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No gEEk? No Problem!


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Using ExpressionEngine CMS to impress both yourself and your clients

Published in: Technology
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No gEEk? No Problem!

  1. 1. No gEEk? No problem! Using ExpressionEngine (EE) to impress yourself and your clients Presented by Caroline C. Blaker
  2. 2. I am Caroline! I do this every day I work in EE exclusively I am an artist, turned web programmer (geek) Recently founded Petroglyph Creative, 6344 4th Street
  3. 3. ExpressionEngine is HOTT Suits demand for all websites. ALL websites. Dedicated population of developers and support that earn a living at developing in EE, and for EE. Confidence-inducing experiences with development at all levels.
  4. 4. Expressionengine is a commercial product Developed by Ellis Lab ( First released in 2004. This year, ExpressionEngine married CodeIgnitor (development framework) and adapted a new file structure and other changes to make:
  5. 5. ExpressionEngine 2.0 Open platform, commercial quality and support. Extraordinary documentation (as good as JQuery.) Intuitive tagging system eliminates need for programming knowledge. However..
  6. 6. ExpressionEngine 2.0 .. is not free. :(
  7. 7. ExpressionEngine 2.0 Barrier to entry keeps the CMS source code out of the hands of unsavory types like hackers and virus programmers. Community is extraordinarily active, though somewhat exclusive. Some developers in the EE community have a cult following.
  8. 8. ExpressionEngine 2.0 No more development headaches. Use a little EE, use a lotta EE. Features are easy to use and scaleable. Community support is available 24/7.
  9. 9. The Control Panel
  10. 10. YOU: Has HTML/CSS Now what? PHP Hosting environment with a MySQL Database Simply install ExpressionEngine (trial or full) and create a template group to drop your templates in.
  11. 11. YOU: Has HTML/CSS Now what? PHP Hosting environment with a MySQL Database Simply install ExpressionEngine (trial or full) and create a template group to drop your templates in.
  12. 12. template_group/ template Paths are predictable: template All internal EE path references use {path=“template-group/template”} Reuse templates on multiple pages that include repetitive code by using {embed=“template-group/template”}.
  13. 13. Use a Channel to publish content Create the fields you need for your content in “Custom Fields” Add the content using the “Publish” menu. Create as many channels as you need and as many custom fields as you need. Associate them interchangeably. Assign categories in groups.
  14. 14. {Tags} are your friend. {exp:channel:entries channel=“news” limit=“3” category=“6” } <h1 class=“news-title”>{title}</h1> {custom_tag_name} <a href=‘{path=‘group/template’}’>Read more</a> {/exp:channel:entries}
  15. 15. {Tags} for templates {exp:foo:bar} - Tells EE you want it to do something and telling it what. For you PHP’ers: A reference to a function “bar” in the class “foo”. {some_var} - One of the hundreds of global variables at your disposal, including any you define yourself in the CP, like {phone_number}.
  16. 16. {Tags} for templates {if {this_idea} ==‘understandable’} Congratulations - you can use EE {if:elseif {this_idea}==‘new’}Come on mang, have another look! {if:else}Nevermind.. {/if}
  17. 17. {Tags} for templates {segment_1}/{segment_2} {logged_in}, {logged_out} {current_time format= “%Y”} {embed=“template_group/template” somevar=“foo”} {embed:somevar}
  18. 18. {exp:channel} Built as blogging engine, modified to address all structurally repetitive content Saves LOTS of peripheral information. Affect output by using parameters, inclusion of custom fields. Publish now, edit later; with the same skills needed to edit a Word document.
  19. 19. Making it your own Create channels for all editable content. Use custom variables for small, consistent pieces of content. Create one template for every piece of non-editable code, and embed it where it is needed. Use FTP to host/edit CSS, JS, and templates.
  20. 20. Control over paths EE assumes nothing. It doesn’t even assume that you have a navigational structure. Use Pages module to override default URL rules and assign a specific URL to content Turns “template-group/template” into “/whateveryou/want” at the CONTENT level.
  21. 21. Your Nav. Include file, edited by hand, yet populated throughout. Loop through {exp:channel:entries} using parameters like category=“3” or show_pages=“only” For a visual editor of sections and sub-sections use the Structure Module. Use this for clients who might be behind on the learning curve.
  22. 22. What’s included.
  23. 23. What’s included. Screen shot 2010
  24. 24. What’s Included.
  25. 25. ..but that’s not all 230 Add-ons for EE2 ( Add Member functions (User), easy forms (Freeform), Favorites, Facebook, thanks to Solspace ( Add Better Meta, Polls, Social bookmarks thanks to Leevi Graham E-Commerce, thanks to Barret Newton ( and HCC Development (foxEE)
  26. 26. All Add-ons use the same tagging system {exp:freeform:entries} {exp:twitter_feed} etc. So once you’ve gotten into publishing, you can try add-ons without being unsure of whether you can wield them.
  27. 27. I’ll take your questions now. Because, y’know, its the end! Twitter: @carolinecblaker