Getting Started with EE Add-On Development Part 2

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Become even more efficient by writing site-specific add-ons

One of our Eugene-based members, Eli Van Zoeren (, joins us again to continue to teach us how to write/create plugins and extensions to solve your templating roadblocks. Instead of dropping into inline PHP code (messy, insecure, incompatible with certain add-ons) or using the Query module (hard to read, potentially slow), you can create a custom helper add-on for your website. Some specific topics we will cover include:

• Getting started with EE add-on development

• The difference between Plugins, Extensions, and Modules

• Use plugins to write your own template tags

• How to use Hooks to modify ExpressionEngine's default behavior

• Creating new global variables using database queries

• Caching data so it can be reused without additional processing overhead

Some familiarity with PHP is helpful, but not necessary.


Eli is a web developer currently living in Eugene, OR who likes his websites to be clean, direct, and functional. Which is not to say they aren't attractive and memorable as well. Eli has also written several add-ons for ExpressionEngine, such as VZ Bad Behavior (, VZ Members (, VZ URL Extension (, and a slew of others. All of his add-ons can be downloaded from Devot:ee. (