A Happy Designer With Happy Clients, The CMS That Works
Jeremy AAsum | TrustRadius Reviewer
April 23, 2014

A Happy Designer With Happy Clients, The CMS That Works

Score 10 out of 10
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Overall Satisfaction

We use ExpressionEngine as a CMS (Content Management Platform) for clients seeking small to medium sized marketing websites. ExpressionEngine is a cost-effective solution for most clients seeking an easy way to manage content of their website in-house. ExpressionEngine is primarily used by our User Experience Design department when a custom software solution is not needed on a project, which sometimes may be part of a larger digital product.
  • Easy to use: ExpressionEngine is a platform that takes little to no training with my clients, regardless of their technical proficiency.
  • Easy to manage: ExpressionEngine can be easily hosted and updated at very little cost.
  • Well supported: We choose ExpressionEngine because it's a commercial product. Our clients have purchased a license (an affordable one at that) and have a company they can contact for support or to report issues or ask questions (though issues are rare).
  • Robust: ExpressionEngine has an impressive amount of functionality as-is, which solves the majority of a company's needs for their website. This sets it above other open source platforms that require a variety of third-party add ons in to get the desired functionality (leading to difficulty in updating and managing the website). If a third-party add on is needed they tend to be commercially supported as well.
  • Potentially Limiting: This isn't a flaw, but eventually a company may outgrow the needs of a CMS website and need something with robust functionality, especially in regards to e-commerce.
  • Two-way communication: ExpressionEngine as a CMS does not implement user-interaction well. If a company wants a way for their audience to interact with or manage content on their website ExpressionEngine will struggle. This doesn't reflect the ease our clients have from updating the site content from the ExpressionEngine administration.
  • Lagging technology stack: ExpressionEngine lacks some of the more robust features for updating a codebase. Larger updates to a website may require downtime or "content locks" where our clients cannot add or edit content on their websites. Modern websites should be able to add larger updates seamlessly with a live website. Minor updates aren't a problem.
  • Lowers the cost of site updates for our clients.
  • Lowers the cost of ongoing hosting for our clients (or provides them with greater functionality for the same price).
  • Allows for a design-focused front-end which leads consistently to increased conversions and visibility of client's Web presence.
  • Lowers the cost of ongoing development, or incremental updates.
ExpressionEngine at its core is a commercially-supported platform with robust default features that meet most of our clients needs. Other popular platforms can be successful if used properly, but too often other platforms require the use of unofficial code or third-party add ons to achieve a desired outcome. Diverging from the official codebase can lead to headaches with security updates, new features, or switching developers. Our clients have been happily maintaining their websites on their own for several years, and when updates are needed they happen seamlessly and without incurring huge costs.
My clients have happily upgraded their websites from ExpressionEngine 1 to ExpressionEngine 2 due to their satisfaction.
ExpressionEngine is excellent if a company's goal is to manage content for a small to medium-sized website. It allows us to focus on the marketing and design goals a client has without limitation. ExpressionEngine provides our clients with an intuitive administrative interface to manage their website from, and provides us as designers the freedom we need to build a solid front-end experience for their visitors. ExpressionEngine is well supported and is easy to maintain over time with it's affordable hosting and ease of updating.

However, ExpressionEngine is not a robust e-commerce or custom software platform. If our clients seek to manage a robust and seamless online storefront, or to develop a fully interactive product, we will recommend other technologies to achieve this.