16 Best WordPress Alternatives in 2021

16 Best WordPress Alternatives in 2021

WordPress is one of the most popular platforms for making a website, but it may not be the perfect solution for everyone. Maybe you are looking for a more beginner-friendly platform or one specifically dedicated to building eCommerce sites. Luckily, there is a number of WordPress alternatives.

We will help you understand the difference between the two most popular ways to build your site with little to no coding experience – by using a CMS or a website builder.

Afterward, you can browse for a perfect website building platform from the 16 best WordPress alternatives our experts have compiled.

CMS vs Website Builder: What Is the Difference?

Let us examine the difference between a content management system (CMS) and a website builder.

Content Management System

WordPress.org, a self-hosted CMS.

A content management system runs on a server and allows you to create and manage a website and its content, usually stored in a database. WordPress falls under this category.

Compared to a website builder, a CMS will usually have a steeper learning curve. However, the freedom of an open-source platform also provides you with more configuration options and more control over every aspect of your website.

Although the software itself is usually available for free, a CMS is usually a self-hosted solution. You still need to purchase web hosting and a domain name for your website.

Maintenance, backups, security, and statistics also become your responsibility. In addition, you may also need to pay for premium themes or plugins.

Most web hosts will help you install the CMS of your choice. A CMS also allows you to create your site offline, move it to any server, or move your site to another host without significant changes or downtime.

Website Builder

Website builders provide you with user-friendly tools for a fast and easy design process – a popular addition is a front-end visual site builder interface with a drag-and-drop feature that makes it easy to arrange your website’s elements.

While they are easy to use, even for beginners with no web development knowledge, they have certain limitations.

Website builders are usually a hosted solution, meaning you don’t have to purchase web hosting and domain names separately.

However, compared to a CMS, a website builder is less flexible and provides you with less control and configuration options. You don’t have access to the server, and you have limited coding access.

The free domain name offered by website builders doesn’t belong to you and usually includes the site builder’s subdomain. If you want a custom domain name, you must purchase it.

While free plans usually come with limited features, upgrading to premium plans gives you access to more functionalities. The platform takes care of the site’s maintenance, backups, security, and statistics.

They usually have a smaller selection of themes and plugins. Templates are customizable, and some website builders even allow you to design the layout from scratch.

It’s also worth noting that moving your website to another platform can be difficult, expensive, or nearly impossible.

If WordPress is not the right platform for you, one of the following WordPress alternatives may be the answer you are looking for.

16 Best WordPress Alternatives

We are comparing these alternatives to the free self-hosted version of WordPress – WordPress.org.

Most of these alternatives also have built-in SEO features that are extensible via plugins.

Without further ado, these are our top best WordPress alternatives.

1. Zyro

Zyro, a website builder.
  • Type: website builder
  • Notable features: ease of use, customizable themes, integrations and apps, eCommerce functionality, AI tools
  • Price: $1.89–$14.99/month

Zyro is one of the best website builders due to its simplicity, providing users with what they need without any complicated and unnecessary features.

Take a look at the features of this WordPress alternative:

  • Ease of use. With a user-friendly interface, Zyro is easy to use, even for a complete beginner. It offers a drag-and-drop visual editor and various AI-powered features.
  • Customizable themes. It provides a variety of themes with beautiful design and customization options.
  • Integrations and apps. Integrate with third-party apps such as Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics, Facebook Pixel, Hotjar, and Messenger Live Chat.
  • eCommerce functionality. Set up your online store with either of Zyro’s two eCommerce plans, equipped with useful features.
  • AI tools. It offers AI-driven tools such as image upscaling, AI heatmap, AI content generator, business name maker, slogan generator, and blog title generator. No need to hire people to create your slogan or copy – just focus on running your business.

Zyro does not have a free version, but it offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. Premium plans include Basic at $2.90/month, Unleashed at $3.90/month, eCommerce at $9.90/month, and eCommerce Plus at $14.90/month.

Pros

  • Both web hosting and a domain name are included in all of the plans
  • Easy to navigate due to its intuitive editor and simple interface
  • AI tools to help you accomplish various tasks like creating a slogan, copy, or blog title
  • Customer support

Cons

  • No free plan
  • A smaller selection of pre-made templates
  • Less flexible customization

2. Wix

Wix, the freemium website builder.
  • Type: website builder
  • Notable features: ease of use, themes with flexible customization, an app marketplace, eCommerce functionality
  • Price: freemium

Wix is one of the most popular hosted website builders on the market. It provides high flexibility for design, allowing users more creative control over the site layout.

Here’s what Wix has to offer:

  • Ease of use. Wix’s drag-and-drop editor makes it very easy to use as a site builder.
  • Themes with flexible customization. Wix has over 500 professionally designed templates with highly flexible customization options.
  • App marketplace. Integrate your website with add-ons on the Wix App Market, such as Bannersnack, Google AdSense, and Mailchimp Forms.
  • eCommerce functionality. Wix offers three plans for those looking to set up an eCommerce store.

Its paid plans include Combo at $14/month, Unlimited at $18/month, Pro at $23/month, and VIP at $39/month.

Pros

  • Web hosting and domain are included
  • Visual editor
  • Live chat customer support

Cons

  • A smaller selection of pre-made themes and plugins
  • Its free plan includes Wix ads and Wix subdomain
  • Limited payment gateways

3. Joomla

Joomla, the free self-hosted CMS.
  • Type: CMS
  • Notable features: high-quality templates, extension directory, Access Control List, multilingual system, security
  • Price: free

Joomla is a widely popular self-hosted and open-source CMS, second only to WordPress. It comes with useful built-in features such as its multilingual system and powerful SEO tools.

Here are more details about this WordPress alternative’s features:

  • High-quality templates. Joomla provides thousands of free and paid templates with beautiful designs.
  • Extension directory. Extend your website’s functionality using over 8,000 extensions found on the Joomla Extensions Directory.
  • Access Control List (ACL). The ACL is a tool to manage your site users’ access, such as the access to what users can view and do.
  • Multilingual system. It offers over 70 language translation packs and built-in support for multilingual content organization and language associations.
  • Security. It comes with built-in security features such as two-factor authentication, Google reCAPTCHA, and the ability to make your site GDPR-friendly.

Joomla is free to use. However, you will need to pay for the domain name and web hosting as the CMS is self-hosted.

Pros

  • Extensive built-in user management controls
  • Flexible for displaying different content types
  • Built-in security functions and multilingual system
  • Create custom fields without a plugin
  • Use multiple templates for various content pieces

Cons

  • Low number of themes and plugins
  • Small community
  • A steeper learning curve

4. Squarespace

Squarespace, the premium website builder.
  • Type: website builder
  • Notable features: ease of use, attractive templates, eCommerce functionality, an app marketplace
  • Price: $12–$40/month billed annually

Squarespace is a hosted website builder that offers visually engaging and professionally designed templates as its main selling point. This WordPress alternative is one of the most popular site builders in the industry.

Here is a more detailed explanation of its features:

  • Ease of use. The site builder’s drag-and-drop editor lets you drag elements around and personalize your templates with ease.
  • Attractive templates. Squarespace’s primary specialty is its high-quality templates with beautiful designs.
  • eCommerce functionality. Squarespace offers two plans for people wanting to set up an eCommerce store.
  • App marketplace. Squarespace Extensions offers a selection of third-party apps for various purposes, such as AfterShip, FreshBooks, and EZ Texting.

Squarespace doesn’t have a free plan, but it offers a 14-day free trial period. It provides the following plans – Personal at $12/month, Business at $18/month, Basic Commerce at $26/month, and Advanced Commerce at $40/month, all billed annually.

Pros

  • Comes with web hosting and a domain name
  • Visual editing interface that allows for instant feedback
  • Offers customer support

Cons

  • No free version
  • A smaller number of extensions and templates
  • No content versioning or auto-save feature

5. Weebly

Weebly, the freemium website builder.
  • Type: website builder
  • Notable features: ease of use, themes, eCommerce functionality, an app marketplace
  • Price: freemium

Weebly is a user-friendly hosted website builder used to build and design various websites such as business websites, blogs, or online stores.

Let’s find out more about the features of this WordPress alternative:

  • Ease of use. Its drag-and-drop editor makes Weebly one of the easiest site builders to use.
  • Themes. Weebly provides a selection of responsive and customizable themes.
  • eCommerce functionality. It offers eCommerce-oriented plans for people looking for a platform to set up their online stores.
  • App marketplace. Extend your site’s functionality with third-party apps found on Weebly’s App Center, such as Printful, JotForm, and Instagram Feed.

Weebly has a free plan with limited features. The premium plans are as follows: Connect at $5/month, Pro at $12/month, Business at $20/month, and Business Plus at $30/month, all billed annually.

Pros

  • Plans include web hosting and a free domain name
  • WYSIWYG live editor interface
  • Live customer support

Cons

  • The free plan contains Weebly branding and ads
  • A smaller selection of extensions and templates

6. Shopify

Shopify, the premium CMS.
  • Type: CMS
  • Notable features: ease of use, templates, app marketplace, eCommerce functionality
  • Price: $9–$2,000/month

Shopify is one of the WordPress alternatives with a focus specifically on eCommerce. It is a hosted CMS people often use to set up an online store website.

Here’s more information about Shopify’s notable features:

  • Ease of use. With its intuitive interface and WYSIWYG editor, Shopify is straightforward to navigate and use.
  • Templates. Shopify provides an array of free and paid website templates that are professional-looking and customizable.
  • App marketplace. The Shopify App Store offers over 4,000 free and paid apps to extend your site’s capabilities. Examples include Gameball, Return Magic, and ShipNerd.
  • eCommerce functionality. Shopify provides various eCommerce features such as abandoned cart recovery, point of sale (POS) functionality, and multiple currencies.

Shopify has no free version, but it offers a 14-day free trial. There are three main plans – Basic Shopify at $29/month, Shopify at $79/month, and Advanced Shopify at $299/month.

In addition, Shopify also offers two unique plans – Shopify Lite and Shopify Plus. At $9/month, Shopify Lite allows people to sell products in person or add a buy button to an existing website.

Shopify Plus is an enterprise plan for higher volume businesses, starting at $2,000/month.

Pros

  • The platform is built specifically for eCommerce
  • Plans come with web hosting and domain name
  • Has a built-in email marketing tool
  • Live customer support

Cons

  • No free plan
  • No drag-and-drop editor or content versioning
  • Limited product options
  • Small number of extensions and templates
  • Charges a transaction fee for every sale made

7. Drupal

Drupal, the free CMS.
  • Type: CMS
  • Notable features: themes, modules, distributions, marketing automation, personalization, multilingual system, security
  • Price: free

Drupal is another powerful open-source CMS for website building. It is one of the most well-known self-hosted WordPress alternatives, often used to build sites belonging to the government, educational institutions, and global companies.

Let us elaborate further on its features:

  • Themes. Drupal provides over 2,000 themes to choose from.
  • Modules. It offers over 40,000 modules or plugins to extend your site’s functionality.
  • Distributions. These are complete copies of Drupal made to cater to a specific website niche, bundling up the Drupal core and additional related software into one complete package.
  • Marketing automation. This includes the automation of various marketing tasks with the use of both chatbot and abandoned cart functionality.
  • Personalization. Create a customized site experience for each visitor using data such as geolocation, device type, browser history, and behavior taxonomies.
  • Multilingual system. It allows the complete translation of site components into various languages and detects the assumed preferred language based on location and browser settings.
  • Security. Drupal is well-known for its rigorous security system, with features such as user access control, database encryption, and malicious data entry prevention.

Drupal is free to download and use. You only need to pay for your site’s domain name and web hosting.

Pros

  • Robust security functions
  • Advanced user access management
  • Excellent for handling large amounts of data and content
  • Built-in multilingual system

Cons

  • Requires technical expertise to set up and customize
  • A small selection of themes and modules

8. Blogger

Blogger, the free blogging platform.
  • Type: blogging platform
  • Notable features: ease of use, themes, gadgets, integration with Google apps and services, automatic spam filter
  • Price: free

Blogger is a free blogging platform owned by Google. It’s mainly used for small, personal blogs and websites that don’t require a high degree of customization.

Here is more information about Blogger’s features:

  • Ease of use. It offers a beginner-friendly WYSIWYG editor.
  • Themes. Blogger provides an array of themes with responsive and customizable designs.
  • Gadgets. Blogger’s equivalent of WordPress Widgets allows you to add content blocks to various areas of your website.
  • Integration with Google apps and services. Use various apps and services belonging to Google to increase your site’s capabilities. Examples include Google Analytics and Google Adsense.
  • Automatic spam filter. It keeps the comment section organized and spam-free.

Blogger is a free platform – you get free hosting and a free Blogspot domain name. However, if you want your own custom domain name, you can purchase one.

Pros

  • Free web hosting and domain name
  • Made specifically for blog creation

Cons

  • Contains ads and forces a Blogspot subdomain by default
  • Minimal configuration options
  • Small selection of themes and widgets

9. BigCommerce

BigCommerce, the eCommerce CMS.
  • Type: CMS
  • Notable features: ease of use, theme store, an app marketplace, eCommerce functionality, no transaction fees
  • Price: $29.95–$269.96/month

BigCommerce is another WordPress alternative focusing on eCommerce and larger companies. This hosted solution comes with plenty of built-in sales tools to help you manage your online store.

Here are more details on BigCommerce’s features:

  • Ease of use. Its drag-and-drop editor makes BigCommerce very user-friendly.
  • Theme store. Find free and paid themes with customizable designs.
  • App marketplace. The BigCommerce Apps Marketplace offers you a selection of apps to integrate with, such as QuickBooks Online, Mailchimp, and Justuno.
  • eCommerce functionality. Some of its eCommerce features include social media commerce, multi-store selling, coupons, and discounts.

BigCommerce offers a 15-day free trial period. There are four plans – Standard at $29.95 per month, Plus at $79.95 per month, Pro at $299.95 per month, and the Enterprise plan, whose price is available upon request.

Pros

  • Dedicated to eCommerce for larger companies
  • Plans come with web hosting and domain name
  • Offers excellent customer support

Cons

  • No free plan
  • Each plan has a yearly sales limit
  • Small number of apps and themes

10. Site123

Site123, the freemium website builder.
  • Type: website builder
  • Notable features: ease of use, templates, app market, eCommerce functionality, multilingual options
  • Price: freemium

Site123 is a hosted website builder equipped with useful features for building a one-page or multi-page website.

Let us explore the features of this WordPress alternative:

  • Ease of use. Site123’s intuitive website editor makes it easy to use.
  • Templates. Offers hundreds of free templates with professional and straightforward designs.
  • App market. Site123 has its own app market offering various web apps to extend your site’s capabilities, such as Google Analytics, LiveChat, and Segment.
  • eCommerce functionality. Some of Site123’s premium plans offer tools for running an online store, such as currency selection, various payment options, and abandoned cart emails.
  • Social media integration. Add your social network links to your website.
  • Multilingual options. Some of its paid plans include a website translator, language flags and icons, and multilingual SEO.

Site123 offers a free plan with limited features. It also provides a 14-day money-back guarantee for its premium plans – Basic at $7.80/month, Advanced at $13.80/month, Professional at $19.80/month, and Gold at $25.80/month, all when choosing a subscription plan that lasts 12 months. The prices vary depending on the length of the plan.

Pros

  • Plans come with free web hosting and domain name
  • Offers live customer support

Cons

  • Its free plan includes ads and a Site123 subdomain
  • The custom domain name for paid plans is only free for one year
  • Each plan has a sales limit
  • Access to payment options differ according to plans

11. Jimdo

Jimdo, the freemium website builder.
  • Type: website builder
  • Notable features: AI-based builder, templates, eCommerce functionality, multilingual options
  • Price: freemium

Jimdo is a beginner-friendly hosted website builder. It is suitable for all kinds of websites and offers features to build them with artificial intelligence.

Here are more details about its features:

  • AI-based builder. Jimdo boasts an intelligent design system called Dolphin. It uses artificial intelligence to help you build your website by asking you a series of questions. There is also an AI-free site-building option called Jimdo Creator.
  • Templates. It provides over 100 different customizable templates for you to choose from. Change the template as many times as you want.
  • eCommerce functionality. Offers tools to help you create a website for your online store, such as multiple payment gateways and discount codes.
  • Multilingual options. Its system supports seven languages. Modify your site’s navigation to provide a multilingual site experience for your site visitors.

Jimdo’s plans include Play at $0/month, Start at $9/month, Grow at $15/month, Unlimited at $39/month, Basic at $15/month, Business at $19/month, and VIP at $39/month.

Pros

  • No need to purchase web hosting and domain name
  • Artificial intelligence assistance
  • Offers customer support

Cons

  • Its free plan contains ads and Jimdo subdomain
  • The custom domain name for paid plans is only free for one year
  • Not suitable for large websites

12. Ghost

Ghost, the free CMS.
  • Type: CMS
  • Notable features: extensible site editor, flexible content organization, themes, an app marketplace, multiple roles
  • Price: free

Ghost is one of the WordPress alternatives we can categorize as an open-source CMS. It is a modern publishing platform with the essential tools of a blogging platform.

This article will focus on the free and self-hosted version of Ghost instead of the hosted solution, Ghost Pro.

Here is more information on Ghost’s features:

  • Extensible site editor. This open-source editor allows you to focus on content writing. Add and manage various blocks of content such as images, embeds, videos, and Markdown.
  • Flexible content organization. Control your content categorization using the tagging functionality and structure your site using its dynamic routing functionality.
  • Themes. Ghost provides free and paid themes through its own theme marketplace.
  • App marketplace. Ghost Integrations provides various apps your site can integrate with, such as Zapier, Stripe, and Typeform.
  • Multiple roles. It allows one to work within a team, providing multiple roles for administrators, authors, and editors.

Ghost is free to download and use as long as the user pays for the site’s domain name and web hosting.

Pros

  • Simple user interface
  • Features faster load time due to being written in Node.js
  • Offers Markdown support
  • Made specifically for blog creation

Cons

  • Small selection of themes and integrations
  • Minimal configuration options

13. PrestaShop

PrestaShop, the free CMS.
  • Type: CMS
  • Notable features: add-on marketplace, eCommerce functionality, multilingual options
  • Price: free

PrestaShop is one of the WordPress alternatives with a focus on eCommerce website building. It is an open-source CMS written using the PHP and MySQL programming languages.

Let us take a look at PrestaShop’s features:

  • Add-on marketplace. Find a variety of modules and customizable templates on the PrestaShop Official Add-Ons Marketplace.
  • eCommerce functionality. PrestaShop provides various tools to run your online store, such as multiple payment methods and location-specific tax calculations.
  • Multilingual options. PrestaShop is available in 75 different languages. Integrate your translator to create a multilingual online store.

PrestaShop is free to use and download. It is a self-hosted solution, so you must purchase and configure your own web hosting and domain name.

Pros

  • Built specifically for eCommerce
  • Built-in multilingual system
  • Offers a paid support from staff option
  • Software is already PCI-compliant by default

Cons

  • Small selection of templates and modules
  • Expensive templates and modules

14. OpenCart

OpenCart, the free CMS.
  • Type: CMS
  • Notable features: extension store, eCommerce functionality
  • Price: free

OpenCart is an open-source and self-hosted CMS, powering over 340,000 eCommerce websites worldwide.

Here are the features of this WordPress alternative:

  • Extension store. Browse through over 13,000 third-party extensions and themes available on the OpenCart Extension Store.
  • eCommerce functionality. OpenCart boasts numerous eCommerce tools such as multiple payment methods, various shipping methods, sales reports, a built-in affiliate system, and its multi-store selling feature.

Opencart is available to use for free, provided web hosting and a domain name are already acquired.

Pros

  • Made specifically for eCommerce websites
  • Offers premium dedicated support plans for bug fixes and installations
  • Built-in multiple store functionality

Cons

  • Manual installation requires technical expertise
  • Store customization may require some coding skills
  • Small selection of themes and extensions

15. Jekyll

Jekyll, the free CMS.
  • Type: CMS
  • Notable features: static websites focus on content, themes, plugins, built-in blog features
  • Price: free

Jekyll is a static site generator written in Ruby. This open-source software is built to provide a more straightforward approach to blog creation.

Creating sites with Jekyll involves the use of HTML, CSS, Markdown text, and Liquid templates.

Take a look at the features of this static site generator:

  • Focus on content. Jekyll allows you to focus on content creation without taking care of databases, comment moderation, or any updates to install.
  • Themes. Jekyll’s theme system allows you to browse through different galleries to find the perfect theme for your site. Jekyll themes come with default layouts, includes, and stylesheets.
  • Plugins. Jekyll allows you to use its plugins by writing or downloading Ruby code to extend your site’s capabilities.
  • Built-in blog features. Offers basic features, such as categories, pages, posts, permalinks, and custom layouts.

Jekyll is entirely free to use. You don’t need to take care of the web hosting or a domain name as Jekyll websites are hosted on GitHub servers. Users will get a GitHub subdomain.

Pros

  • Web hosting and domain name are included in the plans
  • Faster load time and a slight chance of crashing
  • More straightforward and content-centric

Cons

  • Domain name uses GitHub subdomain
  • Steeper learning curve
  • No graphical interface as it operates straight from the command line
  • Customization requires knowledge of basic CSS and HTML

16. Magento

Magento, the free CMS.
  • Type: CMS
  • Notable features: add-on marketplace, eCommerce functionality
  • Price: free

Magento is an open-source and self-hosted WordPress alternative for powering online stores.

In this article, we will focus on the free Magento software – the Magento Community Edition. There are also paid versions of the software, Magento Commerce and Magento Commerce Cloud.

Here is more information about Magento’s features:

  • Add-on marketplace. Magento Marketplace offers a variety of useful extensions and customizable themes for your eCommerce website.
  • eCommerce functionality. Enjoy numerous built-in sales features such as various shipping options, multi-store selling, and sales reports.

As the Magento software is available for free, users just need to pay for their web hosting and domain name.

Pros

  • Software is dedicated to eCommerce
  • More scalable and suitable for large businesses

Cons

  • Not beginner-friendly
  • Complex setup process
  • No built-in blog features

Conclusion

To conclude, numerous content management systems and website builders on the internet can serve as suitable WordPress alternatives. Ultimately, everything will depend on your budget and the type of website you intend to build.

If you want a hassle-free platform to build your site, we recommend using Zyro due to its intuitive drag-and-drop editor and powerful AI-driven tools.

For an eCommerce website, consider looking into Shopify, BigCommerce, and PrestaShop. These content management systems already include useful shopping features, such as abandoned cart recovery and payment gateway integration.

Smaller, more personal blogs might work better with Squarespace, Blogger, or Ghost. Make sure to look at the extensions offered by the platforms – the option to add functionality is essential for any growing website.

We hope this article has been useful in helping you get started on your website-building journey. If you have any more questions or suggestions, feel free to leave a comment down below. Good luck!

Author
The author

Tashia Tamara

Tashia is a Digital Content Writer at Hostinger. She is passionate about website development and digital marketing and strives to support people in their eCommerce journeys by spreading her IT knowledge. During her free time, she likes to travel to other worlds through movies and works of literature.