Useful ExpressionEngine 2 Add-Ons for New Installs

Since we started using ExpressionEngine more frequently on web projects, we realized that we had to find a set of useful add-ons that should be a staple for every installation we complete. Here is that list.

Quick Notes

These add-ons are for ExpressionEngine 2. Some may work in 1.6+, but that is dependent on the developer.


Playa by Pixel & Tonic is a “relationship engine” module that relates multiple entries, categories, authors and statuses together. This is extremely handy if you want to have a blog post that would have two or more authors behind it. Super easy to use and has a great drag and drop user interface. Playa 4 is only available for EE2 while Playa 3 is still available for EE 1.6+ (and comes bundled with Playa 4 for the time being).


Wygwam is another extremely helpful module by Pixel & Tonic. Wygwam is a highly customizable WYSIWYG editor for entry creation. It features inline image uploading, “Paste from Word” capabilities to strip formatting from .doc files, and a configurable toolbar to make it as simple or powerful as you want it. A must-have add-on for all installations of EE. Also, it works with EE1 as well as EE2.

SEO Lite

SEO Lite by Bjorn Borresen adds a simple “SEO Lite” tab to the publishing screen of EE2. It enables the writer to add a title, meta keywords and meta descriptions to every bit of content that resides in ExpressionEngine. Super simple to use and it’s all kinds of free.

CP Analytics

CP Analytics is an accessory that adds a Google Analytics tab to the ExpressionEngine dashboard. A clean and simple interface puts all the quick glance analytic data right up front. CP Analytics is a super nice accessory to have on hand.

Template Variables

If there is one accessory to have installed for every EE2 site, then this is it. Template Variables is a time-saver to say the least. It puts a list of all custom fields, snippets and global variables for every template at the bottom of the Dashboard screen. By clicking a variable name, it copies itself to your clipboard for easy pasting. Get it. Now. After a while, you won’t know how you made it this long working inside EE without it.


… go get these add-ons. Then, thank the wonderful, wonderful developers behind these wonderful, wonderful bits of helpful software.