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Updated December 28, 2015

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Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 3 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Software Version


Modules Used

  • Structure
  • Multi-language support (developed by The Nerdery)

Overall Satisfaction with ExpressionEngine

ExpressionEngine was used by the marketing department who is the business unit responsible for the company's web presence. The only users in the organization were myself and a few others in the marketing department. The others had access only to post and edit entries in certain areas of the site, where I had access to, and was in charge of all areas of the site and further development. It was used regularly for news releases and updating content.
  • It has very specific user-access controls. You can create custom categories of user access and assign users to any of them. It has the capability to grant very specific access to virtually any area of the site. Assigning new users and deleting old users is very easy as well.
  • The ability to customize the CMS is probably the most robust feature. No site is exactly the same and the live version shouldn't feel like a template. ExpressionEngine makes sure you are in charge of exactly what you need.
  • More and more, there are developers creating great new modules that add higher functionality and customization. Installing and removing modules is very easy.
  • Its no secret that ExpressionEngine is not for beginners in CMS's. While there is certainly a vast network of support available online, EllisLabs does little to help the average/new user. You get the feeling that you more or less need a coding background to understand how to use ExpressionEngine.
  • My particular experience with the install on my company's server had always been 'glitchy'. Whether or not it had to do with our hosting or something else, I will never know. But I think compatibility with different server types is something that EllisLabs could address.
  • It seems to me that on some level, ExpressionEngine could certainly automate template building. Building templates relies heavily on the user to code everything. The user must manually create their own templates, which is one of the better capabilities of ExpressionEngine, but on some level, there could be shortcuts to automating/generating ExpressionEngine code. This would be especially helpful for newer users to adapt to template building.
  • It should be said that a smaller business probably will not be happy with ExpressionEngine. Unless the dev work is done by a vendor, this is not right for them. The learning curve is too much for an in-house developer to grasp and have a working website up quickly. Whereas almost every other platform can be up and running within a day or two.
  • The investment cost really is the time. There had been several situations where the ExpressionEngine development had taken twice as long as originally planned. This is due to the lack of skilled developers available to code ExpressionEngine. We were lucky to have contracted one of the best ExpressionEngine devs in the country, but he was the only one and had other responsibilities at his agency.
  • Once ExpressionEngine was up and running, making updates was smooth and easy. It was easy to train new individuals to use the CMS and easy to manage content. The WYSIWYG editors are very robust.
In the right environment, a good amount of time, and for long-term use to grow in to, ExpressEngine is a great choice. Especially for large, growing businesses. Comparing this to WordPress, ExpressEngine is more of a long term solution than a quick, easy CMS setup that relies on pre-fab templates. WordPress is much easier to use right out of the box, and you don't need to know code at all. ExpressEngine is dependent on the idea that you will build your own templates from scratch. That is good for complete custom solutions, but not for time.
If a particular site is going to be developed and managed by the same person, I would recommend. Specifically in in-house roles. Otherwise, learning ExpressEngine code is very time consuming in order to just get something up and running. When selecting ExpressEngine, you should ask yourself if this is something that will be utilized for years to come. In my opinion, the learning curve is so high, it really is a commitment for using long-term.

ExpressionEngine Feature Ratings

WYSIWYG editor
Code quality / cleanliness
Admin section
Publishing workflow
Form generator
Content taxonomy
Not Rated
SEO support
Bulk management
Availability / breadth of extensions
Community / comment management
Not Rated
Role-based user permissions

Using ExpressionEngine

4 - Three users other than myself had access. The other users access was limited to publishing capabilities, while mine was administrative.

ExpressionEngine Implementation