I don’t think I’ve made a secret of the fact that I have become rather enamored with ExpressionEngine. It’s an incredibly powerful and flexible content management system that lets me design without getting in the way of what I’m trying to do, and it seems like I’m always discovering some new trick to the system to do even cooler things. Of course, it’s not perfect, nor is it for every person or project, but after years of eschewing CMS because they felt so limiting, it’s refreshing to use a CMS that works as well and as flexibly as EE.

And I’m not the only one who feels that way. While plenty of people are still using Movable Type and WordPress to publish content on-line, more and more people are starting to migrate to the EE. Which, as it turned out, presented something of a quandary for pMachine, the creators of EE. Simply put, they’d outgrown their own name. As CEO Rick Ellis puts it:

pMachine was an outgrowth of our first, and at that time (six years ago), only product. Both our company and software were pMachine. A couple years later we released ExpressionEngine, which addressed some serious limitations of pMachine. EE essentially made pM (the software) obsolete. Our users agreed, switching to EE in droves and eventually compelling us to discontinue pM due to low sales. Still, our company continued on as pMachine.

Over the past three years, ExpressionEngine has grown by leaps and bounds in popularity. In fact, as a brand it had eclipsed pMachine. So when we set out to define our 2007 goals we decided it was time to move ExpressionEngine to its own site. And since I always felt the name pMachine was confusing given our discontinued app, we decided to re-brand the company (and our hosting company).

And so, pMachine is no more. In its stead exists EllisLab, and its network of sites for various products and affiliations: ExpressionEngine (the CMS dreams are made of), CodeIgniter (a very easy-to-use open source PHP framework), and EngineHosting (Opus’ home).

The new sites, courtesy of Jesse Bennett-Chamberlain, look great. And on a geeky note, all four websites are running on the same installation of EE. This allows all of the sites to be managed from one central location, and more importantly, allows users to remain logged in regardless of where they are in the EllisLab network.

Suffice to say, very cool, and a testament to the flexibility and power of EE. So kudos to the EllisLab crew, and I can’t wait to see what they cook up in 2007 for the rest of us.