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When I was first trying to figure out what how to install and work all this new open source software I was finding, I came across b2evolution. In my opinion, this software is the closest thing to WordPress as you can get without actually being WordPress.  It has very similar functionality but a different looking admin area with its main page also called a dashboard. It has skins, plugins, and language packs too. The documentation is very well organized with extremely helpful information. I often find WordPress documentation convoluted or difficult to locate, so this was refreshing to find. There also appears to be quite an active community forum where you have a better chance of finding what you’re looking for, as opposed to the WordPress community where you have to hope you search for the correct terms to find your answer. At least with a forum, you can narrow it down by browsing to the appropriate forum first before searching.

I really like that b2evolution has a Stats section in the admin area. Here you can view how many hits you’ve received from feeds, robots, or actual browsers. You can also see where your visitors are coming from by viewing the referring domains tab. Other than than, I’m not noticing a heck of a lot of differences from that of a WordPress blog other than the layout. I’ve read that you can have multiple blogs under one installation, but I don’t think this is something that would interest me anyway. If you’ve already managed to become familiar with WordPress, I would see no obvious reason to defect to b2evolution and vice versa.

By the way, I really like the photo blog demo. I was clicking through the photos while thinking about what I could do on my own with it. I had to stop and separate myself from the computer. If I’m left to my own devices, I would now have another new domain name with b2evolution installed running the photo blog theme for some crazy idea that just came to me in passing. That’s my curse, I suppose.

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