What is b2evolution?
b2evolution is a tool that allows you to build your own website. This ranges from just a home page to a full featured site with multiple blogs, forums for your user community and structured content such as manuals or knowledge bases.
Additionally, b2evolution allows you to send newsletters to your user community and members can send private messages to each other.
Once b2evolution is installed on your web server (or web hosting account), it will easily let you build a website consisting of any combination you choose of blogs, pages, photo galleries, forums, online manuals and more. You have full control of how small or how complex you want your website to be. You can start small (for example a simple blog) and extend it later. You can also customize the look & feel of each section with a combination of Skins and Widgets.
As soon as you have set up a prototype of your site, b2evolution will let you enter content (blog posts, pages…) and upload media files (photos, videos…) to be included in your content. Your content can be edited and re-organized at any time.
Once your content is published, visitors can leave comments on any page you choose. If you’d like, you can also let your users register an account for themselves in order to build an online community, complete with user profiles, public forums and private messaging as well.
b2evolution also provides Server Side Analytics and includes powerful Antispam tools for dealing with undesirable visitors or users.
All of this stays very flexible and can be modified at any time. This is why we call b2evolution a CCMS: Content + Community Management System.
Everything described here happens on your own website and your own domain. Contrary to other website or blog building solutions, with b2evolution everything is under your control and yours only. If you don’t have a website/domain yet, you may easily get one from our hosting partners. (They will even offer 1-click installation of b2evolution on your site to get you started even faster.)
Another noticeable advantage of using b2evolution for building your website is that everything you will need is likely to be included. You won’t need to hunt down, select, buy and maintain third party plugins for advanced features. With b2evolution, everything you need is included, right out of the box.
And it’s 100% Free and Open Source. (View on GitHub)
Organize all your contents into a complete website
b2evolution is a very versatile Content Management System (CMS) designed to organize all kinds of contents: simple web pages, blog posts, photos, videos, downloadable files (PDF, ZIP…), manuals, forums, and more (you can define your own/custom types of content). Your contents can be then combined and organized into a complete website, or – if you choose so – spread across several smaller websites in parallel.
For example, you might start with a simple blog. You just need to type something and hit "Publish now!". It’s instantly on your website!
You might then add a photo gallery. Then, you might add a reference section about your area of expertise. Then, you might want to add a forum where your community can start discussing topics of their own. Or maybe you’d like your members to be able to create blogs of their own? Also possible!
b2evolution lets you start as small as you want and grow as big as you need.
b2evolution will present your content using a system of skins (aka themes), containers and widgets. For example, you might use a blog-type skin which brings styling around 5 main containers: a header, a navigation menu, a content area, a sidebar and a footer. Each of these containers contains customizable widgets. For example, the main area may show a combination of the following widgets in the order you decide: post title, date, author, teaser, attached images, categories, tags. You may reorder them, remove some, or add some. For example you could decide to add a download button for each post (if relevant).
The sidebar may contain any number of widgets related or not to the main content, such as a list of categories, recent posts or even ads.
The menu may be entirely customized to provide the navigation you need.
Once you have decided on the general layout of your content blocks/widgets, It is possible to change the look & feel of your website by customizing the existing skins (CSS3/HTML5) or using different skins entirely. You may also choose to use different skins for desktop, tablets and/or smartphones in order to provide an optimized experience for touch devices and/or small screens. Of course, you can also build custom skins of your own (PHP).
Social & Community features
b2evolution easily lets you add one or several forums to your website, allowing your members to discuss various topics among themselves.
But even if you don’t want a forums section on your website, there are many other social features you can take advantage of:
- You may allow your visitors to leave comments almost anywhere (even on info pages or on photo albums if you choose so). You may even allow them to attach files to their comments.
- You can rely on b2evolution’s extensive antispam features to keep your site spotless and clean… or you can limit some operations to members only.
- You can create member accounts for your users or allow your visitors to register themselves. For added convenience, they may also login with Facebook, twitter, etc. [b2evo v6].
- Members may have an editable profile page and may appear in the site directory.
- Members may communicate privately through private messages.
On the other end of the spectrum, you can go as far as allowing your members (or members of certain groups) to create and publish their own blogs on your site.
b2evolution can send email newsletters to your members. Actually, it can even send targeted email to subsets of your user base through its complete campaign management interface.
b2evolution also includes goal tracking and server-side analytics.
Registered users can have different permissions depending on the User Group you put them into or on the User Level they acquire.
You can entitle other users to create drafts in one area or your site and/or moderate comments in another. General permissions such as user management can also be assigned based on User Group permissions.