I'm seeing a very strange thing where the EE installation wizard won't fully render. I'm getting a couple of sites ready for a system update. After backing up the sites and databases I always run the server wizard to make sure I'm not missing something. For this particular server, the wizard is just not working. All the little php items are failing.

Instead of rendering out the page elements, I see things like:

<?= $title ?> or <?= $heading ?> or <?= $content ?>

These sites already have EE2 installed, so I'm scratching my head as to what's going on.

I've checked php, and it's running at 5.3.29

In both cases, the existing website and CMS are fine.

Any thoughts?


1 Answer 1


Could it be that PHP short tags are not enabled in php.ini?

Looks like <?= syntax required it until PHP version 5.4?

3 possible fixes:

  1. update php to 5.4 or better
  2. update your code to use <?php instead of <?=
  3. update your php.ini file to enable short_open_tag

For my money, #1 is the best as everyone should be on 5.6 (or 7 if possible).

  • That was it! the short_open_tag setting was turned off. Thank you! Mar 1, 2017 at 15:22

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