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ExpressionEngine 2.0 Beta

ExpressionEngine 2.0

At Flourish Web Design, we know and love ExpressionEngine, so much so that we use it almost exclusively for our client projects. Unlike most of its competitors, ExpressionEngine is well-documented, commercially supported and extremely extensible, built to be customized rather than forcing developers to hack it to pieces, then put it back together again to achieve custom functionality. As great of a piece of software as it is, however, there are still some lacking features. That's why we're so excited to hear that the ExpressionEngine 2.0 Beta is now available!

New Features That We're Stoked About

  • More options for custom fields — We love custom fields. They allow us to create beautifully designed custom pages that are chock-full of dynamic content. One of our biggest gripes with ExpressionEngine 1 is that the custom field types are limited to text boxes and text areas. In ExpressionEngine 2, we'll be able to add all kinds of other options right off the bat, including checkboxes, radio buttons, even address and date pickers. This will streamline the workflow for both developers and content editors. For example, imagine you are a client publishing a product to your e-commerce store. One of the things ExpressionEngine 2.0 will allow us to do is present you with a checkbox list of display options for the product. You'll be able to check off all the places where you want the product to appear (for example, on a home page slideshow, on the main store page, in a sidebar on your blog, the possibilities are limitless). Achieving this in ExpressionEngine 1 is a bit more complicated for both the developer and content editor.
  • Image editor in-browser — Our designs are created to extremely tight tolerances, down to the pixel. When our clients upload images for certain fields, they must often be cropped to specific dimensions to display properly. Whereas before this required a graphics program like Photoshop or ImageReady, it can now be done in-browser.
  • Improved control panel, including an iPhone app — The ExpressionEngine 1 control panel is very utilitarian, but not the most attractive interface out there, certainly not on par with the WordPress administrative controls. While there are custom control panel themes out there, we're looking forward to seeing a more sleek and professional looking control panel out of the box. Additionally, the ability to make updates from the iPhone is just downright awesome and another feature that should help cement ExpressionEngine's popularity.

What Does This Mean For Our Clients?

We are currently in the process of evalutating ExpressionEngine 2.0, and things are looking mighty promising. Within a few weeks, we may be ready to recommend ExpressionEngine 2.0 to our clients, and will hopefully be developing our first client site on it soon. For new and existing clients using or interested in using ExpressionEngine 1, this is no reason to be alarmed. We will still continue supporting it for the forseeable future, as most of the two pieces of software are fundamentally still the same.

Check out the full ExpressionEngine 2.0 announcement article on www.expressionengine.com.

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