Web Design with ExpressionEngine

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By | Jul 29, 2015

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92 West develops web sites in a number of content management systems (WordPress, Craft, Magento, Concrete5, SohoLaunch and ExpressionEngine) and our favorite for any custom site development is ExpressionEngine from ElisLabs.  

Now we realize that there are 100's of systems out there, and certainly there are pros and cons to consider with any development project, but when we create a custom site our CMS of choice is EE all the way. 

Why ExpressionEngine?

Primarily, we have found that we can build and update any site with EE. Also, if the web project needs custom development, we can create an application that meets the client's needs and works within the CMS as a native application. 

We have built educational sites, creative sites, e-commerce sites and have even built mobile applications that pull their content from an EE installation.  

Truly, ExpressionEngine is our "one stop shop" for custom development. More importantly, the system doesn't require advanced programming knowledge or training on the use of "shortcodes" to enhance the site... the CMS makes it easy for our clients to manage their own content.  

More on Why to Use ExpressionEngine Over Another CMS; Direct from EllisLab

Flexible Platform: Put ExpressionEngine in the hands of a talented web professional, and you'll find you've got a platform flexible and powerful enough to build almost anything you can imagine. From the beginning, ExpressionEngine was designed to easily manage and flexibly display multiple channels of content. No stiff, stodgy themes to wrestle with here.

Made for Easy Publishing: Publishing with ExpressionEngine is remarkably easy. The straight forward publishing screen gives you a point-and-click interface to enter content, so there's no need for a content editor to learn any programming or markup language.

Create Once, Publish Everywhere: Future-proof your investment. The web is now bigger than just web page publishing. Create and store your content in one place, but publish it through desktop web pages, mobile pages, mobile apps, RSS feeds, content APIs, and even future publishing channels not yet imagined.

Chunk Big & Chunk Small: Native custom content fields let you create and deliver content in many forms. Factor in the rich world of add-ons for ExpressionEngine, and now you have the tools to build a custom-built thing tailored to specific needs. Sweet.

In Good Company: Some of the highest profile, highest trafficked sites on the web trust ExpressionEngine to deliver their users the perfect experience. Penny Arcade, Mumford & Sons, Trump International Realty, Paula Deen, A List Apart and both President Barack Obama’s campaigns, just to name a few.

The best of the best use ExpressionEngine every day. Within the ExpressionEngine Community, you'll find helpful advice, high-quality add-ons, and people working hard to push the web forward.

Craft the Experience: ExpressionEngine provides unlimited possibilities for you to create exactly the experience your clients deserve, front to back. No rigid themes or shoehorning. Enjoy unparalleled flexibility and control over the front-end design with a template system that lets you drop content into your HTML and CSS.

What Does 92 West Commonly Use to Enhance EE?

Below is a list of Modules / Add-ons that we commonly use as our "default" install; they just make the end project function beautifully.  If you have questions on why or if ExpressionEngine is a good fit for your project please contact us and we'll be happy to go over any details.

Our Standard ExpressionEngine "Toolbox"

ThEEditorCodeMirror - Makes Development Easier

A great Add-On that adds EE Tag Syntax Highlighting, shift-tab reverse indent, line numbering, and intelligent javascript error-checking to the built-in template editor.

SEO Lite - Search Engine Optimization 101

SEO Lite is the easiest way to make sure the title-tag is output on all pages on your site: one global embed / snippet and you're done.

SEO Lite is a very lightweight module which will add a SEO tab to your publish page. It has an editable template that can be embedded in the header of your site. Using only one database query it should be perfect for high traffic sites.

Minimee - Compress that Code

Minimize, combine & cache your CSS and JS files. Minify your HTML. Because size DOES matter.

Campaigns - Post to Your Blog and Social Media

Getting the message out to the world is now simple with Campaigns, the most comprehensive campaign system ever developed for ExpressionEngine. Post to Facebook Walls and Pages, deliver your message to LinkedIn companies and groups or tweet to your twitter timeline is now all in one simple to use package. Email campaigns can also be delivered through MailChimp, Campaign Monitor, or Constant Contact.

This system incorporates all of the top ways to deliver your message in one simple package. The advance template options allow you to post different fieldtypes directly in your messages, whether by email or social media post.

Channel Files

Channel Files is a straightforward, easy-to-use system for managing multiple files per entry in ExpressionEngine. The default installation of ExpressionEngine has little flexibility for managing several files in a single entry. Channel Files changes all that by allowing the end-user to upload, add a title, describe, edit categories, and order files all within the entry.

Channel Files allows you to upload unlimited files at any size. Want to upload an 80MB video file right to an Entry? No problem! With Channel Files you can upload several files of all sizes right to Amazon S3, the Rackspace Cloud, or your own server with a simple click.

Channel Files also allows you to group files by category, add descriptions and change titles per file. This module removes the file from the server, so no need for messy ftp cleanup.

Let Channel Files help you avoid using clunky methods to manage files.

Channel Images - Edit Images as Your Site Needs

Channel Images simplifies use of images within ExpressionEngine entries. With ExpressionEngine's default install you must upload individual images one at a time to individual fields or worse embed them into your text fields. Channel Images removes this default process and simplifies image management.

Channel Images unique process allows you to multi-select images and batch upload them with individual title and description within an optional category. The plugin automatically renames each image and processes actions (Resize, Crop, Etc) to meet your template needs. This process is great for applications that require the end-user to upload several images without requiring photo editing.

The simple and straight-forward interface allows for easy editing, order arranging, deleting, and selecting a cover image right from the individual entry. The module will also delete the image from the server, so no need for messy ftp cleanup. A simple "Cover Image" choice allows for simple template placement to create that custom look in your design.

Editor - What You See is What You Get

Welcome to the world's most Beautiful and easy-to-use WYSIWYG html editor. DevDemon's Editor for ExpressionEngine uses Redactor to deliver a clean, light and overall amazing experience to all of your text fields. Editor works as a WYSIWYG for default fields, matrix fields, Low Variables and category descriptions. Upload Images and Files to your content with jQuery ease.

With other WYSIWYG's for ExpressionEngine you can easily get confused of where opening and closing tags are. It becomes easy for a novice content administrator to garble tags and mess up layouts. With Editor's Visual Mode you can easily see separations of closing tags and build complex pages with ease.

Want to keep your publish page clean and not show several toolbars at once on your Matrix fields? With Editor Air mode highlight your content and use the "hovering" toolbar to edit your content. Easy to use, beautiful, powerful and affordable with our Developer licenses.

Forms - Build Forms without Code!

Forms are finally simple and powerful in ExpressionEngine. Delivering like no other module seen before in ExpressionEngine we make the job of creating forms simple for you and your content admin. Previously forms were a hassle in ExpressionEngine, tucked deeply within the modules system, they were cumbersome and extremely difficult for a non-developer to use. These days are over, Forms is about to set you free!

With Forms you can create forms per entry or in the control panel for those template based forms. No matter where you make your Forms creating them has never been easier. With a simple one line template tag you can have a dynamic form on any page of your website.

Forms includes conditional logic, multiple column layouts, and fieldsets. These powerful new page tools and conditional logic allow you to create amazing multiple page forms with different layouts that change based off the answers of your users.

Need to add a payment with your form? Forms allows for multiple payment options with the form submission to make accepting payments in your form easy! Never has it been so easy to build forms with payment options.

Want more power with your Forms, well that is there also! Forms integrates with almost all ExpressionEngine content include Channel Entries, Categories, Forums, Members, Member Fields, and Member Groups. It comes setup with tons of pre-defined lists and the ability to make many more! Want multi-page forms, dynamic routing, and mailing list integration (Campaign Monitor/MailChimp)? No problem, Forms has this and so so much more!

Snaptcha - Kill Form Spam

Snaptcha (Simple Non-obtrusive Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart) is an invisible captcha and will be the last time you will ever have to think about protecting your forms from spam bots.

Snaptcha will automatically add a hidden field to your forms and will validate it on submission. If it determines that a spambot is attempting to submit the form then it will prevent the form from being submitted and will output an error message. You can control the level of security as well as the error message text.

Web Design / Web Development
with ExpressionEngine

In need of a site refresh or a brand new concept to be implemented? 
Give 92 West a call at 402.620.2633 and we'll be happy to go over your ExpressionEngine project details!

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