While WordPress is pretty much the preferred publishing platform for the mass all over the world, during the recent years, WordPress has become more than just a blogging platform. This is where the WordPress alternative Ghost comes into play. It is a NodeJS based blogging open-source platform that was designed especially for the purpose of online publishing for bloggers. Released not so long ago, this project has already achieved four times more than it originally aimed for.
Such website builders are based on the business model called ‘freemium.’ This means that they offer a basic service absolutely for free. There are no time limits – you can use this tool as long as you want. But if one of the Premium plans is paid, you’re likely to get an opportunity to use your domain name and upgrade your website’s capabilities. But this Premium plan is not mandatory.
With more than 11 million sites built on IM Creator, it's a popular option for a few reasons: there's an easy point-and-click interface, an extensive range of templates and images, and unlimited web hosting and domain services. Plus, the platform is scalable, and you can have either single or multipage layouts. This builder is unique for its built-in ecommerce tools, and offers SEO and Google Analytics to fully optimize your site for search engines.
As an example, let’s consider Shopify – a premium eCommerce website builder. Over the years, Shopify has become quite a heavy and complicated e-store creator. Its focus on adding more technical capabilities has transformed the visual editor from something a beginner could use, to something that can intimidate a beginner. Today, nobody recommends Shopify as a relevant e-store builder for newbies.
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.
Another big name when it comes to eCommerce platforms after Shopify is BigComerce. It is a hosted e-commerce solution that allows the users to set up their own online store and sell their stuff. It is flexible allowing anyone from beginners to experts to use the services and create the ideal platform. Compared to WordPress however, it is not ideal for other types of sites.
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.
Ghost is an independent non-profit organisation. We build publishing tools for modern journalism & publishing because we believe freedom of speech is important. Our software is released under a free open source license, our business model is completely transparent, and our legal structure means that 100% of the money we make is reinvested into making Ghost better.
I like POW (proof of work) crypto currencies where the system is ruled on the basis of how much computing power you can apply to maintaining the system. I’ve steered clear of Ethereum because it is heading towards POS (proof of stake,) a system where oligarch-sized owners of the coin get to call the shots and likely do what oligarchs do best, poop on the little people and fight to the death amongst themselves. Crypto is politics in software form, so to me the political framework of cryptocurrencies is all important. The POS future for Ethereum is a killer for me long term, but right now it is not that “in the long term we are all dead” that is the key, it is that visibility of the long term itself is all but dead.
Thanks for the comment. Yes, it is – people are always happy to get something for free. It’s right. But you need to understand that for free you always have to pay. Often not money, somehow differently, but have to. In the case of free website builders, such a fee is the availability of brand ads on the website. And in my opinion this is not a very high fee for a completely free website.
You can import your WordPress blog to Squarespace, which we like a lot. Nevertheless, we don’t recommend using Squarespace for blogging unless you don’t particularly care about SEO because page titles and meta descriptions can’t be adjusted for individual blog posts – which is very important for ranking with search engines. However, be aware that Squarespace is more difficult to use than Wix or Weebly due to its convoluted interface.
This is a super simple funnel designed specifically to increase conversions for Amazon storeowners. The main page advertises a coupon deal that offers a discounted product in exchange for the customer details to add to your customer lead database. It also includes a Thank You page and PPC Opt-In, can be connected directly to your Amazon account via the Zapier app, and funnels people to your Amazon storefront for those all-important reviews. It has been formatted and optimized for mobile use.
However, if you aren’t a blogger, you may struggle to customize your site to your liking. This is where WordPress.com falls – it starts to feel limiting when you try to create anything other than a blog with its templates. It was the platform our users were least likely to recommend after testing, and also came out last for ease of use with a score of just 3.2/5.
Hi Gina, Thanks for your comment and sharing your thoughts. Hiring an expert developer is always good, but it does have its challenges. Financial investment is just one of them. It's not a big problem if a company is well established already and is cash flowing to re-invest its profits into technology. But not all companies have that level of budget to commit, and not all companies are well established (yet). A lot of users are just starting out and just don't have that level of resource to get their websites off the ground. In such circumstance, I think our list above makes a lot of sense. No doubt, your comment is also valid, but I think that's more applicable for well established businesses. We have a full discussion of the cost of building a website that compares the cost of hiring a developer versus using a DIY website builder such as the ones I suggested above. I also wrote an article about the idea of hiring a designer / developer - when it's appropriate, and when it isn't appropriate. It's just my own view and what I would advise my friends and family if they were to ask me. Of course, every single person that's looking to build a website has different needs, motivations and resources. Thanks for adding to this discussion! Jeremy
HelpScout starts their funnel with traffic. They have their blog and resource page that helps keep you clicking around their website. They make it very easy to see and easy to interact with and keep going on your journey around the site. The next step is the homepage. Their homepage is straightforward to understand. The design is quite clean and buttons to keep you moving around the site are quite prominent. When it comes to the last step of pricing and purchase, they never show a price menu; they just take you directly to a signup page. If you love the product and you’ve come this far, that is an aggressive but effective pricing strategy.
If you’re fairly tech-confident but don’t want to pay a dime to create your blog, then WordPress.com is a top choice. The WordPress.com free domain is also the only one to not include the name of the builder – for the site below, our domain name was lucyskitchennightmares.food.blog (the food.blog is automatically assigned based on the ‘purpose’ you set for your site).
WordPress (or WooCommerce) are definitely good platforms and will be the exact right choice for many users: Scalability is excellent and the number of extensions is impressive. On the other hand, beginners will have a hard time getting everything set up without running into problems – unless, of course, they get outside help to setup this popular CMS.
Oberlo Alternative for WordPress and WooCommerce + Discount Code