WordPress, Movable Type and Textpattern were free CMS platforms. ExpressionEngine, on the other hand, is a proprietary platform developed by EllisLab. I fully understand the queries that might pass through your mind – should one opt for ExpressionEngine, especially when there are other free alternatives. The bottom line is simple as well as straightforward; those who have no working knowledge of PHP will find the ExpressionEngine to be exceedingly useful. In simpler terminologies, the novice web administrators will like this CMS platform. The various flavors of ExpressionEngine along with their subtle differences will be outlined in the following passages.
ExpressionEngine is available in three flavors – Core, Personal and Commercial. The Personal and Commercial versions are priced $99.95 and $249.95 respectively. This is a onetime fee, though. The Core version of ExpressionEngine is available for free. If you ask me, I would suggest you to familiarize yourself with the Core version before jumping ships and purchasing the pricier versions. The Core version does not come with technical support too. In case of doubts, you will have to consult the official documentation or ask for support from the community forums.
If you wish to add multiple websites, you will have to purchase additional licenses. Yes, it is going to be one pricey affair. However, consider the fact that this CMS platform has been developed for the novice users. Unlike the other web publishing platforms, modules are available and with the aid of the modules, you can set up a website within minutes. For instance, if you wish to utilize ExpressionEngine for creating a forum, you must make use of the forum module. Similarly, an extensive set of modules are available (for the complete list of modules, please consult the official website). At the end of the day, if all that matters happen to be the swift deployment of your website, then you must consider ExpressionEngine.
However, another feature that will delight the end user is the installation wizard that is capable of pointing out the errors. The other CMS platforms leave the end user to consult the necessary documentation. Some of the review websites claim an installation time of just five minutes. When you use ExpressionEngine, numerous PHP scripts work in the background to create dynamic web pages. The built in caching facility will enable the platform to lower the number of requests drastically. Professionals who seek to develop search engine friendly websites must, likewise, use ExpressionEngine. We used it to craft the Belgian Health Site Puras.be; and it is blazing fast as a result!
The stability of the platform is exceptional. In addition, vulnerabilities are practically nonexistent in this web publishing software package. The package can work with minimal server configurations; the hardware requirements are lower too! User management functionality of ExpressionEngine is also good. Support for almost all the web browsers makes it a charming package. The web based control panel is superior in workability unlike the default ones given away with open source CMS platforms. Open source contenders have simulated most of the functions available with ExpressionEngine beautifully. WordPress and other platforms might require you to spend time pondering over help documentation. You can safely ignore such practices while dealing with ExpressionEngine.