Don’t get me wrong. Free isn’t bad. There’s plenty of Free web log applications. Remember, these are just bare bones content management systems; the “desktop publishing” of the Internet world. Even the free publishing tools offered by your Internet Service Provider are good. Some are capable. Some are worthy of mention.
This is the best one available.
Expression Engine by pMachine. Of course, for those in the know, pMachine’s been around for a few years with a great web log application. pMachine’s installed base isn’t as great as the popular Moveable Type, but pMachine Pro showed great promise beyond the geekiness of MT. Ease of use. Dependable. Flexible. Extensible (sorta). Modest price tag (sorta).
Then, pMachine’s Rick Ellis and crew launched Expression Engine. Everything’s changed. Everything you could ask for is in EE (nearly).
First, EE is database driven. That means once you set up EE and get your blogging web site content management system running, you can manage your updates and changes remotely; all you need is a web browser. Safari works great.
Oh, did I mention that EE will run on your Mac with OS X? Very well, thank you. More on that a bit later.
What’s EE do that’s so special. Back to that database. Everything—content, categories, HTML Templates, preferences, everything—is contained in a MySQL database (yes, that’ll run on your Mac, too) using the popular PHP scripting language and PHP engine (surprise! that’s on your Mac, too).
While EE runs fine on your Mac at home or in the office, it’ll also shine at your web site. Most ISP sites are configure to run PHP and MySQL.
You’ll need to copy the EE files to your web site and run a simple install page (some database info may need to be obtained from your ISP) and you’re ready to run what is arguably the best web log tool ever developed.
The beauty of anything great is usually found in the complex ways it can perform and how elegantly and simple it performs them.
Such is the case with EE. Simple. Elegant. Powerful. And it delivers complexity without breaking a sweat. In fact, let me call EE the blogging tool of the century and the best bargain you’ll ever find in Content Management Systems (CMS applications range from $25,000 to $1,000,000 and more; they’re highly complex and require three men and a boy just to get running).
- Globally reconceptualize state of the art users without scalable technology.
- Energistically utilize high-payoff scenarios without empowered resources.
- Completely grow real-time content after end-to-end models.
- Collaboratively streamline extensible channels whereas value-added niches.
- Collaboratively maintain long-term high-impact bandwidth before next-generation core competencies.
EE is not your father’s web log tool. Elegant. Simple. Did I mention that it’ll run on your Mac with OSX?
What about security, you ask? Don’t ask. Visit the pMachine web site to see for yourself. Now, what do you need to make EE go like blazes on your Mac? Not much. Your Mac with OSX already comes with Apache, the most popular web page server on the planet. It also comes with PHP (that scripting language that powers more web sites than any other) built in and ready to be turned on. All you’ll need is the database application MySQL.
Click Here to get MySQL. Did I mention that it’s free? MySQL installs on OS X just like any other application.
What do I like most about EE? Graceful, elegant, simple power. The flexibility built in to the Template system is remarkable. Anything you design and layout in HTML (or XHTML) runs fine as Templates in EE. Create web pages as you’ve always created them.
Then, embed simple strings of text into your HTML to make EE paginate, list Categories, create links to other content, display archives and category archives, and much more. Comments on your web pages? Easy. Feedback links? Printer Friendly links? Email an article to a friend? Easy. Easy. Easy.
OK, what’s all this sophistication cost? Is pMachine a real company with real support? What do I get for my money? Can I try it before I buy it? Will it run on Windows (yuk)? How about Linux?
“What’ll I write about,” you ask.
Write about how wonderful your Mac is. Write about the fact that you don’t get viruses and worms and plagues, and lions and tigers and bears, oh my, on your Mac.
EE has a special “try out” version for just $10.00. They’ll install it and let you run it on a remote server for $10.00. That’s a good deal and worth the effort. Or, you can just skip that part and purchase right away.
Non-commercial users will pay $149.00, a commercial license is just $50 more. Secure hosting is also available at pMachine Hosting at reasonable rates.
Support for EE is rapid, via email. And there’s one of the best online Forums available so you can search for design tips and get questions answered (they’re “newbie” friendly).
Is EE ready for prime time? In a word, yes. If you’re a business web site and content management has become painful and complex, take a close look at EE. It’s bridged the gap between personal publishing systems and Content Management Systems with a feature set that’s competitive, a price that’s affordable (remarkbly so, considering what you get), and an elegance you won’t find even among desktop CMS applications.
EE. Expression Engine. Content Management that’s people friendly.