Retired Documentation:  You are using the documentation for version 1.7.3 which was retired in 2013. Go here for the latest version documentation or check here for your available upgrades to the latest version.

Quick Start Tutorial

Note:  To create a site using ExpressionEngine requires that you be comfortable with basic HTML. If you don't know the HTML basics consider spending some time reading a tutorial. We recommend's basic html tutorial. Not only is it a wonderful learning resource geared toward developing community-based web sites, but it's built using ExpressionEngine, so it's an excellent example site.

Creating an ExpressionEngine web site

The Goal: This tutorial will show you step-by-step how to create a basic web site with ExpressionEngine. The web site will feature a home page, also called the index page, that will display a list of summaries from a weblog. Each summary will have a "Read More" link that goes to the "full" version of the entry, which we'll refer to as the article page. These are basic features that most types of web sites will use.

Implementing these common features will help you learn the basics necessary to develop with ExpressionEngine. You'll also learn how to make the most of the User Guide. It's important to stress that this is not a tutorial about web site design, HTML, or CSS.

In brief, here is an overview of the steps for creating a basic web site with ExpressionEngine: First, you'll create the Templates which will hold your HTML. Next you'll set up a brand new "weblog" for your web site. Then you'll publish a few entries to your weblog. And finally, you'll use ExpressionEngine Tags in your Templates to display the content from your new weblog.

Important concept: Remember that in ExpressionEngine "weblog" just means "information I want stored in the database." ExpressionEngine makes no assumptions about the stored information or what you want to do with it.

This tutorial will not interfere with any existing work you have done on your ExpressionEngine installation.

Before Starting

In order to use this tutorial you must have super-admin access to a working ExpressionEngine site. The account created during the installation process has Super Admin access, so if you installed ExpressionEngine yourself you're all set. If someone else installed ExpressionEngine for you, double check with them that you have Super Admin access.

If you haven't read the Getting Started with ExpressionEngine Overview please do so now.

You don't need to be an HTML expert to do this tutorial but at a minimum you should understand the concept of HTML tags. If you'd like to take a brief HTML refresher course we recommend's Basic HTML review.

And finally, from this point on we're going to refer to ExpressionEngine as EE. Let's begin.

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