Support FAQ

Q: What can Support help me with? #

We love seeing designers and developers build amazing things with our software, and when you come to us for help, that’s where we really shine. It’s important to know what you can expect from Support, so this document lays that out in fairly plain language.

It is also important to note that ExpressionEngine is a tool that enables a web professional to build what they’ve envisioned for a project. ExpressionEngine is not a “website in a box”-style consumer level tool. Developing a site with ExpressionEngine requires familiarity with basic web technologies, such as web hosting, and markup languages, such as HTML and CSS. Support is meant for those designers and developers.

Where We Can Help

Troubleshooting Errors

We’ll help you troubleshoot any ExpressionEngine errors or PHP errors you’re experiencing, either through the Control Panel, on the front-end of the site, or during the installation or upgrade process.

Basic Template Troubleshooting

If something in your templates—a tag, snippet, or global variable for example—doesn’t seem to be doing what you expect, we can help you figure out what’s going on. First-party add-ons are included in the scope of support here.

Questions on Expected Behavior

We’ll help you sort through differences between expected behavior in ExpressionEngine and actual behavior, whether it’s an action in the Control Panel or output on the front-end of the website.

“How To” Questions

If you have a question about how to accomplish something front-end-related with ExpressionEngine, feel free to ask. We want to help you succeed, and we’ll do what we can to give you a good head start or provide some useful tips & tricks!

Please consider enlisting the help of a professional if you need extensive, dedicated help planning your full site strategy.


In the course of working through a problem with you, we may discover a bug in the software. While you’re certainly welcome to post bug reports yourself, we’ll often post a bug report on your behalf concerning the bug you helped us discover.

Your Responsibilities

Custom Development

For add-on and other custom development, we provide developers documentation and a robust API. We’re unable to provide tech support for questions about add-on development. The Development and Programming forum would be a better place to post these questions.

Important: While modifying core files does not invalidate your software license, it will render the project ineligible for support if done outside the direction of our team. Core modifications are strongly discouraged considering the issues they can cause within an installation and the difficulty involved with performing an upgrade on a modified core.


Technical support for third-party add-ons is not provided. If it appears that the trouble you’re having is due to a third-party add-on, we may ask that you seek out support from that add-on’s developer.

Data Backups

We can’t say this enough: it is your responsibility to keep working backups of your project, and that means backups of both the files and the database. Do this before every major change to your site, and keep routine backups as well.

Server Configuration and Security

Anything involving the configuration and security of your server is shared between you and your web host. This includes but is not limited to configuration of PHP, Apache, MySQL, DNS, and .htaccess (with the notable exception of the officially supported method for removing index.php from the URI).

It is your responsibility to work with your host to ensure sound security practices for the hosting environment. As a web professional, it is also your responsibility to engage is proper coding practices so that you do not open up security holes in your templates.

Last Update: 11th April, 2017

Q: What is a “legacy” product? What is a “retired” product? #

A legacy product is one that is no longer under active development but has yet to be fully retired. This is not an automatic designation, and when it happens, it will be publicly announced through all our major channels of communication. Legacy products are no longer available for purchase, and no software defects will be fixed (including new issues) with the exception of major security concerns and defects that result in data loss. Official support for legacy products is included with an EllisLab Support plan.

Once a product is designated a legacy product, it will automatically become a retired product 1 year later. Retired products, such as pMachine Pro, ExpressionEngine 1, and ExpressionEngine 2 are no longer available for purchase, no longer receive updates of any kind, and are no longer eligible for support.

Last Update: 13th December, 2017

Q: When can I get help? #

Our team is here for you Monday through Friday from 7:00am to 3:00pm Pacific Time.

ExpressionEngine sales and support are not available for the following US holidays as our team will be enjoying their time with their families:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Day After Thanksgiving
  • Christmas Eve
  • Christmas Day
  • New Year’s Eve

When one of the above holidays falls on a weekend, its observance is shifted to Monday or Friday in keeping with common custom.

Last Update: 11th April, 2017

Q: How soon will I get a response to my support ticket? #

If you have the Silver support plan, you can expect to receive that guaranteed first response from us within 1 business day. Practically speaking, that means if you submit a new support ticket during or after business hours on Tuesday, you’ll get a response from us by the end of business on Wednesday. (And remember, EllisLab Support hours are Monday through Friday from 7:00am to 3:00pm Pacific Time.)

Similarly, if you have the Gold support plan, you can expect a first response within 4 business hours, and for the Platinum support plan, you can expect a first response within 1 business hour.

Silver and Gold plans come loaded with Urgent tickets, and all Urgent tickets get a guaranteed first response within 2 business hours.

After the first response, we’ll work with you to resolve your ticket as quickly as possible, with priority given to Platinum tickets, then Urgent, Gold, and Silver, respectively. Since your request stays in that same Customer Advocate’s active queue, it allows him or her to resolve it as quickly as possible!

Last Update: 22nd September, 2016

Q: We're a web host with a lot of customer sites that use ExpressionEngine. Can we get a Support plan? #

Support is only available to individuals and agencies whose primary business is creating or maintaining ExpressionEngine-based projects for themselves or their clients.

If your primary business that falls outside the description above, please contact us to discuss a custom solution. Please note that Support is not available for non-technical end-users.

Last Update: 11th April, 2017

Q: I'm a contractor working on an ExpressionEngine project. I don't have a license on my account. How can I get help? #

No problem! You don’t need a software license on your account to be eligible for Support. Just pick a plan and sign up!

Last Update: 11th April, 2017

Q: If my issue takes a long time to solve, does that count against me in any way? #

Not at all! Don’t forget, there are no limits on the number of times you can ask for help or the number of sites the questions are regarding.

We want to make sure you get the help you need, so our Customer Advocates don’t have any goals to close tickets as fast as possible. We’re only concerned about getting responses back to you in a timely manner and making sure you feel great about your experience!

Last Update: 22nd September, 2016

Q: Can I purchase Support only when I need it? #

Sure! Support plans are billed on a monthly cycle, so if you just need to ask a few questions every now and then, feel free to wait until those questions come up before subscribing. When you’re ready to cancel, we’ll make sure it’s just as easy.

Last Update: 11th April, 2017

Q: I have an urgent problem! How can I get help QUICK!? #

No problem! Silver and Gold support plans comes with a number of urgent tickets that can be used in just such a case of emergency. Just check the urgent box when you’re submitting your support request, and we’ll get back to you within 2 business hours.

Urgent tickets that come with your support plan are per billing cycle, so you have the full count available again every time your support plan is renewed. Additional urgent tickets that are purchased do not expire.

If you’re not already signed up for a support plan, you can do so here.

Note: Platinum support plans do not come loaded with any Urgent tickets since the guaranteed response time for the Platinum plan is better than the guaranteed response time for an Urgent ticket.

Last Update: 22nd September, 2016

Q: Is Support right for me? #

Our Support is first-party, expert technical support designed for the needs of web professionals (designers and developers) who use ExpressionEngine to build web projects for themselves or their clients. ExpressionEngine is not a “website in a box”-style consumer level tool. Developing a site with our software requires the skills of a web professional who is at least familiar with basic web technologies, such as web hosting, and markup languages, such as HTML and CSS. Support is meant for those designers and developers.

If you had (or plan to have) a web professional build your site for you, that person or agency is the best resource for your questions about how to use the website they’ve set up for you and for requests to change the website design.

Last Update: 11th April, 2017

Q: How do I sign up for the support trial? #

As noted on the Support page, a 3 month free trial comes with every site developer’s first license purchase. To sign up for the free trial, simply add a Silver support plan to your cart and complete your purchase as usual. The discount to make the first 3 months free is applied automatically in the shopping cart, and you’ll also see a notice in your cart confirming the free trial.

Last Update: 11th April, 2017

Q: How do I transfer a license? #

Transferring a license to another EllisLab customer, or your client is quite simple.

Send an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) from the email address tied to your EllisLab account. Include the following information.

  1. Explicit request to transfer a specific license or licenses.
  2. The username and email address of the EllisLab account to which you want to transfer.
  3. The license number(s) you want to transfer.

Last Update: 22nd September, 2016

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