In the second Creat-ee training session of ExpressionEngine unlike the theorical first class, we jumped right into real-world practice and how to create Channels, Categories and entries, basically all the bits and pieces that make up a website.
I now realize the astounding size of the underground mafia behind ExpressionEngine. Since ExpressionEngine is fairly new to me and the moment it was needed I jumped right into the training, I did not spend time beforehand looking at resources available. ExpressionEngine is supported by hundreds of developers and there are plenty of add-ons and support out there.
All the hype behind this system is worthwhile since is clear now how truly customizable the entire system is, especially the backend and data-entry features. Overall the website setup does take more work than other CMS’s that I have seen before, but I am truly excited about a backend that can be customized to each of my customers according to their needs. So far, in regards to data-entry CMS, this system is seems like a clear winner in terms of giving developers freedom in their application endeavors. Maybe I am jumping the gun slightly and will continue to dig down to discover the pro’s and cons of the entire system.
ExpressionEngine seems truly customizable, just as they advertise, and our training set settings on several some of Admin preferences that include:
- File Upload Settings
Images and documents upload file location can be specified by simply typing a server path. An automatic thumb is created with each upload.
- Calendar and Localization settings
As an addon, calendars can be super useful but make sure the time on your server is accurate because most calendars are time-based.
- Output and Debugging Preferences
PHP error shown option, redirection, url query strings options, etc.
- CAPTCHA Preferences (Under security and privacy Settings)
Several options to customize your CAPTCHA.
- Session (Security and Privacy) settings
Advanced options: Set user session type to Cookies Only to allow browser to save login, but requiring the need to login every time is certainly more secure.
Besides the settings changes, we also created most of our menu structure and content holders, which are categorized into:
- Creating New Channels
- Creating Channel Fields (Sneak peek on the right)
- Creating Categories
- Creating Entries
Recommended Add Ons
Addons recommended by Prof. Jay can be downloaded from third party online sites – here are a couple sites and it’s corresponding addons:
PTPill > www.pixelandtonic.com/divebar
> Allows for advanced field options in entry forms
channelVideos > www.ee-garage.com
> Video upload option added to entry form – allows users to upload
After unzipping, upload to expressionengine/third_party. Most addons include versions for EE1 and EE2 make sure the addons are compatible and that you upload it to the correct folder or it won’t work. After upload, addons will show up under Modules in the admin panel.
I am riled up about our next lesson. We will finally go over on how to create templates, implement designs and how to manage templates. After spending a few hours in the admin, I am ready to start seeing it all come together.