Why moving from ExpressionEngine to WordPress could be your best digital move

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Why moving from ExpressionEngine to WordPress could be your best digital move

ExpressionEngine has served many organizations well. From design to daily management, and loved by developers. But, the internet is an ever-changing beast. Consumer habits, technological advancements, and market shifts set the pace for a rapid evolution of digital trends.

Is ExpressionEngine still capable of meeting the dynamic requirements of your organization?

ExpressionEngine has struggled to keep pace with the swift, sometimes harsh winds of the internet’s evolution. The platform, whilst versatile in its heyday, now grapples with limited and outdated functionalities in the face of modern design and development requirements.

The decline in active contributors and third-party support are telling signs of a community that may be dwindling, leading to concerns about the platform’s longevity.

“A prime issue is the upkeep of its platform… updates are sporadic and support is dwindling” offered Amanda Baser, a content manager responsible for a quickly ballooning content plan overwhelming ExpressionEngine and their team.

Despite this, one should not hastily discard the platform. For many organizations, the costs and implications of a platform migration could indeed be daunting, raising the argument that if ExpressionEngine isn’t necessarily broken for your organization, is it worth fixing?

Clinging to ExpressionEngine simply due to familiarity may not suffice as a strategy for the future.

“Archaic and limiting” offered one G2 reviewer who used ExpressionEngine with team of writers to update many location subsites of franchise company websites. “I dislike almost everything about Expression Engine. The UX is deplorable and we constantly get signed out and lose changes” they continued. Their “recommendations to others considering ExpressionEngine: Use WordPress.”

There is a balancing act between maintaining the status quo and positioning for future growth that every organization needs to assess carefully. Given the pace of the digital world, organizations should, now more than ever, be thinking and planning their digital strategy with a longer-term view.

Understanding the shift

Many organizations are leaving ExpressionEngine for alternative platforms. The trend underscores the importance of cost-effective scalability. As organizations grow, so do their website’s needs.

A significant catalyst that has fueled the shift from ExpressionEngine to WordPress is the difference in their content management systems. ExpressionEngine, while offering granular control over content, has a rather complicated interface. This results in a steep learning curve for new users and longer content publication times.

Notably, while ExpressionEngine continues to carry a price tag, WordPress remains a free platform. The cost savings alone could be a compelling factor for many organizations seeking to reduce their operational costs while improving their online capabilities.

When comparing WordPress to ExpressionEngine, for many teams who have been using EE, it is not a surprise that many organizations are transitioning towards WordPress.

A multitude of choice: abundant alternatives to ExpressionEngine

Today, there are a number of vibrant alternatives to ExpressionEngine for organizations to choose from. Making the switch to these platforms from ExpressionEngine is, for many, within reach.

These alternatives aren’t merely carbon copies but bring their own unique set of features and benefits to the table.

From Drupal to WordPress, there are dozens of great alternatives, even others in PHP or Laravel.

But perhaps the most remarkable alternative is the emergence of headless CMS platforms like Contentful and Prismic. These platforms differ from traditional CMSs by providing a backend-only content management system that is technology agnostic, and allows front-end developers to leverage literally any programming language.

The varied CMS landscape offers a multitude of options, each with its own strengths and potential drawbacks. The choice depends heavily on the individual needs and resources of your organization. A strategic approach, based on a careful assessment of your organization’s requirements, can guide you toward the CMS that is the best fit for you.

Simplifying your transition

Transitioning from one CMS platform to another can seem like a daunting task, filled with numerous technical challenges and potential for lost data. It’s the kind of process that, at least for some, might leave you contemplating whether it’s worthwhile to stick with your aging and less-than-ideal current platform, simply for the sake of convenience.

Making the leap from ExpressionEngine over to WordPress doesn’t have to be as daunting as you might imagine. With the right website migration plan and the right tools, you can make the switch.

Ensure your data migration plan incorporates strategies for safeguarding sensitive information. Migrating to a new platform should not expose your organization to unnecessary data breach risks.

Simplifying the transition is about dispelling fears, leveraging technology and support systems, and breaking the process down into manageable tasks.

Despite the most meticulous planning, unforeseen complications may arise during the migration process. Having a well-thought-out contingency plan can mitigate the impact of such potential roadblocks, ensuring the continuity of your online operations.

There’s no denying that such a shift necessitates careful planning and strategic foresight.

Moving from ExpressionEngine to WordPress doesn’t have to be an ‘all or nothing’ affair but rather a paced, thoughtful process that can be tailored to meet the unique needs and resources of your organization.

Next steps for your organization

Understand the economic impact of such a shift. Migrating to WordPress could save your organization substantial costs in the long term, given the platform’s scalability and easy manageability.

Don’t disregard the initial expenses that might be involved in the transition (i.e. site redesign, staff training, and data migration costs, etc.). Do you have the necessary in-house expertise to handle such a migration, or would you need to consider outsourcing?

Migrating to a new content management system is a technologically intricate process that necessitates proficiency in both the old and the new platform.

The choice to move from ExpressionEngine to WordPress, or any other platform your team likes, should align with your organization’s strategic goals and digital landscape. It may seem daunting initially, but with the right approach, this transition could position your organization for future growth and digital resilience.

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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 Website Migration and WordPress. For more from Katrina, find her on twitter and follow her on medium.

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Katrina Pfitzner

Katrina Pfitzner

Katrina is a developer, designer, author, and thought leader.

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