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ExpressionEngine Enhances PHP Content Management with Framework Flexibility - Page 2

by: W. Jason Gilmore
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March 28, 2010

A Vibrant Extension Ecosystem

The ExpressionEngine web site currently lists 142 official plugins, modules, and extensions, with hundreds more available for download from third-party web sites. Among others, you'll find plugins capable of communicating with the Amazon Associates API, integrating Flash, adding RSS feeds, providing members with a wiki, enhancing content search capabilities, and much more. If you're in need of e-commerce/shopping cart integration, check out FoxEE, an ExpressionEngine add-on that tightly integrates with the FoxyCart-hosted shopping cart and checkout service.

Powerful Member Management Features

These days, almost every site offer s some level of membership-specific services. However, building and maintaining an infrastructure capable of managing large member bases can be incredibly time consuming. ExpressionEngine removes many of these difficulties by providing you with native registration and login features, the ability to create custom membership fields, and the ability to communicate with users via a mass-mailer feature.
Other ExpressionEngine features also enable you to restrict content to registered members easily and even to assign members to specific membership categories, which make it possible to further segment content access.

The Future of ExpressionEngine

ExpressionEngine 2.0 is currently in beta and promises dozens of new features, including a native image editor, updated interface, native jQuery support, and improved management of third-party extensions. You can download a 30-day trial version of the public beta from the ExpressionEngine web site.

Conclusion

ExpressionEngine does a pretty impressive job of treading the fine line between offering users the stability of a content management system and the flexibility of a web framework. If other solutions aren't fitting your exacting needs, consider ExpressionEngine. As always, if you use ExpressionEngine in an upcoming project, or have something extra to add based on your prior experiences using this particular solution, please tell us about it in the comments!

About the Author

Jason Gilmore is the founder of EasyPHPWebsites.com and the author of several popular books, including "Easy PHP Web sites with the Zend Framework" and "Beginning PHP and MySQL: From Novice to Professional" (currently in its third edition). Check out his new DZone reference card, titled "Getting Started with the Zend Framework."

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