How To Install ExpressionEngine Like A Pro

2 Ridiculously Simple Ways To Install ExpressionEngine

Get to know this flexible, secure open-source CMS hiding in plain sight that multi-national corporations & government entities use. Also, learn how to install ExpressionEngine in seconds using cPanel & Softaculous or manually.

There are content management systems such as WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, TYPO3, Textpattern, etc that readily come to mind when you think of open source CMS.

Over the past 12 years, these have gained iconic status mostly because of their ease of use.

And the community that has driven them.

But … there are lots of great content management systems that are slightly out of sight.

Not because they are not perfect for your website’s content.

Not because they don’t have the power your website deserves.

Not because they lack the features and flexibility that your present option offers.

But because they are known only to a selected few who truly understands their awesomeness.

One of the these is ExpressionEngine {ee:u}.

ExpressionEngine is one of those CMS that gives you a near-infinite capacity to manage your site content.

It is safe to say that no matter what you have dreamed or want to design, you probably can build it with ExpressionEngine.

No wonder great companies, businesses, and government entities have made ExpressionEngine their most favored CMS.

The 10 Best Things About ExpressionEngine

One-Click Updates

Without the proper workflow or options, updating a production website can be tricky and may even take down a website if not properly done. With ExpressionEngine, a site update is a one-click affair. Your users won’t even know that it is happening or has happened.

File Manager

ExpressionEngine comes with a built-in GUI file Manager. With it, you can browse & view all of your previously uploaded files. Select to edit multiple files using the checkboxes on the right, and then download the files or delete them with just a click.

Caching and Performance

ExpressionEngine is designed at its core to render your web pages very fast even when dealing with high-volume traffic spikes. But you can also use the in-built caching systems to make the page load speed even faster. All these are without plugins.

Rich Text Editing

ExpressionEngine has a built-in Rich Text Editor (RTE) that can be used for entry editing in the control panel as well as the front-end channel Forms. It offers CKEditor 5 and Redactor to create richly-formatted content without writing any HTML.

Send Emails

ExpressionEngine has a built-in email system that allows you to easily send emails via PHPMail, Sendmail, and SMTP. This makes it easy to hook up your website to any third-party email service providers. Creating a contact form (or allowing your visitors to share your content) is a 1-click action.

Command Line Interface

Love doing things via CLI? With ExpressionEngine Command Line Interface (CLI) you can run system & user-generated commands update the system, and clear caches in a matter of seconds via the terminal. As a developer, you can get to the heart of your work faster without the sluggish GUI.


Creating a website for a multi-lingual audience or non-English clients? Use ExpressionEngine Language packs (contributed by the members of the community) to provide localized versions of the control panel in any language. Users can also customize their language preferences in settings.

Database & Files Backups

A live website must have a good backup strategy. ExpressionEngine Database Backup Utility allows you to make simple SQL dump backups of your ExpressionEngine database quickly and easily. You can back-up core files & third-party add-ons.

SEO Friendly

Beyond ensuring that your users will have a great user experience, ExpressionEngine’s structured content approach makes managing SEO an easy undertaking. This gives you a website that is crawlable by all search engines & a bandwidth-friendly experience for mobile users.


Every human-coded software has vulnerabilities. It is often how the developers handle reported security-related bugs that makes all the difference.
ExpressionEngine is routinely updated to stay ahead of the ever-evolving exploit landscape but also take proactive steps when one is reported.

Sites Advanced Management

ExpressionEngine gives the ability to manage multiple sites from a single control panel.

Let’s say you have built dozens of websites for customers.

You can share design, content, and members across your entire cluster of sites from this interface.

You can preview your content before you commit, and display your content as you type with Live Preview.

No guesswork.

No page reloading.

ExpressionEngine also comes with a full-featured discussion forum module which you can use to build your own online community.

Performance Monitoring

For deep visibility into performance metrics, ExpressionEngine supports deep application monitoring with New Relic out of the box. Our hosting comes with the New Relic PHP Agent extension. All you need is to specify the New Relic license and the name of your application on the domain.


Getting the most out of the CMS (or any software) you are using means understanding it from the eyes of the people that built it. ExpressionEngine is really very well-documented with everything you need to get familiar with the software.

How To Install ExpressionEngine with Softaculous and cPanel

When you sign up for an ExpressionEngine web hosting account on our platform, you get access to the latest version of cPanel control.

Each hosting account also has access to Softaculous auto-installer.

Softaculous is a one-click web application installer that provides the simplest way to instantly install and effortlessly manage top web applications while keeping up to date.

With Softaculous, you can one-click install ExpressionEngine.

  • at the time of this writing, PHP 7.4 or 8.0 with mod_lsapi
  • MySQL 5.6 or 8.0
  • get a hosting account with the HardenedPHP package (recommended)
  • cPanel login for access
  • an up-to-date modern browser

With Softaculous, you can one-click install ExpressionEngine.

All you need to do is to:

Login to your cPanel

Scroll down to the Software section.

Click on Softaculous, then search for ExpressionEngine under Portal/CMS.

Click “Install Now.

Once you have access to the ExpressionEngine login screen you will need to log in with a username and password provided to you by an administrator.

Super easy, huh.

How To Install ExpressionEngine Manually

Login to your cPanel

Scroll down to the Databases section.

Click on the MySQL® Database Wizard icon.

In the New Database text box, enter a name for the database, copy and save it then click Next Step.

In the Username text box, enter a name for the user to copy and save it.

Enter and confirm the new password in the appropriate text boxes.

Click Create User.

Select ALL PRIVILEGES. You can fine-tune this after the installation.

Note that when you use the MySQL Database Wizard interface to add a user and a database, the system automatically grants the user access to the database.

You do not need to use the Add User to Database feature at cPanel >> Home >> Databases >> MySQL Databases.

Click Next Step.

You have successfully set up the database and user account.

Now that you have created the database, you will have:

  • the MySQL Database name
  • the MySQL Server address (localhost)
  • the MySQL username
  • and the MySQL Password

It is time to download the latest release of ExpressionEngine.

You can simply use “curl” or “wget” to download this straight to server.

If you have used either of these two to get the zipped file to your server, then:

cd public_html

(or whichever folder you are using)

You will get a file structure that looks something like this if you use the ls -al commands:


To see the entire file structure, use the tree command.

Alternatively, download it to your workstation as ExpressionEngine$, unzip the compressed files to a folder, and then use an SFTP client to move the files to your hosting account.

Our systems will recursively set the appropriate permissions for the files (644) and directories (755).

If for some reason your FTP client is not configured properly to get this done, you can use the command below to set things right:

find system/ee \( -type d -exec chmod 755 {} \; \) -o \( -type f -exec chmod 644 {} \; \)

All that is needed is for you to visit the URL of the admin.php file (e.g. and follow the on-screen instructions to install ExpressionEngine.

Having completed the installation, rename or remove the system/ee/installer/ directory from your server.

You can do this using either cPanel File Manager or the terminal:

rm -rf installer

or rename it with:

mv installer old-installer

Visit the URL you have installed ExpressionEngine on.


We offer a great platform to install, run and host your ExpressionEngine.

Our ExpressionEngine hosting service gives you:

  • 1-click customizable ExpressionEngine installation
  • the ability to run ExpressionEngine with any version of PHP (PHP4.4 – to PHP 8.1 or the latest)
  • the ability to automate most of the tedious processes of installing, managing, and running ExpressionEngine
  • the ability to upgrade your ExpressionEngine with a click
  • the ability to update installations as soon as the new version is released
  • the ability to backup and restore ExpressionEngine with a click
  • the ability to back up to Google Drive, Dropbox, FTP/FTPS/SFTP locations
  • the ability to clone ExpressionEngine in just a click to create a new site from an existing installation
  • the ability to import an existing ExpressionEngine with a click
  • optional Memcached or Redis
  • and for ExpressionEngine developers & designers, the ability to rebrand with your colors and logos or even a custom CSS

If you are an existing customer and need help installing ExpressionEngine, just create a ticket request and our team will install it for you.