Designing an ExpressionEngine Architecture

Note: this screencast is old. Way out of date. We’d recommend purchasing our EE 2 book instead.

OK - so you’ve got a finished page comp from your designers, and now you’re staring at the EE Control Panel wondering just how do I set this up? 

Seriously…there’s weblogs and categories and global variables and the pages module and fresh variables and global variables and….aaugh!

What you are struggling with is how to design an ExpressionEngine Architecture, or EEA.  That moment of frustration is what this hour-long screencast was designed to get you through.

Note - this screencast was produced with ExpressionEngine 1x.  While EE 2 has a redesigned Control Panel interface and “weblogs” are now “channels”, the fundamental concepts and approaches shown in this screencast still apply.


I start with laying out my goals for each client site built in ExpressionEngine, and then talk about my caveats and biases.  Together these provide a foundation for the specific recommendations that I make in the areas of:

  • Content Storage
  • Navigation Design
  • Individual Template Structure
  • Template Organization

After making these recommendations I’ll take you to three of my client sites, do a quick tour of the public side of the site and then go into the EE Control Panel and see how these sites do (and sometimes don’t) follow the specific recommendations I’ve made.

After viewing this screencast you should have a better idea how to build an ExpressionEngine Architecture that:

  • Helps you be efficient as the developer
  • Helps the site be easy for your clients to maintain
  • Provides a solid foundation for future growth

If you are brand new to ExpressionEngine, this screencast will probably be a bit much.  At the very least I’d recommend: