Best website builder for makers, sellers and doers.

PJ Fancher (HostingAdvice.com): InMotion Hosting, long known for affordable and high-performance shared hosting options, entered the WordPress space with a solid option built upon the company's reputation for great support and reliability. Costing a small premium over other budget-minded options, InMotion does include some nice features to help justify that cost difference. Go to full review »

In this post, we’ll be comparing the 14 most popular alternatives to WordPress available — covering general website building tools, content management systems, website management platforms and e-commerce platforms. In short, systems that can all be used by relatively inexperienced users as tools for building new websites. We’ll cover their basic features, their pros and cons and how each one compares to WordPress.


I should highlight here that, much like all website builders, SITE123 is not without cons. It’s a simple and intuitive website builder, but it is more suited to building basic websites. If you use only the free options, you won’t be able to create anything but a simple personal website with SITE123. Meanwhile, its free plan has no duration constraints, but limits storage space to 500MB and bandwidth to 1GB.
Joomla is also another Content Management system which works on model view controller architecture. It is one of the biggest competitions for WordPress. In addition to the usual functionalities of WordPress, it also has additional extensions like components, modules, plugins, templates, languages, libraries and different packages. All these features have a purpose and are mostly built on Joomla. Joomla created URLs are great for SEO services. Also, the modules that are provided by Joomla are more flexible and can be easily moved to individual pages or menus. It helps the user in managing the site with all the ease even though the site may have multiple subpages. When it comes to being multilingual Joomla is ahead of WordPress. It supports many languages as they are created right from the core. Joomla also provides several plugins that can be easily accessed from its homepage.
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.
Absolutely. You have the option to customize your website based on your business needs. You can add site content wherever you’d like in a variety of sections; from multiple site pages, to scrollable sections that you can add to each of those pages, to a gallery of images, menus and price lists, and YouTube or Vimeo videos. Each section in your website is customizable as well, from the name of the page, to your website’s navigation bar. You’ll also have the ability to change text colors, styles and font. It’s important to make a responsive website that is mobile and desktop friendly. With Website Builder you’ll be able to choose tablet and desktop layouts to give your visitors the experience you want them to have.

It is preferably more simple, light-weight and is a clutter-free content management system. The flexibility is obviously not great as WordPress. But it is surely an amazing platform if you are willing to forgo the large but complex marketplace of WordPress. Best suited for beginners, bloggers or anyone looking to create a simple, elegant and easy-to-manage website, Ghost can be an awesome alternative for WordPress if you are looking for one!

Ghost is another popular open-source CMS, geared more towards creating stylish blogs or online publications (as opposed to complex websites). It comes with versatile features for customizing page layouts, scheduling posts, injecting analytics code, and more – all from one streamlined interface. Ghost also makes it easy to optimize and produce content on multiple distribution channels (maximizing your readership in the process).
Medium is one of the fast-growing online publishing platforms that allows any users to create stories and post them on their own personal web space. So if you are looking for a blogging alternative for WordPress, this is a pretty good option. It is easy to use, understand and also features built-in social networking feature. Although branding and promoting is not the ideal purpose at Medium, if you are simply looking to share contents then it is a great platform. Of course here, users lack the flexibility and the control over a specific content or profile.	

Unlike other sites, e-commerce sites also require alterations and demand to have something easy. Among all these WordPress alternatives, Shopify is the best alternative to WordPress in this regard. It is simple and helps in growing your business the easy way. It is user-friendly and assists entrepreneurs in focusing on their products and promotions. It is easy to manipulate and offer varied kinds of themes. The added advantage of Shopify is that it integrates with social media which helps in selling the products on these social networking sites. As it is meant for e-commerce websites it is integrated with PayPal and can use it for simple and easier transactions. It helps in displaying an unlimited number of items as it has unlimited disk space. It also has advance shipping options and discount codes available.

Hosting that is aimed at specific CMS platforms and tweaked optimally for them: e.g., WordPress hosting, Drupal hosting, Magento hosting, etc. In these cases, the best hosts do far more than just provide the minimal requirements for those platforms. They provide a rich, and fully managed environment so your site can perform like a well-tuned machine.


With the promising load time and reliability, what more can you ask for? Price? At $1.98/month and rising to $5.99/month on resubscription, this is also impressive, and much more competitive than some of the more well-known hosts. That’s for shared hosting, which is the basic option. Reseller, VPS and dedicated server hosting is obviously more expensive but is available.

Of these free website makers, we’ve ranked Wix, Weebly and SITE123, as the top three because of a few important factors. Wix has a very generous free plan, which is super easy to use – it combines creative freedom with tons of features. Weebly’s simple, stylish designs and handy tools make it ideal for small businesses. SITE123 is very beginner-friendly, with a focus on helping you get online.
Medium is one of the fast-growing online publishing platforms that allows any users to create stories and post them on their own personal web space. So if you are looking for a blogging alternative for WordPress, this is a pretty good option. It is easy to use, understand and also features built-in social networking feature. Although branding and promoting is not the ideal purpose at Medium, if you are simply looking to share contents then it is a great platform. Of course here, users lack the flexibility and the control over a specific content or profile.
But we cannot deny that the end result is great once you get the hang of it. Being an all-in-one platform, WordPress has its pros and cons. If you are focused on a specific purpose then too much of WordPress features might just get you all jumbled up. So today we wanted to give out options that are similar in features but are concentrated more on a specific purpose like blogging, eCommerce, or simply website creation!

The one thing you didn’t discuss much in your article is how easy for the client it is, using the CMS *after* the developer walks away. One reason I love WP is I can show you how to add a new blogpost in 10m flat, regardless of your tech ability – and barring that, set up an email drop so it’s even simpler. October fits the mold of Joomla, Drupal, and a few others with a learning curve that’ll be quite a bit steeper for some clients.	

However, WordPress might not always be the right option for you. Although it is surely one of the most popular CMS platforms, there are certain circumstances where you want to see if there are better options for you out there! Especially if you are new to creating and running a website, it might take longer than you think to actually get things right at first. Although there are plenty of helpful tutorial sites like Beautiful Themes and WPBeginner dedicated especially for the purpose, sometimes it is a hassle.


You can absolutely do that. If you want to upgrade to a paid plan to get some of the features you want, then you can switch at any time through the My Products option in your account or with the help of a GoDaddy Guide. Once you upgrade your site will have all the same customizations and work that you've already put in place, just with the added features. See Website Builder plans and pricing for more info.
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

You gain the most web-building functionality if you create a self-hosted site. This typically involves transfering the free WordPress CMS to server or signing up for a web host's optimized WordPress plan. With an optimized plan, the host automatically handles backend stuff, so you don't have to worry about updating the plug-ins and CMS, and enabling automatic backups. In these instances, the WordPress environment typically comes pre-installed on the server.
You can make a website that lets you sell products and services if you have the Ecommerce plan. You’ll have an online store that will allow you to add products and services, set up different types of payment methods, and even specific types of shipping. Your store will be integrated into your website as a page. You can add featured products for your visitors to scroll through, make quick purchases using PayPal and Apple Pay and promote your store/products through coupons. You can also use the same type of email marketing that is included in the Premium plan to send email communications to your subscribers and customers about sales on your website, coupon offers and online events. Establishing a strong online presence can boost your sales.
Imagine just letting your website sit around for a year without ever editing its content. After a year, the WordPress CMS version is old and probably susceptible to hacking. Most website builders, on the other hand, are silently updated and maintained behind the scenes by the provider. As long as your password is secure, you have almost nothing to fear.
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.
Got products to sell? Online Store has you covered. Create a sleek-looking online store, sell on marketplaces like Amazon and Etsy, track inventory in one place, choose from flexible shipping and payment options, even let customers book appointments online. Whether you sell products, services or digital content, GoDaddy Online Store has everything you need to successfully sell online. Features available with paid plans.
When we say online business and eCommerce, the first thing that comes to mind is surely Shopify! It is an amazing alternative to WordPress that allows any users to easily create your online shop! It is a simple, secure and stable platform where you can start and grow your business with very less effort. While comparing with other web hosts, it surely does not offer the same level of robustness. However, it is best known for its amazing eCommerce based features more than anything else.
Weebly has a similar ‘drag-and-drop’ editor to Wix, which is extremely user-friendly. Combine this ease of use with its great SEO tools, plus lots of room for growth to scale your website, and Weebly stands out as the best free website builder for small businesses. It achieved the best features score of any builder we’ve tested (4.2/5). If you’re in the US, you can even sell from your free Weebly site, although you’ll pay a 3% transaction fee on each sale.
Emit is right, there is no perfect plan or company. For instance, I park a handful of domains, one of which serves as a basis for all my personal emails. Additionally, I dabble... one or two WordPress websites. There is only one plan among the hundreds offered out there that really suits my needs. Most good deals are for 1 website, and if you need two they want you to pay for "unlimited". Here's the kicker, it looks cheap initially, but it won't be later on. It's the same game that the cable ISP providers play. I will not stay out of principle; don't play games with me. Another thing I consider, many of these hosting companies, are being managed in places like Lithuania, Cypress, somewhere in Eastern Europe. I'm old enough to plainly state that I am not a naive millennial. Am I supposed to all of a sudden trust these folks? Russia, Ukraine, Romania aren't those the places where the most vicious hacker thieves come from? I'm thinking, if I get screwed by a hosting company, why not El Segundo, California. If your host is based in Lithuania, and you suffer a loss as a result of their actions, or lack thereof, what recourse will you have? Disclaimer: There is always that possibility that I could be wrong, so bear in mind, that if you think I'm wrong, be advised that it doesn't matter.

There are more than a hundred free website builders available online, and new ones keep popping up every year. According to my research, the percentage of sites developed using online website builders (including free ones) is catching up with the percentage of websites built using popular CMS with open code as WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, Magento and the like.
Thanks, Jeremy, for your excellent article, but I still have a couple of questions. We use Dreamhost for our website, which was built in 1999 (seriously) and we keep it semi-current using SeaMonkey's editor. Last year we added an ECWID shopping cart to replace the really difficult to use PayPal shopping cart system, which has helped, but a replacement website that's easy to change is what we really need. It seems that all of these site builders want to host us, when what I need is a program I can use to create the new site and replace my existing one. Is there a standalone site building program you recommend? How about an easy to use interface to put between me and Wordpress? (That seems like it would be an excellent tool for someone to develop.) Or should I just buy a copy of Wordpress for Dummies and start fresh? Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
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It is preferably more simple, light-weight and is a clutter-free content management system. The flexibility is obviously not great as WordPress. But it is surely an amazing platform if you are willing to forgo the large but complex marketplace of WordPress. Best suited for beginners, bloggers or anyone looking to create a simple, elegant and easy-to-manage website, Ghost can be an awesome alternative for WordPress if you are looking for one!	

It goes without saying that WordPress has emerged as a leading option when it comes to building a website for all kinds of different online endeavors: from small personal portfolios to enterprise-level business and eCommerce sites. It’s got a large community of devotees and users, and a huge list of developers forever coming up with all kinds of different plugins to expand its capabilities. That said, WordPress isn’t the be-all and end-all. Indeed, there are in fact a number of different alternatives on the market.

Maybe just like you, at first we didn't have a darn clue about how to build a website, nevermind write half a line of code if our life depended on it! We wanted to build a website to start a side business, and felt overwhelmed, confused & scared about how to actually do it, which builder to use, and making wrong decisions. After years of trials & errors using different website builders, we're here to share our experiences with you.
Although you can access many great features on the free plan, including adding a messaging system and pop-up in just a couple of clicks, much of what makes GoDaddy a great platform (namely a ton of extra marketing features) are kept under the lock and key of a premium subscription, which is fair enough. Upgrading for these extras is simple, and prices start at just $10/month.
However, WordPress might not always be the right option for you. Although it is surely one of the most popular CMS platforms, there are certain circumstances where you want to see if there are better options for you out there! Especially if you are new to creating and running a website, it might take longer than you think to actually get things right at first. Although there are plenty of helpful tutorial sites like Beautiful Themes and WPBeginner dedicated especially for the purpose, sometimes it is a hassle.
Well, there are plenty in the cut-throat internet. However today we have enlisted the best ones that we thought would help our users out to decide! Simplifying the process, and saving the time and effort to compare each one out, feel free to check out our list of best alternatives for WordPress for each and every niche and purpose! Liked our article? Found it helpful? We always love feedback!
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