Waaaay back in 2013 I wrote a blog post about whether ExpressionEngine was an Enterprise CMS or not (of course it is!). In that article I wrote:

"This is a relatively new idea in the web world. Karen McGrane is one of the first people that I heard speak of this capability even though I had been using EE in this manner for several years before hearing her talk in 2011 at An Event Apart. She uses NPR's Create Once Publish Everywhere (C.O.P.E) as an example. The basic premise is that you have custom fields to store specific bits of content. This allows you to control who has access to that content. In the case of NPR it allows them to extend portions of their content to different platforms/providers in an easy and manageable way. With EE I can reveal the stored content via RSS/HTML/XML and limit it to different levels of members based on permissions. It's actually quite easy."

How quaint. A relatively new idea? Well it is 2+ years since I wrote the above and 4 years since I attended Karen's talk and realized she had named how we’d been using ExpressionEngine for awhile. So... what has changed… relatively nothing. ExpressionEngine still rocks the C.O.P.E. out of the box.

Now you ask “What, pray tell, is Create Once Publish Everywhere, Marcus?”

Create Once Publish Everywhere is the idea that you are breaking your content up into small enough bits that once you create it you can use it in the many different places that you need it. NPR had some specific examples of how they broke up their articles for use with affiliates and partners.

I usually give this example (I even made a video about it here). If I have a staff section on a website I can break out the different pieces of information. I have custom fields for first name, last name, image, email address, phone number, bio, Facebook, Twitter, etc.. By doing this I am creating one entry that can be used in many different ways. If the client then decides that they want a sortable table that acts as a directory with contact information I can say “No Problem, Mr or Mrs Client!”. If they decide that they want to use the image of the staff member and their first name, last name, and email address as the by line in the blog then I can say “You got it!”.

ExpressionEngine is currently the best off-the-shelf CMS for implementing a site using COPE methodology. Hands down.

It’s true. We are dabbling a bit with CMSs like Craft and Statamic that have similar functionality. Craft is definitely something we are keeping our eyes on. Statamic is something we have used on a couple of smaller websites with great success. WordPress has made some strides to allowing for Custom Fields (don’t get me started on how crappy this can be though). Drupal has made slight improvements (but I think you’d be better off building your own in Laravel than bang your head against a brick wall with the legacy of Drupal). Speaking of which did you know we do Laravel work?

ExpressionEngine is still the best. Want to talk about it? Email me.