Here is something light and simple for you to digest right before the start of the weekend: A can’t miss EE recipe of add-ons that go with every project.
For me, setting up a system in ExpressionEngine is a lot like cooking with chicken — add some simple ingredients and it’ll improve the meal no matter how you cook it. So in every EE project I start, I always include a handful of add-ons to help me as I develop the site.
- Freeform — This is a must if you plan to have any forms on your site. Take a little time learn how to use it properly and you’ll be amazed at the different capabilities your forms can take on.
- Pages — Included with any Personal or Commercial License, but you need to make sure you install it from the Module Tab. Pages gives you the power to create any URL, which comes in handy when you need to set up a page that sits alone within your site hierarchy.
- Allow EE Code — When I am creating entries on sites I’ve developed, I prefer to use EE tags to output data I already have in the system rather than retype it all. If you take advantage of Global Variables, this plugin will come in handy.
- Flashplugin — More projects come along where I to need to embed video in Flash. Working with Flash is easier said than done with EE, but Flashplugin simplifies the experience and will reduce your Quality Assurance time.
- SmartyPants — This is perfect for any typography junkies out there. SmartyPants takes basic ASCII punctuation and transforms it into ‘smart’ HTML punctuation without the need for the HTML code. Based on John Gruber’s plug-in (for Movable Type, Blosxom, and BBEdit), this solves a lot of headaches for anyone who will copy and paste entries.
- Admin Section Tabs — This subtle tweak to the Admin section of the Control Panel improves on navigation.
- Edit Tab Ajax — Searching for entries within a pool of hundreds is made easier with Edit Tab AJAX.
- LG Add CP tabs — If you like to make modules easily accessible to users, you can now create a tab that will be seen across all accounts.
Now there are plenty more add-ons I use regularly, but on more of a case-by-case basis. This list is just a starting point. I highly suggest browsing over to the ExpressionEngine Add-On Library for listing all 142 EllisLab approved add-ons. As far as third-party add-onsLeevi Graham and Solspace create dependable, highly useful ingredients &mdash some free and some commercial &mdash for your EE project.
Tony was the proud owner of OnWired, the web design agency he’s raised since birth in 2001. A designer-entrepreneur with a nose for trouble, he keeps his peeps on their toes and his sights focused on what’s next.
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