E-Commerce and ExpressionEngine


- Ethan Thomas 03.31.2015

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ExpressionEngine (EE) is one of the preferred content management systems (CMS) today for two reasons -- it is powerful and it is flexible. The CMS can be used to design and develop informative and interactive websites, or it can also be used to design impressive ecommerce sites. EE enables designers to include a number of features on the website, which makes it a great platform for building full-featured ecommerce sites that can make an impact on the retail company's bottom lines. In this article, we shall discuss in more detail what makes ExpressionEngine a great platform for building ecommerce sites. 

Customize Your E-commerce Site to Suit Business Process

EE allows you to keep your content and your web design framework separate, which makes it a highly flexible CMS that can be easily integrated within the framework of your ecommerce site's design. More than anything, EE gives you the  full back-end control that any developer and designer would want. Managing the content and design of your ecommerce site becomes easier with EE, which is why it is one of the most preferred CMS that developers like to work on.

EE is not a CMS that dictates how you should design the ecommerce site to suit its features. You can be your own master with it, and have full control on the backend operations and also the design process. 

Front End Design Just As You Want It

Designers who have worked with other content management systems know that they may have to limit their creativity and expertise to an extent when they integrate a CMS into a website. This is not the case with EE. ExpressionEngine gives designers the freedom and flexibility to use their full potential to create a front end to meet the business' unique needs.

With EE, your ecommerce site's pages will be pixel-perfect -- meeting every requirement of the business and every bit of your imagination. With EE, you will not be working backwards, i.e., creating an ecommerce page design based on the templates available in the CMS. In fact, you will not have to deal with any rigid frameworks or templates that will limit your imagination and creativity. You won't have to tweak your design either, to meet the templates in the CMS. No need to change the presentation of data or placement of images to suit the theme or template.

You can use the Photoshop tools you want to design the page as you want and stay loyal to it by placing content where it should be, not where the template says it should be. This aspect of EE is what makes it appealing to designers, as it removes the hassles of changing and modifying the design based on the limitations set by the CMS. With EE, make your ecommerce site as appealing as you can.

Control Panel that You Can Control

The back-end processes of your ecommerce site will also be fully under your control, as they can be customized based on the business' operational needs. Managing and processing orders becomes easier with ready-to-use features that are needed to make your ecommerce site management as flexible as possible. The UI of EE gives the developer and the back end team a clear cut idea of how to manage and control the processes.

You won't need any specific technical degree or knowledge to be able to manage an ExpressionEngine ecommerce site. Even a non-technical person can easily learn how to manage the back-end processes of an ecommerce site with minimal training. What's more, your clients will not have to worry about dealing with the code ever for managing the back-end processes if they have to.

The user-interface/control panel is easy to understand and manage, with simple instructions that make ecommerce site management a cake-walk. The control panel can also be customized to suit the client's comfort levels and technical knowledge. 

Quick and Easy Content Management

E-commerce sites have to be updated regularly with changing promotions and offers that the business has for its customers. EE makes management of ecommerce content flexible and simpler. There are no complicated fields or features that the designers have to deal with. You won't have to worry about any mandatory fields or limitations that force you to change the content structure or add/remove fields. EE removes the possibility of filling up the ecommerce age with too many fields or too much information when only a few are needed to get the job done.

Flexible Site Architecture

As content and the design framework are kept separate with ExpressionEngine, designers also get the benefit of flexible site architecture. Changing the site architecture will not force change in content, and change in content layout will not necessarily affect the design of the page or the architecture of the website. Any change in the ecommerce site's design can be made without affecting the content in anyway.

Scalable - For Needs of a Growing Business

EE is a highly flexible content management system, which also makes it scalable to meet the needs of a growing business. If you are a small business getting off the ground, EE could be an excellent choice for ecommerce platform, as it allows you to change and expand your inline store with minimal effort and modifications. Expand your online store just as you would your brand or product line without having to worry about the back-end or front-end management hassles.

Enjoy Limitless Power over the E-commerce Web Design

Ask any web designer what they like most about using EE for developing an ecommerce site and pat comes the reply - no limitations. Designers can enjoy limitless power over the design and management aspect of the ecommerce site with ExpressionEngine.

EE is open source, which means the company behind the platform, Ellis Lab, is willing to listen and include some of the finest features into the platform to make ecommerce site development more of a pleasure than a pain. 

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