In this article, I’m going to list down the best WordPress alternatives as well as review their features and ease of use – so can you find a perfect substitute!
WordPress is by far the most popular website-building platform out there. Currently cunting well over 42% of the total websites online. It’s often the first stop one encounters while creating their own online space. Some are drawn to it because it’s easy to use, while some find its list of options extensive and well put together.
Many beginners turn to WordPress as it’s optimized for many different audiences. However, it’s not entirely perfect. You can often feel stuck, especially if you don’t have any experience with website creation. It may seem that you’re drowning in the sea of different options, plugins, and themes – and see no way out.
Getting to know and handling certain platforms can sometimes be challenging and hard to grasp. Luckily, there are various alternatives for WordPress. If you’d like to try a different platform builder, you absolutely can! There are many options out there, and I’ll help you pick out the right one for you.
You can use WordPress to build just about anything. You can create an online store membership site, offer proofread my paper service or online courses, build a dropshipping website, use it as a platform for podcasts, use it for an affiliate site, directory website, etc. WordPress can cover all niches.
But if things get tough in the WordPress world, there are different alternatives to WordPress that’ll hopefully make things easier and more enjoyable.
Web.com is an easy-to-use website builder that shares many features with WordPress and offers even more. This is the number one WordPress alternative with simple drag-and-drop features, tools for getting recognized online, and unlimited expert support.
With a domain name and professional email address included, you can get started for only $1.95 the first month! You can even preview different designs, choose the ones you like, upgrade them or create something entirely new. It’s yours to experiment with! For more info, check Web.com review.
If you’ve ever found yourself admiring a professionally designed site with lots of customizable options, it was probably created on Weebly. They specialize in professionalism and design that simply works. You can use it to create online stores, blogs, portfolios, and so much more.
They offer professional help with website building and design, too. Along with advanced marketing features, integrated shipping, and inventory management, they care for their customers and ensure their satisfaction. So, roll up your sleeves, and make sure to try it out! For more info, check Weebly vs Wix comparison.
The leaders of website creation, as they call themselves, are continually making sure to provide a seamless webpage experience. With easy-to-use features, simple instructions, and a relaxed interface, Wix offers a lot for the price.
Like WordPress is a popular name in the website development industry – Wix is the giant of website builders’ fans. In contrast to WordPress, Wix is an all-in-one platform that includes hosting along with your website. Moreover, Wix features one of the most flexible drag-and-drop page editors.
You can create just about any site and use tools such as boosting traffic, lead generation, financial tools, and much more. You can even create your own logo, inform yourself on different SEO techniques, and learn about advanced development. Talk about variety!
Wix helps you get started building your website with 500+ beautiful templates, all of which are free with your plan. While this is less than the tens of thousands available for WordPress, Wix is one of the few all-in-one website builders that’s constantly adding new templates.
Also, let’s not forget that these templates are all free, while with WordPress, you need to buy a premium theme for your design to look better than the basic website’s sample.
Even better, Wix’s templates are reliable. Every template is responsive for mobile devices and tablets, and you never have to worry about code conflicts with third-party apps like you do in WordPress.
The only downside is that once you choose a template in Wix, you can’t change it without losing all of your customizations after publishing your website. But that is also the case with WordPress themes.
However, that’s not a big minus since the customizations you get with the Wix Editor allow you to create pixel-perfect design tweaks. Your imagination is the only limit you’ll encounter.
Inside the editor, you have complete freedom to drag and drop content blocks anywhere on the page. There are no restrictions according to a predetermined column format or any other layout determined by your template. You can even place content blocks on top of one another.
On top of that, there are more than 20 different types of content blocks you can add to your site. The ‘Add’ menu lets you preview each block to easily find the ideal one.
Once you’ve placed a block on your page, you can edit the settings for that individual block to customize how it looks to your site visitors.
The sheer number of customization options and menus in the editor can be overwhelming for first-time users.
The only complaint I have is that the customization is so extreme that there are few site-wide settings, so you have to customize each content block individually.
If you want to immediately get your Wix website up and running, it’s worth checking out Wix ADI (Artificial Design Intelligence).
This artificial intelligence-based designer creates a personalized website for you based on just a few questions about your industry and your goals for the site.
You can customize websites created using Wix ADI, but you lose some functionality from the Wix editor. Still, this is a powerful option if you need a website quickly, and you can work on building a more complex website while your visitors have something functional in the meantime.
So compared to WordPress, the setup process is much more streamlined and saves your time. Of course, the ADI questionnaire is similar to WordPress.com. However, the design freedom Wix offers wins over by a mile.
One of the other features that I really liked about Wix, which makes it more similar to WordPress, is the code editor. Velo by Wix is an interactive development environment that can be toggled on and off within the Wix editor to give advanced designers unlimited flexibility.
Velo integrates nicely with the setup of the Wix editor, allowing you to pull up the subsection of code for any content block simply by clicking on it.
Unlike WordPress, you can open the code editor in the same window as the page editor. That way, you can actually see the effects of your code changes in real-time.
For business owners, Wix’s support for eCommerce supports not only selling physical products but also selling and booking services. You can actually manage employees’ hours and booking directly through your Wix website.
I also loved Ascend by Wix, which gives you a level of control over your business. Ascend allows you to automate customer conversion processes – like following up with store visitors by email.
Moreover, Ascend will automatically store customer contact information for you to add them to email marketing campaigns.
Unfortunately, you’ll pay significantly more for Wix than you would for WordPress, even after hosting costs. Wix Basic plan is the cheapest option for $4.5, it comes with ads inside the page editor, and you’re limited to using a ‘.wixsite.com’ domain.
For online businesses, Wix eCommerce plans start at $17 per month. All eCommerce plans come with unlimited bandwidth, a free domain for one year, and are entirely commission-free.
For more info about Wix, you can check Wix vs Shopify, Jimdo vs Wix, and Wix vs Webs comparison articles.
Squarespace is another popular website building solution that you might have heard of. This platform is a great alternative to WordPress, especially for artists looking to build an attractive website easily.
This one is all about captivating design. Transitions, templates, and exciting services all work together to make Squarespace a perfect destination for building your business! They make the process simple and even fun – so anyone can follow.
Squarespace has attractive designs an intuitive interface. Squarespace is a great WordPress competitor because all design tweaks and content changes can be applied using one editor only.
Using Squarespace, you will benefit from a comfortable left-hand sided menu as well as a real-time preview. So any change you apply will be instantly loaded. In my opinion, that massively streamlines the site editing process.
Squarespace’s editor also has a section for site-wide changes, making it easier to tweak details throughout all the websites to stay cohesive. Things that you can change globally include – fonts, color palette, and element animations.
Of course, these site-wide changes limit the customization a little, and you can’t tweak every content element separately as you might want to.
While WordPress wins in quantity, Squarespace tops it in quality. Moreover, every template in Squarespace is free to use while WordPress’s best themes are paid.
Talking about third-party integrations – Squarespace barely relies on those. Being the self-hosted platform that it is, this provider manages to offer nearly any feature you can think of – in-house.
That’s a big plus for online business owners looking for a worthy WordPress alternative. Higher-end subscriptions provide you with such features as email marketing, custom newsletter editor, abandoned cart recovery, website analytics, etc.
This is a great plus, because unlike WordPress – Squarespace provides everything from within the platform. So budget-wise, you don’t have to worry too much about paying for third-party integrations just to get that additional functionality.
Simply put, Squarespace offers an amazing value for money – especially for users who need more than just a basic website.
Talking about money – Squarespace doesn’t offer a free plan. Yet it still lets you try out its platform with its 14-day-free-trial. The startup doesn’t require any credit card input as well.
Onto the premium plans – Squarespace doesn’t offer the cheapest starting point like some WordPress competitors. The cheapest plan starts at $12/month, and the most advanced subscription – is $40 per month.
All in all, I believe that Squarespace firmly deserves a spot in the list of best WordPress alternatives, especially for users who prioritize attractive design and intuitiveness when building a website.
As the name suggests, Blogger is all about blogs. It’s one of the most well-known sites for starting and maintaining all sorts of blogs all across the globe. You can start by getting a completely free domain, choosing what you’ll write about, and simply keep doing so until you grow!
Blogger offers monetization solutions, so you can make an extra buck while doing what you love.
Blogger is Google’s blogging platform. It’s completely free and incredibly simple to use, making it an enticing alternative to WordPress for dedicated bloggers. That said, Blogger isn’t a website builder, so if you need more than a blog and an About page this isn’t the platform for you.
Starting with Blogger is easy since it’s part of the Google environment. If you use Gmail or another G Suite app, all you have to do to set up a Blogger site is open up the platform and choose a domain.
Domains at ‘.blogspot.com’ are free, or you can buy a domain from Google for just a couple of dollars per year. You can connect a custom domain for free. So Blogger is a great alternative for users on a budget who are completely blog-oriented.
So if you already have a Gmail account – you’re ready to start with this platform. The post editor will be extremely familiar if you’ve used Google Docs or Microsoft Word.
Unlike WordPress and some other website builders that offer blog text editors, blog posts here are just text documents. There are no content blocks to drag-and-drop onto your posts, and the only settings relate to categories and tags.
As a result, Blogger is ideal for users who simply want to get words out into the world. It doesn’t offer anything fancy for posts, so you need to be okay with basic-looking articles.
This platform does allow you to edit the code behind your blog posts, but the code is riddled, which makes it inaccessible to most bloggers.
Similar to WordPress, Blogger does allow you to customize the look of your blog for visitors within limits. You can choose from tens of themes offered for free within Blogger.
Theme editor allows you to customize basic things like your color palette and default fonts.
Setting up pages in Blogger is as simple as it is in WordPress, and the process is similar. You can add static pages right from the Blogger dashboard and add gadgets, which are the Blogger equivalent of WordPress widgets.
Blogger also allows you to customize the layout of your homepage and static pages, although this feels clunky compared to most modern website builders.
One of the big advantages that Blogger has over WordPress when maintaining a blog – is that monetizing your blog is incredibly simple.
Since Blogger is part of the Google universe, all it takes is a few clicks to allow Google AdSense — the largest ad broker on the Internet — to place ads on your blog posts. An ‘Earnings’ page in your dashboard will enable you to track income.
Still, there are a few reasons why WordPress, and not Blogger, is the most-used blogging platform globally.
Blogger is hosted by Google, which means that Google can pull the plug on it at any time. Google would almost certainly give you time to migrate your content to another provider if that did happen. But, it can be a major pain to have to move everything with little warning.
In addition, the lack of versatility in Blogger can present problems as your blog grows. Blogger isn’t well-adapted to social media sharing (Facebook is a competitor as far as Google is concerned).
Moreover, if you ever want to add an online store or large amounts of video content to your blog, you won’t be able to do it through Blogger since it just doesn’t offer such extensive features.
Webflow has modern solutions to modern site problems. Its interactive interface is excellent for beginners, as it uses an entirely visual and creative canvas to make things easier. In other words, you don’t have to code your way through sites.
It has all the modern add-ons, plugins, and building advice – together with Webflow University! We know you may be tired of those, but this one is packed with hundreds of in-depth videos here to guide you through this exciting process!
This seemingly overly simple website is actually the driving force behind hundreds of thousands of online businesses worldwide! If you’re all about starting on your own, Shopify takes you through the process of doing so in a slow and easy-to-understand manner.
Responsive and customizable themes that require no prior design experience, low pricing, and secure payments, this platform has it all. If you’re ready for this type of challenge, dive into the exciting waters of Shopify.
For more info see Shopify vs WordPress, Wix vs Shopify and WooCommerce vs Shopify comparison. You can also check best Shopify alternatives where I discuss features of other eCommerce platforms in comparison to Shopify.
BigCommerce is an excellent option to build medium to big online stores. Companies and individuals can create their own online stores and start selling with the assistance of BigCommerce, a paid open Saas solution where you pay a monthly fee to use it.
You don’t have to install any software or purchase hosting services because BigCommerce operates on its own servers. You can create and run your store no matter where you live. For more info, check the BigCommerce review.
Joomla! is the world’s second-most popular CMS, behind WordPress. This WordPress alternative allows for slightly more complexity on the back end – meaning that you’ll face a steeper learning curve compared to WordPress.
However, Joomla! offers more advanced security, customization, and user management tools than WordPress.
The main reason so many people use WordPress rather than Joomla! is that WordPress is much easier to use. To start, Joomla! doesn’t have its own template directory.
Don’t get scared, though. Instead, you’ll need to find a free or paid template from a third-party shop like Joomlart or Joomdev.
On top of that, laying out pages is just far easier within WordPress. That’s because WordPress bases a lot of page organization on the theme, so you don’t have as many choices or as many customizations to make.
In Joomla!, every page starts with the same type of content, and you have to use pre-built categories to change how they are laid out.
One of the biggest problems with WordPress, and why many web developers are looking for WordPress competitors in the first place, is that the platform lacks security.
Policing thousands of plugins is virtually impossible, and every WordPress plugin represents a potential point of entry for hackers to attack your site and take you offline. Even a simple WordPress CMS update can change the compatibility with your installed plugins and become a potential threat.
Importantly, Joomla also offers a variety of security extensions (the equivalent of WordPress plugins), and it’s easy to find information about known vulnerabilities in existing extensions.
In addition, Joomla! offers far more extensive customization than WordPress. With a WordPress site, you can only have one theme activated at a time across your entire website. On Joomla!, you can use different templates for different types of content.
This is a massive advantage if you’re developing a multi-faceted site, particularly one that includes an online store. You can use one template for your site’s static content, for example, and another template that’s optimized for eCommerce presentation and control for your online store.
Meanwhile, the way that Joomla!’s CMS is broken up gives you much more control over your site’s content. You not only have menus for managing extensions, media, and pages but also for managing banners, sub-menus, and the way extensions function in different locations across your site.
This allows you to finely tune the visitor experience in a way that isn’t possible using WordPress. That’s one massive advantage as well as the reason why Joomla! is a great WordPress competitor.
One of the areas in which Joomla! really shines is user management. Joomla! allows you to tightly control who is authorized to access what features of your site.
Where this comes in handy is if you have a subscription-only section of your site or social networking features, like a forum. Joomla! makes it possible to manage all of your site visitors as individual, recognized users with varying authorizations within the CMS.
While you could likely achieve the same thing in WordPress, it would require a lot of site development.
While it used to be the case that Joomla! underperformed in terms of SEO, that’s no longer a thing. New releases of Joomla! allow you to set meta descriptions and keywords for all of your pages, blog posts, and content items.
There are also plenty of good SEO-focused extensions available for Joomla! websites as well.
Joomla! is free and open-source, just like WordPress. You’ll need to pay for a third-party host and domain name for your website, but most hosts offer one-click installations for Joomla.
Drupal is an advanced CMS built for experienced website designers and developers. Like WordPress and Joomla!, Drupal is free and open-source.
Unlike these competing CMS platforms, launching a website with Drupal requires patience, perseverance, and dedication to learning an entirely new development environment.
When starting with Drupal, you’re essentially given a blank board. This is a major advantage if you need a complex, one-of-a-kind website that no standard template could provide.
On the other hand, it means that you’ll need to spend a lot of time finding the Drupal themes and modules you need to start building your site.
That’s no simple task, as there are more than 2,700 publicly available Drupal themes and over 43,000 modules.
While Drupal allows you to sort the theme and module databases, the search features are very limited. Your best bet is to find what you need through blogs or other resources and then search for it by name.
However, if you can get past this, Drupal puts virtually no limits on what you can do with your website. This WordPress alternative is by far the most flexible CMS available, and you’ll find advanced content blocks — like blog posts, forum pages, and polls — right out of the box.
One of the most notable features of Drupal is the ability to create your own content types. With Drupal, you can define a new page type, complete with custom headers, content arrangement, and built-in modules.
This entails a steep learning curve for first-time users, but once you have a library of custom pages, you can quickly and easily add unique content to your website.
Keep in mind that content within Drupal mostly takes the form of rich text on the back-end. There is no what-you-see-is-what-you-get editor.
So, you have to actually preview the page to see what your edits will look like. This is in severe contrast to the WordPress editor, and it can make editing content somewhat tricky.
Stil, Drupal helpfully provides an excellent framework for managing large websites. All of your pages and content blocks are grouped according to categories, and you can search all content or only content within a specific category.
This is particularly helpful if you have a blog or forum and need to find older articles and posts.
Another major advantage of Drupal as an alternative to WordPress is user management. Drupal provides significantly more robust user authorization tools compared to WordPress, allowing you to define an infinite number of user levels.
It lets you get into the fine details of who can access what content. On the front end, there are a number of Drupal modules for controlling the access of forum contributors.
While Drupal’s user community can’t compete with WordPress’s, the platform and all modules come with extensive documentation. Better yet, developers seem genuinely determined to help when presented with questions about the CMS.
Still, the platform has some drawbacks, even after you get over the learning curve. The two biggest of these are maintenance and speed.
One of the downsides to Drupal’s customizability is that almost every Drupal website needs to have tens, if not hundreds, of modules installed.
Since there are so many modules, many of them contributed by developers, it is pretty common that updating a module breaks some of the functionality of your website by interfering with another module.
This isn’t the end of the world if you always backup your website before installing new modules or updating existing modules. But this process can be time-consuming for larger websites.
The other downside to Drupal’s flexible design is that loading pages can be slow compared to WordPress and other platforms. Drupal’s script loading doesn’t scale particularly well, so queries to a large website can generate a significant server load.
Thankfully, though, there are a handful of modules that can cache your website content or optimize performance.
All in all, Drupal is just a more advanced WordPress alternative, especially for users who want more flexibility after using WordPress.org. While Drupal isn’t the easiest to work with – it’s worth a while for people who want limitless possibilities when coding. For more info, you can check the Drupal vs WordPress comparison.
WordPress Competitors Conclusion
WordPress is the most popular website builder but not necessarily suited for everyone. Maybe you find it too complex or simply too harsh or expensive. And that’s okay, too.
No matter what kind of bad experience you may have encountered when using WordPress – or avoided this platform overall – it’s important to know that there are great alternatives out there.
The providers I listed in this article will work both as WordPress.org and WordPress.com alternatives.
Some of these WordPress competitors make it easier to get a basic website or eCommerce store off the ground quickly, while others offer a more advanced and customizable Content Management System.
So, in the end, it all revolves around what you – as a creator of the website -prioritize and enjoy working with.
There are many options, and deciding which one to use can be an exciting process. Here’s a short guide about what to check out:
- The overall cost of the domain, hosting, and packages.
- Platforms and templates.
- How easy it is to use for you.
- Lessons, forums, and customer support availability.
- Add-ons, plugins, and other integration.
Choose the platform you find most comfortable, and venture into creating your personal online space!
DISCLOSURE: Posts may contain affiliate links. If you buy something through one of those links, I might get a small commission, without any extra cost to you. Read more about it here.