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Essential ExpressionEngine Add-ons

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of ExpressionEngine add-ons out in the wild. Many of those are critical to any sites I develop, so I thought I’d share a list of ExpressionEngine add-ons that I use for almost every project.

  • Edit Tab Ajax - AJAXifies the Edit screen search so results appear without reloading the page. Not required, but a nice touch.
  • FieldFrame - A framework for developing fieldtypes in ExpressionEngine. It’s handy, it’s dandy and by golly I like it.
  • LG Add Sitename - Does what it says; adds the site name to the header of the control panel.
  • LG Data Matrix - Ever need a custom field in EE that allows you to enter multiple records? LG Data Matrix is what you’re looking for. Killer add-on that you’ll find yourself using over and over again.
  • MH File - An oldie but a goodie. Mark Huot’s extension makes it easy to upload files right inside of the entry form.
  • Goto Comment - Don’t make your site visitors find the comment they just posted. This extension automatically scrolls down to the last submitted comment. Bravo!
  • LiveLook - Give your clients an easy way to preview their content before posting. Live Look allows you to use your site templates so the previews look just like the real site. I use this here on EE Insider, among other places.
  • Allow EEcode - Simply allows you to use EE template code inside of your ExpressionEngine entries.
  • FeedGrab - Take an RSS feed and add its content as entries in your EE system.
  • YearList - Get a list of all of the years in which there are entries.
  • Freeform - Doesn’t everyone already know about this one? It’s a classic EE add-on that is probably a well-worn tool in everyone’s EE tool belt.
  • Pages - Easily create single pages inside of ExpressionEngine. This module ships with all licensed versions of ExpressionEngine but is not enabled by default.
  • Askimet - Probably the most essential add-on of them all and one you should use on every site you build that accepts comments. This module/extension bundle allows you to filter out spam comments using the Akismet service.

This list is by no means comprehensive; it’s simply what I use. There are many other great EE add-ons out there. What are some others that you consider a must-have?

Ryan Irelan
About Ryan Irelan

Ryan Irelan is the Technology and Development Director at Happy Cog, a web design and development firm. He is a noted ExpressionEngine expert, having created a wildly popular video training series on ExpressionEngine. Additionally, Ryan is the publisher of EE Insider, a well-known news and information site for the ExpressionEngine community. In his spare time, Ryan is the production director of A List Apart Magazine, which is one of the most popular ExpressionEngine-powered sites on the web. Recently, Ryan published a book on ExpressionEngine 2 called "ExpressionEngine 2: A Quick-Start Guide."