love to have the opportunity to use it again in the future.
I feel that ExpressionEngine can really be used in almost any situation, but it might be a bit of an overkill for smaller sites. During the selection process I would ask "how frequently does the content need to be updated?", "Who needs to be able to do the updating?", "What is the budget for the project?", and "Is there technology that's needed on the site that other CMS's can't handle as well?". ExpressionEngine is better suited for medium to large projects that may have lots of moving parts. E-commerce sites are one great example of where ExpressionEngine would be a top candidate, in my opinion.