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5 Outstanding WordPress Alternatives (and Why)

There are many options around if you’re looking for a WordPress alternative. No matter what web application or service you’re currently using, nothing is perfect. That even applies to the highly popular WordPress Content Management System (CMS). 

WordPress holds a stunning 64.9% share of the CMS market. Yet, it is by no means the only option available. From greater convenience to better scalability, here are five WordPress alternatives you can consider.

WordPress Alternatives

  1. Shopify
  2. Squarespace
  3. Wix
  4. Joomla
  5. Ghost

1. Shopify

Shopify - WordPress alternative

Shopify first surfaced in 2006, a mere three years following the introduction of WordPress. However, the platform took more almost a decade to start gaining traction. Today it has become one of the top WordPress alternatives.

Shopify as a WordPress Alternative

Unlike WordPress, which is only a web application, Shopify comes as a “ready to use” solution. Signing up for an account with them means instant access to a working application. There’s no need for web hosting, application installation, and configuration, or even performance tuning.

Shopify also comes with native eCommerce capabilities, which make it a more convenient experience than WordPress. Shopping carts, product listing and description, payments processing, and more are all combined and ready to go.

Read our Shopify review to find out more.

Is Shopify Cheaper Than WordPress?

The downside of convenience on Shopify is mainly in price. It’s entirely possible to deploy and run a WordPress website at zero cost. On the other hand, Shopify starts at a minimum of $29 per month – unless you have an existing website or retail shop and opt for Shopify Lite.

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2. Squarespace

Squarespace as a WordPress Alternative

Similar to Shopify, Squarespace is another Software as a Service (SaaS) website building tool. Launched in 2004, it’s one of the earlier SaaS tools that has competed with WordPress. While it has increased in popularity over the years, it remains far from the dominating presence of WordPress.

Squarespace as a WordPress Alternative

While both Squarespace and WordPress aim to make website building simpler, they differ slightly in how. Squarespace offers more simplicity from beginning to end since it’s SaaS. You don’t need to worry about maintenance, web hosting, security, or even the performance of your website.

The content creation portion of Squarespace is also a lot more user-friendly. The drag-and-drop editor allows for easy design layouts, but this is something in which WordPress is quickly catching up. There is also native eCommerce support for Squarespace Business plans and above.

Read our Squarespace review to learn more.

Is Squarespace Cheaper Than WordPress?

Squarespace comes with a definite price tag starting from $12 per month. If you want eCommerce features, the cheapest plan will cost you $18 per month. There is no way to run it for free, unlike WordPress, which you can even deploy on free web hosting.

3. Wix

Wix as a WordPress Alternative

Wix is yet another SaaS that has emerged as a competitor to WordPress. It first crossed my bow when the service started heavily advertising itself as a free website building tool. Since its early days, Wix has gained ground very slowly but improved remarkably over time.

Wix as a WordPress Alternative

The beauty of Wix lies in simplicity and stability, something to which not many web applications can lay claim. Its powerful content-building features leave WordPress in the dust (mostly). Yet despite this advantage, Wix isn’t ideal for those who seek the content-heavy features that WordPress has to offer.

Wix is a far better option than WordPress if you need to build a sleek, modern website quickly and don’t want to spend lots of time on maintenance. It also has an extensive app ecosystem to boost functionality, which is a helpful extra.

Here's our Wix review if you want to find out more.

Is Wix Cheaper Than WordPress?

The cheapest paid plan for Wix starts at $4.50 per month, which sounds excellent since that will be just about what a web hosting plan would cost. However, that tier has forced branding and limited resources, so if the price is your chief concern, Wix loses.

4. Joomla

Joomla as a WordPress alternative

Joomla is an open-source CMS similar in many ways to WordPress. It has just as long of a market track record, but it has been declining in market share over the years. Yet despite its waning stars, Joomla still has some tricks up its sleeve.

Joomla as a WordPress Alternative

Although we commonly group web applications like Joomla and WordPress, not all have identical origins. WordPress traditionally has strength in the “blog” category but has now extended its reach to eCommerce. Joomla leans towards the building of web portals and similar sites.

Because of this, Joomla has more compressive user management controls and better supports a broader range of content types. You can see one example of this agile attitude in its approach to templates. Joomla users can use multiple templates concurrently to present various content pages.

Compare: WordPress vs Joomla vs Drupal

Is Joomla Cheaper Than WordPress?

Since both are open-source and available under GPL licenses, there is no cost for using either Joomla or WordPress. However, you’ll need a domain name and web hosting to run a site with either one.

5.Ghost CMS

Ghost CMS

Ghost first emerged on the scene in 2015 and has remained daily consistent since then. The concept and initial platform came from John O’Nolan, who used work on the WordPress user interface. Following the release of the prototype, the Ghost project gained public funding and is available today as a general release.

Ghost as a WordPress Alternative

As might be expected from a project that came through the hands of a former WordPress employee, Ghost shares many traits. It is the only platform on this list that seems more obviously similar to WordPress in nature.

Ghost is very CMS-centric and feels like a lightweight introduction to WordPress. Through this, it stays true to initial intentions to overcome what O’Nolan felt was an overly complex WordPress user interface. You can extend functionality with what Ghost refers to as “Widgets.”

Is Ghost Cheaper than WordPress?

Ghost even follows the same WordPress business model. It is available for deployment on your web hosting platform for free or in the SaaS model. Pricing for Ghost SaaS is sightly similar to WordPress at the lower end but quickly scales past for more advanced plans.

Final Thoughts

The CMS space today leans pretty heavily towards the SaaS side of things. Thanks to more widespread broadband access, we see more non-technical businesses and individuals emerging who leverage these platforms for a more streamlined experience.

Still, using WordPress or a similar open-source CMS like Joomla offers far greater long-term potential in functionality and utility if you have some technical knowledge.

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Article by Jerry Low

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