ExpressionEngine Vs. WordPress
Update: detailed instructions and a full script for migrating from EE to WP may now be found here.
For nine months now, I’ve been working with ExpressionEngine (EE) for one of my employers websites. Originally, I was very hesitant to make the dive into yet another content management system, and after 9 months- my hesitation was certainly merited!
Expressionengine doesn’t specify that it lacks necessary functionality, it just makes it impossible to do whatever it is that you’d like to do quietly – which I find far more irritating than directly telling me that such features are unsupported.
Before reading further, you should be aware that I did not select, purchase, or have anything to do with the implementation of EE, and I have zero previous experience using EE. If you happen to be an ExpressionEngine guru/expert/EE specific developer/in love with expressionengine- you should probably stop reading here as it’s caused me more than a few headaches! Additionally, I have been working with ExpressionEngine2 system with limited plugins.
Also of note is that this is my first website using WordPress, and I’ve been using it for about two months. I have modified WordPress templates on a couple prior occasions, but have never taken the plunge into full fledged WordPress usage (until now).
- Licensing Fees for use: $99 – $299
- Multiple websites from same CMS? Add another $80 – $200
- Add-ons: Expensive. Average cost for EE add on is $40.
- Usability: Unable to navigate easily between posts. System requires that you navigate back to entire list of posts.
- User Management: Unable to assign fine tuned settings to users.
- Documentation: Even the documentation written by EE doesn’t work properly (more recent specific example; exporting EE entries into a txt file. FAIL).
- Everything. And if it doesn’t come built into the CMS, you can just click that handy “Install Plugin” button. Done.
- Licensing Fees for use: $0.00
- Multiple website from same CMS? I wouldn’t recommend a novice PHP user try it out, but as long as you can figure out how to copy-paste and have server access- no problem. Add another $0.00
- Add-ons: $0. Need I say more?
- Usability: Excellent. Drag and drop functionality, consistency within menus, ability to navigate easily within submenus.
- User management: User management with role assignment and advanced permissions does not come with the basic wordpress install, but easily added as a plugin (Capability Manager)
- Documentation: Well documented by development team with occasionally useful contributions by users. Documentation for basic needs is more than adequate, documentation for advanced functionalities is difficult to locate.
What is comes down to:
Again, I repeat- I am NOT a die-hard wordpress user. I use what works, and generally I just opt to create a CMS for my specific needs as it takes me less time than customizing an existing CMS (thank you often awkward tagging and template systems [yes that includes wordpress]). What it comes down to for me are a couple primary issues:
- Money. I can’t (repeat cannot!) recommend EE to a client. That would mean that they would be paying for what is in my opinion a subpar CMS, any associated plugins to extend its base system to something more useful, and they would be paying me considerably more in development and modification time.
- Documentation. If I haven’t built it, you shouldn’t assume that I know it inside and out, and thusly should provide proper documentation. Or at least have your forums open to people without a license code to post questions!!!!
I have (repeat HAVE) successfully created a way to import the current site from EE to WordPress. Unfortunately it took several hours to sort through all of the filth on how ‘to migrate your content from EE to WordPress’, however I’ll be posting the full code very soon so that it isn’t so terrible for other people to make the switch also.
If you have used EE, and/or migrated successfully into different CMS’s- I’d love to hear about how it went for you!