ExpressionEngine vs Wordpress - Choose the right tool for the job


At last.. This episode was planned out for well over a year! It takes a long time to produce little videos like this, but i'm really going to try and make it a regular occurrence as it's great fun. Onwards..


WordPress is a huge success, no one can deny that. It powers over 10% of websites out there, incredible! A little like the Windows vs OSX issue though, it's a victim of it own success. Hackers target the bigger piece of the pie and WordPress is shot for. ExpressionEngine is far from bullet proof but in my experience it's been the hosting that has been breached and not the software.


A lot of WordPress users like it because it's “free”. However when you evaluate time versus money the cost of the ExpressionEngine license fee is minimal against development time. These costs are also passed onto the client.

Is WordPress “free” anyway? There are a number of plugins thats are now paid for. Some of these paid for WordPress plugins have bizarre business models. One includes exchanging your email address for the plugin. Sceptical? Yes. What followed was a barrage of emails for days, weeks and months. I'd rather just pay!

The second interesting business model came with an upfront fee of £40 followed with a £2 per month maintenance fee, again i'd rather just pay a little more upfront than have these amounts on a credit card statement.

Add ons / Plugins

The plugin side of WordPress is a partly why it now holds star status. Many generous developers have contributed to the community with plugins. Issues do crop up however. Taking on a WordPress project we ran into plugin conflicts upon the main software update. Getting in touch with the developer proved quite interesting. He was a undergraduate student who had just moved into his halls of residence and sounded intoxicated and regrettably wouldn’t be supporting the add on any more. When a site relies so heavily on a add on, it's best it is well supported. Paying for software is no bad thing, it allows plugin developers to put food on the table and support them religiously.


Great for blog like sites - it was built for thatSecurity
Numerous plugins / themesMany themes – it encourages modifying theme
Easier to learnSome poor plugins
Admin UIPlugin conflicts


Huge controlUpdate process
E-commerceCost – not an issue
Excellent Add onsNo road maps
TemplatingLearning curve
Membership sites

Are there other CMS options out there?

Absolutely, many great options and we are biased by using mostly WordPress and ExpressionEngine.

Some and by no means all of the alternatives are:

  • Joomla
  • Drupal
  • Statamic
  • Perch
  • ModX

One thing to take away?

Use the right tool for the job.