Building an ExpressionEngine 2 Site: Small Business: Volume 1 Paperback – 7 Feb 2012
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About the Author
Michael has over 20 years experience building "stuff on screens" - starting in TV news production, moving to software and finally the web. He has worked for small consultancy firms and Fortune 500 companies. In 2002 Michael founded Boyink Interactive which provides internet consulting, strategy development, information architecture and complete website development for clients around the globe. 2002 was also the year Michael discovered EllisLab. Michael was one of the original members of the EE Professionals Network and have worked on dozens of ExpressionEngine based websites. In 2008 Michael published the first ExpressionEngine book, which was quickly followed up by the first EE screencasts and first classroom training for ExpressionEngine. Since then Michael has delivered EE training in locations across the United States and taught it to everyone from self-employed freelancers to large companies like Garmin. Michael is also a speaker - talking about EE in places like BarCamp, and ExpressionEngine Conferences. Michael is the married father of two, and since late 2010 has been traveling the USA full time in an RV with his family.
Top customer reviews
- Very practical: you could drop all the examples in a real-world site
- Excellent book structure: you can either read the whole chapter or just scan the bits you need
- Plenty of tips and tricks throughout which I've been able to incorporate into my projects and now expand upon
- Rationale is provided for the different content architecture approaches taken
- Accompanying code is great, no errors found
You won't find much about commercial plug-ins here, but that's not the purpose of this book. There are a few excellent plugins used (all free) in the examples which were incredibly easy to install and use. From here you'll be able to try out more from e.g. Devot-ee and the principles are the same.
Michael Boyink clearly knows his stuff and the advice in his book helped me get up and running very quickly and is something I can refer back to every now and again. Highly recommended.
The book gets back to the essentials of ExpressionEngine - making use of the out of the box features to build a solid ExpressionEngine website. Too many developers jump straight into using third-party add-ons without really understanding that EE can do it natively - and often without the overhead of something third-party.
Fully updated for ExpressionEngine 2.4 - the book will give you everything you need to build a fully functional ExpressionEngine website and pointing out the pitfalls along the way (hello dynamic="no"). Boyink's knowledge of ExpressionEngine is excellent and you can see why he is an official ExpressionEngine partner.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
All I wanted to know at this point was where stuff was. For instance: I wanted to configure EE to allow me to save templates as files. I did manage to do this (no thanks to Boyink, who includes no instruction on the process...more on this later), so now the templates I included are saved as files.
But where? I searched for them in the installation; if they were created, I can't find them. If I edit them offline, then FTP them, where do I put them? Boyink doesn't say, because MY workflow is irrelevant to him. (To give him his due, he says as much, so I was warned...but not before I shelled out my money.)
Another problem is that over and over again, Boyink simply refers you to the EE site for instruction. Here's the instruction on installing Expression Engine:
"EllisLab provides installation instructions as part of the EE User Guide: [url]"
If you want to configure EE to allow you to use your favorite code editor:
"EE is capable of letting you use a text editor - see the EE User Guide for getting that setup [url]"
Understand that installation is not as easy and straightforward as, for instance, Wordpress. (And please note: I don't say this because I love Wordpress--I don't. But there are some aspects that Wordpress absolutely nailed, and installation is one of them.) Neither is the bizarre process of forcing EE to allow you to use a text editor. But Boyink doesn't take any time or trouble to help you through either of them. Surely there are aspects of both processes that could be informed by his experience...but I suppose it wasn't worth his trouble. So know that a great deal of the price you pay for this book goes toward a collection of URLs that explain processes (to the extent that they do so) for free.
Boyink may know EE backwards and forwards, but I don't think he understands the first thing about organizing a tutorial for someone who doesn't know EE at all. That, unfortunately, is typical of the entire population of programmers writing for non-programmers. This entire genre for years has been crying out for someone who can explain to beginners at a beginner's level.
Enter this book - an easy, step-by-step, explain-it-as-we-go tutorial on how to set up an ExpressionEngine website from the ground up. It does an excellent job of covering the basics, and even covers more in-depth concepts with a fair degree of thoroughness. And while it would be impossible for a single book of this sort to explain everything that's possible with a platform as powerful as ExpressionEngine, this book did provide a more than ample base of knowledge from which to delve into further possibilities.
This book is capable of teaching most people everything they'll need to know to develop an EE website, and for those who need to go further, it will have made enough sense out of the platform to make the official documentation a useful reference.
With my background, I only had to read the book once to learn what I needed to build my site, and I don't expect to need to reference it again. But the information it provided was an absolutely vital part of my journey toward ExpressionEngine proficiency.
Highly, highly recommended.
This book is easy to follow from page one and flows so well that before you know it, you'll have a working site.
It's probably also a credit to the expressionengine architecture, but after creating my first site with this book, I had no problem with the day to day use.
The only feature I wish this book had is an index rather than just a chapter/section listing in the front.
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