While open-source CMS options like WordPress get a lot of attention from bloggers and designers, ExpressionEngine1 is a powerful, robust choice that many designers and clients would find more suitable to their needs. And as with the other CMS options, there are plenty of online resources for designers and developers who are working with ExpressionEngine. In this article you’ll find a helpful collection of resources to aid you in your work with EE.
For more CMS Toolboxes, see:
1. Tutorials Link
The EE community provides lots of tutorials for learning how to do just about anything in EE. Whether you’re brand new and don’t know where to start, or experienced and looking for some advanced techniques, there are existing resources to show you new things. Here is a look at a sampling of the tutorials that are available.
1.1 Beginner Tutorials Link
An Introduction to ExpressionEngine
A solid starting point that gives you all the basics of building a website with EE.
First Steps in ExpressionEngine
A good beginner’s guide, with explanations on the basics of EE.
1.2 Building Websites Link
Creating Custom Listings with ExpressionEngine
Darren Hoyt looks at some problems with creating manageable websites for clients and shows how EE can help, as compared to WordPress (see parts 1 and 2).
1.3 Working with Audio Link
Powering an Audio Archive with ExpressionEngine
A tutorial on using custom fields to power an audio archive.
1.4 Image Galleries and Slideshows Link
Monoslideshow and EE Gallery
This tutorial will help you set up a Flash slideshow on your EE website.
1.5 Working with Blogs Link
Add FeedBurner to ExpressionEngine
A fairly simple tutorial for EE users who want to use FeedBurner to publish their feed.
AJAX Archives in ExpressionEngine
1.6 Navigation Link
Dynamic CSS Navigation Highlighting with ExpressionEngine20
A quick tutorial on making the category menu auto-highlight.
ExpressionEngine and Suckerfish Menu
A tutorial on adding a vertical drop-down menu.
1.7 Other Tutorials Link
These tutorials don’t fit into one of the main categories.
No-Module-Required Static Content in ExpressionEngine24
Looking to build a website with static content? Some popular modules are options but are not necessary.
PayPal Options and ExpressionEngine’s Simple Commerce Module26
A tutorial on building a more flexible shopping cart than is possible with just the Simple Commerce Module.
Easy Contact Form Validation in ExpressionEngine
A tutorial on improving the standard validation of forms in EE.
1.8 General Tutorials/Articles Link
These articles should help you improve the results of your work with EE. If you’re new to EE, they’ll serve as a good foundation for your work, and if you’re experienced, they serve as a helpful refresher.
2. Advanced Training Link
For those who are serious about learning how to build websites with EE, these two resources will provide added learning, if you’re willing to pay for the content. You may be able to find some of this information elsewhere for free, but these courses could save you some time.
Building a Dynamic Website with ExpressionEngine41
A 12-part video tutorial series (each part costs $5) that includes sections on adding a membership website, preparing a website for clients and more.
3. Modules/Plug-ins/Extensions Link
Much like WordPress, Drupal and other CMS platforms, EE’s out-of-the-box functionality can be adapted and expanded by developers. There is a wide variety of available modules, plug-ins and extensions for EE users.
10 ExpressionEngine Production Add-Ons
A list of 10 add-ons to improve productivity with EE.
A module for integrating your Flickr photo stream in your website.
File Manager Module
Improves file handling and the uploading process and functionality.
An add-on for redirecting users from old URLs to new ones.
Fight comment spam with a CAPTCHA for comments.
Gives you control over the page that members are directed to following their log-in.
TextMate ExpressionEngine Bundle60
If you use TextMate and EE together, this can help you distinguish the EE markup. Not really a plug-in or module but a helpful download that can improve your development with EE and that doesn’t have a place anywhere else on this list.
4. Official Resources Link
The ExpressionEngine website62 contains many resources for designers and developers. These resources may be a good starting point for you, or you could bookmark them to return in future when you’re looking for a solution to a problem.
5. Galleries and Showcases Link
EE can be used to power just about any type of website or blog, large or small, and any design can be used on the EE platform. Still, it’s nice to see what others are doing with websites powered by EE.
Showcase from ExpressionEngine72
The official website of EE includes a categorized showcase of plenty of great EE websites. The gallery even includes interviews with some of the designers and developers.
The EE category here has plenty of EE inspiration.
6. Compared to Other CMS Options Link
Wondering how EE stacks up against other CMS platforms? Here are some links to opinions of other users and articles that analyze the platforms’ strengths and weaknesses.
Switching Mindsets: From WordPress to ExpressionEngine
A comparison from an experienced WordPress developer.
WordPress vs. Drupal vs. ExpressionEngine: Which Blog Software Should I Use?76
This post examines some of the pros and cons of each, more from a blogger’s perspective.
Better than MovableType? ExpressionEngine Launches the Challenge77
A detailed look at EE from a new user.
7. Themes Link
If you’re used to working with WordPress, the EE theme system is a bit different. You won’t find as many themes available, but really any HTML/CSS design can be used with EE. Many users find a free CSS-based template or buy a premium one, and then have it converted to include the EE tags. Although there aren’t as many resources for themes, there are some, including control panel themes. Here are a few popular resources:
Green n Blue
A control panel theme from Mark Boulton.
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