Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links in which I receive commissions. The reviews and opinions expressed in this article are my own.
Whenever somebody intends to create or transport a website, the platform that usually first comes up to mind is WordPress.
And don’t get me wrong, WordPress is an amazing platform full of possibilities, flexibility, and scalability.
Additionally, the thousands of plugins can add countless functionalities to the website.
It is with good reason that WordPress is one of the most used platforms for websites.
However, WordPress being an open-source platform is truly not for everybody; it has some disadvantages.
There are many other good platforms out there, and according to your needs and the type of website you need for your business some of them might be a better option for you.
In this post, I will first mention who should stick to WordPress, and then dig into the other platforms on the market.
WordPress: who should choose it?
Some businesses have a need for a high level of customization and flexibility when it comes to both functionalities and design for their website.
Those businesses need an open-source platform like WordPress so they have enough space to get creative with their website characteristics.
It does have a very user-friendly CMS and people without deep technical knowledge can get their way around WordPress, but for some things and functionalities, it is good that you have a web developer on your team or at least the budget to seek help.
This is especially applicable to advanced customizations and added functionalities that are not in the original version.
Additionally, there might be problems with WordPress updates that can make a mess out of your website. So web developers, in this case, are a must.
Keep in mind that WordPress is an open-source platform so the security is questionable. There are many plugins that can make your security very better, but if you are preferring security over functionalities, choose another platform.
If you have a vision for your website in the future that includes scalability where the number of users that visit the website gets extremely high, WordPress is a good choice for you.
Some major websites use it as their platform like for example New Yorker, CNN, Fortune, and many more that have significant numbers of visitors each day.
There is also a built-in role management system which means that companies that need many users to work from the same platform will find WordPress satisfying.
If you are just starting out and need a website that can be online as soon as possible with basic tools, maybe WordPress should not be your first choice since there are other platforms that offer those types of functionalities.
WordPress has tons of functionalities and options for customizing, but with that comes a lot of work, effort, and time.
If you’re looking for something that will allow you to create a website by yourself without advanced technical knowledge, one option is Wix.
Wix is a hosted website builder that has a free version with a bit of limited options that are totally capable of creating personal and professional websites that look very good.
There are templates that you can choose from and further edit using a very easy drag and drop builder.
Additionally, Wix also has an eCommerce option with the paid plans that is very good.
- Vast template collection
- Good speed of the sites
- Easy interface (drag and drop)
- Help and support available
- Wix App Market
- You can’t change the template you chose
- The site is not transferable
- Tracking and analytics only come with paid plans
- Free plan adds Wix branding
- The premium plans only apply for one site
Relevant: Read a detailed comparison of Wix vs. WordPress here
There are many templates which you can choose as your base, and then modify them towards your wishes.
BigCommerce supports a lot of payment gateways both traditional and non-traditional. You won’t be charged a fee for the sale transactions too.
You can sell unlimited products, and you can track the performance of your store. They also have built-in tools for SEO.
Additionally, you can integrate BigCommerce with a WordPress site if your main website is on WordPress.
- Adding product variants is possible and easy
- No limit on product variants
- Scalable for small and big stores
- No transaction fees for you
- Integrated SEO features
- Annual sales threshold (if you’re above it you’re automatically updated to a higher plan)
- Not very flexible creation of regular content (blogs, posts, etc)
- No multilingual feature (except if added by coding)
Read: BigCommerce Review 2020
If you are looking for an extra simple website builder then look no further than Weebly. It’s definitely one of the easiest and most intuitive builders.
More than 40 million sites around the world are based on Weebly and with a reason.
If you are a start-up or you need a personal website while you’re just beginning Weebly is a great choice because, besides the fact that it’s extremely easy to use, it has a free plan that is very functional.
For the free plan, there is only a small Weebly banner in the footer. Not a very big price to pay to enjoy a free website builder.
Domains can be used in the paid plans but at very affordable prices.
When it comes to flexibility, the blog feature is a top-notch one allowing you to create unique and functional blogs per your style.
- Very affordable
- Easily customizable
- Easy to use
- Integrates with other apps/add ons
- Many templates to choose from
- SEO settings that are rich
- You can move away from Weebly
- Very limited free option
- Very limited photo editing
- Weebly in the name of the free domains (www.example.weebly.com)
- Customer support only in paid plans
Another great platform for building an online store is Shopify. It’s a very easy platform for using and it provides all the tools necessary for creating a functional and stylish online shop.
The platform has a built-in guided setup that gives you information on how to set up your eCommerce store.
Like any other good platform, Shopify also has a variety of pre-made templates, apps, and possibilities for integration.
If your goal is to easily create a good online store without any hassles, Shopify should be your number none choice.
- It’s very simple to use
- Big choice of storefront themes
- Many apps and plugins
- Around the clock support
- Not a big possibility for extra functionalities or customization
- Only a few theme templates are free, for others, you have to pay
- Fees for using the apps/plugins
- Some support relies on forum questions, etc, not direct customer support
Joomla is another open-source platform that has been around for almost as long as WordPress but WordPress managed to pull much ahead over the following years.
Joomla provides more robust tools for managing the users and the communities and has better built-in multilingual support without the need of plugins.
It has almost all of the functionalities as WordPress and then some more. Instead of plugins, it has templates and extensions.
All in all, it’s a very good platform if you’re looking for an open-source builder that will give you the same functionalities as WordPress, but maybe for a cheaper price.
- Built-in features for user and community management
- Better multilingual support
- Great for beginners
- Good SEO
- Less user-friendly interface
- More complex than WordPress
- Limited free extensions
Raead detailed compairson of Joomla Vs. WordPress here
Drupal is yet another quite well-known open-course CMS. It’s a competitor of WordPress and Joomla and has a strong community of users and developers.
Just like WordPress has plugins and themes, Drupal has modules and themes on the same principle and it can run on any web host that supports WordPress.
Drupal has actually been around for longer than WordPress and Joomla, since 2000. Usually, bigger and more powerful institutions use Drupal because of its power and flexibility.
That means that it is not very beginner-friendly and requires developers’ support. Not everybody can get around the way it works.
- The most flexible option
- Perfect for big sites with large quantities of data
- Supported by a large community
- Very strong security
- Extremely complex
- Requires time and effort
- Possible performance issues
Another site builder that can be used as an alternative to WordPress is Squarespace. It’s another very easy-to-use solution that even beginners can perfect with some practice.
Squarespace offers as well pre-ready templates that you can go and modify to fit your needs.
But, there is nothing additional to install. All the features that are possible to use are provided by Squarespace itself.
In this context, Squarespace can be quite limiting to some people, especially since it is a paid builder.
The drag and drop make it very easy to use, and additionally, there is an eCommerce option to add.
- Templates to choose from
- Backend design options
- All-in-one platform
- Speed, security
- Data export
- A bit expensive compared to other web builders
- Missing advanced marketing tools
- No third-party apps and extensions
Medium is quite different from WordPress by many criteria. It is mostly a publishing platform without a full content management system.
The main focus of Medium is blogging and the communities.
Basically, if you just need a platform to create an awesome blog that is in an uncluttered writing area- this is what you’re looking for.
It can create a unique design that can be compatible with all device sizes. And it’s extremely easy to use, there are no themes or plugins.
The downside is that Medium for some reason doesn’t allow custom domain names anymore, so you would have to publish under the platform’s domain.
The plus side is that Medium has a built-in audience so if you’re trying to introduce your content to as many people as possible, you should think about Medium.
- No technical skills required at all to start
- Built-in audience
- No hosting your own version
- No control over the platform
To sum it up
WordPress is an amazing tool as we all know, and even with its disadvantages it still is on the top on the list among website builders.
But as you can see, there are many, many other platforms that according to your needs and business goals might work out better for you right now.
A very important thing to take into consideration when making your decision is the future of your business and website.
If you are only choosing for right now, you might make a big mistake when sometime in the future your business will grow or you will need additional functionalities and you will be limited by the platform you chose.
I have seen these examples, and trust me, it’s easier to take into consideration the future expansion of your business when choosing, then starting over again a year later because you are stuck with a platform that’s not good enough for your needs anymore.
Of course, not all things can be predicted, but a general idea of the future path of your business should be defined.
Which platform do you use for your website? Which one do you think is the best option? Share in the comments.
For your next read, I recommend one of the following posts:
- How to create a good WordPress logo?
- Best eCommerce platforms for 2020
- How Netflix effectively uses analytics?