Easy to use; difficult to develop
May 02, 2014

Easy to use; difficult to develop

Trent Willis | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 6 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Software Version


Modules Used

  • Stucture
  • Wygwam
  • Pages
  • Member
  • Reelocate

Overall Satisfaction with ExpressionEngine

ExpressionEngine is being used by our entire office, which houses five separate sub-offices and a handful of initiatives. Each of these requires its own web presence, but still operating under our office domain name. ExpressionEngine helped give us an easy to use solution for allowing each department to take some of the responsibility over their own content.
  • Easy to use. We can train up new employees on how to use the system to perform all basic tasks in under 30 minutes.
  • Effective interface design. The interface is surprisingly uncluttered and makes navigation easy. Additionally, they provide easy ways to customize the navigation and options available to each user.
  • Secure. There are far less vulnerabilities using ExpressionEngine than the other CMSs we considered, such as WordPress or Drupal. We have never had an issue with security on our site.
  • Convoluted development. Starting developed is a bit tricky, as the idea of channels, fields, field groups, etc. is not very intuitive. Takes building a site and then rebuilding to fully get the hang of.
  • Poor support. Since there are many free alternatives, ExpressionEngine often lacks documentation that you'd expect it to have since there is not as large of an online community.
  • Lacking default features. ExpressionEngine allows you to customize and expand it a lot, but out-of-the-box it has a lacking set of features. It is usually better to install plugins to help meet your needs. For instance, Structure is an almost required module if you plan on having to manage many pages.
  • Increased employee efficiency. The easy-to-use nature of the CMS aspect of ExpressionEngine has allowed employees to better contribute to the website and taken the bulk to minor web edits off the webmaster.
  • Better user experience. Having a more unified web presence has been easier using ExpressionEngine, which has resulted in a better user experience for the patrons of our website.
  • More scalability. We are able to scale up our web presence more and expand the amount of content we distribute and manage with greater ease.
Before using EE, I had experience with WordPress and Acquia Drupal. ExpressionEngine, in my opinion, is easier to learn and use than Drupal, but not more than WordPress. Additionally, it is more secure than either of the other two. However, I also found it less well documented and bit more difficult to troubleshoot. Thus, in the end, because we needed security and ease of use for other employees, we chose ExpressionEngine.
We plan to continue using ExpressionEngine as it is currently what the rest of our department uses for the web holdings. Overall, we have been satisfied with the product and have had no major reason to change as it has proved easy to update and maintain. That said, if we were to restart, I am not certain we would choose ExpressionEngine as it is difficult from a development standpoint.
The questions to ask are based on its strengths and weaknesses. If you are looking for a secure, easy to teach platform for simple content management and are able to have dedicated staff to learning the platform and maintaining it, this is for you. If you do not have a dedicated person to administer the site and troubleshoot issues, it would be better to go with an alternative platform, like Wordpress.