ExpressionEngine vs Wordpress - Choose the right tool for the job

Finally

At last.. This episode was planned out for well over a year! It takes a long time to produce little videos like this, but i'm really going to try and make it a regular occurrence as it's great fun. Onwards..

Security

WordPress is a huge success, no one can deny that. It powers over 10% of websites out there, incredible! A little like the Windows vs OSX issue though, it's a victim of it own success. Hackers target the bigger piece of the pie and WordPress is shot for. ExpressionEngine is far from bullet proof but in my experience it's been the hosting that has been breached and not the software.

Cost

A lot of WordPress users like it because it's “free”. However when you evaluate time versus money the cost of the ExpressionEngine license fee is minimal against development time. These costs are also passed onto the client.

Is WordPress “free” anyway? There are a number of plugins thats are now paid for. Some of these paid for WordPress plugins have bizarre business models. One includes exchanging your email address for the plugin. Sceptical? Yes. What followed was a barrage of emails for days, weeks and months. I'd rather just pay!

The second interesting business model came with an upfront fee of £40 followed with a £2 per month maintenance fee, again i'd rather just pay a little more upfront than have these amounts on a credit card statement.

Add ons / Plugins

The plugin side of WordPress is a partly why it now holds star status. Many generous developers have contributed to the community with plugins. Issues do crop up however. Taking on a WordPress project we ran into plugin conflicts upon the main software update. Getting in touch with the developer proved quite interesting. He was a undergraduate student who had just moved into his halls of residence and sounded intoxicated and regrettably wouldn’t be supporting the add on any more. When a site relies so heavily on a add on, it's best it is well supported. Paying for software is no bad thing, it allows plugin developers to put food on the table and support them religiously.

WordPress

PlusNegative
Great for blog like sites - it was built for that Security
Numerous plugins / themes Many themes – it encourages modifying theme
Easier to learn Some poor plugins
Admin UI Plugin conflicts

ExpressionEngine

PlusNegative
Flexible Workflow
Huge control Update process
E-commerce Cost – not an issue
Excellent Add ons No road maps
Templating Learning curve
Community
Cost
Membership sites

Are there other CMS options out there?

Absolutely, many great options and we are biased by using mostly WordPress and ExpressionEngine.

Some and by no means all of the alternatives are:

  • Joomla
  • Drupal
  • Statamic
  • Perch
  • ModX

One thing to take away?

Use the right tool for the job.

Comments

Comment: 1
David Leith , 2nd October 12

As a fanatic of WordPress i’m very biased but after this video and other good things i’ve hear about Expression Engine i might just give it a go. Thanks for this comparison.

Comment: 2
Daniel Boswell , 7th May 13

A very nice break down of WordPress vs Expression Engine. I offer both options for my clients but after spending the last 3 years in Expression Engine, I certainly prefer it for most projects.

Thanks for putting this together!

Comment: 3
Paul , 14th May 13

Great, unbiased analysis without taking jabs unnecessarily. Not many such articles/videos take a neutral, sensible tone that could be conveyed to a client.

We’re Expression Engine enthusiasts but I still appreciate the Word Press portion of the video.

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