ExpressionEngine vs WordPress

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ExpressionEngine vs WordPress

Are you looking for a platform to power your organization’s web presence?

ExpressionEngine and WordPress are two of the most popular content management systems for building websites. Both have their strengths and weaknesses; understanding which platform is most suitable for your project requires careful consideration.

WordPress, one of many ExpressionEngine alternatives, now powers over 30% of the websites online. ExpressionEngine powers many enterprise and governmental organization websites.

In this article, we will compare ExpressionEngine to WordPress by looking at features, cost, security, ease of use, and more.

Comparing ExpressionEngine to WordPress

As mentioned previously, ExpressionEngine and WordPress are two content management systems used around the world by millions of people to power their websites. Although they both share many features, they have major differences that affect how suitable each is for different projects.

Ease of Use

When it comes to ease of use, WordPress has a clear edge over ExpressionEngine; it’s intuitive and easy-to-use interface makes managing content on your website fast and simple. New users can quickly become experts in using WordPress, as there are plenty of online tutorials for help along the way. Alternatively, ExpressionEngine uses a more complex drag-and-drop visual editor which may be confusing for those who aren’t familiar with the platform or software development in general.

Features and Capabilities

Comparing the features and capabilities between Expression Engine and WordPress isn’t easy. WordPress offers a wide range of features, from blogging to image galleries. Its flexibility is what stands out most; plugins are available to extend WordPress’ core functionality and add features that you may need on your website.

ExpressionEngine also provides many useful features built-in, but the scope of plugin development isn’t as far reaching as it is with WordPress.

Most popular features of WordPress today:

  • Themes: WordPress has a rich library of themes that allow you to customize the look and feel of your website.
  • Plugins: With over 40,000 plugins, you can easily extend the features and capabilities of your website.
  • Navigation menus: WordPress provides a user-friendly interface for managing navigation on your website.
  • Widgets: Widgets make it easy to add content and functions to sidebars or any other part of your site.
  • Page Builders: WordPress has several very good page builders that make developing a custom page or website easy, using a visual drag-and-drop page builder.

Features of ExpressionEngine developers enjoy in 2024:

  • User Management & Security: ExpressionEngine allows users to create and manage multiple user roles, and also has in-depth security systems to protect your website from hackers.
  • Syndication: Using RSS feeds, you can syndicate content from other sites and display it on your website.
  • Dynamic Data Pulls: ExpressionEngine allows for dynamic data pulls with the help of plugins; this means you can pull information from multiple sources into a single page or post.

Cost & Pricing Model

WordPress is completely free to use; all you need to pay for is hosting and any additional plugins or themes that may be required.

ExpressionEngine requires an upfront licensing fee as well as annual renewal costs depending on your usage requirements. ExpressionEngine’s pricing model is more complex than WordPress’; it usually requires upfront licensing fees plus an ongoing annual maintenance fee ranging from a few hundred to thousands of dollars per year depending on the version you choose (Basic vs Pro). That being said, those who purchase an Enterprise level license get access to advanced features such as multilingual capability and unlimited support.

Plugins or add-ons may also need to be purchased separately; these range in price from free to hundreds of dollars per year for either platform.

Hosting costs for ExpressionEngine vs WordPress hosting costs

For WordPress hosting, fees are typically around $10-$15/month, but can vary depending on your provider. Similarly, ExpressionEngine hosting providers typically charge $20-$50 per month.

Generally speaking, ExpressionEngine will be a little more resource intensive and will require slightly more expensive hosting plans, and there seem to be fewer options for hosting an Expression Engine website, when compared to the many great options for hosting a WordPress website.

Questions we get asked about Expression Engine compared to WordPress:

Is Expression Engine easier than WordPress?

Expression Engine has more capabilities out of the box but it isn’t necessarily “easier” then WordPress since they serve two different purposes in web development; while one might offer certain functionalities quicker then another would – ultimately understanding how each platform works will give you more insight into determining which one yields better results given project needs & requirements perspective!

Which is easier to learn, ExpressionEngine or WordPress?

WordPress is often said to be the easier of the two platforms, requiring only basic web development knowledge in order to create a website. ExpressionEngine on the other hand, is more complex; users should have prior experience with software development before using it.

What are the major differences between ExpressionEngine and WordPress?

The major differences between ExpressionEngine and WordPress include cost, ease of use, features & flexibility and security. ExpressionEngine has a more complex pricing model than WordPress, which usually involves an upfront licensing fee plus an ongoing maintenance fee. While both provide many features built-in, the scope of plugin development in WordPress is much greater than ExpressionEngine’s. In terms of security, both are robust enough.

Is Expression Engine similar to WordPress?

Yes, Expression Engine and WordPress are both content management systems. The key difference between them is the level of complexity in functions – WordPress is more intuitive and user friendly while ExpressionEngine has a more complex interface which means it may take longer for someone unfamiliar with the platform to become proficient. Additionally, WordPress has a larger library of plugins that can be installed to expand functionality as compared to ExpressionEngine.

Is it less expensive developing sites on WordPress than Expression Engine?

Yes, generally speaking, because there are no upfront license fees associated with WordPress as compared to the costs of licensing fees necessary with ExpressionEngine.

Is it easier to develop sites with Expression Engine or WordPress?

The answer depends on your familiarity with each platform; if you’re already familiar with either then that would be your best option as you can get up and running quickly. For those who aren’t very familiar with either solution, there is an initial learning curve, but once you’re past that, both offer sufficient levels of scalability, flexibility, security and features for most applications – so for many organization, making a decision will come down to budget & needs!

What makes Expression Engine better than WordPress?

The primary differences between ExpressionsEngine and WordPress come down mainly to scalability and customization abilities for enterprise grade websites/applications that require robust content management systems. Where EE seems like a great option, given its built-in features, like custom fields & entry types, along with 3rd party integrations, that simplify the process of developing with the platform. On the other hand, WordPress relies heavily on 3rd party plugins and widgets.

What makes WordPress better than ExpressionEngine?

WordPress, realistically, is more cost-effective, and easier to use, compared to ExpressionEngine in 2024. WordPress has a larger user base with plenty of online tutorials available for help along the way, while ExpressionEngine has a smaller user base which may make finding help or support more difficult.

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About the Author

Katrina Pfitzner

Katrina Pfitzner

Katrina is a developer, designer, author, and thought leader on topics including ExpressionEngine and WordPress. For more from Katrina, find her on twitter and follow her on medium.

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Julie Enonmi

Julie Enonmi

Julie Enonmi is an expert in Digital Marketing.

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