The team behind ExpressionEngine, a fully loaded content management system from EllisLab Inc., has been teasing us all for weeks.

Version 2.0 of the CMS has been in the works for awhile, but recently enough information has been made available to do a quick preview. The update promises a more powerful engine, a new control panel, and will be built with CodeIgniter.

Long Time Comin'

Originally set for a summer 2008 release date, Ellislab now claims they won't release ExpressionEngine 2.0 until they're good and ready. Though a specific date isn’t set, the release definitely won’t be a surprise. Reportedly coming in three familiar phases, the first thing kicked out was a Developer Preview (applications for Developers are now being accepted). Code named "Kaylee", the developmental version was premiered at this year's SXSW, and updates referencing the preview can already be found floating around the Web. After developers have updated their add-ons for 2.0 the invitation beta will be sent out, and then of course, the official public release.

Igniting Change

Though there are likely plenty more updates to come, and yet even more features to be kept a secret until the official release, no doubt one of the biggest changes in 2.0 is its new underlying architecture. Beneficial for both parties, CodeIgniter will bring a large community of PHP developers to ExpressionEngine while finally having a full-featured CMS to offer their own clients. Perks include faster, more modular code, a large number of libraries, the ability to drop ExpressionEngine on top of a codebase, instant wikis, etc.

Additionally, a new File Manager is on the way, and ExpressionEngine’s Control Panel is being redesigned with a said “strong focus on improved usability, greater productivity, more logical controls, and easier theming and customization.”


ExpressionEngine Control Panel Screen Shot

Derek Allard, a Technology Architect at EllisLab, clearly states in his development blog that the "official" images of ExpressionEngine's new Control Panel--like the one above--are still representative of a work in progress. But we couldn't help but show them anyway.

That's right, more teasing. 

The Money Issue

Some concerns across the Interweb include pricing. A number hasn't been published yet and Ellislab does not have a closed-door on price change; however, their website states the price increase is expected to be a modest one. 

Still, a price is a price and compared to the friendly famous and free Wordpress, a small amount is still more than a viable, zero cost alternative. 

No Monkey Business

The team is certainly working diligently to establish a valid platform, and hopes it will become and remain a preferred option for years to come. With big decisions like changing the entire architecture and not supporting anything lower than IE7, we can see that they do in fact, mean business. Whether or not it will stick, remains to be seen.

The next update is scheduled for sometime near April 17th. Follow ExpressionEngine with us here, and let's see what else they have in store.