7 Workable WordPress Alternatives for Creating a Website or Blog

Wordpress.org logo and website image

WordPress is one of the most popular content management systems, or CMS, on the internet. It’s a publishing platform for building websites and can support blogging as well as forums, e-commerce stores and media galleries.

There are two routes to a WordPress website. If you use WordPress.com, the company hosts your website for you. You’re not responsible for managing security, backups and maintenance. All you need to do is select a theme, which is essentially a design template, customize your content and publish your website.

WordPress.com offers various pricing tiers. The company caps your storage space and limits you in other ways unless you’re in the top tier.

For more flexibility, most people choose WordPress.org. This CMS is akin to software that you install on your web server. You have to pay for your domain name and host separately, but once you’ve done that, it won’t cost you anything to run your site with WordPress. Many of the plugins and themes are free.

Because WordPress is so well-accepted, it may be easier to find developers who work with the software than those who are experts in its alternatives.

Although WordPress seems to dominate the marketplace, there plenty of other options for publishing a website. These WordPress alternatives are worth looking into. We have compared each platform to WordPress.org. WordPress.com is equivalent to a website builder and is not a complete CMS.

1. Joomla

Like WordPress, Joomla is a comprehensive CMS. It can be used to run any type of site, including social networks, blogs and one-page websites.

Whereas WordPress was developed for bloggers, Joomla was created for portal-style websites. Both can support any type of website now, but some users choose Joomla for forums.

Compared to other platforms, WordPress can be hacked easily. You need to know how to alter core files to enable certain security features. Joomla simplifies the steps for forcing SSL connections and enabling two-factor authentication. Its developers keep track of verified vulnerabilities.

How Joomla Is Similar to WordPress:

  • Full CMS
  • Must purchase hosting and domain separately
  • Both offer a hosted solution on their servers

Pros of Joomla:

  • Better security
  • Built-in SEO, although capabilities are slightly inferior to WordPress
  • Joomla is more robust and ideal for third-party developers

Cons of Joomla:

  • May be more complicated to install
  • Often harder to find high-quality templates and plugins
  • Steep learning curve
  • Fewer free themes and plugins

2. Drupal

Drupal is another open-source CMS that competes with WordPress and Joomla. It is more complex than WordPress, which makes it more functional. However, it’s harder for beginners to manage. You might overlook many of its useful features because it’s so confusing

One standout feature of Drupal is its enterprise-level security, which makes it popular with government institutions. Because WordPress works with so many third-party extensions, it’s more vulnerable than Drupal.

How Drupal Is Similar to WordPress:

  • Full CMS
  • Must purchase hosting and domain separately

Pros of Drupal:

  • More complex features than WordPress
  • More advanced user permissions
  • Handles large content volumes better
  • Better security

Cons of Drupal:

  • Not user-friendly
  • Need a developer to manage module installation and updating
  • Fewer out-of-the-box solutions

3. Wix

Wix is a website building platform that combines everything into one package. Hosting, templates, widgets and everything that you need to build your website are in one place.

With a focus on design, Wix offers a variety of templates and drag-and-drop editing. All of these features make it simple for someone with no web design or coding experience to build a website from scratch. On the downside, the drag-and-drop functionality clutters the coding and could potentially slow down your site.

With Wix, you can get started just by creating an account. You don’t have to fuss with the technical setup. Once you’ve logged on and selected your plan, you are guided through a series of steps to create your website.

Wix offers more than 500 website designs, all of which are completely customizable. You can add features, such as form builders and online stores, through the Wix App Market. Wix also offers integrated e-commerce.

Getting started with WordPress is a little more involved. After you set the software up on your web server and log into the admin dashboard, you have to choose where to begin. This can be confusing for first-time users.

There is no inherent drag-and-drop functionality on WordPress. The way that your editor operates depends on the theme that you choose. WordPress offers thousands more themes than Wix, however. Some themes are better than others when it comes to functionality and streamlined coding.

More than 45,000 plugins let you further customize your site. You’ll need to use one to launch an online store. WordPress is not set up to support e-commerce without a plugin.

How Wix Is Similar to WordPress:

  • Many customization options
  • Incredibly flexible

Pros of Wix:

  • Guided setup walks you through the process
  • Integrated e-commerce
  • You can get started with one step
  • 24/7 support

Cons of Wix:

  • Drag-and-drop functionality can slow down your site
  • Fewer designs and add-on features

4. Weebly

Weebly may be the easiest website publisher available. It exchanges ease of use for flexibility, though. The drag-and-drop editor streamlines the design process. You can customize some aspects with custom coding, but you don’t have as much versatility with Weebly as you do with WordPress.

If you ever want to migrate your Weebly site to another platform, you can export all of the files. Some other closed-source website publishers, such as Squarespace, don’t offer the same functionality.

How Weebly Is Similar to WordPress:

  • Relatively easy for beginners to use
  • Offers add-ons for customization
  • Supports e-commerce

Pros of Weebly:

  • Takes care of website maintenance
  • 24/7 support
  • SEO is incorporated but weaker than WordPress
  • More than 250 apps for added features
  • Integrated email marketing

Cons of Weebly:

  • Need some coding knowledge to make certain customizations
  • Fewer add-ons than WordPress
  • Only 55 free templates
  • Difficult to create multilingual websites

5. Squarespace

Squarespace is another website publishing platform. It lacks the power and flexibility of a full CMS, but it has some benefits. All of your customization occurs on one interface. This simplifies your ability to change content and design, add custom CSS, establish analytics and manage SEO settings.

In WordPress, you can do all this and more. However, you’ll need to install some plugins first.

Squarespace supports e-commerce, but its functionality is limited. The only payment gateways that you can use are PayPal, Stripe and Apple Pay. Squarespace also charges a transaction fee in addition to credit card processing costs if you don’t upgrade to an e-commerce plan.

If you use WordPress and need to export your data, you can do so. Squarespace allows you to move some data if you change platforms, but you can’t obtain a comprehensive copy of your entire database because you don’t really own your whole website.

How Squarespace Is Similar to WordPress:

  • Allows you to build websites from scratch
  • Supports e-commerce

Pros of Squarespace:

  • Easy to create a basic website with no developer knowledge
  • Publish a working website in minutes
  • No need to purchase domain or hosting separately
  • Built-in “abandoned cart” emails
  • Handles all the maintenance

Cons of Squarespace:

  • Less flexibility
  • Less control over website functionality
  • Expensive and limited e-commerce features

6. Shopify

Shopify is marketed as an e-commerce platform, but it supports basic websites too. Still, it’s not as flexible as WordPress.

If your business is focused on selling products and services, however, you’ll find a variety of features on Shopify that meet your needs. Templates are geared toward e-commerce. You won’t have to sift through as many options to find one that works well for an online store.

Shopify is self-hosted, and you don’t have to install it on your own server. This makes it an ideal out-of-the-box solution for e-commerce. With WordPress, you have more functionality than Shopify, but piecing together everything that you need can be challenging.

While Shopify offers clean shop design templates, only 10 of them are free. You can purchase templates from third parties if you would like more options. All of Shopify’s templates are responsive. Some of the themes available for WordPress are not.

How Shopify Is Similar to WordPress:

  • Allows you to build websites from scratch
  • Strong e-commerce support
  • Extensive add-ons to extend functionality
  • Strong SEO

Pros of Shopify:

  • No coding knowledge necessary to create online store
  • Templates are geared toward e-commerce
  • Intuitive admin dashboard and interface
  • Easily create rules to set up automatic collections and organize your shop
  • 24/7 support

Cons of Shopify:

  • Less flexibility
  • Less control over website functionality
  • Phone support is only available for more expensive plans
  • Limited free design templates

7. Bigcommerce

Bigcommerce is another platform that’s directed at online stores. Its standard plan is more feature-rich than Shopify’s, and it is easier to set up an e-commerce site from scratch with Bigcommerce than WordPress.

Bigcommerce also includes gift cards, a review and ratings system and real-time shipping estimates. You can add some these features on a WordPress site, but doing so requires plugins.

How Bigcommerce Is Similar to WordPress:

  • Allows you to build websites from scratch
  • Strong e-commerce support
  • Extensive add-ons to extend functionality
  • Strong SEO

Pros of Bigcommerce:

  • Easy for beginners
  • Easy to set up payment options with no transaction fees
  • Supports multiple product options
  • Extensive abandoned cart recovery email system

Cons of Bigcommerce:

  • Less control over website functionality
  • Few free design templates


What do you think? Leave a comment!

  • Conxxa says:

    WordPress and these other alternatives are good choices as website BUILDING platforms that allows an average person to create a nice website free of charge. But…

    Many, if not most, people who want to BUILD a website really want a web BUSINESS –they want to make money with their site. Yet while putting up a site is easy (as the “cheap-quick-easy” marketing hype promises), knowing how to build an online business is another story.

    Neither WordPress nor any of these other alternatives “as is” will build an online business which you get if you know how to do SEO and build traffic. They ALL are missing a do-able start-to-finish BUSINESS process.

    The reality is that most sites never get more than a handful of visitors. And without traffic, income is hard to come by. In other words, No traffic = No profits.

    Surely, you can slog through the mountains of business building advice and tools that are out there. But for most WordPress users and those using these alternatives it all ends up being too much.

    So, despite the dazzling display of WordPress/WordPress alternatives features (even SEO gadgets), the reality for most (non-tech) people who want to create a web business with WordPress or its alternatives is that they need to adhere to an easy-to-follow, all-in-one, proven, ethical webbusiness-building system (not a get rich quick scheme), tailored to say the WordPress platform, to get (1) a significant amount of traffic and get (2) targeted traffic (example of such a system: WealthPrinciples dot net or IncredibleFreedom dot com).

    Otherwise… you’ll end up having (and building) only a WordPress/Name of WordPress Alternative webSITE (or BLOG) but not a webBUSINESS.

    • Frankie says:

      Thank you so much for this comment as I am currently looking for all in one proven and ethical webbusiness-building system. I was pointed towards Wealthy Affiliate, but I am not sure how authentic it is. Do you have any thoughts on Wealthy Affiliate?

      • Jon says:

        Hey Frankie,

        Wealthy Affiliate is a course I’m not familiar with. I’ve heard of it (who hasn’t) but I’ve never bought it or tried it.

  • >