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DEE Faults! DEE Faults!

Wednesday, February 2, 2015

If you’re not getting what you’re expecting from an ExpressionEngine channel entries tag, it’s probably because you’re not aware of the default parameters.

ExpressionEngine is awesome. We use it for all of our work here, and are huge fans. But it is challenging to master and one of the areas that constantly trips us up is remembering the defaults!

The ExpressionEngine channel entry tag {exp:channel:entries} is the most used tag in EE and understanding its default parameters is essential. Here’s a list of some of the default parameters that still trip us up sorted by situations where the defaults cause issues.

Where’s the entries?
Likely culprit: dynamic
The dynamic parameter is by default set to “yes” but if you’re just wanting a list of your entries in a side bar or what not, that might bite you. Got a template that’s outputting nothing? Try adding dynamic=“no”

Where’s my upcoming events?
Likely culprit: show_future_entries
If you use the entry date field to set up events (...and why wouldn’t you?), you’ll need to remember to add show_future_entries=“yes” or you’ll get a big ol’ list of nothing. Well. Nothing that hasn’t already happened anyway.

Why isn’t everything here?
Likely culprit: limit
By default EE sets a 100 entry limit to an exp:channel:entries tag output. Got a giant-ass list that you can only see the first hundred of? Here’s your issue. Set a limit higher than you think you’ll ever reach and you’ll see all your stuff. Sidenote: If you want to display more than about 250 or so entries, paginate that sucker.

What the eff is up with the order here?
Likely culprits: sort and orderby
By default EE entries display in descending order sorted by entry date. Perfect for a news listing; most recent entry will display at the top. Absolutely ass-backwards for that event listing we couldn’t get any output on earlier! Events need to be sorted in ascending order—Jan, Feb, Mar. Want to order alphabetically by a custom field? Just name that field in the orderby parameter and rock it.

Nothing’s showing in my archive!
Likely culprit: show_expired
Sort of the opposite of show_future_entries, this little nugget has, I’m embarrassed to say, caused much more hair-pulling than it should. It’s set by default to “no” so if you’re setting up an archive and you’re using the built-in expiration date field, set it to yes.

Odds and Ends
Here’s a couple of other parameters that have occasionally tripped us up:

If you set up a custom status group you’ll need to define the status you want in your tag because by default nothing shows but entries set to “open.”

This tag is awesome for trimming off that extra comma and space or whatever, but if the code you’re trimming includes a tag or a line break, you’ll need to account for those ‘characters’ as well.

I’ve seen this in a couple of rescue jobs we’ve done recently. We use this all the time:
to disable functions we won’t use in a particular situation. But if you just copy/paste a code block with this parameter set and then start having a cow because the categories won’t work… well… duh. They’re disabled.

Hopefully this little diatribe will be useful to someone. If you’re hung up with an ExpressionEngine project or you’ve had the misfortune of being abandoned by your developer, contact us and we’ll use our experience to help you out!