In the web hosting industry, there are a lot more blog scripts than you could compare however we have attempted to pick the most used, popular and properly taken care of. Due to the ease of creating a blog scripts, there are literally thousands of them everywhere as most of the time, new PHP developers create a blog for their first script.
We have reviewed here the top 3 most used blogs, the industry-leading WordPress at the moment, b2evolution, a famous alternative that can both be a photo gallery & a content management system and MovableType, another very professional blog script which is very useful of news-related blog sites because it has a very powerful editor and its expandability.
b2\cafelog, more commonly known as simply b2 or cafelog, was the precursor to WordPress. b2\cafelog was estimated to have been employed on approximately 2,000 blogs as of May 2003. It was written in PHP for use with MySQL by Michel Valdrighi, who is now a contributing developer to WordPress. Though WordPress is the official successor, another project, b2evolution, is also in active development.
WordPress first appeared in 2003 as a joint effort between Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little to create a fork of b2.
In 2004 the licensing terms for the competing Movable Type package was changed by Six Apart, and many of its users migrated to WordPress – causing a marked and continuing growth in WordPress’s popularity.
User friendliness: 5
WordPress is pretty much unmatchable in its user friendliness, an eight year old would be able to configure it and start posting his own posts, first of all the hosting and installation procedure is very simple and it’s the famously called “2 minute install”, also if you are not very familiar most of the cPanel web hosting companies offer WordPress hosting or quick install using Fantastico within a few minutes. After installing, the administrator control panel is a perfectly sculpted two-tier navigation that’s right to the point, you just know where everything is supposed to be, WordPress has really exceeded the limits of being user friendly without being too bloaty, also the new 2.5 administrator theme is certainly impressing.
While security is still something in the works of the WordPress factory, there has been a research that there was actually 98% of the WordPress installs are actually vulnerable due to plugins, the API to create plugins is very simple which means everyone makes their plugins but most of the developers make the mistakes and become vulnerable to all type of security problems. WordPress 2.0 has been released in December 2005, so in around 3 years, WordPress had around 30 serious vulnerabilities however due to the fact that there are so many plugins around, the chances of decreasing your site security is more when using more plugins.
Most of the very popular blogs are hosted using WordPress, they are usually running a heavily modified version to prevent any security risks and also because of their custom needs, GM has a few sites that are powered by WordPress and no one would be able to identify them as a site powered by WordPress as there are pretty much no signs left of WordPress, however due to the increase of the expandability, a lot of sites opt to create their own “fork” of WordPress and forget any other versions.
b2evolution is a multi-lingual, multi-user, multi-blog publishing system written in PHP and backed by a MySQL database. It is distributed under the GNU General Public License and is available without charge. François Planque forked b2evolution from version 0.6.1 of b2\cafelog in 2003. Another popular fork of b2 is WordPress.
b2evolution is focused on ease of installation and feature richness. It can easily be installed on almost any LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) host in a matter of minutes. With the latest release, no configuration file editing is necessary, as all configuration is handled through the installer or administrative back-end.
User friendliness: 3.5
B2evolution blog has attempted to be very user friendly however again this isn’t something that is a strong point of itself, in the section of multi-blog multi-user, it certainly has a huge advantage as it has been primarily made for that purpose, also, the user interface looks however kind of outdated and certainly could use a facelift, everything seems to be in so close and looks very cluttered, the backend could use a lot of work to make it look better and more proper and acceptable.
Again, security comes higher than usability here, in its history, b2evolution had only had 6 security issues which gives it top marks in security, there isn’t anything at all that can be added as the way it has been coded was that any plug-in that are made could or might be made by a new coder which could make any SQL injection mistakes, doing that might have decreased the expandability and everything else in general however with that limitations there is the very noticeable security increase.
The reliability of b2evolution is not yet proved that much, considering that we don’t see that much of sites that use it at the moment, WordPress and other blog scripts have taken over the blog market in a very superior way, also hosted blog websites such as the ones provided by WordPress their selves and such as Google’s Blogger seriously handicap the ability of b2evolution to be a valid competitor in this market, while there are a few sites that are still using it, however most of the sites have stopped using it.
Movable Type was originally named “Serge” after musician Serge Gainsbourg. The TrackBack feature was introduced in version 2.2, and has since been adopted by a number of other blog systems.
With the release of version 3.0, there were marked changes in Movable Type’s licensing, most notably placing greater restrictions on its use without paying a licensing fee. This sparked criticism from some users of the software. With the release of Movable Type 3.2, the ability to create an unlimited number of weblogs at all licensing levels was restored. In Movable Type 3.3, it is completely free for personal users.
Six Apart released Movable Type 4 beta on June 5, 2007 and re-launched movabletype.org as a community site for purposes of developing an open-source version that was released under GPL on December 12, 2007. Movable Type Enterprise version provides advanced features such as LDAP management, enterprise database integration such as Oracle, MySQL, user roles, blog cloning and automated blog provisioning. It is also available as part of Intel’s SuiteTwo professional software offering of Web 2.0 tools.
User friendliness: 5
MovableType have came up with a revolutionary control panel to manage your blog, using the same control panel, you are actually able to manage multiple blogs by identifying them by the domain name and it uses a two tier navigation system with drop-down menus so that it actually looks exactly like a user interface of a specific application or whatsoever. It certainly looks very impressing and very modern, it also looks very professional.
MovableType has a very secure history, only 4 total security advisories which is certainly a very impressive number considering on how it popular it is, however a main reason why is because previously in the 3.X versions, it was commercialized which meant that it had to be perfectly secure code so that you would be able to sell it, starting 4.X, the MovableType script is completely open-source and since then the participation and the popularity of the script has increased majorly.
MovableType is a very good alternative however because it was previously commercialized, people still have the image that it is actually still paid software so they don’t take it as a valid option when picking their next script for their blog, now that it is an open-source software, it’s starting to have a big advantage over others as it was commercialized professional software before, this should eventually make up for a great application eventually.
To sum up this comparison, MovableType is a great option for the future as WordPress has a big competitor at the moment that no one knows about however b2evolution is still there for the multi-user multi-blog market as they have always led that part of the blog hosting industry. There seems to be a very promising future in the blog scripts with MovableType going from commercial t open-source.