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The Best WordPress Alternatives: Website Builders, eCommerce, and Open-Source

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Anyone who is looking to create a website today has probably been suggested WordPress as a great option. WordPress definitely has a lot of positives that make it the platform of choice for website development. It is used by over 40% of all websites and 60% of content management systems.

There is no denying that you can create almost all kinds of websites with WordPress. However, being so general purpose is also a negative as you can't optimize the platform to do one particular thing. In this post, I will tell you about some alternatives to WordPress that might suit you better for creating websites.

Website Builders eCommerce Open Source
Squarespace Shopify Joomla
Wix PrestaShop Drupal
Webflow Snipcart  

WordPress Website Builder Alternatives

Let's begin the discussion with some full-fledged website builders that you can use to create regular websites.

Squarespace

Squarespace was a blog hosting service with a simple drag-and-drop builder in its initial years. However, it has now grown to a full-fledged website builder where you can create almost all types of websites.

Squarespace HomepageSquarespace HomepageSquarespace Homepage

There are a lot of available templates to help you building anything from an online store or restaurant website to a blog or portfolio.

You will also be able to use the Squarespace marketplace extensions in order to integrate more functionality into the website.

One major benefit of using Squarespace is that you won't have to worry about website maintenance, security and optimization as much as you would have with WordPress. This frees up your time and resources to focus on actual website building and content promotion.

We also have another article that covers the Squarespace vs WordPress comparison in more detail.

Wix

Wix is another popular platform that a lot of people use to create their website. In fact, it is slightly more popular in comparison to Squarespace.

Wix HomepageWix HomepageWix Homepage

Wix is a SaaS product just like Squarespace. This means that you will also get similar advantages when it comes to ease of installation and set up.

In terms of design, there are over 900 free and customizable templates available for you to use. The templates have been created with optimization for all types of uses in mind.

You can also use the website builder to create a website from scratch. You can create a website for selling products online, starting a simple blog or to organize events.

The whole process of using Wix for creating websites is hassle-free and you won't have to worry about downtime or maintenance issues.

You can read more about the tool in our comparison of Wix with WordPress.

Webflow

Are you the kind of person who likes to create websites where you have absolute control over the look and appearance of different elements on a webpage? Webflow is going to be a great WordPress alternative for you.

Webflow HomepageWebflow HomepageWebflow Homepage

While you can create your own website designs from scratch in Webflow, there is also an option to use some pre-built free and premium themes for further customization.

I would like to mention that the granular control over all aspects of your website in Webflow comes at the cost of a steep learning curve. This is probably going to be a challenge if you are a newbie.

You will be able to add different types of interactions and animations to the elements on a webpage to make it more lively and interesting.

The platform is optimized for SEO performance and allows people to collaborate on content creation.

Read this Webflow and WordPress comparison post to get a better idea of the platform.

WordPress eCommerce Alternatives

All the website builders I listed above can also be used to create eCommerce websites. We can also easily set up an online store to sell our products using the WordPress WooCommerce plugin.

However, there are other alternatives which are specially meant for selling products that are worth considering.

Shopify

Shopify is one of the most popular platforms to use when you want to set up a website to sell products online. The website claims to handle 10% of total US eCommerce.

Shopify HomepageShopify HomepageShopify Homepage

You will have to spend very little time in setting up your eCommerce store with Shopify. There are a lot of themes available for you to use so you don't have to start from scratch. However, you will still be able to customize the store to give it a personal touch.

The Shopify app store comes with multiple extensions to help you with different aspects of eCommerce like dropshipping, marketing, product reviews or selling products in places like Facebook and Instagram.

There is no need to worry about website maintenance, security or scalability as Shopify will take care of all that for you.

Want to read more about the Shopify? Read this detailed comparison of Shopify with WordPress.

PrestaShop

Not everyone wants to sacrifice complete control over their online store for quick installation process and ease of use. If you are one of those people, you might find PrestaShop to be a great alternative to WordPress.

Prestashop HomepagePrestashop HomepagePrestashop Homepage

Just like WordPress, PrestaShop is also open-source but its primary focus is on being an eCommerce store instead of a full-fledged CMS to create general purpose websites.

You don't need to meet any special technical requirements in order to use PrestaShop. All you require is support for PHP, MySQL and Apacha or Nginx servers similar to WordPress.

There is a thriving community of over 1 million users and thousands of developers ready to help you. There is also an official marketplace that you can use to purchase PrestaShop modules and templates to get started quickly.

Snipcart

I used Snipcart to develop an online store for one of my clients and liked what the service had to offer. As the homepage suggests, you can use Snipcart to add a shopping cart to any website with a JavaScript library and some HTML.

Snipcart HomepageSnipcart HomepageSnipcart Homepage

There are several benefits of using Snipcart. Two of them being the ease of set up and complete integration with an existing website without much hassle. There is no need to start fresh and waste time.

You also get plenty of customization options for your store as well as the payments page etc. The support staff was also very helpful. You can test the service for free and start paying when you decide to go online.

WordPress Open Source CMS Alternatives

Finally, I would like to mention two open source alternatives to WordPress in case you want full control over all aspects of your website.

Joomla

Even though it is not as popular as WordPress, Joomla is the platform of choice for website development for plenty of people. There are over 2 million active websites that use Joomla.

Joomla HomepageJoomla HomepageJoomla Homepage

One of the biggest benefits of Joomla is that it is completely free and open source so you have absolute control over the website you create.

The CMS offers great multi-lingual support with over 70 translation packs available in its core. You get many features like content versioning, scheduling and management that you would expect in a CMS. The WYSIWYG editor that comes with Joomla supports direct drag and drop of images into the content.

Check out our article comparing WordPress and Joomla.

Drupal

Drupal is the third most popular CMS out there after WordPress and Joomla. A lot of well-known government organizations and companies like NASA, Dr. Reddy's etc. use Drupal to create their website. So rest assured, you can use the platform with full confidence even if you haven't heard a lot about it.

Drupal HomepageDrupal HomepageDrupal Homepage

Drupal has focused a lot on being very accessible and offering multi-lingual support in its latest release. That is good news if you are trying to reach a large number of audiences.

Behind the scenes, Drupal is written in PHP and can work with MySQL or MariaDB for any database needs. You can also use PostgreSQL or SQLite if you want. It will also work on any web server with appropriate PHP version installed. This basically means that you won't have to worry about facing any installation issues.

Some of the things that you would like in Drupal include its support for more powerful and flexible content type and access control options.

We also have an in-depth article comparing WordPress and Drupal.

Final Thoughts

Web development has come a long way in the past decade. There are now a lot of tools and services around to help you create a website. You can choose to either go along the open source route or use popular SaaS products like Squarespace, Shopify or Snipcart.

I would suggest that you do further research on any of the alternatives that you like before you fully commit your time and resources.

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