This review covers WordPress.com, which is a simplified version of WordPress that functions like a website builder. WordPress.org, on the other hand, is a content management system (CMS) that can organize and store a lot more content, but demands a bit more technical know-how. We’ve written a full comparison of these two WordPress platforms if you’d like to learn more! If not, then read on for our review of WordPress.com.
That said, there are some elements that you should pay close attention to when deciding on which free website builder you choose – which is exactly what we do To create this ranking of the best free website builders, we drew upon our extensive research and user testing for each website builder as a whole, and combined this with a specific focus on their free plans, paying close attention to whether or not the builder ticked these boxes:
Jekyll is a static-site generator, which lets you create your content as text files that can then be inserted into folders. Once your files are created, Jekyll enables you to build the shell of your site using the Liquid template language. Jekyll stitches your content with the shell, creating a static site that can be readily uploaded to all server types.
Joomla is one of the more popular WordPress alternatives, and it’s easy to see why. The platform gives you a great deal of control over content workflows and template layouts, which dictate the appearance of your Joomla site in a similar fashion to WordPress themes. Another popular feature of Joomla is its built-in Access Control List (ACL), which makes site administration and granting contributor access an easy process.
You can also host your website on WordPress.com, but that's different from the kind of hosting mentioned above. WordPress.com uses the same code from WordPress.org, but it hides the server code and handles the hosting for you. In that sense, it resembles entries in our online site builder roundup. It's a simpler but less flexible and customizable way to approach WordPress hosting. It's definitely easier, but if you want to tinker and adjust and optimize every aspect of your site, it might not be for you.
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.
Amongst most of the website builders, another name that comes to mind is Squarespace. The versatile builder for blogs, portfolio sites as well as online stores, has managed to rise in its popularity in the recent years. Despite the huge difference, this being a closed source software while WordPress is an open source; it certainly is a great alternative to WordPress Page builder. That’s right, for the casual users the overall functionality and the flexibility is the main aspect.
Another of the WordPress competitors, Kentico, is a user-friendly, highly adaptable offering. It requires minimal coding to yield any number of customizations and functionalities. Digital marketers and tech enthusiasts flock to Kentico because it is fully APS-integrated (an open-source framework that allows for building apps in several programming languages in tandem) and lets you integrate with Google from the start.
Hi Tarang, Interesting infographic - thanks for sharing. WordPress is very popular and will probably get even more popular. I'm not saying that it is a bad website building platform at all, as it is very powerful and flexible. But learning how to use WordPress proficiently is much more challenging than using a drag & drop website builder, such as the ones I listed above. So it all comes down to what you want to do. If you have the luxury of time and money and can afford to invest it into learning how to tackle all the technical aspects of running a website, or hire someone to do that for you, then by all means consider WordPress. We have are more in-depth discussion about that topic here. Wix, Squarespace, Weebly or Shopify are what we call DIY website builders, as you can do it all by yourself and not have to worry about most technical aspects of operating a website. So they are very user friendly and can get you off the ground in days, which can't be done if you are new to WordPress. So what's appropriate to a user is very dependent on the user him/herself! Jeremy
It also includes hosting, themes as well as apps to help you get your site up and running. Although not as advanced as WordPress blogging platform, the blogging capabilities of BigCommerce is pretty great. It is easy to use and is secure as it is protected by multiple layers of security. Managing and running an efficient and successful online shop is easier and we can say that it is a pretty great alternative to WordPress in this niche!
I’ve made some use of Kirby CMS. It’s a really well put together flat file CMS. It takes some coding out of the box to get it set up as desired, but then it’s a pleasure to use. Advantages of not having a database include simpler setup, and the ease of version control of the whole site. Statamic is a similar option, though I’ve not spent any significant time using it.
Hi Eric, Thanks so much for your comment! Wix and Weebly both have integrations with POS systems - but only if you're based in the US. However, you won't be able to use this on a free plan - you'll need an ecommerce plan, which lets you accept payments and orders through your website, or to connect a POS sytem as you said. On Wix, the cheapest option would be the $23 per month Business plan (billed annually), and on Weebly this would be the $12 per month Pro plan (also billed annually). If you're setting up a serious ecommerce business and you want more selling features to support you, I recommend checking out Shopify, as it's specifically designed to support online stores. I hope this has helped, and I'll link to some reviews I hope you find helpful too: - Wix eCommerce Review - Weebly Ecommerce Review- Shopify Review Many thanks for reading, and all the best! Lucy
These photography templates are professionally designed, and look excellent. Most have minimalist multiple gallery layouts with a focus on showcasing visuals. In my mind, Wix’s photography templates are the best among all website builders. Squarespace is the only other website builder that has better photography templates. But this is a premium website builder without a free plan.
Hi Michael. Many of the website builders described here are capable to accomplish this. You only need to find a suitable web template. In addition, if you won’t find a perfect template suitable for the options you need, pay attention to the ecommerce website builders. Yes, yes – to them, only you won’t have the options to buy, but instead of the description of the products – the descriptions of the doctors you are talking about. Just to filter and to sort is what ecommerce websites can do very well.
While WordPress offers an unbelievably wide range of designs, we had to realize that customizing these designs to match our needs meant loads of tedious work and custom code. Building a Wix site is different. You move the elements around with a click of the mouse, dropping them right where you want them. All plans (even the free one!) come with the same design options.
Welcome to the CNET 2020 directory of web hosting services. In this directory, we'll look at a few of the best web hosting providers like Bluehost, A2Hosting, Hostinger, DreamHost, HostGator, InMotion Hosting and more. In this evaluation of the best web hosting providers, we're featuring commercial web hosting companies that offer WordPress, VPS, shared hosting and many more web hosting services, along with a variety of annual and monthly plans.
Ryan Frankel (HostingAdvice.com): With prices much higher than many WordPress users are accustomed to seeing, we understand that WP Engine may not be for everybody. But for those developers, designers, agencies, and growing businesses passionate about website performance, stability, and cutting-edge WordPress features, WP Engine will be a godsend. Go to full review »
If you're a WordPress user, Bluehost is definitely a web hosting provider to consider. While its managed WordPress hosting is a little more pricey than basic shared hosting, the company has both specific WordPress and WooCommerce hosting plans available (along with management support). It also offers a site migration service for an additional fee.
I found CMS Made Simple to be very easy to template, for instance. And I used ModX for years before using WP, and it is also very easy to template, and offers a lot of nice features. They will appeal to someone who wants to develop, but is generally uncomfortable in PHP. You can mostly get by with HTML and template tags. This tends to prevent the “white screen of death”.
Choosing the CMS to start a blog or a website development project is a big decision, particularly if you aren’t going with WordPress. You’ll need to meticulously research different interface options, what add-ons and extensions are offered, coding capabilities, and layout templates. However, as we have seen, there are plenty of WordPress alternatives out there to try before you make your final decision.
Oberlo Alternative for WordPress and WooCommerce + Discount Code