WordPress powers an astonishing 39.6% of websites in 2021, up nearly 5% from 2020, which begs the question… what WordPress alternatives are powering the other 60.4%??

WordPress may be the most popular CMS (content management system), but that doesn’t mean it’s right for everyone. WordPress caters to a specific combination of DIY customization and convenience, but if you personally fall outside that audience—say you want less customization and more convenience—then you’ll probably be more interested in the alternatives to WordPress.

This guide spares you from sifting through all the WordPress alternatives one by one. We present the 7 best alternatives to WordPress, with each one including the pros and cons, pricing and whom they’re recommended for.

Prices listed are when billed annually.

A man sitting at a desk with all the alternative websites creating an arch over him
Illustration by OrangeCrush

What are the best WordPress alternatives?

1. Wix

Screenshot of WordPress alternatives: Wix
via Wix

Wix is one of the most popular alternatives to WordPress, and perhaps its fiercest competitor. As with WordPress, Wix gives people with no professional design experience a user-friendly platform to build the sites they want, no prior experience necessary. However, Wix has a few perks that WordPress does not, such as free web hosting—paying for web hosting is one of the greatest drawbacks to WordPress.

But these perks come at their own cost. Although you can do a lot with Wix customization, it still falls short when compared with WordPress. Just look at their app stores, where WordPress offers 58,627 plug-ins, compared to Wix’s 250+ apps. It’s also worth noting that Wix pricing isn’t always what it seems, so sometimes the free plans aren’t exactly free.

Pricing

  • Free plan (with ads)
  • Connect domain (with ads): $4.50/month
  • Combo: $8.50/month
  • Unlimited: $12.50/month
  • VIP: $24.50/month

Pros

  • user-friendly interface easy enough for beginners
  • can incorporate advanced effects like animations
  • inclusive packages, with hosting and SSL certificates
  • more customization than most other DIY website builders for small businesses

Cons

  • limited to whatever themes and effects Wix gives you
  • free plan has ads for Wix
  • can’t change your template

Recommended if…

  • your branding and business goals require customization like personalized buttons, special typography or extra options for images, but you still want something more user-friendly and convenient than WordPress
  • you’re a freelancer who wants a simple portfolio site
  • you’re a small business limited by a budget

2. Squarespace

Screenshot of WordPress alternatives: Squarespace
via Squarespace

Squarespace is the other main contender of WordPress alternatives, after Wix. Squarespace is similar to Wix, with a user-friendly interface designed for beginners. That means if Wix was more appealing to you than WordPress, chances are Squarespace will be, too.

The difference between Squarespace and Wix is subtle. Wix is a little more user-friendly and Squarespace is a little more advanced in customization. Despite that, Squarespace still offers less features and flexibility than WordPress, so if you’re looking for more options, WordPress is still your best choice. On the other hand, Squarespace offers lots of beautiful, modern templates, so you can get a good looking website a lot more quickly and easily than with WordPress.

And if you’re looking for something completely custom, you can even hire a Squarespace Expert to design your website for you.

Pricing

  • Personal: $16/month
  • Business: $26/month
  • Basic commerce: $30/month
  • Advanced commerce: $46/month

Pros

  • user-friendly interface
  • modern templates
  • includes hosting and SSL certificate
  • unlimited bandwidth and storage
  • mobile editor

Cons

  • no free plan
  • no real add-on store; you’re stuck with the features they offer
  • slight learning curve

Recommended if…

  • SMBs that want to emphasize their site design and visuals
  • you want a template-based site with more customization options

3. Weebly

Screenshot of WordPress alternatives: Weebly
via Weebly

Weebly (ecommerce by Square) follows the same business model as Wix and Squarespace, but more attuned for cheaper and easier solutions. That’s great for time and money, but means it’s limited in customization and features.

Compared to WordPress, Weebly is a breeze. It makes building a site easier, but you’ll have to sacrifice some of the looks, features, and functionality you wanted. But if you’re willing to trade customization for convenience, Weebly is a good choice.

Pricing

  • Free plan
  • Connect domain: $5/month
  • Pro: $12/month
  • Business: $25/month
  • Business plus: $38/month

Pros

  • one of the best user interfaces of the WordPress alternatives
  • cheaper and easier than other options
  • hosting, SSL certificate and backend support included
  • free plan available
  • special features for ecommerce (although you have to use a paid plan)

Cons

  • more basic than Wix and Squarespace
  • no add-ons, so you have a limited selection of features

Recommended if…

  • you like the DIY style of Wix and Squarespace but want more serious and advanced features specifically for ecommerce
  • you want a good-looking site, but can sacrifice individuality for speed

4. Drupal

Screenshot of WordPress alternatives: Drupal
via Drupal

So far our alternatives to WordPress have been that middle tier of site-builders: a mix of convenience and customization. But what if you want a true WordPress alternative, an open-source CMS with more personalization from more effort.

Drupal comes in second behind WordPress as the popular choice of CMS. At times it can get a bit technical, so there’s a noticeable learning curve, not to mention there is no drag-and-drop WYSIWYG editor, like Wix, Squarespace and Weebly. But that’s just the price for flexibility—Drupal offers features and options for virtually any industry. Plus it allows you to mix-and-match elements to create a unique blend, just like WordPress.

Pricing

  • Free, but you have to pay for hosting and may need to hire a developer if you’re uncomfortable with the interface

Pros

  • very versatile and can be modified for virtually any business or industry
  • high security
  • capable of creating advanced sites

Cons

  • too technical for DIY first-timers
  • not as many add-ons as WordPress
  • blogging platform not as good as WordPress
  • learning curve

Recommended if…

  • you want flexibility to scale or experiment with site designs
  • you want a little more security than WordPress

5. Joomla

Screenshot of WordPress alternatives: Joomla
via Joomla

If you like the complexity and community aspects of WordPress, Joomla might be the best WordPress alternative for you. Joomla is another open-source CMS, and can give WordPress a run for its money even in the blogging category.

Joomla has a lot of built-in features that are ready right out of the box, including SEO and multilingual functionality, which is available on WordPress only through a paid plug-in. Even though it hosts a widespread community, the WordPress community is still larger, meaning WordPress has more add-ons and features for variety.

Pricing

  • Free, but you have to pay for hosting

Pros

  • rivals WordPress for blogging
  • built-in features to cut down on setup time
  • special perks like multilingual functionality and SEO-centric URLs
  • versatile; can build a site for any industry

Cons

  • not as many add-ons as WordPress
  • technical expertise required to implement some features
  • learning curve

Recommended if…

  • you like WordPress but want native multi-language options instead of paying for a plug-in
  • you want to design a simpler blogging experience than WordPress provides

6. Jimdo

Screenshot of WordPress alternatives: Jimdo
via Jimdo

We’ve looked at the WordPress alternatives for both robust solutions and DIY customization. But what if you’re looking for alternatives to WordPress that are quick and painless? Jimdo lets you build basic and simple sites in no time with no hassle, but don’t expect anything too advanced.

Jimdo is for when you don’t want to bother with web design—you can even let Jimdo’s AI build a site for you in a few seconds, based on answers to a questionnaire. If you want that kind of convenience, though, you have to sacrifice individuality and personalization.

Pricing

  • Pro: $10/month
  • Business: $20/month

Pros

  • drag-and-drop WYSIWYG editor
  • mobile editor
  • hosting included
  • ecommerce functionality for paid plans
  • AI gives you readymade site in seconds

Cons

  • very basic; no advanced features
  • AI-generated sites look generic
  • not scalable for larger businesses

Recommended if…

  • you don’t want to worry about site design at all
  • you need a complete and fully-functional site yesterday

7. Ghost

Screenshot of WordPress alternatives: Ghost
via Ghost

Starting as a Kickstarter project in 2013, Ghost today competes directly with WordPress as an open-source CMS with an emphasis on writing. Although they don’t venture out into other industries beyond blogging, journalism and writing in general, if that’s what you’re looking for, Ghost may be the best WordPress alternative for you.

Ghost streamlines the content publication process by removing the fringe. While WordPress aims to be the all-in-one solution, Ghost specializes on the written word and nothing else. That means if your site is solely about reading and writing, you won’t need to deal with the bells and whistles WordPress offers to other industries.

Pricing

  • Basic: $29/month
  • Standard: $79/month
  • Business: $199/month

Pros

  • includes hosting and SSL certificate
  • editor makes it easy to format text posts how you want
  • editor allows side-by-side comparison of code and a live preview
  • handles technical, behind-the-scenes areas for you
  • user-friendly interface usable by beginners

Cons

  • not equipped to handle anything except blogging and text-heavy sites
  • no free plan
  • no plug-ins or add-ons

Recommended if…

  • your site revolves around written content
  • you want a blogging platform but don’t need the extra features of WordPress

What’s next?

Picking the right CMS or site builder for your needs is an important step, so don’t rush it. But none of these WordPress alternatives—or even WordPress itself—can save you from bad design. No matter what platform or CMS you use, you still need to make sure your website has all the right visuals, layout and functionality for your business.

Still unsure which option is right for you? Try the quiz below to figure it out!