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What is b2evolution Hosting?
Blogging, Blogger, Blogspot, the list of web log ("blog") platforms goes on and on. You've no doubt heard buzz about WordPress if you're not using it already. In many ways, it's become a standard favorite of many website publishers. But it's not the only game in town. If you look around a bit, you'll find plenty of content management system (CMS) alternatives to WordPress, and b2evolution is one of them.
The good news is you can try both and you would find at the end of the day that b2evolution is a worthwhile platform depending on what your needs are. So if you’re a beginning blogger, you’ll find plenty of built-in tools and features that will delight you right out of the box.
If you are an advanced web publisher, b2evolution is also a great choice because it is much closer to CMS functionality and features. You can easily run multiple blogs, newsfeeds, and photo streams with a world of features still left in the tank. B2evolution is free to run on your own web site and domain.
It features include extended & multipaged posts, draft mode, advanced browsing, image management, RSS feeds, Atom feeds, skins/themes, and plugins. The b2evolution platform runs on the nearly universal combination platform of PHP and MySQL, meaning it will run on a standalone server or nearly any web hosting service of your choice.
b2evolution: Out of the Box Goodness
While WordPress is pretty agile and offers a lot of functionality through the too-numerous-to-count plugins available for it, b2evolution comes already integrated with much of that functionality right out of the box. In fact, the company that makes it calls b2evolution a CCMS, which stands for Content and Community Management Software.
If offers the CMS features you'd expect, such as the ability to manage multiple blogs, accommodate multiple site pages, host photo albums, and more. But it also adds community management features such as user profiles, a directory, forums, and even private messaging. b2evolution also generates its web pages dynamically from its configuration on the MySQL database, which means the pages are dynamic but not rebuilt every time it is rendered.
Not only that, b2evolution includes a whole list of marketing features such as goal tracking, email subscriptions, and server side analytics so you can gather all the data you need to manage your site and keep your users happy.
While b2evolution is used by a comparatively small group of bloggers, the b2evolution community is quite active. The result of this zeal is a constant drive to improve the versatility of the CMS and the user experience at all times. For many organizations, b2evolution is the best choice for their needs where professionals and advanced bloggers need a polished platform to run on. That is especially true as b2evolution is somewhat of a hybrid from a full on CMS and a blogging platform. With its polished and updated documentation, further customizing the platform to an organization’s needs is a relatively simple task that can be accomplished by organizations of any size.
The reasons why you are looking for a CMS or a blog could be anything, but you know that regardless of the size of your business, blogging for business is an critical component of any online marketing strategy. It is well known that blogs help drive traffic and a great platform is the key to getting this strategy going. It brings people to the site and helps turn them into customers. It helps your link count, it helps Search Engine Optimization (SEO), it helps you utilize your keyword strategy, and it helps you raise your profile as an industry and thought leader. With helpful and thoughtful articles, your name and company name can becomes a trusted resource and trusted brand. The goal is to connect with your audience with a clear message, helping the customer on their journey.
b2evolution is open-source software, and is available for free. The only requirement is to find a host that either offers it on its list of one-click installation software (as WordPress most often is), or that will accommodate it should you choose to install it yourself.
If you're using either virtual private server hosting or dedicated server hosting, this shouldn't be a problem. But if you're on a shared hosting plan, you may need to contact your hosting provider to make sure you can install b2evolution.
b2evolution Hosting Frequently Asked Questions
What is b2evolution?
b2evolution is a 'CCMS' - a Content and Community Management System. When originally developed, b2evolution was most commonly used as a multi-user and multi-blog platform, commonly used for online publishing. In its current stable releases, b2evolution has integrated online community solutions (like forum and social networking functions) and online marketing tools to make itself a one-stop shop website platform. Unlike many other platforms that require you to build these features into your site through individual applications, b2evolution already has all of these capabilities included in one system.
What are some good reasons to use b2evolution?
b2evolution's premier feature is its multiple blogging platform. With one installation, a webmaster can run multiple blogs, domains, users and authors at the same time. As a way to protect its users, b2evolution has active and passive spam management solutions, including a community-driven shared blacklist managed by users. Like many other popular blogging platforms, b2evolution also has custom skins/themes, widgets, plugins, and languages. The platform download also comes with an automated installer.
Are there any reasons not to use b2evolution?
Like many other platforms originally created as a "blogging software", the current stable release of b2evolution seems very capable of being a reliable, feature-rich CMS for websites with any purpose. If you are looking to run a simple blog or small business website with little need for the additional features that come with b2evolution (forum capability, social networking, multi-blogging, etc.) it could potentially be too robust for your needs.
What are the alternatives to b2evolution?
The most commonly compared alternative to b2evolution is Wordpress. The main reason these two are compared to each other is because they are open source blogging platforms that are "forks" of a precursor blogging platform called b2/cafelog. Many times, content management systems like Drupal and Joomla are also compared to b2evolution as alternative options.
What are the requirements for b2evolution web hosting?
In order to run b2evolution as your content management system, your hosting provider will need to provide you with a LAMP platform. For most modern web site hosting providers, this will not be an issue. If you are installing b2evolution on a dedicated server, Debian is the preferred Linux installation - RedHat and CentOS will work also, however. To complete your LAMP stack, you should also deploy Apache 2.0, MySQL 5.0+, and PHP 5.2+. Review these system requirements with your hosting provider if you are unsure if your server is equipped to meet these requirements.
Are there any additional specific hosting recommendations?
As long as your LAMP server has the software requirements listed in the above section, you should be fine to run b2evolution as your content management system. Windows servers are not an officially supported platform outside of development. As an alternative to Apache, you can run Lighttpd or NginX, but they are not officially supported. There are also a variety of customizations you may need made to PHP in order to get the most out of your b2evolution platform, so check with your hosting provider before you start building your site to make sure everything is optimized.
Do I need to be concerned about installation?
b2evolution is a fairly straightforward platform to install with most hosting providers. In fact, many mainstream website hosting providers offer b2evolution as a 1-click install for new customers when they are setting up a new hosting package and a new website domain. If the hosting provider you select does not offer b2evolution in its 1-click install options, download the latest stable release from b2evolution's website and install it via FTP client.
Is there any reason not to use a one-click installation wizard?
No. If you have the option of a 1-click installation for b2evolution, you will save yourself a lot of time installing this as your platform. The risk of human error is also greatly reduced. Of course, if you are trying to install b2evolution with some advanced configurations or you have multiple installations, you may need to install it yourself. If you are unsure if 1-click installation is right for you, check with the support team at your hosting provider.
What does self-hosted mean? I don’t have to run a server myself, do I?
Self-hosted websites do not require YOU to personally own a server and manage it to host your site. Instead, self-hosted simply means that hosting is not provided directly by the development team that created b2evolution. In order to use a self-hosted content management system like b2evolution, you will need to contract a hosting provider before building your website.
Can I host a b2evolution blog on a shared hosting plan?
Yes. Shared hosting plans will work with b2evolution. Make sure your shared hosting is built on a Linux platform and you should be ready to go. Depending on the customizations and the volume of blogs you may host on your b2evolution platform, you may want to consider a dedicated hosting solution. However, that is not required in order to host a b2evolution installation.
Do I have to know how to program to use b2evolution?
The answer to this question depends on your answer to the question "how much do you want to customize your b2evolution website?" The more you customize your site with widgets, plugins, and theme changes, the more programming knowledge you will need to have. The reason you will need to know how to program is because many widgets and themes do not perfectly integrate with each other. To be fair to b2evolution, this is the case with any open source, self-hosted content management system - not just b2evolution.
How does b2evolution compare to Joomla as a CMS?
If you have any issues with programming, b2evolution will be a better platform for you to use when compared to Joomla. There may be a larger community of users who work with Joomla, but even experienced developers have issues with Joomla. Our suggestion for most aspiring website owners who lack expertise in development would be to avoid Joomla and use b2evolution.
How does b2evolution compare to Wordpress as a CMS?
b2evolution and WordPress were originally built upon the same framework, a blogging platform called b2/cafelog. As the two platforms have evolved, WordPress has become more focused on third-party app development to extend its capabilities, while b2evolution is touted as being built on a stronger framework. If you are a small business or blogger that does not need a fully-featured website platform - then Wordpress should be able to work as a platform for you. However, businesses looking for a professional-grade, open source content management platform may find b2evolution to be a better solution for their needs.
Do I need managed hosting in order to use b2evolution as my CMS?
The answer to this question depends on your answer to the question "how much responsibility are you willing to accept for the maintenance of your website?" The more complex your site becomes with widgets, plugins, multiple blogs and theme changes, the greater your need will be for professionally managed website hosting. Shared hosting often comes with some managed services included. If you have a dedicated hosting solution, however, managed services are likely required as part of your agreement. To be fair to b2evolution, this is the case with any self-hosted content management system - not just b2evolution.
How does b2evolution compare to Drupal as a CMS?
Compared to Drupal, b2evolution is more friendly to website managers who are using a website to edit content and create multiple blogs. Drupal is a more complex platform and probably better to use if you are a developer who really wants to customize a website. If your primary purpose is using a website as a multi-blogging, community portal, b2evolution may be the best fit for you.