When you’re looking to set up a new website, choosing the right platform can be difficult, and there are many different web platforms out there, of which the best known are usually WordPress platforms. But not everyone wants to use WordPress, for a variety of reasons, and there are so many WordPress competitors out there that finding the best alternatives to WordPress can take a long time and may prove difficult and frustrating. Many people are looking for a web platform that is similar to wordpress, or better than wordpress, but there are so many websites like wordpress out there that it can be hard to work out which is the best alternative to WordPress.
We’ve researched a number of sites like wordpress in an attempt to definitively work out which wordpress competitor options are better than wordpress and which are the most similar to wordpress, as well as finding some of our favorite free wordpress alternatives 2019. Below, you’ll find a brief introduction to WordPress and its major features, so that there is a clear baseline to compare these wordpress alternatives to, and similar breakdowns of some of our favorite wordpress alternatives cms. But which is the best free alternative to wordpress? Read on to find out!
What is WordPress?
Knowing a bit about WordPress is important in order to ensure that you have a strong baseline against which to compare all of the WordPress alternatives we’re going to be looking at below. WordPress is one of the oldest content management systems on the internet, having been launched back in 2003 as a simple platform designed for blogging. Since then, it’s grown to become the largest single website platform in the world, powering over a third of all websites on the internet. This is remarkable growth from its blogging roots, and it is now a multi purpose content management system (or CMS) that allows an enormous range of different functions for users. If you look at the market for content management systems, WordPress is an incredibly dominant market force, occupying around 60% of the entire content management system market.Pros
- WordPress is recognized by most experts as being the single easiest content management system to use on the entire internet. Both developers and non developers can easily get to grips with WordPress and make great looking websites with minimal time and effort required.
- WordPress offers clear distinctions between static pages and blog posts during the page creation process. This is a standard element of WordPress core and does not require any extensions to be installed in order to access this functionality.
- Extending the functionality of WordPress with plugins is easy. WordPress offers a far larger selection of plugins and themes than any of the popular WordPress alternatives, making it very easy to add additional functionality to your site and add extra features that default website providers do not tend to offer.
- If you need to hire a professional web developer to help with more advanced features of your website, then web developers for WordPress sites tend to be more affordable than those who work on other web platforms.
- WordPress has an enormous user base, which means that in the event that you encounter a problem or a question in need of answering, the large online WordPress community is well equipped to help.
- WordPress offers a large number of different themes for your website, but once you’ve chosen one it has to apply to every page on your site. Other content management systems such as Joomla allow for more customization between pages rather than applying a single theme across every page.
- Some of the largest and most popular or valuable plugins that add important extra functionality to WordPress are premium options, with costs that can add up rapidly, especially if you want to add numerous plugins for additional functionality.
- WordPress core only supports English language websites, which means that third party plugins are required in order to set up websites in languages other than English.
Joomla is another long standing and well established web platform like WordPress. This alternative to WordPress was launched 2 years later than WordPress, in 2005, and has a couple of notable differences that are worth noting when considering which WordPress alternative is the best for your needs and preferences. While WordPress was created initially as a blogging platform, Joomla was created as a content management system for portal type websites. This is the second most popular content management system out there, making it the most popular WordPress alternative, as it powers around 3% of all websites, and holds a market share of around 5% of the entire content management system market. It’s been steadily shrinking since 2010, but Joomla is still the most popular alternative to wordpress in 2019.
- Joomla offers a great advanced system for user access controls and management with no need for plugins and extensions. This makes it a good choice for anyone who wants precise and granular control over their website and want to get things looking exactly how they imagine.
- While WordPress requires third party plugins for sites in any language other than English, Joomla core comes with multilingual support built into the code as standard. This makes it an easy option for setting up multilingual websites without requiring extra installs.
- Joomla includes an impressive range of modules and other components straight out of the box, giving you a great deal of flexibility when setting up non standard content types on websites built with Joomla.
- There are many different templates available for Joomla, and this platform allows you to use different templates for different pages on your website. This gives you a high level of control over the appearance of each piece of content on your Joomla site.
- If you want a high level of control over the details of your website, Joomla is a great choice. This flexibility, however, comes at the cost of user friendliness and accessibility for beginners. Joomla is not one of the easiest wordpress alternatives for beginners to use, although it should be entirely possible for any user to understand with a little time and effort.
- Joomla is one of the more complex alternatives to WordPress, which means that you may need to hire a professional web developer in order to get some of the more advanced possible elements of your website up and running. These web developers can be a little more expensive than those who work on WordPress.
- Joomla only offers a single page type during the content creation process. If you want to create any distinction between web pages and blog posts, then you’ll need to edit categories and metadata later on in order to achieve this.
Drupal is one of the oldest wordpress alternative platforms available on the internet. Founded back in 2000, Drupal might not have the same popularity and market dominance of WordPress, but it still powers somewhere around 2.5% of all websites, and holds a content management system market share of about 5%, similar to that of Drupal. With almost 20 years of expertise in the content management systems market, Drupal is one of the sturdiest and most reliable alternatives to wordpress out there, and has maintained a relatively constant market share for the majority of that time. If you’re looking for a stable, reliable, and trustworthy wordpress alternative, then Drupal is well worth considering.Pros
- Multilingual functionality is built into the Drupal core code, which makes it easy to use for setting up sites in any language. This is a major advantage over WordPress, which only offers English support.
- Drupal’s taxonomy system is more advanced and flexible than that of WordPress, making this a great alternative to WordPress for anyone who needs to keep large amounts of content carefully organized and well managed.
- Drupal offers a more flexible range of post types and custom content options than WordPress, and is significantly ahead of many WordPress competitors in this aspect.
- The built in access control system of Drupal offers impressive functionality for custom permissions and user roles. This feature allows you to easily create new roles and customize their individual permissions as necessary.
- If you don’t have a great deal of web development ability, then Drupal is far less user friendly than WordPress. As such, this WordPress alternative is not a great choice for beginners, and you might be better off sticking with WordPress if this applies to you.
- In the event that you need to hire a professional web developer to help you with your website, then WordPress alternatives such as Drupal are often a little more expensive when it comes to professional assistance than WordPress itself is.
Gator Website Builder by HostGator
HostGator’s new Gator Website Builder is a great alternative to WordPress, and comes with a high level of support from HostGator, one of the world’s most popular website hosting solutions. This is a great all in one web builder and hosting tool that offers functionality similar to WordPress in an intuitive package with a little more customizability right out of the box. Every single one of the over 200 professional looking design templates included with Gator comes with a range of easy drag and drop customization options for easy editing and added flexibility.
It’s worth noting that Gator is a premium alternative to WordPress, with pricing plans starting at $3.84 per month for the basic option and $9.22 per month for eCommerce solutions. This is one of the cheaper premium WordPress alternatives, but it’s still more expensive than WordPress core’s free pricing plan.
- As a fully hosted alternative to wordpress, Gator does not require any additional input from you in order to keep your software updated and backed up at all times.
- All paid plans offered by Gator include a custom domain name for your new website at no additional cost. This makes it very easy to put together a professional looking website, and is a major area in which Gator is better than WordPress.
- The user interface of Gator is an exceptionally easy to use and intuitive one, offering a high quality point and click interface for easy use, as well as drag and drop functionality for web page building.
- Gator is a premium alternative to WordPress with no free trial available, and no free plan option. If you’re interested in trying Gator as an alternative to WordPress, you’re going to have to pay in order to try it out.
- Gator isn’t the most flexible and customizable WordPress alternative out there, and does not allow add ons and plug ins like WordPress, restricting you instead to its proprietary selection of features and functionality.
SquareSpace is an impressively advanced alternative to WordPress that offers a high level of functionality and a very professional end result with a minimum of expertise requires In order to achieve great looking websites. It is an advanced WordPress alternative that manages to avoid becoming unwieldy or difficult to use in any situation. This is a high quality option that gives professional looking websites that look as if they have been built from scratch but do not require much knowledge of coding or technical functions in order to achieve these results.
SquareSpace is a premium alternative to WordPress, and not one of the cheaper ones out there. Its functionality is impressive, though, and well worth the money if you can afford it. The end result offered by SquareSpace is generally better than WordPress, particularly if you plan on setting up a website that contains a large number of images.Pros
- SquareSpace offers over 200 different design templates as standard, and these are all exceptionally professional looking and high end, particularly given that they are included by default.
- The SquareSpace website editor is even more intuitive and easy to use than the WordPress editor, allowing surprisingly advanced websites to be created with far more ease than seems reasonable.
- SquareSpace is better than WordPress for anyone planning on putting together an image heavy website, such as artists, photographers, or any other user with an interest in the visual aspect of their website.
- SquareSpace is relatively expensive, with price plans starting at $12 per month for a basic plan to $40 per month for eCommerce plans. This is one of the most expensive options out there, and this is the major downside of SquareSpace as an alternative to WordPress, which remains free as standard.
Wix is another premium alternative to WordPress, offering a higher level of functionality at the cost of a monthly subscription. It offers an incredibly user friendly and intuitive interface, with a simple drag and drop system that allows you to get a great looking website up and running in only a few minutes, with even less knowledge of coding and technicalities required than WordPress generally needs.
The media features of Wix.com help it to stand out from the crowd of other alternatives to WordPress. This WordPress alternative CMS features a flexible and customizable music player that makes a great option for musical portfolio hosting via Wix, while the media gallery element of this alternative to wordpress makes uploading images and videos easier than it is in WordPress.Pros
- com is one of the most popular WordPress competitor programs on the market, with over 100 million active users worldwide. As such, the community is large and vibrant, and it is easy to find high quality tutorials to help you with more advanced features of the provider’s functionality.
- The interface of Wix.com is a user friendly and intuitive one, with a simple drag and drop functionality that lets you edit things easily once they’re set up just as easily as you can build them in the first place.
- The media hosting functionality of Wix.com is better than WordPress, allowing you to easily host a portfolio with no knowledge of coding required.
- As a premium alternative to wordpress, Wix.com comes with pricing plans starting at $20 per month, which is far more expensive than the free basic option of WordPress core.
GoDaddy is a popular alternative to WordPress that offers relatively advanced features and a high level of customization in an easy to use package. It might not have the most intuitive interface out there, but it’s still relatively easy to use for beginners, and not too much more complex than WordPress. It offers a high level of functionality, however, so it may well be worth putting in the effort to learn to use it properly.
The eCommerce features available via GoDaddy might not be the cheapest out there, but they are relatively advanced, and come with a high level of integrated support. The biggest advantage of these is the integrated scheduling feature, which allows potential customers to make reservations or book appointments for services in advance. This is a helpful feature that only a few of the better WordPress eCommerce plugins offer, and a major advantage of GoDaddy.Pros
- GoDaddy offers over 1500 different design and template options, all arranged by category. This makes it an easy alternative to wordpress for customizing the look of your website to fit any particular needs or preferences that you may have.
- A month long free trial is available via GoDaddy, allowing you to get your head around the service effectively and decide whether this is the WordPress alternative for you before committing to a payment plan.
- GoDaddy might not be expensive, but it is still a premium alternative to WordPress, making it a more expensive choice than WordPress core without any paid plugins.
No matter what you’re looking for from a website platform, there should be a great WordPress alternative available to fit your needs, whether they’re simple blogging or more advanced eCommerce, or even something different. There are many different alternatives to WordPress available, all of which offer different advantages and disadvantages, and many of them are free or very affordable.
You might be able to get more advanced features from WordPress, but the majority of those will require you to download additional plugins. Many of the WordPress competitors listed above offer a higher level of functionality out of the box, and this is particularly evident when you consider the premium WordPress alternatives.
There are many alternative to wordpress options that we have not discussed above, because there are far too many to cover in a single post, but the ones above are some of our favorite wordpress competitors, and all of them offer great performance and functionality for most users. Any of these are likely to be great options, with high quality features and professional, easy to use interfaces. Ultimately, though, there is no single best wordpress alternative; finding an option that is better than wordpress is something entirely dependent on your personal needs, level of experience in web development, and the particular requirements of you website.