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11 Most Popular WordPress Alternatives (2021)

Have you ever wondered what else is out there for websites other than WordPress? 

After all, there’s a whole world of drag-and-drop website builders like Zyro that make the whole website creation process much smoother. 

Whether you’re just curious about your options or you’re looking for a rival to WordPress, you’re in the right place. 

We’ll explain why and when you should consider using a WordPress alternative, and talk you through the most popular website creation software, from the intuitive drag-and-drop editor to the open-sourced high-tech content management platforms. 

Why use a WordPress alternative? 

Let’s be clear – WordPress is a really useful content management system that has evolved far from its origins as a simple blogging platform. 

But it’s not the best solution for every web design project. 

Sometimes, using WordPress alternatives like website builders or other content management systems can help you streamline your project, and save you money. 

When you’re choosing a content management system (CMS for short) for your website or web development project, you need to consider the following: 

  • What is your budget? 
  • How complex is the CMS to use? 
  • How many people will need access to the site during and after the project? 
  • What’s the purpose of your website? Are you building a business website, a blog, an eCommerce store, or a portfolio? 
  • What kind of a hosting solution are you looking for? Do you need a fully-hosted solution, or are you willing to self-host? 
  • What customization options are available for your website project? 
  • Are other features, like social media tools or a visual page builder available? 
  • Do you want to work with an open-source platform or not? 

Open-source vs fully hosted – which one’s for you?

One big thing that website builders have going for them that a lot of open-source software lacks is simplicity. 

A fully hosted solution means that once you’ve picked a template and customized it to your liking, your website or online store is done. 

If you’ve chosen your website builder wisely, there won’t be any hidden costs or other unpleasant surprises like transaction charges or sales commission. 

Usually, the design process is easy with a website builder, too: visual editors allow you to see how your pages will look once your site is live. 

You pay a fixed fee and get a fully hosted website with all the marketing and analytics tools you’ll need in your daily life – meaning that you won’t have to know the ins and outs of web hosting and security to get your site published. 

On the other hand, open-source is a great option for those who know how to code, love to tinker, and have time to spare – it’s not exactly a 5-minute job to shift through code to fine-tune the padding between different design elements on a 10-page website. 

Open-source software is highly scalable, adaptable, and flexible, meaning that you can create truly unique web projects. 

Maybe you need a set of public pages, but also a password-protected section that only registered users can access? Or maybe you want to add a forum to your website and host live webinars within a particular section of your site?  

If you’re in charge of a fast-growing or already established organization and have complex needs for your website, having a team of developers looking after your open-source-run website is probably the best option. 

Best WordPress alternatives for your website

Depending on your site needs, it’s important to know that you’ve got plenty of options other than WordPress. 

We’ll shed light on our 11 favorite WordPress alternatives, their notable features, what types of websites and users they suit best, and how much you can expect to pay to get started. 

1. Zyro

Zyro landing page

Zyro is one of the great WordPress alternatives and even total web design novices can use it with confidence. 

This drag-and-drop website builder is designed with beginners in mind, but even seasoned web designers find it intuitive, powerful, and pleasing to use. 

You can create a website in minutes. Pick from a vast library of designer-made website templates and tweak them to suit your brand. 

Zyro’s not just for basic websites, either. The platform has impressive eCommerce store plans to help you run your online store from A to Z.

Zyro is a strong alternative to WordPress, Wix, and Squarespace because it’s easy to use and has lots of good-looking templates available.

But, what really sets this website builder apart from the rest is Zyro’s customer support and affordable pricing. 

You’ll never have to wait around to get a real human to help – and thanks to the extensive knowledge base, there’s probably a tutorial for whatever element you’re setting up.  

Also, there are no additional costs when it comes to storage, security, or speed. Meaning that you can manage your business and your website on autopilot, without having to worry about your budget.

Notable features

  • Overall intuitive interface
  • Drag-and-drop editor
  • Website template library
  • Fully hosted 
  • Blog publishing platform 
  • WYSIWYG editor
  • SEO tools 
  • Options for websites, blogs, and online stores
  • 24/7 customer support 
  • Free custom domain with annual plans 

Best suited for

  • Budding web designers looking for visual website building tools 
  • Small business owners who want to save time and money 
  • Beginners who need additional support during website creation 

Price

  • Website plans start from $2.90 per month 
  • eCommerce plans start from $9.90 per month

2. Joomla

Joomla landing page

Joomla is a great alternative to WordPress if you’re looking for a CMS and have some technical experience under your belt. 

A word of warning, though: this open-source content management platform might not be the best pick for people looking for easy WordPress alternatives. You need to know what you’re doing or Joomla will thoroughly confuse you if you’re used to working on website builders. 

But if you want a CMS that is more secure than WordPress, supports localized site management, and comes with a rich library of plugins, add-ons, and other extensions then Joomla could be for you.

Notable features

  • Self-hosted
  • Multilingual 
  • Widespread online support forums  
  • One-click version updates 
  • WYSIWYG editor 
  • Database search 
  • Big add-on and plugin library 
  • Cloud-based SaaS service 

Best suited for

  • Ideal for users with some technical expertise 
  • Joomla is great for business websites, blogs, and other sites that require lots of pages and multiple contributors thanks to its CMS structure.

Price

  • Free, but you need to set up and pay for hosting 
  • Add-ons, like plugins and themes, may cost extra 

3. Ghost

Ghost landing page

Looking to start a blog that’s not just another WordPress site? 

Ghost could be the ideal CMS for you because this CMS has been built with online publishers of all kinds in mind. 

Being an open-source platform, you’ll have plenty of flexibility to make your site look and feel truly unique. 

Many bloggers swear by Ghost because of its impressive publishing tools and content editor. While the available templates are plentiful and suit many niches, WordPress does have better customization options than Ghost. 

Nonetheless, for anyone looking for a simple platform for their blog, Ghost is a great WordPress alternative. 

Notable features

  • Built-in SEO tools 
  • Smooth user experience 
  • Versatile templates and other design options 
  • Lots of available integration options 
  • Simple import process from WordPress
  • Speedy, due to its lightweight infrastructure  

Best suited for

  • Professional bloggers 
  • Online publishers who look for a versatile platform for their content 

Price

  • Free with the self-hosting option 
  • Fully-hosted plans start at $29 per month

4. Blogger

Blogger landing page

Blogger is a real contender in this list of WordPress alternatives, so much so that Google acquired it way back in the early 2000s and has been improving it ever since. 

Blogger is one of those WordPress alternatives that suits many beginners thanks to the platform’s intuitive interface. 

What’s more, the platform’s close-knit ties with Google make monetizing your site easy with AdSense. The CMS is great for blogs and websites that need to manage multiple contributors with different rights. 

As alternatives to WordPress go, Blogger offers a one-stop service for novice users wishing to design and launch their own site. 

Notable features

  • Simple user experience and interface 
  • One dashboard to manage multiple websites 
  • Focus on being a blogging platform first 
  • Google-owned, meaning Google integrations like AdSense are set up as standard 
  • Secure and fast 
  • Drag-and-drop editor 
  • Ready-made templates 
  • Multiple user management 
  • Comment functionality 

Best suited for

  • Beginners looking to launch their own blog 
  • Small teams looking for a cheap fully-hosted blogging solution 

Price

  • Free with both a custom domain and a .blogspot.com subdomain

5. Medium

Medium landing page

In terms of other content management platforms that can genuinely claim to beWordPress alternatives, Medium is perhaps the most realistic. 

Medium is a blogging platform that focuses on building a strong user base and connecting people with stories and ideas that are important to them. 

Medium is expertly optimized for mobile devices and the site follows all the latest web design principles. However, you’re not able to customize your blog. On one hand, that means that there’s no need to worry about add-ons, themes, or extensions. On the other, that means your blog will look exactly the same as everyone else’s.

Similarly, you won’t have to worry about hosting or custom domain names, because this WordPress alternative is fully hosted and doesn’t support custom domains, either. 

It’s one of the best blogging platforms for enthusiastic bloggers who want to just get their ideas out there, without having to worry about a complicated or long setup process.

Notable features

  • Easy to monetize 
  • Stable platform 
  • Easy-to-use publishing tools 
  • Unified look across the entire platform
  • Encourages comments and conversations for each article 
  • Massive built-in audience 
  • High domain authority, meaning you only need to focus on on-page SEO 

Best suited for

  • Thought-leaders and users looking to reach a wider audience in their niche 
  • Bloggers who don’t need a separate, owned website to share their content on 

Price

  • Monthly $5 membership fee 

6. Jekyll

Jekyll landing page

If you’re looking for a WordPress alternative that’s aimed at more advanced users, Jekyll could be your ideal website builder. 

Fundamentally, Jekyll is a static website generator. You need to know your way around the coding language Ruby and NodeJS platform, making it different from other WordPress alternatives on our list. 

You won’t get databases with this platform, nor a drag-and-drop editor. Instead, you need to know enough about Markdown, GitHub, and how command line works in order to create static HTML web pages for your website. 

Thankfully, hosting is free with GitHub Pages.

Notable features

  • Fast to get started
  • Simple file management
  • Supports drafts 
  • Built for static web page creation
  • Community-driven templates, themes, plugins
  • Supports most operating systems
  • Requires software download and installation

Best suited for

  • Small and medium-sized businesses and freelancers
  • Best for relatively straightforward business sites 

Price

  • Free to use 

7. Drupal

Drupal landing page

Drupal is an open-source content management platform similar to Joomla and WordPress. 

It’s definitely not for total web development novices, but with a bit of dedication, the learning curve isn’t as steep as you might first think. 

This WordPress alternative has a dedicated developer base and is the CMS of choice of many notable websites, like The Economist, The White House, and many more.

If you’re used to WordPress, you’ll find Drupal similar enough with its modules, plugins, and website themes. Since it’s so similar to Joomla and WordPress, you can safely look for hosting that supports WordPress and know that it’s going to fit Drupal, too. 

Drupal has plenty of customization options and is optimal for technical users who look for a flexible backend for their site. 

Notable features

  • Easily scalable 
  • Base code regularly updated and upgraded
  • Requires existing coding knowledge
  • Database search 
  • Intuitive content editor 
  • Multi-level user rights 
  • Community-driven plugins, templates, and add-ons 
  • Reliable uptime 
  • Drag-and-drop backend ordering  

Best suited for

  • Ideal for technical users or users not scared of a steep learning curve 
  • Perfect for bigger enterprise sites that require lots of customization 

Price

  • Free to use, but maintenance and support costs can add up if you’re using an external party to manage your website 

8. OpenCart

OpenCart landing page

Interested in starting your own online store, but looking for WooCommerce and WordPress alternatives? 

OpenCart has the same flexibility as WooCommerce, Joomla, and Drupal, making it easy to run almost any type of eCommerce website.

You won’t have to worry about additional costs, thanks to the open-source nature of the platform, and the powerful all-in-one dashboard makes it easy to manage all the important aspects of your store. 

If you dream of running multiple stores, OpenCart is by far the best WordPress alternative out there. You can use different themes for different stores, localize to your target market, and have flexibility over your stock, thanks to the advanced product variables feature.  

Notable features

  • Fully integrated Google Analytics 
  • Extensive inventory management
  • Intuitive user dashboard 
  • Supports most common payment methods
  • Built-in marketing tools 

Best suited for

  • Small to medium-sized eCommerce businesses looking for a robust and flexible online store platform 

Price

  • Free, but hosting and domain costs, as well as things like templates and plug-ins costs can create occurring expenses 

9.  BigCommerce

BigCommerce landing page

BigCommerce is one of the best WordPress alternatives for those who want to build an online store without too much hassle. 

It’s a fully-hosted drag-and-drop eCommerce store platform with a big website template library. Pick the template you like the most, customize it to reflect your brand, and you’re good to go.

Compared to other eCommerce platforms like Shopify, BigCommerce takes no commission for transactions. 

All the most popular payment gateways are supported (think PayPal, Stripe, Apple Pay, and many others), so it’s easy to start selling your products. And since BigCommerce lets you add an unlimited number of products to your store, you won’t have to worry about having to upgrade to a better plan once your store takes off. 

BigCommerce is supported by a wide range of other third-party apps and products, too, meaning that you can integrate it easily with other apps (think social media tools, for example) that you’re using. 

Notable features

  • A handful of free templates 
  • No inventory limitations, meaning you can sell an unlimited number of products 
  • Drag-and-drop site builder 
  • No transaction fees 
  • Support for most common payment gateways 
  • Unlimited user accounts
  • Full CMS functionality 
  • In-built SEO tools 
  • Email marketing integrations
  • Discount coupons and vouchers

Best suited for

  • All types of businesses selling physical or digital products online 

Price

  • BigCommerce Standard $29.95 per month
  • BigCommerce Plus $79.95 per month
  • BigCommerce Pro $299.95 per month
  • BigCommerce Enterprise – pricing based on business requirements 
  • 10% discount available for Plus and Pro plans when opting for annual billing 

10. PrestaShop

PrestaShop landing page

If you’re looking for alternatives to WordPress and WooCommerce that come both as an open-sourced and a fully-hosted solution?

PrestaShop is just that: you can either opt for the open-sourced free version if you know your way around code or choose the PrestaShop Ready version that comes with hosting. 

While the code is your oyster if you use the free version, expect to have fewer customization options if you opt for the Ready plan. 

Either way, you should expect to have some time set aside for configuring your store with PrestaShop. The platform is more on the technical side, and beginners are advised to check out tutorials online before getting started. 

Notable features

  • Easy to use after initial setup 
  • Over a thousand templates and plug-ins available 
  • Intuitive product and inventory management 
  • Built-in marketing tools 
  • Support for most common payment gateways 
  • Email and customer management 
  • Legal compliance tools for international sellers 
  • Customer support plans 

Best suited for

  • Online stores looking to create a store with a truly unique look and feel 
  • Professionals with coding experience 

Price

  • Software available for free
  • Support plans start from $250 per month for 3 hours of support per month

11. Magento

Magento landing page

If you’ve herald of Wix, Shopify, and Squarespace, you’ve probably also heard about Magento.

This open-source eCommerce software makes it possible to create a seriously impressive and highly scalable eCommerce website. 

That makes Magento easily one of the best WordPress alternatives out there if you’re focusing on eCommerce functionality alone. 

Like Wix, Shopify, and Squarespace, Magento is user-friendly (if you know how to code, that is), making it a great companion to users who are willing to learn. 

Its global community makes sure that you’re never truly alone with your problems, and the rich selection of different features makes it easy to customize your site just the way you want.  

If you have the budget, you could opt for the Enterprise plans and get access to professional support, too. You also need to take care of website hosting, security, and potential backups, too. 

Notable features

  • Intuitive and user-first design 
  • Easily scalable
  • Extensive support for various payment gateways 
  • SEO tools 
  • Built-in marketing integrations 
  • Multi-store support 
  • Print support for labels 
  • Substantial product variations and options available 
  • Professional reporting 

Best suited for

  • Serious online stores and eCommerce ventures
  • Business owners and freelancers with some coding background   

Price

  • Free 

From drag-and-drop to pro-level WordPress alternatives 

You no longer need to be a high-flying web developer to build a website that both looks the part and functions properly. 

Website builders with a drag-and-drop editor make it fast and simple to create a site that works as a professional website as well as an eCommerce store. 

And the better you know your PHP, the easier it will be to design a website with the likes of Drupal. 

Do you need any more reasons to get your hands dirty?

Written by

Author avatar

Matleena

Matleena is a seasoned eCommerce writer, with a particular interest in emerging digital marketing trends, dropshipping, and growth hacking. She’s addicted to coming up with new eCommerce business ideas and making them a reality; she deserves her nickname of ‘print on demand business mogul.' In her free time, she enjoys cups of good coffee, tends to her balcony garden, and studies Japanese.

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