So many thoughts. So little time.

Monthly Archives: December 2013

3 Things ExpressionEngine can do that WordPress simply cannot

I’m a programmer who uses the ExpressionEngine CMS to run some pretty data-intensive websites.

Data intensive!

WordPress is a great platform, don’t get me wrong. (This page and most of my other personal pages are all WordPress sites.)

But if you’ve got data, you want something like ExpressionEngine. Here’s why.

If/Then statements.

Anywhere on any template for any page that I want to assign that template to, I can have conditionals that decide how things are going to work depending upon conditions in the data retrieved.

Say a field is empty.

I can simply say

{if fieldname ==””}do this{/if}

and

{if fieldname != “”}do that{/if}   (…Or even more simply, {if fieldname}do that{/if}!)

(WordPress has one major field that you write inside of. You can add custom fields. What happens to the page when those have content (or do not) is not easily controlled.)

URL Segments

I can test segments of the URL and insert their data into paths or anywhere I want, like for instance, as part of an if/then statement!

Just today I had the situation where I used that where nothing else would have been easy. Most of my pages have a “Go to top” link. I had a search result page with a long special URL generated by the built-in search engine.

I was able to construct that link I needed in EE with:

<a href=”{path=template_group/template_name}{segment_3}#top”> – Ta Da!

That would have been a bit of work in WordPress.

Embedding Code

In EE, I can easily embed an entire code routine to insert its contents anywhere on a page I like. I can send that code routine variable data so it is customized – even as far as which database table it pulls from, or which category or field it pulls its data from. This is so powerful it is crazy. And is super convenient for universal, across-the-site things like headers and footers. WordPress can do such things up to a point with functions (relying on the “hooks” that are made available by the theme), but it is not as easy to automate nor to send modifying data calls into.

Maybe I’m just so used to ExpressionEngine and not savvy enough at PHP and function writing so as to be comfortable with child themes and such to write similar capabilities into WordPress, but to get such power on a page-template by page-template basis, I need ExpressionEngine to make it all approachable!

That’s all for now on this, but those are my three biggies!

Holiday Showcase of New G+ Hangouts on Air Shows #HangoutProducers

Enjoy the show!

I’ll be announcing a new hangout series I’m starting aimed at educators of all kinds and taking one’s education into entrepreneurial activities.

You can find more information and follow the project at iWonderEducation.com or on Google+!

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