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Is b2evolution Still Relevant In The Age Of WordPress?

Considered by some to be a distant cousin to WordPress (as they have  “same blood“), b2evolution has continued to evolve at a seemingly faster pace than its younger cousin (as b2evolution is on version 3.3.3 while WordPress is on 2.9.2).

Although boasting numerous plugins, template skins and a small but passionate community, b2evolution has nearly faded from the public spot light as most people outside of the “realm known as geek” have never heard of b2evolution (as it brings up blanks stares, unlike WordPress or Blogger).

Despite its humble reputation, the b2evolution crew announced in January that they are planning on releasing version 4.0 in a few months. But the question remains: will it be enough to save this dying brand?

Even though there are some bloggers who prefer b2evolution over WordPress, a quick Google search reveals that the vast majority of users are leaving the platform in order to embrace the WP faith.

This could be due to its user interface which although powerful is not the most elegant thing to look at (especially if one compares it against WordPress, Blogger or Movable Type).

While I could name several blogs supporting the WP brand (like Mashable, Inside Blackberry, and many, many more), the only prominent blog supporting b2evolution (that I know of) is the Moon Society (disclaimer: I occasionally write for that blog, and have in the past asked the leaders to switch away from b2evolution–hence this post).

Unless b2evolution 4.0 releases something innovative and perhaps even embraces the world of mobile like WordPress (which is now upon Android, Blackberry and the mighty iPhone), I do not see a healthy future for this platform–although I am hoping that somewhere some b2 geek can hopefully prove me wrong in the not so distant future (hint, hint).

Categories: Blog Software, Opinion

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  1. Heather says: 2/20/2010

    I have been blogging for years and I have never heard of b2. I think that WordPress is just more well-known and, therefore, it will be more widely used.

  2. John (Human3rror) ) says: 2/21/2010

    wordpress FTW.

  3. justin ) says: 2/22/2010

    One main flaw in the “is WP or [insert other blogging platform] argument is that these platforms are actually competing. As it is, WP offers one type of platform — one for the masses (generally) but it can also cater to some heavy hitters. Many, many people like wordpress — good for them.

    b2evo isn’t glitzy and it’s (IMO) not for the masses. Seems a greater number of b2evo users (as a percentage of the total — and yes, this is based purely on my gut assessment) know at least a little about the back-end. I’d wager that the average b2evo user knows a bit more about CSS and PHP than your average WP user.

    Where am I going with all this? Well, I started out with b2evo knowing nothing about CSS or PHP and almost nothing about HTML. I learned a bit through trial and error and generally liked the b2evo experience. Fast forward to running some financial media sites that got upwards of 100K visitors a day. We decided that for the blogging fronts of these sites, we’d use WP. Just seemed WP was “better” — and indeed, bloggers we had publish on our sites via WP generally found the format user friendly. But on the back-end, we frequently had problems — to date, I still see one blogger write a title like “I’m blogging about this … or that!” and the “…” gets included in the permalink, making the link completely unusable. It’s a minor bug for WP, but seriously, you’d think they’d have nipped that kind of thing in the bug. I’ve also seen WP crash our servers more than a few times.

    I *don’t* know how b2evo would perform under the same kind of stress, but I do know that after customizing more than a few WP themes and blogging on the platform, I just found myself disliking it more and more. So when it came time to roll out a couple new blogs of my own, I switched back to b2evo.

    I use b2evo for my main blogs: and The former is an example of how b2evo can be used to set up multiple blogs to handle different topics and then one blog to aggregate a selection of these blogs. So there’s blog a, b, c, d, and e. E is the “main” blog and it aggregates the posts of a, b, and c! To my knowledge, WP doesn’t do this unless maybe you do MU. Anyway, it seems strange to me that you have to go WP MU to get multi-blog functionality whereas it comes that way with b2evo.

    The latter site — — is a much sexier implementation of b2evo (I’m not biased). It also has a larger readership base, but that’s probably b/c it’s a fan site for Vibram Five fingers barefoot shoes.

    I’ll cut this rambling short. b2evo isn’t perfect, but it’s worked well for me and I don’t anticipate changing platforms anytime soon. I like how b2evo is so customizable — I don’t feel like it’s treating me like a noob. I like how it comes with a robust stats package out the gate — what blogger doesn’t LOVE stats? And yet WP doesn’t come with a very good stat package out the gate. b2evo has it native. Woot.

    One more thing. If history is any guide, when a platform dominates the market, it stagnates. My gut tells me WP is stagnating already. We’ll see if I’m right. Thankfully, there are alternative platforms that, though less glitzy, get the job done and maybe will step up to the plate when the titans falter.

  4. Patricia ) says: 2/28/2010

    Extremely well said, Justin. I started with BlogSpot but within months felt crippled and caged so I searched for something robust that I could incorporate into my own site. Compared to the more recognized WP, I prefer b2evolution simply because, as Justin mentioned, I am completely comfortable playing around with CSS, PHP to get exactly what I want.

    However, the downfall right now is that although I’m using the latest version (currently 3.3.3) the spam problem is driving me up the wall. I continuously update the blacklist and realizing that b2evolution is supported by volunteers, I get the serious feeling there’s one guy somewhere in the background updating the spamlist manually when he has time. Sure, I realize there’s always going to be spam but in this day and age, you’d think they’d have a captcha plugin by now or at least some other verification tool in place. I spend far too much time now trying to keep up with the spam that I am already researching other options.

    Also, while the site is large and verbose, finding current information for the latest platform is daunting. I’ll think I’ve found an answer to a problem only to scroll down or up to find that it refers to version 0.9 or something.

    With all that being said, I’m looking forward to the new version and considering the blog section is only a part of my site, I won’t worry about it too much. Still, I prefer having complete control of my blog and overall b2evolution wins out by a landslide.

    This is the first I’m hearing about a new version and I’ll be keeping an eye out and expect I’ll be one of the very first to upgrade.

  5. craayzie says: 3/22/2010

    Have you tried the recaptcha plugin @ ?

    • Patricia ) says: 3/22/2010

      No, Craayzie. I didn’t even know about this. Not being as familiar with b2evolution, once I got it up pretty the way I like it, I didn’t consider third party plug-ins were being designed for it. Although I read quickly, doesn’t sound like this is the same as we’re used to. I’ll look into how it works, but thank you very much for that heads-up. This is the spirit of collaboration over competition that I’m always about!

      • Nicole ) says: 4/28/2010

        You can keep updated about updates via the news RSS:
        Check the right panel and choose you option :)

        There are various Spam Plugins, I haven’t tested any yet though since my Spam is minor and flagging it locally more than often is enough to get rid of them.
        Running a bigger Site I can only imagine the hassle.
        And yes, as far as I know, it’s one guy running the spam backup.
        But once you’ve marked the spam comment as spam, the user won’t be able to comment again, no matter how fast the guy in the b2 backroom works.

        You can also see if there’s an update available when you click your Global dashboard and check the very bottom. It tells you if you are running the latest version or if there’s an update available :)

        Cheers :)

  6. Nicole ) says: 4/28/2010

    I’ve been an avid wordpress use before switching to my own domain.
    I would have kept using wordpress even then, but moving my data (which was important for me) didn’t work.
    That ticked me off and I looked for different ops.
    One great plus for me is that I can run multiple blogs on one Site and Multi-user blogs as well.
    Yes, it has its downfalls and limits.
    But I tried wordpress just for the fun of it on my own domain and simply couldn’t get the hang of it any more and disliked the backoffice more and more with every change they made.
    I hope the guys at b2 keep up the good work.
    I think what people love most about WP is, that they have a gazillion of themes to choose from, something I am occasionally missing, since the few times I tried to tinker with a theme, I only managed to kill it :)
    Just an idea :)

  7. David Newcomb says: 6/10/2011

    I did loads of research when it came to choosing blogging software for my blog. I specifically wanted to run multiple separate blogs. WordPress said that you needed to set up different virtual domains and while I can do that I think that that’s a pretty poor solution. B2Evolution was one of the only ones that supported this feature to the point that each “sub-blog” can have a different skin and different screen widgets.

    Reading the comments above might make you think that B2Evolution is the blogging software for geeks because you have to hack up the css/php yourself, but let me tell you that nothing could be further from the truth.
    I’m using the evopress skin which makes the blog look like a the familiar WordPress layout but I get all the goodies from a far more intuitive back-end.
    It’s pretty easy to write plugins and screen widgets, if you want to, and there’s plenty of help in their forums.

    I did install WordPress, but I found the back-end confusing and a classic example of “style over substance”.

  8. BODHost Ltd says: 7/19/2011

    Usually I don’t like to use anything besides WordPress so far. It is totally fulfills my requirements for building simple websites and it’s very scalable and versatile with all the plug-ins and themes that is has. However, be2evolution is also good platform, but as compare to popularity and easy to use features it seems outdated. But this is just my personal point of view, your views might be different.

  9. gary sands says: 9/7/2011

    For just choosing a template and getting down to blogging then it’s WordPress every time. But for my own site I needed to customise the blog to fit my existing site. I tried WordPress first, but broke it too easily. Personally I find hacking the php, css etc. far easier in B2evolution to get everything where you want it. The backoffice is a bit dated – but it all works. Just needs someone to go through the css.

    I hope B2evolution keeps going, I for one would miss it. For now there’s still a choice – and having choice is good.

  10. Adriana says: 2/25/2012

    thanks for share!

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