Wednesday, October 31, 2007

ExpressionEngine - Mmmmm... Power...

[Before we start... No, there's nothing wrong with BlogSpot. Yes, it's been 5 months since I posted.]

So, a new scheme to take over the world came to mind. Now what I needed was a way to build a dynamically-served web site that allowed visitors to build a sort of directory, and to let others rate those listings.

Now, for a code monkey, this would be easy. But for a designer who does a little script-tinkering now and then, it was a bit daunting. Sure I could hire someone else to program the site, but I'm a stingy old curmudgeon. And besides, I've done a few simple Perl scripts and edited a PHP script or two.

So I asked in the FutureQuest community forums if anyone could recommend a good publishing package-- open source or otherwise. One user said she works with ExpressionEngine and loves it... So I downloaded and installed it.

I'm not as quick to pick up a new system as I once was, so it took me a bit of time to wrap my brain around the template-and-tag framework, but it started sinking in.

...And I realized that I might just have to consider making some of the sites I build for clients dynamic instead of static.

EE's what they promise: really flexible. With a couple of third-party modules and a little hacking, I've been building the site with -- so far, at least -- all of the features I'd planned.

I even managed to tackle my first Ajax to add some functionality. Although it isn't fancy, it's always a nice ego boost to teach yourself new tricks, especially when you're an old dog.

I consider this first build to be something between a proof-of-concept and a Version 1 release. If interest in the site takes off as I hope, I'm certain I'll get millions in first-round funding, hire Google-grade programmers, roll out version 1, attract millions of users, and after only 1 year, sell the site for Maserati-and-Malibu-Home money.

For now, though... it's not even in alpha shape.

But I hope to have an invite-only Beta version up within the next 30 days.

When it starts coagulating, I'll post here.

No comments: