Susan Snipes / Posted 1.4.2017
EE Top 10: Ten reasons we choose ExpressionEngine
Like every professional, I want to make sure my team and I use the right tools for each job. For web development, we need tools with the right blend of power, ease of use, and stability. We’ve evaluated over a dozen of the most popular Content Management Systems (CMSs) and chosen ExpressionEngine as one of our primary tools. ExpressionEngine is just right for so many reasons. Here are the top ten reasons we use ExpressionEngine for creating custom web sites.
1. Extreme security
With ExpressionEngine, we don’t have to cross our fingers when it comes to security—we can count on it.
ExpressionEngine holds an impeccable security record—with zero major security vulnerabilities since it was first released in 2002. Some of ExpressionEngine’s built-in security features include IP banning, email address banning, secure passwords, password lockout, session management, secure forms, and customizable word-censoring. On top of leveraging these built-in security features, our team can tighten security even more through restrictive permissions, limited access to application files, and top-quality web hosting. Combining a secure system with a thoughtful configuration means we don’t need to spend excessive time on your website’s security—and you don’t need to stress about it.
2. Limitless design
We can apply any design to an ExpressionEngine site.
ExpressionEngine has no design constraints. The ExpressionEngine template system assumes nothing about a site’s design—no certain style, size, navigation format, or page elements are required. ExpressionEngine doesn’t even care if your site has a header, sidebar, or footer. There are no pre-built themes, and there is no mandatory way to build HTML layouts. Using an open templating system like ExpressionEngine’s is the best way to create a unique site that reflects your brand. Responsive, animated, interactive, bold, creative, fluid, unusual—if an idea can be visualized, we can build it into an ExpressionEngine site. Design freedom first drew us to ExpressionEngine and we still appreciate it on every site we build.
3. Flexible content
ExpressionEngine lets us structure content the right way.
A blog and nested categories may work to organize content for simple websites. But such simple content tools are a major hindrance for content-rich or complex sites. Fortunately, in ExpressionEngine, we’re not limited to a single blog and a set of categories. With ExpressionEngine, the site is organized and built from the ground up based on your real content. If you don’t need a blog, we don’t make you one. If you need three different blogs on one site, we can set up three blogs for you. If you need a searchable product database, white papers, case studies, a video library, or a directory of sales representatives, we’ll set up exactly what you need. Using ExpressionEngine’s content tools, we configure titles, text, images, and any bit of data that is unique for each type of content you have. ExpressionEngine lets us set up your site structure exactly as it needs to be, with no compromises or hacks necessary.
4. Powerful features
With ExpressionEngine, we can include any functional feature you desire.
Thousands of powerful ExpressionEngine add-ons are available for a variety of features, like SEO, ecommerce, and internationalization. And if a custom feature is necessary to meet a site’s requirements, we can build it.
Here are some features that we have added to ExpressionEngine sites.
☑ Standard and custom SEO settings
☑ Accessible pages that exceed 508 compliance requirements
☑ Optimized page speeds, fast-loading pages
☑ Advanced searching and filtering
☑ Google AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages)
☑ Member login areas
☑ Interactive charts and graphs
☑ Ecommerce with PayPal, credit cards, Stripe, and other merchant services
☑ Integration with HubSpot, Raiser’s Edge, SalesForce, eTapestry, and custom APIs
☑ Internationalization and multilingual support
If you need a cool feature, we can build it. We love saying yes to new features. And ExpressionEngine lets us say yes all the time.
5. Top-notch support
Professional support is available directly from the ExpressionEngine development team—if we need it.
We rarely need support since we know the ExpressionEngine system so well, but every once in awhile, we find something that isn’t working as expected. When that happens, we ask for help from the ExpressionEngine team. Some other popular CMSs (including WordPress) don’t provide direct access to the team that builds and maintains them. Instead, website managers or developers must rely on third-party support. We find it highly valuable to discuss improvements or get our questions answered directly by the ExpressionEngine development team—and I’m grateful that’s part of the ExpressionEngine team’s philosophy. In addition, the entire extended community of ExpressionEngine users is supportive, friendly, and helpful.
6. Shorter development time
ExpressionEngine lets us build your site faster.
ExpressionEngine’s built-in features and settings are just right—not too much, not too little. Firstly, ExpressionEngine does not come pre-built with settings or templates to make things easy for novice developers. Systems with dumbed-down settings get in the way for experienced web developers like us. If they were in ExpressionEngine, we’d need to remove them and start over. Secondly, ExpressionEngine comes with tools and functions available to be configured—like content types, user accounts, file settings, and much more. We don’t need to build these features from scratch. Instead, we customize them based on your needs. So, ExpressionEngine comes with a solid foundation that we intentionally configure—saving us hassle and time.
7. Industry-standard technology
ExpressionEngine runs on a common technology stack—PHP and mySQL.
Many of the most popular Open Source systems run on PHP and use mySQL databases, and this includes ExpressionEngine. Because these are frequently used technologies, it is easy to integrate ExpressionEngine with other common systems and platforms. ExpressionEngine requires no hard-to-find web or database hosting. This also means if you decide to move your web development or hosting in-house, your IT team will be relieved by ExpressionEngine’s typical hosting requirements and technologies.
8. Widely adopted
ExpressionEngine is a mature, widely used CMS.
Out of hundreds of CMSs, ExpressionEngine is one of the ten most popular, worldwide. Many large brands run ExpressionEngine sites and subsites, including Getty Images, Garmin, Hilton, Toys “R” Us, Honda, and Western Union. By using an industry-standard CMS, you won't be trapped by home-grown software. A one-of-a-kind system can be a surprise and challenge for a website owner that didn’t understand the cost and risk of uniqueness. This becomes painfully apparent when you want to bring a system in-house, switch developers, or upgrade technologies, and the cost of site ownership increases because no one else is familiar with your one-of-a-kind system. ExpressionEngine is stable, well-known, and proven software that excels for semi-custom and highly custom business sites of all sizes.
9. Easy content editing
With ExpressionEngine, we can make content editing super-easy.
ExpressionEngine provides highly configurable and intuitive administrative control, so editing content is easy—even for non-technical folks. For example, we set up a text editor with your stylesheet and just the editing buttons necessary—so you won’t have to worry about breaking page layouts. Many of our clients are amazed at how easy it is to manage content in ExpressionEngine. Some have boasted they’ve picked it up with no training! Plus, the backend content editing interface is fully mobile-ready, so you or your content editors can easily edit via phone or tablet.
10. High success rate
We know we can succeed for you when we use ExpressionEngine.
For a web development team, intimately knowing a system is hugely valuable. Hands down, we know ExpressionEngine extremely well. We know if ExpressionEngine can handle your project requirements. We can give you an accurate project cost. We’re not experimenting with a new system on your dime. We’re not going to start something custom for you only to learn that it can’t meet your needs and needs to be scrapped. We know when to use a well-tested, high-quality add-on for one of your desired features. We know when to build a custom add-on to integrate a new feature, and how to hook up your site to your other systems. Our years of knowledge with web development and ExpressionEngine deliver success for you and your project.
Is ExpressionEngine right for your site?
Are you wondering if ExpressionEngine is the right system for your website? We’d love to chat and help you decide if EE is a good fit for you. Get in touch for a no-cost initial consultation.
President and Founder
Susan Snipes is the founder and president of Q Digital Studio. As a community-minded web entrepreneur, developer, and ExpressionEngine expert, Susan’s innovative approach to the web has benefited well-known companies and organizations ranging from technology, healthcare, education, nonprofits, local and regional governments, and more. For more thoughts on entrepreneurship, leadership, and inclusivity in technology, follow her on twitter @SusanSnipes.