Web Design & CMS Selection: WP vs. EE

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By |Nov 3, 2015

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WordPress vs ExpressionEngine - Which is Better For Your Web Project?

With the numerous content management systems (CMSs) available for selection today, the field is wide open and it's easy to have a problem determining which solution is best for your needs. Indeed, most modern platforms allow you to "easily" and "quickly" build any website type you can imagine, but how do you go about selecting the one that is right for you, your employees and your business?  I'm glad you asked smile.

In this impact blog post, we’d like to look at two of the most powerful CMS that we here at 92 West have dealt with when working with our clients; ExpressionEngine and WordPress.  We’ll make a comparison between the two CMSs and provide some insight on how we've selected what software to use for which client web design / dev project and why.

First things first... Simple Facts About WordPress

(Also, please check out Jamie's post on WordPress after reading this article.  If you find that WP is a good fit for you, it'll provide you with some essentials to get your web design project on the right track from the word go.)

Before it became a full-fledged CMS it is today, WordPress was used only as a blogging engine majorly for simple publishing tasks such as blogging.

Fast forward 12 years and WordPress has grown to become the most popular CMS on the planet. This has led to the rapid growth of a highly active community of developers who are continuously improving various aspects such as themes and plugins. Today, it’s easier than ever to operate the platform and there are plugins to fit nearly every programming need (plugins add function to WP). Adding this plugins is as simple as a quick search and a hit of a button to install.

WordPress has a relatively easy-to-use backend interface that makes it such an ideal option for a majority of web professionals looking to provide their clients with a platform they can find easy to manage even by themselves.

With that said, WordPress can be a little difficult to work with in some cases; such as when creating customized sites that demand more sophisticated content management. The platform might be a good option for creating blogging platforms and other basic websites, but may be an undesirable option when building custom websites with very particular programming needs for your industry.  Also, another drawback, is that when you are wanting to update your site's layout or perhaps change a theme entirely... the programming and shortcodes may not be supported and thus will increase development costs.

Next, Simple Facts About ExpressionEngine

ExpressionEngine was initially built to serve as a platform to manage complex content management. As such, the platform is among the best when used to create customized websites with multiple content channels and custom fields. ExpressionEngine offers nearly limitless options in terms of flexibility and is built to be modular... so when you want to update... you can.  Add a section... need new functionality... a new look... all of it can be accomplished with far less time as you won't need to start from scratch.  Truly, the CMS just gets out of the developers way and let's your content needs drive the development... rather than worry about how the system needs you to program around it.

WordPress Versus ExpressionEngine - Which is More Suitable For You?

When faced with this question, the best way to approach it is by asking yourself, “What’s the purpose of my site?”

If, for example, you’re looking to build a simple site for your business brochure, portfolio, magazine or a small e-commerce site, WordPress will most likely make the best option for you in such a case. ExpressionEngine may offer an equally capable platform for all these sites, but the web development needs may not fit into your budget.  This gives WordPress an upper hand in such a contest since the learning curve for non-developers is less steep when your only installing a theme and needing to read a manual on how to properly implement content.  Still takes some time, but with a limited budget (under 4K) WP makes for a good selection. 

On the other hand, ExpressionEngine is the recommended option if you’re seeking to build a more complex site with lots of different types of contents. It offers developers more freedom to develop customized templates and workflows that can be used to manage even the most complex and mixed content. This CMS offers everything WordPress does but focuses more on providing more versatility and developer-friendliness. Also, with the proper guidance, the EECMS can be managed by a user of any experience. Literally... if you can use "old school word", you can update an EE site.

Conclusion

Both WordPress and ExpressionEngine are excellent CMS options that you can use to create your websites. However, WordPress is more user-friendly albeit quite inflexible for customization. Conversely, ExpressionEngine is easily customizable and thus ideal for creating more complex sites.

If you wish to build your website using any of the two platforms and aren’t sure which between them you should use, feel free to contact us here at 92 West for more consultation and professional help. We’ve been doing this for many years and our experience with both WordPress and ExpressionEngine can give you the knowledge needed to make the right choice.

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