There's a Lot to LovEE about ExpressionEngine!
July 20, 2015

There's a Lot to LovEE about ExpressionEngine!

Todd Richards | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Software Version

2.6.x +

Overall Satisfaction with ExpressionEngine

National Network (aka NNEPA) is a national membership organization of estate planning attorneys. We needed a new members-only website to replace our seriously outdated website in which we made all of our updates manually. Already having significant experience with ExpressionEngine, it was an obvious choice for me as I knew it could handle the thousands of entries we already had, and the thousands more we would be adding. In addition to our large library of resources and training tools, it handles our member logins, event calendar and more. We will soon be adding a store so members can make their purchases online. The website will also drive a new front-end recruiting area to help grow our membership.
  • The number one thing that I think ExpressEngine allows for is its flexibility. I always tell people there isn't anything that it can't do and that proved true in this case as well. For instance, we needed a few levels of membership for providing access to different areas of the website and ExpressEngine handled this without issue. In addition, some of the library resources are accessible based on that membership group.
  • One of the things that I love about ExpressEngine is that it doesn't come with any expectations about your website look/feel/code. We created the layout and coded our pages, then plugged in the necessary tags.
  • ExpressEngine is a very secure system out of the box, and there are numerous tips and guides to help you further secure the back-end. That was an important feature for us.
  • The ExpressEngine community is probably one of the greatest strengths. There are so many great people involved who are willing to lend a quick hand or provide some advice to help out.
  • For me, one of the greatest strengths of ExpressionEngine is also one of their weaknesses. There are so many add-ons available (some free, some not) for ExpressionEngine to allow you to do just about anything you want. However, the more add-ons that you use the more you have to deal with when performing updates. For instance, is the add-on compatible with the new version of ExpressionEngine - or even another add-on? What if that add-on gets abandoned by the developer - is there another that can perform the same functionality?
  • I think that ExpressionEngine needs to offer more out of the box than it does. Yes, you can get add-ons for just about anything but this adds to the cost. I have a list of add-ons that I use on almost every site which can raise the cost of getting started with a new site by $100-300. So add that to the cost of a license and you're at $400-600 and you haven't even started working on it yet. For instance, I shouldn't have to buy an add-on to allow me to customize the menu for my end-users.
  • The membership management feature is seriously lacking. Fortunately, there are add-ons (for an additional cost) to allow you to manage things better.
  • Definitely increased efficiency by employees for updating and managing the website.
  • A huge improvement in the features that we have been able to provide on our membership website.
  • Perch,ProcessWire,Craft
I have only evaluated these products. They all are very strong in their own ways (some may be stronger than ExpressionEngine) but I simply haven't had time to learn them in more detail.
For someone with a limited budget, it's hard to recommend ExpressionEngine simply because of the cost of the license and any add-ons just to get up and running. As a developer, the budget needs to be a certain amount before I can even consider ExpressionEngine - no matter how appropriate it is for the site. Besides that, I recommend ExpressionEngine for those who have a lot of content, have a need for a certain level of flexibility, or who have special feature requests. There are a number of ExpressionEngine add-on developers who are willing to help build (for a fee) custom add-ons to fulfill that need.

ExpressionEngine Feature Ratings

WYSIWYG editor
Code quality / cleanliness
Admin section
Not Rated
Page templates
Mobile optimization / responsive design
Not Rated
Publishing workflow
Form generator
Not Rated
Content taxonomy
Not Rated
SEO support
Bulk management
Availability / breadth of extensions
Community / comment management
Not Rated
Internationalization / multi-language
Not Rated
Role-based user permissions

Using ExpressionEngine

While our small team handles the content management, our members are often logged into the website performing a number of tasks.
1 - Right now we have one person (Director of IT) who developed, maintains, and supports the ExpressionEngine website. Depending on the areas of "support", it might require someone will simple skills to maintain the content and reset passwords, or a developer to make changes to templates.

Using ExpressionEngine

Like to use
Relatively simple
Easy to use
Technical support not required
Well integrated
Quick to learn
Feel confident using
  • Managing content
  • Adding new users