So the gist of this post boils down to me asking “why”. Presumably you’re using Wordpress to blog. If you are using it as a pseudo-cms, then you already feel the pain. What if there was a blogging platform that was superior to Wordpress in security and functionality, and also would give you expertise in a framework that could double as a full-fledged Content-Management-System that you could use commercially with your clients/customers, and was tightly integrated with CodeIgniter… would you be interested?
Then why aren’t you using ExpressionEngine?
Rick Ellis (The “Ellis” in Ellislab and all around grand pu-ba) recently announced what has been widely speculated in the community for a long time, that ExpressionEngine is getting integrated very tightly with CodeIgniter. This leaves me with the aching question: As a CodeIgniter programmer, what does Wordpress offer you? Many of us (CI programmers I mean) keep a personal blog where we discuss CodeIgniter and related developments. When deciding on a blogging platform, there are several good options, but it seems that there are 2 common choices; (1) roll it yourself (this is how I started) or (2) use Wordpress. I’d like to argue right now for a third, and better, option - use ExpressionEngine.
Wordpress, is obviously blogging software, and frankly, it does a really good job of that if you’re willing to overlook a few critical problems. It is arguably the most popular stand-alone blogging platform in the world, probably due to its simplicity. I like Wordpress. I like that it is opensource, and I like that it is built on PHP and MySQL. I think it is a good choice for many situations… but not if you’re a CodeIgniter programmer.
If you are a CodeIgniter programmer, then it means that you are technical. It means that you understand and value not repeating yourself, and that you want to be productive, and invest your time in a framework that enables that. You probably manage customers or clients, either freelance or as part of a larger organization. Um… you’re probably also darn good looking, but that’s neither here nor there. ;)
You probably want to build on your existing knowledge of CI, and stay engaged in concepts that will help that. Since CI was born from EE, the coding similarities are evident from the first config.php file. But the real point in my mind, is that ExpressionEngine will grow with you. Use it as a simple blog now, and leverage it for a enterprise-level CMS later. Use it as a hobby now, and watch it grow with CodeIgniter later. In short, why invest your time into staying on top of Wordpress and CodeIgniter, when ExpressionEngine re-uses much of the same concepts and codebase, and can be repurposed for you professionally?
Cost? ExpressionEngine is free for personal use. Features? Have you seen this? Already have legacy data in Wordpress? No problem, migrating is easy and generally painless. Simplicity? If all you are replacing is a blog, you’ll be up and running in 5 minutes. Best of all, EE is like CI in one really important way. It knows who the boss is. It knows who the expert is. It stays out of your way and lets you do what you do best.
Personally, since getting familiar with EE, I’ve become more productive, and a a better webmaster, more quickly able to deliver what my customers want.