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ExpressionEngine CMS

Expression Engine web developersIt's hard to explain where ExpressionEngine sits in the world of commercial and open-source software. It's a bit of both. On the one hand, the base code is built on CodeIgniter - an open-source PHP framework (developed by the same company). On the other hand, ExpressionEngine itself is commercial and costs $299+ (£185) (depending on which features you also buy).

There is also a free, limited version for websites that "do not engage in commercial activity". And, if you use that version, you must carry a "powered by ExpressionEngine" credit on your site. Read the full review below.

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Summary

Community support: Yes
Documentation: Yes
Server: Linux
Database: MySQL 5.0.3
Language: PHP 5.3.10+
Licence: Open Source / Commercial

Some argue that because ExpressionEngine is commercial, the developer community is somehow more committed although, in my experience, the people that make up the open source communities are just as dedicated.

Regardless, ExpressionEngine has been used to create some truly beautiful websites such as Spearfish Canyon Lodge, Greenhouse Go, City of Riverside, Culinary Institute of America (videos site) and the gorgeous F&P site.

ExpressionEngine doesn’t have as many add-ons and plugins as many of the other CMSs that we work with. But the ones they do have are more than sufficient to create some great functionality: wikis, discussion forums, member manager, multi-site management, mailing lists and ecommerce amongst others. There are also community-contributed plugins. 

What else? One of the major strengths of ExpressionEngine is their focus on security. Interestingly, ExpressionEngine has never had any major security breaches. Conversely, the base cost is a negative, the CMS can be overkill for simple websites and support costs from $49 (£30) per month upwards.

Website Designers UK and Nottingham