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9 Simple Alternatives to WordPress [For Blogs and Websites]

Tanya Cull, February 15, 2019

WordPress (WP) is by far the most popular Content Management System on the planet.

However, despite its widespread use, there are many cases where WordPress is not the best option for blogs and websites.

The majority of people looking to replace WP are searching for a simpler tool where they:

To help you choose the best WordPress alternative for your specific needs, we’ve split up the different tools into the following categories:

Note: WordPress offers two options for building a website: WordPress.com and WordPress.org.

The main difference is that WordPress dot com offers hosting, support, and a basic site builder for between $0 to $33 per month while WordPress dot org provides you with free software that you must download and install on your self-hosted server.

We will refer to both these versions throughout the article.

Wordpress Blog Alternatives

Because WordPress is most commonly used for blogging, this is where we will begin. 

Medium

Medium is an online publishing platform that makes it easy to write, publish, and share your content online.

Unlike most blogging platforms, Medium’s goal is to build a community of content creators that share their content within the platform. With over 60 million monthly readers, this community aspect provides added visibility for beginner writers who are not comfortable promoting their blog through traditional marketing tactics.

Combined with an incredibly easy-to-use post-editing experience, Medium is by far the simplest WordPress alternative for someone looking to blog online.

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Ghost

Ghost is an open source platform that’s made it easier than ever to publish great looking articles for blogs and magazines.

Although Ghost comes with a slightly higher base price than WordPress, their fully managed services model can be very affordable when compared to certain Managed WP Hosts. 

Source: Ghost VS WordPress 

Ghost’s main appeal is its simple dashboard and post editor that looks almost identical to the one provided by Medium. However, unlike Medium, you are free to customize everything on your blog to match your own unique brand. You can choose from their collection of beautiful themes or design your own blog if you know how to code.

If you’re a serious blogger that is looking for a simple yet powerful alternative to WordPress, look no further than Ghost.

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Wordpress Website Alternatives

All in-one website builders can be a great alternative to WP as they offer dozens of pre-built features that make it easy to build a custom website, blog, or online store without code.

PageCloud

If you’re looking for a visual alternative to WordPress, PageCloud is for you. PageCloud’s unique editing experience has set a new standard for WYSIWYG and drag & drop editing. With PageCloud, you can add and reposition just about anything on your pages and then style it in any way.

Although it might not be best choice for sites with hundreds of pages, PageCloud gives website owners full control over their website without having to write any code.

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Wix

Wix is another well-known WordPress alternative offering a WYSIWYG editor. 

Although the editor doesn’t offer as much freedom or design appeal as PageCloud, Wix makes up for it with a deep feature set that caters to hundreds of website needs. For example, if you need to set up a website with user logins, Wix has you covered. Combined with their growing Wix App Market, you can build just about any website with Wix.

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Squarespace

Squarespace is best known for its collection of stunning templates that offer you a great starting point for your website’s design. 

Although Squarespace is considered a WYSIWYG builder, design is somewhat limited to replacing content, styling it, and moving it around into predetermined boxes based on your template’s prebuilt layout. 

On the other hand, if you know how to code, you can create your own custom website using Squarespace’s Developer Platform. 

For people without coding experience, Squarespace can act like a happy medium between visual designers like PageCloud and template-based solutions like WP.

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Shopify

Shopify is the best WordPress alternative if you’re looking for an easy way to set up an online store and don’t want to use WooCommerce. 

Shopify comes jam packed with everything you need to sell online as well as the essential tools to help promote your business. Combined with an expert support team, Shopify has become the world leading e-commerce platform. 

However, if your main focus is building a website that sells a few products, Shopify might not be the best solution for you. Think of it this way, Shopify is a store management tool that gives you the ability to have a website.

Related: Shopify vs WooCommerce: Which One is the Absolute Best

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Full Shopify pricing breakdown

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Weebly

Since being acquired by Square in early 2018, Weebly has shifted its focus to e-commerce. Unlike Shopify, Weebly is a website builder with e-commerce capabilities. This makes it much easier to build and design a website without requiring any code. Weebly’s designer is slightly more flexible than Squarespace but definitely less than PageCloud and Wix. Weebly is much more affordable than Shopify, but doesn’t have the same number of features. So, if you’re looking for an easy way to sell a few simple product online, Weebly may be for you.

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Full Weebly pricing breakdown

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Overview of Website Builders

Contrary to some popular perception, the website building options presented above are all quite different from one another. Whether it’s the unique design experiences or core functionalities offered, each one caters to very different use cases:

Visual designers

If you’re looking for an easy-to-use platform that gives you complete control over the look of your website, choose PageCloud. If PageCloud doesn’t meet your feature requirements, choose Wix.

Online stores

If you’re looking to build a serious online store and your main focus is selling (not designing a website), choose Shopify.

Websites with e-commerce capabilities

If you want something really easy right out of the box that lets you customize the design of your website, choose Weebly. If you want to rely on a stunning template and not change it too much, choose Squarespace.

Related: Weebly vs Squarepsace head-to-head comparison 

Wordpress CMS Alternatives

If you’re building larger, more complex websites or applications, Joomla and Drupal can be great alternatives to WordPress.

As both options are open source and use the same technology stack (PHP and MySQL), the learning curve is typically pretty short for experienced WP developers. Furthermore, because both tools leverage a large community of developers, there is no shortage of plugins, extensions, and templates to get your project done faster.

Joomla

Joomla is the second-most popular content management system behind WordPress. Similar to WP, it can be used to build a variety of websites and applications for businesses, schools, non-profits, online stores, and so much more. Because Joomla doesn’t offer a paid option like WP and is geared towards a more experienced user, your only means of support is searching through their forums and developer communities for help.

If you haven’t built a website before, Joomla probably isn’t the best place to start.

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Drupal

Drupal comes third in the list of most popular content management systems. Unlike WordPress, Drupal is geared towards a technically savvy audience. Although it’s complex, Drupal comes with a high level of flexibility and security that make it a popular solution for enterprise, education, and government websites.

If you’re considering Drupal to replace WP, you are probably already aware of its benefits. On the other hand, if you don’t have a technical background, we’d recommend talking with an experienced developer to see if Drupal is right for your website.

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Final Thoughts

In reality, there are hundreds of WordPress alternatives. Because WP powers so many different websites, any tool you use to publish content online could be considered an alternative to the world’s most popular CMS.

The keys to choosing the right option are understanding:

If you’re new to building websites and are looking for a simple WP alternative where you’re in full control of your design and content, give PageCloud a try.

Their experienced support team will be happy to let you know if it’s the right platform for you.

Written by

Tanya Cull