Best WordPress alternatives for 2021
Looking to build a website with a platform other than WordPress? We’ll show you how by discussing the shortcomings of WordPress and some of the best alternatives for web developers, ecommerce businesses, and content managers.
Reasons to try a WordPress alternative
While WordPress is the platform of choice for many web designers, it does come with some setbacks that can make you look for something better.
For starters, newbies may not find WordPress too user-friendly, which makes it less than ideal if you’re just getting your feet wet and want to do everything yourself without having to pay someone else to. configure or add features to your place.
Additionally, making your website fully functional with all the features you desire can be difficult as you will need to install multiple plugins. On the other hand, if you are looking for simplicity, having so many moving parts can make you long for a more streamlined all-in-one solution.
If you need to build a specialized website for ecommerce, for example, you may also find WordPress’ lack of out-of-the-box optimization a hindrance. And finally, being built on PHP, WordPress is not the best web technology for all the tasks you want to accomplish. Problems with versions of PHP at hosting companies can also become a problem, as not all hosts are running the most recent and secure version of PHP.
The best WordPress alternatives
Below is a list of some of the best WordPress alternatives for webmasters looking for a simpler or more specialized website builder or content management system solution.
Joomla Content Management System (CMS)
When people mention WordPress alternatives, Joomla is usually the first that comes to mind. Like WordPress, Joomla is a content management system (CMS). In other words, it gives you the tools to create and manage the content you want to host and display on your website.
The benefits of choosing Joomla over WordPress begin with its improved media and user management. Media files of any type are easy to download and manage through Joomla’s dashboard. In addition, you benefit by default from the integrated management of banners and SEO tools. And if you’re looking to expand your reach across the globe, Joomla also has native multilingual capability that WordPress only offers through plugins.
If you need to develop an advanced web project that requires extensive content management, Joomla is a good choice. It can also work well for educational, corporate, or government sites, as well as large publishing houses, social media, and e-commerce stores.
Another cool feature of Joomla is the fact that you can use different templates for each page of a website, rather than relying on one template or child templates for the entire site as is the case. with WordPress. This allows for unique design opportunities.
As for its setbacks, Joomla requires some developer experience and coding skills to truly unleash its full potential. It is also lacking in terms of the number of templates and extensions (which act as plugins in Joomla) available compared to WordPress.
Read: Joomla vs. WordPress.
Wix Website Builder
If you’re looking for an all-in-one solution, Wix can do the trick, as it allows you to easily build a website without having to install any software or purchase a web server or domain. You can start working as a complete beginner, thanks to the platform setup wizard, template system and drag and drop functionality.
Wix is more user-friendly than WordPress, especially for first-time site builders. You can use it to get your feet wet if you have no experience, and it comes in handy if you don’t have the budget for a custom website. The main downside to Wix is that it doesn’t give you full control over your site like WordPress does.
Wix also doesn’t have the ability to really customize the functionality of your site by adding custom coded functionality. The number of templates and plugins or addons is also significantly lower than what WordPress has to offer.
Read: Wix vs. WordPress.
Here is a platform that looks a bit like Joomla since it is also a CMS. Since it is so technical, however, Drupal is not ideal for beginners with no coding experience. In fact, Drupal is so developer friendly that many programmers and web developers prefer it over WordPress for this very reason.
If you use Drupal to build a custom site with its own specialized features, you can expect to spend many hours tweaking the source code. However, this time investment can pay off, as Drupal is one of the most powerful and secure content management systems on the market.
Some of Drupal’s strengths include website performance, user management, data encryption, security, and multilingual capability. You can also add third party tools to your Drupal site for reporting, sales, SEO, marketing, etc.
Who should use Drupal? Anyone who needs to build an advanced web project that does more than just a standard website. If you just need to start a blog, look elsewhere, as doing so with Drupal can take longer than it’s worth, especially with such a steep learning curve. And if you are looking for a platform with a huge selection of themes, Drupal is not for you.
Shopify for Ecommerce
Due to the explosion of ecommerce, Shopify is gaining a spot on this list. It is a fully hosted and optimized all-in-one solution for selling products. It is one of the most popular options for website building, occupying 5% of the website development tools market.
If you’re new to selling online and want to market yourself without technical knowledge, Shopify is a great alternative to WordPress. Use it to create an online store without any help. But if you need to build a site for a purpose other than e-commerce, obviously you will have to look elsewhere.
Monthly costs can also be a factor when deciding whether or not to use Shopify for your ecommerce site, so watch out for monthly maintenance fees and store fees. Compare them to WordPress hosting and development costs.
Read: Shopify vs. WordPress.
Squarespace is an all-in-one solution similar to Wix. There is no software or hosting to worry about and you can use it to create a blog, portfolio, eCommerce store, etc.
While Wix is straightforward and a great WordPress alternative for beginners, Squarespace is even easier to use. It has an intuitive site builder that lets you get to work without thinking about it, unlike WordPress. And for anyone who values themes and looks a lot, Squarespace is a great fit, as its designs are eye-catching and modern.
The fact that Squarespace is easy to use and easy on the eye makes it the perfect choice for artists and businesses looking to build a site with minimal investment of time and money. However, its lack of open source, custom coding, and third-party extensions could be viewed negatively by those leaving WordPress or looking for more customization.
Read: Squarespace vs. WordPress.