Upgrade ExpressionEngine

ExpressionEngine (EE) is one of the most flexible and feature-rich Content Management Systems (CMS) available. It is also one of the oldest with the 1.0 release being made available in 2004.

Today, ExpressionEngine features one-click updating, but it wasn't always the case, and sometimes going between major versions, i.e. going from version 1.x to 2.x or 2.x to 3.x, requires quite a bit of work.

If you're struggling with an ExpressionEngine upgrade, we're here to help.

ExpressionEngine logo

A lot of the time EE upgrades are complicated if your site is built with add-ons that are no longer actively maintained and aren't compatible with more recent versions of EE. In cases where a site uses an add-on which is no longer compatible, you have three choices:

  1. find an adequate replacement
  2. spend time updating the add-on to be compatible with the latest version
  3. drop the functionality the add-on provides altogether

Of those three choices, #2 will likely take the most time, especially if the add-on provides complex functionality.

Our upgrade experts include members who have been using EE for almost as long as it's been existence, so we're well-equipped to advise you on the best course of action if your site is using an old version of EE.

We can also undertake any custom add-on development that might be required if you have outdated add-ons whose functionality your site can't do without.

Pre-upgrade information we need

When booking your CMS upgrade, there are a few pieces of essential information that we'll need. EE has undergone some fairly major user interface changes over the years so depending on which version of the CMS you're using, where to find information about its version and add-ons will vary.

The information below assumes that you have a login for your site's control panel that gives you full access to all of its sections. You might have a login that only has restricted access in which case, you might not see all of what's discussed below. If you can't locate the pages about your site's add-ons, please mention that when submitting your booking.


EE's approach to add-ons and where you find them has changed a bit over the years too. Originally, add-ons were split into Extensions, Modules, and Plugins. Now they're all just called Add-Ons.

For versions 6 and 7, you will find the link to the Add-Ons page in the left menu under Developer.

EE7 addons

For versions 3–5, the Add-On Manager page was found from the Developer dropdown menu in the top right-hand corner. On that page, the add-ons were split into first- and third-party add-ons. We're only really interested in the third-party ones.

EE5 addons

For versions 1 and 2, there were separate pages for Extensions, Modules, and Plugins, and you found them by going to Admin in the main menu and then Add-On Administration in the dropdown menu.

Once you've located your site's add-ons, either write them down or screenshot the page.


Since version 6, the version number has been found at the bottom of the left-hand column. Version 6 introduced a colour scheme change from version 5, and version 7 introduced a different colour scheme again.

EE version 6
EE version 7

For versions 3–5, the version number was located in the footer on the left.

EE version 5

And for versions 1 and 2, it was again in the footer, but in the centre.

EE version 2