CodeinWP content is free. When you purchase through referral links on our site, we earn a commission. Learn more

12 Popular WordPress Alternatives in 2020: When to Use Them and Why

There are many reasons why WordPress is the most popular content management system (CMS) on the internet. It powers over 36% of the web [1] and holds a considerable 63.5% market share [2]. However, there are a variety of WordPress alternatives that may be a better fit for some sites.

The platforms we’ll discuss in this post target different users, and come with various benefits and limitations. Some of them are basic blogging platforms; others are fully hosted solutions or developer tools. Therefore, it’s crucial to assess your needs and make an informed decision.

In this article, we’ll give you an overview of 12 popular WordPress alternatives. Let’s dig in!

Why you may want to consider WordPress alternatives

WordPress is a wonderful tool that gives you nearly endless options to extend the functionality of your website. Over time, it’s grown from a simple blogging platform to a powerful CMS. However, it may not suit everyone.

When choosing your website building platform, it’s crucial to consider the following factors:

  • The frequency of your posts or updates
  • Ease of use
  • Design quality and site customization options
  • User access control
  • The purpose of your website (blog, store, business website, portfolio, or other)
  • Hosting preferences (fully hosted or self-hosted platforms)
  • Budget

While WordPress is beginner-friendly, it may not be right for your project. Perhaps you’re in a hurry to set up a website quickly, or you’re a less tech-savvy user who doesn’t need code access. In this case, a hosted website builder might be a better option for you.

On the other hand, developers and those in need of complex features and advanced functionality may require a platform that is geared more towards custom coding. There are CMSs that lend themselves better to this than WordPress.

12 popular WordPress alternatives

Now that we’ve discussed why you might want to consider other options, let’s look at 12 popular WordPress alternatives. We’ve included a wide range of solutions for users of all experience levels.

1. Wix

Best WordPress alternatives #1: Wix
  • Pricing: From $13 per month; free plan available
  • Type: Hosted website builder
  • Ease of use: ⭐⭐⭐
  • Customization: ⭐⭐⭐
  • Design: ⭐⭐⭐
  • Drag-and-drop editor: Yes
 

Wix is a beginner-friendly website builder. You can choose from a variety of designs, which you can easily customize with its drag-and-drop editor.

However, it lacks some flexibility compared to WordPress, and it may not be an appropriate option if you run a large website. Nevertheless, it might appeal to many beginners as it’s simple to use and offers a free plan.

If you want to get a free domain and remove Wix ads from your site, pricing starts from $13 per month.

2. Squarespace

Best WordPress alternatives #2: Squarespace
  • Pricing: From $12 per month
  • Type: Hosted website builder
  • Ease of use: ⭐⭐⭐
  • Customization: ⭐⭐⭐
  • Design: ⭐⭐⭐
  • Drag-and-drop editor: Yes
 

Like Wix, Squarespace is a popular website builder that makes it easy for anyone to set up a blog, portfolio, or eCommerce store. It’s a handy all-in-one solution boasting award-winning designs and a visual page building experience.

However, compared to WordPress, it’s not as flexible in terms of plugins, and adding extensions can be pricey. It also may not be robust enough if you need an extensive CMS for your website.

Pricing starts from $12 per month, which includes a free domain. You can start building your website for free, then upgrade when you’re ready to publish.

3. Joomla

Best WordPress alternatives #3: Joomla
  • Pricing: Free
  • Type: Open-source CMS
  • Ease of use: ⭐⭐
  • Customization: ⭐⭐
  • Design:
  • Drag-and-drop editor: No
 

Joomla is the second most popular open-source CMS after WordPress. You can extend its core functionality with various plugins and extensions, and use its page builder to create your website.

Although the third-party plugin community is not as extensive as WordPress’, Joomla offers many useful functions out of the box. For instance, the system is multilingual and provides robust access management options.

This is why Joomla could be an optimal choice for enterprise-level sites, although it might have a steeper learning curve for beginners.

4. Drupal

Drupal
  • Pricing: Free
  • Type: Open-source CMS
  • Ease of use:
  • Customization: ⭐⭐
  • Design:
  • Drag-and-drop editor: No
 

Drupal is another popular open-source CMS. It offers many modules to extend its functionality, and you can choose from some themes.

Drupal can handle large amounts of data, and it offers greater user access control than WordPress. It’s not as user-friendly, so beginners may not be able to build pages as easily as with other platforms.

However, Drupal can be an excellent choice for experienced developers or large enterprises. If you want a lot of flexibility to build custom solutions and advanced functionality, it’s worth looking into.

5. Ghost

Ghost
  • Pricing: From $29 per month; or download for free
  • Type: Open source / hosted online solution
  • Ease of use: ⭐⭐⭐
  • Customization: ⭐⭐
  • Design:
  • Drag-and-drop editor: No / Visual editor
 

Ghost is a CMS targeted towards bloggers and other online publishers. It’s a lightweight platform that is open source. It’s also available in a fully hosted version if you prefer an all-in-one solution.

The platform comes with many publishing tools and a feature-rich content editor. You can also choose from a variety of themes. It’s not as flexible as WordPress in terms of customization. However, it may still be an excellent choice for professional bloggers.

If you want to get the fully hosted option, pricing starts at $29 per month. The free version is available to anyone, but you need to find web hosting for it on your own.

6. DreamHost’s WordPress Website Builder

DreamHost's website builder
  • Pricing: From $2.59 per month
  • Type: Website builder
  • Ease of use: ⭐⭐⭐
  • Customization: ⭐⭐⭐
  • Design: ⭐⭐⭐
  • Drag-and-drop editor: Yes
 

Many users may not be aware that DreamHost has its own site builder. It’s powered by BoldGrid, and it features an intuitive creation wizard that will suggest improvements to your design. You can choose from one of many starter templates, which you can customize with individually styled design blocks.

Technically, this builder runs with WordPress under the hood, but the overall user experience is different enough so that we’ve decided to feature it on this list.

You will need to sign up for one of DreamHost’s plans to use it. So, this might be an ideal solution if you’re also on the lookout for a hosting provider anyway. Pricing starts from just $2.59 per month.

7. Webflow

Webflow
  • Pricing: From $12 per month; free trial account
  • Type: Hosted website builder
  • Ease of use: ⭐⭐
  • Customization: ⭐⭐⭐
  • Design: ⭐⭐⭐
  • Drag-and-drop editor: Yes
 

Webflow is a designer-friendly platform that offers advanced customization options. Whether you want to use one of the hundreds of templates or build your site from scratch, this platform will help you do it.

Unfortunately, if you want to extend your website’s functionality, it’s not as straightforward as installing a plugin in WordPress. You will have to set up an integration with a third-party provider or dig deeper into your site’s code.

You can start building your website for free, then upgrade when you’re ready to go live. Pricing starts from $12 per month with hosting and domain included.

8. Weebly

Weebly
  • Pricing: From $5 per month; free plan available
  • Type: Hosted website builder
  • Ease of use: ⭐⭐⭐
  • Customization: ⭐⭐
  • Design: ⭐⭐
  • Drag-and-drop editor: Yes
 

Weebly is another hosted website building platform that attracts many beginners. You can create a website using a simple drag-and-drop editor and choose from various pre-designed templates. If you don’t mind having a generic domain, you can use its basic features for free.

Weebly is not as flexible as other website builders in terms of design. However, the editor enables you to add elements such as forms and galleries to your posts. It also offers a variety of apps that can extend the functionality of your website.

Pricing starts from $5 per month if you want to connect a custom domain.

9. Blogger

Blogger
  • Pricing: Free
  • Type: Hosted online publishing solution
  • Ease of use: ⭐⭐⭐
  • Customization: ⭐⭐
  • Design:
  • Drag-and-drop editor: No
 

As the name suggests, Blogger is a solution for online content publishers. It’s owned by Google, so you can easily monetize your site with AdSense. It’s also free to use.

While it may not be an appropriate solution for most websites, Blogger has all the features you might need to run a successful blog. You can also choose from a variety of templates and connect a custom domain.

10. SiteBuilder

SiteBuilder
  • Pricing: From $4 per month
  • Type: Hosted website builder
  • Ease of use: ⭐⭐⭐
  • Customization:
  • Design:
  • Drag-and-drop editor: Yes
 

SiteBuilder enables you to build a simple store or blog with its easy to use drag-and-drop editor. However, the customization options are limited, and it’s not as feature-rich as its main competitors.

SiteBuilder is also not as scalable or flexible as WordPress, so it may not be the right choice if you expect your website to grow significantly over time. However, it’s an affordable option if you just want a simple online platform for your small business.

Pricing starts from just $4 per month, and includes a free domain.

11. Jimdo

Jimdo
  • Pricing: From $5 per month; free plan available
  • Type: Hosted website builder
  • Ease of use: ⭐⭐⭐
  • Customization: ⭐⭐
  • Design: ⭐⭐
  • Drag-and-drop editor: Yes
 

Jimdo is another all-in-one hosting solution and website builder. It features a “Dolphin” design mode, which creates a basic website for you based on a questionnaire. You can also choose the “Creator” mode if you want access to one of its pre-designed templates and a drag-and-drop editor.

Jimdo is affordable and easy to use, so it may suit smaller businesses and freelancers. Note that search engines won’t index sites created with the free plan, so you should opt for one of the premium options.

Pricing starts at $5 per month for an ad-free website and a free domain.

12. Jekyll

Jekyll
  • Pricing: Free
  • Type: Open source static site generator
  • Ease of use:
  • Customization:
  • Design:
  • Drag-and-drop editor: No
 

Our final selection is Jekyll. It’s a static site generator, which means it takes your text and creates static HTML for your site. It’s a platform for developers familiar with tools such as Markdown, SVN, or Git. You will also need to install a Ruby development environment to use it.

It may not be a suitable option for most users due to its complexity, and it’s very different from WordPress. However, it can still be a viable alternative if you want full control over your website’s code.

Conclusion

WordPress is a favorite tool for many web creators, but it may not be everybody’s cup of tea. Experienced developers might require a different solution than bloggers or freelancers. Depending on your needs, you might want to consider some WordPress alternatives.

In this article, we’ve discussed 12 of the most popular WordPress competitors, including:

  • Wix: Provides a visual site-building experience without the need for additional hosting.
  • Joomla: A sophisticated CMS suitable for large enterprises.
  • Ghost: Ideal if you’re looking for a simple publishing platform to showcase your articles.

What other WordPress alternatives would you recommend? Let us know in the comments section below!

Don’t forget to join our crash course on speeding up your WordPress site. With some simple fixes, you can reduce your loading time by even 50-80%:

 
Show Comments

Or start the conversation in our Facebook group for WordPress professionals. Find answers, share tips, and get help from other WordPress experts. Join now (it’s free)!