The Problem with ExpressionEngine

I was sitting on a plane this morning waiting to depart and as I was drifting in and out of consciousness my thoughts turned to work (as they inevitably always do). I started thinking about my current skillset and how I've progressed (and not) over the last 7 or so years. Eventually I came to assess where I am now and how my skills add up. The results? My programming skills have plateaued over the last few years. I blame ExpressionEngine.

Now before you set Twitter afire with tweets of blasphemy, let me explain myself. Quite simply, ExpressionEngine is amazing. I love it. It has helped me grow my business over the last two and half years and helped me offer my clients functionality, tools and options I otherwise would not have been able to. The incredible flexibility, vast add-on market, exemplary community and talented developers make it possible and usually enjoyable to build just about any kind of website you or your clients can dream up without having to reinvent the wheel, or build something custom, most of the time. This is huge for the designer or developer that isn't capable of otherwise producing such a site, or couldn't produce one as quickly, cost-efficiently or as well as they can with ExpressionEngine.

The problem, then?I find myself knee-deep in PHP less and less. So to me, it's not little bugs, or the impossible-to-make-nice forums or some random functionality it might be lacking, it's that it lets me build powerful sites without having to beat my head on the desk.

reader comments


Until Expression Engine was released, developers were complaining that PHP was getting harder and time consuming as more challenges came by. Now that everybody’s nightmare is over, you are telling now PHP is not a challenge anymore. Well, if you find that building powerful websites has becoming something like a walk in the park for you with Expression Engine, do one thing. Go back to the programs and applications used prior to the advent of Expression Engine. So that you can beat your head on the desk!

  • Posted By security credentials
  • July 14th, 2011

Amazing how parralel your story & experience is to ours. We’ve been in business for 7 years and up until recently used Textpattern exclusively. Having built 3 EE sites now I’ve resolved to move 100% to EE as frankly, we’ve outgrown what TXP can do. At the same time, I just dont have the mindset for programming so I needed to make the move to a platform which would be extensible enough to suit most requirements. Hearing your story and other EE developers on Twitter etc gives us confidence its the right move.

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