The Little Engine That Could - ExpressionEngine
ExpressionEngine is a flexible, feature-rich content management system that empowers thousands of individuals, organizations, and companies around the world to easily manage their website.
ExpressionEngine is our weapon of choice when it comes to building content management system based websites. We frequently get asked about the features and benefits of using ExpressionEngine so I thought I would highlight some of the key areas of importance.
ExpressionEngine is modular by design, enabling you to easily add new features and capabilities with add-on modules, plugins, and extensions. EE is supported by a world-wide community of third party developers who create add-ons and then share them on the web.
How It Works
ExpressionEngine, or EE, is a system developed using PHP with a MySQL database. Don’t worry, you only need to know that if someone asks. Think of it this way; although underneath the hood, EE is incredibly complex, you only need to know how to use it, no more than a motorist simply needs to know how to drive a car, not fix one. We will install it on your hosting account, and give you access to log in and start managing your sites content. If you ever need support, or would like to expand your site’s functionality in some way, you simply can contact Re:think, or another EE developer. Heck, if you’ve got the chops, you can jump in and start coding yourself!
Click on the link to the control panel, and you will be presented with a login screen. Enter your username and password to continue. If you ever forget or lose your password, just click the link and follow the instructions.
After you log in, you’ll see the control panel for your site. It will show you the latest entries, and optionally, you can write notes that are just there for you to reference (they don’t get published anywhere on your site). For example, you could write a note; “Finish contact copy.”
When you want to create a page or article, you can click on the Content > Publish which will show a drop down of the various “channels” or sections to publish entries to. Choose the appropriate section. It will take you to an edit screen where you will add your content.
Editing Existing Entries
To edit existing entries, or articles, click on Content > Edit. The Edit screen shows a table view of all of the entries on the site. If your site has multiple sections, you can use the filter form to narrow down the entries. If you only want to see entries from one particular channel, category, status or date range, you can define all of that in the filter form. You can even type in keywords to pinpoint the exact entry you’d like to edit.
Clicking on the entry title will take you to the entry edit form where you can change the content for that entry.
If you’d like to delete one or more entries, click on the check box next to the entry you want to delete. You can click on multiple checkboxes to delete multiple entries.
Once the entries are checked, scroll to the bottom of the page. In a drop down menu, select Delete Selected and click Submit. There is a confirmation page. Click to confirm the deletion.
You can also use the drop down menu to edit multiple entries at once. Once you’ve checked off the entries you want to edit, selected Edit Selected from the dropdown and clicked Submit, you can change multiple entries titles, url titles, status, entry date and other options all from one handy spot. When you are done, click Update to save the changes.
As soon as you publish a new page within an ExpressionEngine “channel” or section, the first thing you’ll usually do is give the entry a title. This title is very important, as it is what you will use not only to recognize the entry within ExpressionEngine, but it is usually the headline or title of the page in the front-end of the site. It also is often used in the title tags which appear at the top of your browser window when on that page.
URL Titles get dynamically created as you type in the Title field. URL Titles are all lowercase and spaces appear as dashes or underscores. URL Titles will appear within the URL bar in the browser and can be useful to users. Eg: Within the URL, http://www.mysite.com/blog/entry/my-article-title/ the segment “my-article-title” would be the URL Title.
To learn more you can download the ExpressionEngine walkthrough pdf at the link below.