Notes for website designers

When working with websites of any complexity, I use the ExpressionEngine CMS from EllisLab. To my mind, ExpressionEngine is the true 'designers friend'!

Here are my main reasons for using ExpressionEngine:

  • positively enables development of standards compliant HTML/CSS based websites
  • allows completely flexible front end development – doesn’t force you into any design mould or theme
  • powerful back end - you can easily create architectures that are appropriate to the task
  • very secure - has only had 1 minor breach in nearly 4 years
  • lots of powerful, well integrated/tested features [membership control, wikis, galleries, forums etc] available 'out of the box'
  • doesn't require PHP to run – but PHP is there if needed
  • easy to backup and move web address
  • generates search engine friendly urls
  • commercial product with outstanding support & friendly forums
  • the learning curve is not overwhelming

Introduction Notes on ExpressionEngine

Download ExpressionEngine Intro Notes [460KB - pdf format]

In February 2007, I gave a talk on the basics of EE at a Sussex Geek Dinner. This explained the key parts of EE - templates, weblogs, custom fields, tags & variables etc and how they all fit together to create a working dynamic website. The talk did not go into the mechanics of moving round the EE control panel.

After subsequent polishing, the comprehensive notes have been posted above. They are quite full, and have been checked over by the people at EllisLab who said some nice things about them - to my relief!

P.S. These notes contain some background on to how/why I came to use EE, but you can skip over those bits. The real meat starts in section 5 of the document.

Other EE notes

As you may have guessed, this site is powered by EE.

For anyone interested in trying EE there is a free version [powerful in its own right] and a 30 day hosted $10 trial, so get along there right now!

Alternate styles

There are a number of different layouts or 'skins' for this site: company, rainbow, child, calm, stormy, austere, high contrast and more...