Our Review of the Best WordPress Alternatives
Even if you have already decided that you won’t use WordPress for your site, there is still plenty of homework to be done to pick the right platform for you. We’ve ranked our favorite options based on the criteria below.
What Criteria We Used to Rank the WordPress Alternatives:
- Ease of use. Most people who are just getting started won’t want to deal with a steep learning curve. If you haven’t built a site before, you need to make sure that your selected WordPress competitor is one that will be easy to use right from the start.
- Cost. We can’t overlook this important piece of the puzzle. The cost of a WordPress competitor is going to have a lot to do with whether or not it is a suitable option for your project. Fortunately, most of the WordPress alternatives that made our list are rather affordable, but some cost more than others (and the price may depend on the features you want to utilize).
- Flexibility. You probably want plenty of flexibility within any platform that you pick for your site. This is one of the things that makes WordPress so popular — there is nearly endless flexibility built into the system. It’s important to consider the future of your site in addition to what you need while getting started. Even if a limited platform meets your needs for now, you might find yourself feeling restricted later. Lean toward site platforms that offer tons of features and customization options so you can go in unexpected directions later on.
- Popularity. There is strength in numbers, so it’s helpful to consider how many other sites are already using a given platform. If you pick a platform with a ton of current users, you can take comfort in that popularity, knowing that the platform must have plenty to offer.
While we have offered our top WordPress alternatives below, remember that this is a personal decision. Take some time to review each of the options and read all about their features and benefits before making your own call.
Our List of the Top WordPress Alternatives
Many of these WordPress alternatives offer some form of a free trial, so you can dive in and test things out before making your final choice. You may find that you just happen to like one platform better than the others for no particular reason — and that’s just fine. Test as many as you can and know that you are in good hands with any of these selections.
Weebly claims the top spot on our list because it checks most of our boxes. With a lot to like, this is a WordPress competitor that you should check out during your website platform search.
Two benefits of Weebly are its ease of use and its cost. If you are new to the business of building websites and you want to get off to a good start, Weebly is perfect for you. You’ll find an extremely simple interface, plenty of options to pick from, and thorough guides to help you if you get stuck on something. If you’d rather just get your business up and running than sit around stuck on technical problems for your site, Weebly is a dream come true.
You are also sure to love the cost of Weebly. In fact, you can get started without spending any money at all — there is a free plan available to explore the platform and build a site, although this does come with some limitations. By upgrading to the Personal plan, which is still quite affordable at less than $10 a month, you can connect to a custom domain and enjoy plenty of features and benefits.
The only major drawback to Weebly is its flexibility. You may not be able to do as much as you would like from a design perspective with your Weebly site. Now, to be fair, that will be a bigger drawback for some site owners than others. If you just want simplicity and an easy-to-build site, you might not care that you cannot make endless adjustments to the layout. So, think about whether or not full customization is important to you before proceeding.
Wix is a huge player in the website business. When picking between the top two options on our list, Weebly and Wix, there is very little distance between the two. There are already millions of Wix sites on the web, so this is a proven platform that would leave you in good hands.
It might be best to think about Wix as the best all-around WordPress competitor. With Wix, you won’t be sacrificing quality in any one area, as this platform can pretty much do it all. If you would like to build a relatively standard, functional website that looks good and performs well, Wix can serve you nicely.
On pricing, Wix is a bit of a mixed bag. On the positive side, you can get started for free, and you can even continue to run your site for free if the features included at that level suit your needs. Some people are able to build out entire sites on Wix without ever upgrading to a premium plan. Of course, to run a business with a website, you will likely need to upgrade at some point. There are many different pricing tiers available, and while the premium plans are on the costly side compared to some other WordPress alternatives, they still provide good value based on the quality of the service as a whole.
Thanks to a significant marketing budget, many are familiar with the Squarespace name. This is an extremely popular site-building option and is notable for its ability to create beautiful, eye-catching sites with little to no design experience. If the look of your site is your top priority, Squarespace is the right place to start.
Without a doubt, it is the design of the sites at Squarespace that is the star feature. Browsing the templates offered on this platform will reveal some excellent options. With so many to pick from, it’s nearly certain that you will be able to find one to suit your design plans. Some site owners struggle to build a good-looking site on WordPress, even with so many premium themes available. If you have had trouble crafting an aesthetically pleasing design in the past on WordPress, Squarespace should be able to deliver the impressive visual experience that you desire.
That all being said, there are a couple of things to point to when thinking about Squarespace. For one thing, some people find it a little difficult to use. You don’t need any technical knowledge to use this WordPress competitor, and you certainly don’t need to know how to write code. However, there is a learning curve, so prepare to invest some time in getting comfortable on the platform.
The other drawback to consider is the cost. There are plenty of more affordable WordPress alternatives available, including some of those listed below. If you are on a tight budget and need to make the most of every dollar, spending on Squarespace might not make sense. With that said, the beauty of these sites makes them intriguing, and this platform is worth a look if it fits in your budget.
If you are interested in running an ecommerce store, it will be easy to boost Shopify up to the top of your search list. As the name “Shopify” suggests, this is a platform that is laser-focused on helping you build a site to sell goods.
Unlike some of the other options on our list, which can look similar to the competition in many ways, Shopify clearly stands out. If you hope to build an ecommerce store and want immediate functionality and an attractive design, Shopify is the way to go. While it’s certainly possible to build an ecommerce site on WordPress or one of the WordPress competitors, this is the market that Shopify has been designed to serve.
On the flip side, it’s also easy to determine if Shopify is not a good fit for your needs. If you aren’t going to engage in ecommerce or selling is only a minor part of your overall site, Shopify is not for you. Building a site that has some ecommerce integration but also has many other features would be easier on another platform or back on WordPress.
For pricing, you can use a 14-day free trial to check out what Shopify can do and confirm that it is right for your needs. When that trial is up, you’ll need to select one of the premium plans that are billed on a monthly basis. The Basic Shopify plan is suitable for most new sites, and it comes at a reasonable price point, considering the tremendous ecommerce functionality of the platform.
To wrap up our list, we wanted to highlight a budget-friendly option that will work well for anyone wanting to start a new site without spending much more. Web.com offers plenty of flexibility and design options, but it doesn’t come with the higher cost of some of the other players in this market. In fact, you can spend less than $2 for your first month to check out the platform and see if it will work for your plans.
The simple DIY Website Builder is one of many standout features at Web.com. You’ll be able to build a site with no experience and no coding skills, and it shouldn’t take long to do so. You can start with one of the many templates provided, and there are also content blocks you can use to give your pages shape.
One of the best things about Web.com is that it can grow with your business over time. As your website gains traffic and picks up speed, you can add features like an online store, social media integration, and more. While Web.com may not have the power of some of the other options in this space, there is little you can’t do with this tool. Additionally, given the affordable price and long history in the business, it would be a mistake to overlook the value provided on this platform.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to build my site on WordPress?
While WordPress is extremely popular, plenty of successful sites are built on other platforms. Ultimately, the platform you choose is just a tool that will help you work toward the ultimate goal of creating a quality site that delivers value for your users. Whether that site is built on WordPress or a WordPress competitor is relatively insignificant.
Is WordPress the easiest way to build a site?
One of the reasons for the popularity of WordPress is its ease of use. With that said, some people find it more complicated than others, and there is typically a learning curve involved before you are off and running with a project. You might find that a WordPress competitor is actually an easier way for you to get a site live and onto the web. Specifically, platforms like Squarespace, Weebly, and Shopify (if you are doing ecommerce) are all rather simple to use while still delivering plenty of powerful features.
Will my SEO suffer if I opt for a WordPress competitor?
WordPress certainly has an excellent reputation in the search engine optimization (SEO) community, as many site owners feel that the WordPress framework allows them to rank pages well in the search results. It’s hard to determine what is true regarding this reputation, as so many different variables come together in the SEO world to determine rankings. It may be that this positive SEO reputation is simply due to how much control you have over your site in WordPress, as compared to other site platforms.
With all of that said, there is no reason that a site built on a WordPress alternative can’t achieve great rankings with quality content and plenty of hard work.
Should I use WordPress because it’s free?
We would not recommend making your site platform choice on price alone. While it’s true that WordPress itself is free, there are other things you will need to get up and running that cost money, like a domain name and hosting. When you compare the total costs of starting a WordPress site to setting up your site with another platform, you may find a negligible difference. You can and should consider price as one of many factors, but don’t make your choice on this point alone.
It’s also worth pointing out that many WordPress competitors offer free trials, so you can test out features and get started without any financial commitment.
Is development help available for WordPress alternatives?
One of the many strong selling points for using WordPress is the sheer volume of developers and contractors available to help with problems. If something comes up when building your WordPress site that you simply can’t figure out, it will be easy to hire someone to take care of it for you.
While the ecosystem around some of these WordPress competitors is not as large, there will always be help available. In some cases, you’ll get that directly from the company you choose to work with, as they may offer support as part of your account. Even if you need to hire someone off of the platform, finding qualified professionals to work on your project will never be a problem.