Tel: +44 (0) 7771 656 606  |  Skype: karlosb1972   |  Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

My Top 10 ExpressionEngine Development Modules

Posted by: Karl Bowers
I'd like to share with you my top ten list of modules that I use the most often on my ExpressionEngine projects. I won't go into major detail about why I choose these modules over other 3rd party equivalents. This list is simply intended to show what are currently my favorite ' must use ' plugins / modules of choice!

1. Structure.

The problem with ExpressionEngine ' Out-of-the-Box ' is that the front end interface for clients to edit content can get a little complicated and confusing. By using Structure you add a ' front-end ' interface that will give clients a more traditional ' page ' interface for editing website page content. This module is also great for developing sub-level navigation, and makes it incredibly easy for a website admin to control. I rarely do an ExpressionEngine site without this add-on! For more details visit: [url=][/url]

2. Stash.

Stash is a super powerful add-on that allows ExpressionEngine developers to perform all kinds of clever coding within website templates. I've only begun to touch the surface with what's possible with this add-on, but one of it's core strengths is the ability to reduce the amount of code you create per template. For example most templates use a lot of repetitive code, so by using Stash you can create 're-usable' template files and call them into your unique individual templates as required. A truly amazing ' must have ' add-on for every project! For more details visit: [url=][/url]

3. Freeform.

ExpressionEngine comes with a useful (but pretty basic) core module to deal with creating basic contact forms. When basic form functionality just isn't good enough though, Freeform allows you to create the ' ferrari ' of online forms! Anything from the most basic of contact forms through to advanced online questionnaires are possible with Freeform. It even has the functionality to develop email notification templates for users and admins. This is just one of those modules you can't live without! For more details visit: [url=][/url]

4. REElocate.

When migrating an ExpressionEngine site from one server to another, modifying all of the individual directory field paths can be a real pain in the backside. ExpressionEngine just seems to place these URL details in several areas of the admin control panel rather than in just one place! Luckily REELocate is one those nifty utilities, that helps with this. It's sort of a ' search & replace ' type tool, allowing you to enter the new URL/Path details to replace the old. A truly excellent and incredibly useful add-on! For more details visit: [url=][/url]

5. Developer.

This is a great little plug-in for quickly viewing all the most used areas of the ExpressionEngine Control Panel. It provides a single drop-down menu to quickly access all core control panel areas including individual templates, channels, custom fields, categories, admin preferences. It's not an absolute essential add-on, but I find it makes my life a little easier! For more details visit: [url=][/url]

6. Backup Pro.

A super quick way to back up an entire ExpressionEngine installation and also a copy of the SQL Database. You can backup multiple revisions of the base EE Installation & SQL file, so if you need to revert to earlier versions you can do so. For more details visit: [url=][/url]

7. Mountee.

This is a great utility that allows you to edit ExpressionEngine template files locally on your Mac/PC rather than through the Template Manager in the Control Panel. It works by placing a Disk Image of the live templates directly on your desktop, allowing you to edit templates in real time. It also provides access to the ' Snippets ' area of the template manager (something that the current default ' Template Syncronisation ' feature currently lacks). For more details visit: [url=][/url]

8. Wygwam.

There are plenty of Rich Text editors available for ExpressionEngine (including the built in one). However I don't think you can beat the power that Wygwam provides - all the functionality and customization requirements needed are there within this module. It's just simply awesome! For more details visit: [url=][/url]

9. Matrix.

When it comes to creating editable Image Galleries, Time/Price Tables, Data Tables etc (ie. Multiple custom fields required in for a page entry) you can't beat Matrix. It just has 100% flexibility to create all manor of multiple custom fields within a single ExpressionEngine channel entry. In most cases, I don't think it's actually possible to build an EE site without this! Why it's not part of the core package for EE is an absolute mystery! For more details visit: [url=][/url]

10. Health Check.

If you have any performance issues with an ExpressionEngine installation. This plugin is an absolute essential! It provides a fully detailed diagnostic overview of your EE installation, and flags any potential issues that may occur. I find this always helps with directory permission issues, especially if you have performed a migration of ExpressionEngine site. Again, why this is isn't built into ExpressionEngine by default is beyond me! For more details visit: [url=][/url] And there you have it! My top 10 most used ExpressionEngine Modules/Add-ons. Of course there are plenty of other 3rd party modules that I use depending on the site being built, but I've limited the list to just the most used and most helpful add ons used on a regular basis.
Posted by: Karl Bowers in Expression Engine | General | Software | Web Design

If you found this article helpful, please feel free to share:

For all enquiries please contact Karl on the following details:

Mobile: +44 (0)7771 656 606

Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Email Address *
Message *