ExpressionEngine 1.4 released along with a new free version.

The folks at have just released the latest version of ExpressionEngine and announced that they are now providing a free version of EE called ExpressionEngine Core for folks that want to take advantage of EE as a platform for their personal sites, but don’t need the full power provided by the personal license:

Back before ExpressionEngine, we developed a publishing app called pMachine, which was available in two flavors: Free and Pro. The feature-limited Free version helped us increase our user-base and create brand awareness, while the Pro version, with all the bells and whistles, allowed us to generate revenue.  As a business approach it worked pretty well.

When we released ExpressionEngine back in February of 2004, the idea of offering a free version appealed to me very much.  However, there was a problem:  EE didn’t have a lot of capability yet.  The first release only came with the bare essential core features.  It didn’t have a search module yet, or any of the APIs, or any of the ten additional modules, eighty plugins, and hundreds of features we’ve added since then.  There wasn’t enough meat on the bones initially to allow us to offer clearly demarcated free and paid versions, so we stuck to paid-only licenses.

As we approach the two year anniversary of the release of EE, it now has 19 available add-on modules and vastly more features and capability than it did when we started.  It has enough features, in fact, that we can now offer a very capable core system for free, while offering greatly enhanced capability for those who want more features. So that’s what we’ve decided to do.

ExpressionEngine will now come in three versions:

  • EE Core License:  Free for personal use.  Limited features (10 modules).  Non-membership sites only.  No tech support.
  • EE Personal License:  All features and tech support (18 modules).  Personal use only.
  • EE Commercial License:  All features and tech support (18 modules).  Commercial use only.

In addition, we have reduced the price of our personal license to $99.95 (it was previously $149.95).  Anyone who purchased EE at the higher price on or after November 15th, 2005 is eligible for one of the following compensations:

  • Option 1:  A free discussion forum module
  • Option 2: Three years of additional access to our download area (normally it costs $19.95 per year)

If you purchased a personal license after November 15th, please email indicating which of the two options you are interested in. Please include the username you use at

The free version of EE stacks up pretty well against many of the other packages that are out there in terms of features and power and if you’re running a relatively small site it’ll probably be more than adequate for the job and as your site grows you can purchase a license and take advantage of the additional modules. If nothing else it’s a good way to check it out and see if it’s what you want to use before having to plunk your hard earned cash down for the full version.

I’ve upgraded the installation of EE here to the new 1.4 release so please drop me a note if you notice anything funky going on. I don’t expect there’ll be too much of that as this was one of the more stable releases ever. I’ve included the full change log in the extended entry for those folks who are interested in what new goodies have been added to the package.

  * Added Advanced Conditionals, which allow the use of logical operators to compare multiple variables in the same conditions and the use of elseif and else in conditional structures.
  * Added Extensions Manager. Extensions are custom scripts that interact with the core EE code base to increase functionality or alter it without hacking.
  * Added Relational Capability to custom fields. Each custom field can now be populated with data from another custom field, or a complete weblog entry, or a gallery entry. These work on a per-entry basis, enabling complex relationships between data in two or more weblogs.
  * Added Entry Versioning feature, which will save previous revisions of your weblog entries.
  * Added multi-entry editor, permitting multiple entries to be edited at one time. Look at the bottom of the EDIT page in the CP for this feature.
  * Added IP Search page in the control panel. This utility will find all instances of an IP used in entries, comments, forum posts, and gallery posts.
  * Added search term log. This feature keeps a record of the search terms that your visitors submit in the search forms.
  * Added entry “views” tracking that lets you show the number of “views” a particular post has received. You can have up to four hit trackers per entry, so that different pages can be tracked. See user guide for setup instructions.
  * Added ability for search results to display custom fields, member data, categories and more meta data for the entry. Nearly everything you can output via the Weblog Entries tag.
  * Added pagination and date parsing abilities to the Query module (new parameter limit=”” to specify how many to show on a page)
  * Added Dynamic Parameters feature, enabling the parameters in your weblog and comment tags to be set dynamically from POST data submitted via a form.
  * Added Mailing List Templates. These permit each mailing list to contain default customization.
  * Added Mailing List Admin Notification feature, and global enabling/disabling of lists.
  * Added Enhanced Throttling feature. There is now a throttling configuration page in the Admin area which permits you to set various parameters.
  * Added a Description Field to custom member profiles which can be used to add instructions or additional info.
  * Added Category Editing directly from the PUBLISH page.
  * Added Spellcheck to Communicate section
  * Added magic checkbox code for the Edit screen where you can click anywhere on the entry row to select a checkbox and shift select multiple rows
  * Added Date field types to custom fields.
  * Added “today” links in the PUBLISH page calendars.
  * Added web-master name preference so that auto-generated emails can include a name.
  * Added a preference in the Member Preferences page that enables an admin to turn off the localization preferences page in the member profile areas. By turning off individual localization an admin can force dates/times to appear in the master admin choice, or in the local of one specific user.
  * Added a preference in the master Localization Preferences page that permits each post to determine the daylight saving time.
  * Added wild-cards to Censored Word feature, as well as a preference that enables words that are censored to be replaced with a custom line of text.
  * Added a new way of selecting Template Groups in the Template section. Can now select multiple Template Groups and scroll faster.
  * Added a new interface to the Admin section.
  * Added custom fields to gallery. You can have up to six custom fields.
  * Added the ability to show a Single Gallery Entry per page, for those who wish to create a photo blog.
  * Added Category List Tag to the Photo Gallery Module, enabling among other things, “jump” navigation to be created.
  * Added ability to change the status of multiple comments at the same time.
  * Added two new Template types, Static (pure content, nothing rendered) and JavaScript (outputs content as javascript file type).
  * Added character encoding preference in the Email configuration page (Admin area).
  * Added None option for Publish Tab Behavior in Control Panel Settings
  * Added ability to search custom member fields via the member search on the CP home-page
  * Added ability to show photo in addition to avatar in weblog entries, gallery entries, comments, and forum threads
  * Added 2 new cookies used with non-logged-in users which enable us to track “read forum topics” with guests.
  * Added a status check when submitting entries, which permits the stand-alone form to not contain the status menu. Instead, the default status is used.
  * Added name=”” parameter to Simple and Advanced Search form tags
  * Added “entry_id” parameter to the {exp:weblog:next_entry} and {exp:weblog:prev_entry} tags
  * “Views” counter in Gallery Module can now be edited.
  * Added entry_id to the orderby clauses in the gallery tag.
  * Added sort=”” parameter to month_links tag so you can reverse the display of months
  * Added show_future_entries and show_expired parameters to the RSS Module.
  * Added ability to exclude member group from site member list.
  * Added ability to set site member list defaults for sort by, order, and number of rows
  * Added ability to set localization settings via the Registration form
  * Added {gmt_comment_date} to Comment module’s entries tag
  * Added a new function to abstract the Edit screen search and display of entries so it can be used in Modules with great ease.
  * Increased length of Trackback URL field in Edit Trackback Form
  * Added Trackback search to Edit section. IP Address in Trackback viewing page are now search links too.
  * Added displaying of error messages for failed Trackbacks and Pings after submit of new entry
  * Added {id_path=””} variable to next_entry and prev_entry tags.
  * Added ability to have a few common attributes in the <a> tag when having Weblog set to use Safe HTML.
  * Added and modified code and queries to speed up comment submissions on large sites
  * Added more character support in the Moblog module for foreign and crazy mobile devices.
  * Added more MIME header decoding abilities for servers that do not have the convenience of certain PHP functions
  * Added TRUNCATE to valid query types list
  * Added backticks on database tables and field names in the insert and update string functions for developers using dashes and other characters
  * Added some code that deletes forum posts when members are deleted (assuming the forum is installed).
  * Added template’s name to page title when editing template
  * Added utf-8 variable for the Member and Forum templates
  * Added url_title=”” parameter to Weblog module. Make sure to specify a weblog with this parameter
  * Added search box to Template section of Control Panel
  * Added foreign character replacement code to URL Title javascript in Stand Alone Entry Form
  * Added Admin Notifications to the MetaWeblog and Blogger API modules
  * Added new global variable webmaster_email for display site’s webmaster email address
  * Added new default design, removed RSS 1.0 template, renamed Atom template

Bug Fixes for Version 1.4

  * Fixed a caching error that can happen when two groups being embedded have identical template names.
  * Fixed a moblog problem with Sprint phones.
  * Fixed a bug when Previewing a comment for a gallery entry that had no comments initially.
  * Fixed a bug with the stopwords and exact searches in the search module.
  * Fixed a problem in a query when new user registrations happen and the site allows instant activation.
  * Fixed a bug that prevented URL session IDs from working in the forum and member profile area when running a site as session only.
  * Fixed a bug with Opera and the tag/glossary insert javascript code
  * Fixed a bug with comment preview in the gallery
  * Fixed a stats bug that was preventing the “most recent visitor” date from updating.
  * Fixed a bug with topic preview in the forum when {exp:forum} is used in a template.
  * Fixed the parser of the conditional parser so that inner conditionals are not parsed before outer conditionals
  * Fixed Typography bugs dealing with XHTML Typography and <code>, <span>, and <p> tags.
  * Fixed a bug where location was not a valid registration field
  * Fixed a bug where failing Trackbacks were still stored in the database as sent
  * Fixed a pM Pro import bug that was incorrectly setting the forum post total
  * Fixed a bug where an invalid weblog specified for the comment form was causing a MySQL error
  * Fixed a typography bug that was incorrectly converting dashes to em-dashes if the very first item in an entry was a dash.
  * Fixed a bug where Safe HTML [url] tags were case sensitive
  * Fixed the problem where CSS or JavaScript template requests were being recorded in the tracker cookie.
  * Fixed a problem in which the {exp:weblog:category_archive} tag was not honoring the “show_empty” parameter if more than one weblog shared a common category group.

5 thoughts on “ExpressionEngine 1.4 released along with a new free version.

  1. As usual, I’m late to the party LOL  I’m still on EE 1.2.1, and although I’ve downloaded the 1.4.1 upgrade, I haven’t installed it yet because I’m confused!  The docs say I should back up my database using the built-in utility, but I don’t see one.

    I figured I’d bite the bullet and upgrade to 1.3.2 first (which I’m assuming HAS said backup utility), but I can’t seem to find it anywhere.

    Am I looking in the wrong place?  And if I can’t upgrade to a version that has the backup utility before I go to 1.4.1, how in the heck would I go about doing a backup of the database?  ohh My ignorance is embarrassing!  I’m praying to be granted enlightenment by my favorite Dead God! LOL

  2. You can always back up your database using whatever tools your hosting provider, uh, provides.

    Stern voice mode:

    Save a database backup to your own PC every day or so. You have been warned – never trust your hosting provider with something as important like backups.

  3. OB, the database backup they’re talking about is built into the EE Control Panel. You’ll find it under: CP Home › Admin › Utilities › Database Backup.

  4. Sorry, got busy at work and didn’t follow up.  Here’s my problem… here’s all that’s listed under Utilities in the Admin panel:

    View Log Files
    SQL Manager
    Plugin Manager
    Clear Cached Data Files
    Search and Replace
    Recount Statistics
    PHP Info
    Translation Utility
    pMachine Import Utility
    Movable Type Import Utility

    As for backing up my database locally every day or so, I’d love to!  I’m just a ‘tard and don’t really know what files/folders/whatnot I’d have to pull down off my server, or how to back it up properly without that tool.  Waaaahhhh.

  5. That’s right, you’re under 1.2.1 with the older menus. Check under the SQL Manager. I believe the database backup utility is located there on that version.

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