The Brand New ExpressionEngine User Guide

by: Jordan Ellis on: 2/6/2019

ExpressionEngine’s documentation just got a brand new look and is now easier to use. Check it out!

ExpressionEngine has always been known for its thorough documentation. But the software has changed a lot over 15 years. And with a much wider open-source audience, it was time for a new approach, more than just a new coat of paint.

We had four main goals for the new documentation:

  1. Simplify every aspect of the docs.
  2. Create a new, fresh design.
  3. Make it effortless for people to find what they are looking for.
  4. Now that it’s open source, make it easier for the community to contribute.

We’ve achieved all of those goals with our newly released user guide. If you’ve never used the documentation before, it should be a joyful experience as you learn ExpressionEngine.

If you’re a long time ExpressionEngine user, you’ll appreciate quite a few new things. The navigation is better. The entire control panel section is more inviting and informative. And by focusing on simplifying and restructuring many pages, we cut the total page count nearly in half.

My favorite new feature is the improved real-time search, thanks to DocSearch from the team at Algolia. Type a few characters, and get instant results (it’s almost like a mind reader points you to your destination). Veterans, go ahead, try to stump the search with some obscure ExpressionEngine factoid. Bet you can’t. (If you can, we want to hear about it!)

The new docs are clean, improving legibility everywhere, even in code samples. It’s not a boring reference guide anymore that’s merely functional, it’s a refreshing document that helps you build better sites, faster.

The internals are all exciting too, and I can’t wait to share them with you. These changes allowed us the opportunity to overhaul how we write and build the documentation for ExpressionEngine. As a new intern, it was a challenging task, but I’m thrilled that it’s now released. Soon, I’ll share an in-depth look into the technical aspects of how we did it.

That’s it. Go explore the new docs! If you’re a developer, feel free to check out the repo and see how easy it is to build and contribute.

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