The Phoenix Has Risen
Just over six months ago, we formed this site, with the idea of raising the bar for all b2evolution bloggers. We quickly realized that our forward-looking endeavor was going to be based largely on the new "Phoenix" version of b2evolution. Phoenix involved a complete re-writing of core modules, using Object-Oriented Programming (OOP). It is faster, more powerful, more flexible, more secure and more stable than any previous version. It's a HUGE leap forward for b2evolution.
Because it was a complete re-write, it took the developers over six months to complete the "Beta" version, after an "Alpha" release, late last November.
The good news is that it's available!! :D
We're not recommending that everyone jump on it and upgrade. It is a 'beta' release and not a full production version, so you can still expect some bugs. However, you'll note that it's listed as a "stable" release, on the downloads page. There's a reason for that. It's been hammered on, beat upon and thoroughly tested. The b2evolution.net site is powered by it, this site is using it and many of our personal sites use it. There's an active developer network, of which we are members, in which any reported bugs are squashed in a very short time frame. The result is a very stable, albeit "beta", version of software.
Phoenix is the future of b2evolution and let me tell you, it looks bright. Phoenix brings two major benefits: Anti-SPAM and plug-ins.
- Anti-SPAM: If you've been plagued by blog SPAM, you're really going to appreciate the tools that Phoenix brings to the table to stop it. Spam-karma, comment moderation, captcha and all manner of comment limitations can be used, alone or in conjunction with one another, to ensure you spend your time blogging and not fighting spam.
- Plug-ins: The biggest change is in the use of plug-ins. The developers have added many of the hooks necessary so that coders, like AstonishMe, can write code that extends the functionality of b2evolution and all users need to do is download it and push a button to get it.
Not to say there aren't a bunch of other new features, which you can read about in the news release, it's just that these two will have the biggest impact for most people.
On top of all this, AstonishMe has made our plugins so that they're automatically updated! ;) When you download an "AM Update"-capable plugin, you'll know when we put out a new version. Members will get these updates for free and getting them will be as simple as a click of a button. How astonishing is that? Just one of the benefits of membership.
Changes Are Blowin' in the Wind
Because "Summer Beta" has finally been released, we're (once again) feverishly working in the background, hammering and nailing, building the "framework" for this site.
Want to up the "wow-factor" for your b2evolution blog? We're the people that'll make it happen! Run into a dead end on the b2evolution forums? Need custom work done? Need something NOW? We offer that 'next-level' of support ... professional and timely. We design, we code, and we create!
AstonishMe will become your one-stop shop for cool widgets, plug-ins, articles and custom help for your b2evolution blog. Link us, bookmark us and sign up for membership (coming soon). You don't have to be a member to benefit, but we recommend it.
- Membership Benefits: For an annual fee of £25, members will have access to all the articles, plugins and content on the site. They'll also get any free plug-in updates. They can request feature enhancements, suggest plug-ins they'd like to have and provide feedback on any article. If members have a problem or need some special one-on-one support, they'll get it.
Non-Member Benefits: Non-members benefit too. Some plugins and articles will be FREE to the public. Non-members will have access to front page material for every article, plug-in and site content. (Non-members will KNOW what we have available, because we'll always be in "Open House" mode). Non-members can also purchase an article, plug-in or other content, on a one-off basis, for a nominal, value-added fee (£1-£12). (As a one-off, it will allow access only - support, updates or feedback is not included.)
We also plan on offering promotions, from time-to-time (maybe offering plug-ins for free for a certain time?), so if you're interested in cool stuff for your blog, subscribe to our RSS feed to stay on top of things. ( Example: Until we get our membership sorted, certain member-only plugins are currently available for free. Hint, hint. ;) )