WordPress Alternatives: 9 Viable Competitors To WordPress For Blogs Or Websites

While WordPress is, by a large margin, the most popular way to build a website, that doesn’t mean it’s for everyone. And if you’re looking for a change of pace, there are plenty of quality WordPress alternatives that you can use for both basic blogs and full websites.

In this post, I’ve collected nine of those alternatives divided into two different categories. You can click below to jump straight to a category, or just read the entire post for a look at all nine alternatives:

Let’s dig in!

Three WordPress Alternatives For Blogging

1. Medium

medium is one of the wordpress alternatives

Who it’s good for: Medium is a great option if you just want to write and share blog posts and don’t care about actually having your own website.

Unlike WordPress, Medium is a hosted blog platform where literally all you need to do is sign up and start writing. It has a great editor – one that the upcoming WordPress Gutenberg editor heavily draws from.

When you publish a post on Medium, you can reach Medium’s built-in audience of millions of visitors. And you can also take advantage of Medium’s social functionality. For example, people can follow your work, leave comments, and even highlight specific portions of your text to share on Twitter.

The downside is that you don’t have your own website. For example, you can’t put up your own ads or use Medium to directly grow your email list.

So – Medium is awesome if you just want to write, but not so great if you want to build and monetize a brand.

Price: Free

Get Medium

2. Ghost

ghost blog

Who it’s good for: If you just want to build a self-hosted blog, Ghost is a good blog-only content management system. It’s kind of like what WordPress used to be.

Ghost is an open source publishing tool that you can either:

  • Install on your own server for free
  • Pay Ghost to host it for you

It’s exclusively focused on blogging, so don’t expect it to match WordPress’ flexibility. But if all you want is a blog platform and it’s important that you 100% own your platform, Ghost is a great option. It’s lightning fast and features a great markdown-based editor.

Price: Free for self-hosted, or starts at $19 per month for hosted

Get Ghost

3. Tumblr

tumblr

Who it’s good for: Tumblr is a good option if you’re not planning to write long-form content. It’s a lot more focused on short content and images.

Like Medium, you can start blogging with Tumblr just by signing up for an account. And there’s also a built-in audience thanks to the large existing Tumblr user base.

That’s good – but you have the same downsides in that you lack full ownership, which restricts how you can monetize and grow your brand.

Price: Free

Get Tumblr

Six WordPress Alternatives For Building A Website

4. Drupal

drupal

Who it’s good for: Drupal isn’t as user-friendly as WordPress, but it does a good job handling custom content types and views, as well as user access permissions. It can be a good option for custom sites that need to handle tons of data.

Launched in 2000, Drupal is an open source content management system that’s been around for even longer than WordPress. By the numbers, it’s the third most popular content management system in existence.

It’s not nearly as user-friendly as WordPress, but it can be more flexible for handling large custom taxonomies, custom content types, and views. And it also has built-in multi-language support, as well as a detailed user access permissions system.

Price: Free

Get Drupal

5. Squarespace

squarespace

Who it’s good for: Squarespace is good for non-developers who just want an easy way to build a basic website.

Unlike WordPress or something like Drupal, Squarespace is a hosted website builder. That means that, while you can still use your own domain name, Squarespace actually handles hosting and maintaining all the software for you – you don’t need to pay for your own hosting.

This is great because it makes things simple – you just sign up for account and build your site with Squarespace’s visual builder.

The downside, though, is that you lack flexibility because you don’t have full access to the source code/database like you do with WordPress.

If you just want a user-friendly way to build a basic website, it’s a solid option, though.

Price: Starts at $12 per month

Get Squarespace

6. Joomla

joomla

Who it’s good for: Like Drupal, Joomla has some edge-case advantages over WordPress for things like user management and custom content types.

After WordPress, Joomla is the second most popular content management system according to W3Techs. Of course the difference is pretty large – WordPress has a 59.9% market share, compared to Joomla’s 6.1%. But it’s still second place!

Through its components and modules system, Joomla gives you lots of control over how custom content types display. And like Drupal, it also has a more robust out-of-the-box user access control system.

There’s also this neat functionality that lets you use multiple templates for different content, which would be kind of like using two different WordPress themes on your site.

Price: Free

Get Joomla

7. Wix

wix

Who it’s good for: Like Squarespace, Wix is a good option if you want a basic website and don’t want to deal with any type of maintenance.

Wix operates on the same principles as Squarespace – it’s a hosted service where you can sign up and build your own website, complete with your own unique domain name.

You don’t have to deal with any maintenance, upgrades, or security – all that’s handled for you. And if you’re a developer, the Wix Code system actually makes it possible to tweak things at a code-level, though you still won’t have as much access as a self-hosted site.

Read our Wix review.

Price: Starts at $8.50 per month for your own domain name and an unbranded site

Get Wix

8. Shopify

shopify

Who it’s good for: Shopify is a great option if you’re looking for a simple way to launch an eCommerce store. It’s more of a WooCommerce alternative than a catch-all WordPress alternative.

Like Squarespace and Wix, Shopify is a hosted service, which means you never have to worry about basic maintenance.

However, unlike those two platforms, Shopify is exclusively focused on eCommerce.

In my opinion, it’s just about the simplest way to create an eCommerce store. WooCommerce still gives you more flexibility if you need it. But if you’re just creating a “standard” eCommerce store, Shopify is a great option.

Price: Starts at $29 per month

Get Shopify

9. Grav

grav flat-file cms

Who it’s good for: Because of how it stores data, Grav is a great option for simple static websites.

Grav is a popular flat-file CMS, which means that it doesn’t use a database to store data like WordPress or most other popular content management systems.

Instead, your data is stored in files, which is a simpler approach if you’re just building a basic website (the flat-file approach is definitely not ideal for all sites).

Get Grav

Know Any Other Great WordPress Alternatives?

There’s my list of the nine best WordPress alternatives. But what about you all? Do you have a content management system or service that you absolutely love using to build websites or blogs?

Let us know in the comments!

Other interesting posts on WPLift

Colin Newcomer

Colin Newcomer

Colin Newcomer is a freelance writer and long-time Internet marketer. He specializes in digital marketing, WordPress and B2B writing. He lives a life of danger, riding a scooter through the chaos of Hanoi. You can also follow his travel blog.

8 thoughts on “WordPress Alternatives: 9 Viable Competitors To WordPress For Blogs Or Websites

  1. With sites like Medium, Tumblr and of course WordPress that can do the same thing if not more than Ghost, I have a hard time finding a reason why anyone would pay for Ghost. What does Ghost offer that makes it worth even the smallest plan of $10/month? WordPress – and the others I mentioned – are free no matter your hosting set up or your page views. I don’t consider Ghost to be much of a competitor in that sense.

    With that said, I do enjoy using Medium from time to time. Some of the posts on there are great reads and I’ve added a couple “longer form” posts of my own that don’t necessarily fit on any of the other blogs I write for.

    Not much of a fan of tumblr as a blogging platform, can’t get past seeing it as meme central. Haven’t tried the others you mentioned.

    • Yes I agree, of course you are free to download ghost and install it on your own hosting but the process seems a little complicated, especially for beginners.

  2. I think things must be separated first.
    Every platform has its own thing.
    It depends on what you plan to do for you website. You can`t do an e-commerce site on Medium or Tumbler (like you can do on WordPress or a custom CMS ).
    If you just wanna blog ( and the purpose is to write…) it will not make a big difference on what platform, as long as you post your articles online.
    Ghost seams cute… i`ll stop there.
    Don`t wanna pay Craft 200 dolars, if I can do the same for free, nothing pecial for me here.
    Expression Engine… well, you got my attention. I`ll take it out for a spin.

    @OLI, Thanks for this article ! :)

  3. I read a lot of interesting posts here. Probably you spend a
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  4. Every platform is different and serves different set of users. however WordPress is the only CMS which fits one and all. simple to complex website can be built using WordPress.
    Amazing post. Thanks for sharing.

  5. WordPress and these other alternatives are good choices as website building platforms that allows an average person to create a nice website free of charge. But…

    Many, if not most, people who want a website really want a web BUSINESS –they want to make money with their site. Yet while putting up a site is easy (as the “cheap-quick-easy” marketing hype promises), knowing how to build an online business is another story.

    Neither WordPress nor any of these other alternatives “as is” will build an online business which you get if you know how to do SEO and build traffic. They ALL are missing a do-able start-to-finish BUSINESS process.

    The reality is that most sites never get more than a handful of visitors. And without traffic, income is hard to come by. In other words, No traffic = No profits.

    Surely, you can slog through the mountains of business building advice and tools that are out there. But for most WordPress users and those using these alternatives it all ends up being too much.

    So, despite the dazzling display of WordPress/WordPress alternatives features (even SEO gadgets), the reality for most (non-tech) people who want to create a web business with WordPress or its alternatives is that they need to adhere to an easy-to-follow, all-in-one, proven, ethical webbusiness-building system (not a get rich quick scheme), tailored to say the WordPress platform, to get (1) a significant amount of traffic and get (2) targeted traffic (example of such a system: WealthPrinciples dot net or IncredibleFreedom dot com).

    Otherwise… you’ll end up having (and building) only a WordPress/Name of WordPress Alternative webSITE (or BLOG) but not a webBUSINESS.

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