WordPress is a hugely popular website platform, with almost 50% of websites around the world being powered by WP.
This usage has resulted in a wide range of custom themes, plugins, templates and community support which can be extremely beneficial for anyone that’s about to launch their online presence.
WordPress, however, isn’t for everyone. The system was originally built purely for blogging and while it has the flexibility to design any website you wish, it often takes advanced coding or web design knowledge to get the most out of the system.
If you’re looking for a simplified website solution or something that’s a little all-in-one, there are some very strong WordPress alternatives to consider.
Quick list of WordPress alternatives:
- Webflow (for designers)
- SquareSpace (for small businesses)
- Wix (for small businesses)
- Medium (for bloggers)
- Shopify (for startups or small ecommerce stores)
If you’re a designer and find WordPress design options a little cumbersome or even limiting, Webflow is worth some serious consideration.
Webflow is a design-first website platform that’s relatively new to the market. Webflow uses a powerful visual editor that allows you to easily make edits to your design directly on the frontend (avoiding confusing backend structures and processes that other platforms suffer with).
Webflow has some very flexible templates available to its users and is even pretty strong on SEO. In fact, the Webflow web design agency FruityLlama has a detailed write up on the platform’s SEO capability.
SquareSpace has been through a lot of updates over the past few years and recent marketing pushes have helped to segment it as a top player in the beginner website builder space.
SquareSpace benefits from an intuitive design system and very simple yet effective built-in templates that are perfect for small businesses. Local businesses, in particular, love this platform as they can often manage and update the site themselves without having to outsource.
SquareSpace has its limits, such as very limited features for multilingual sites, but overall this is a very strong platform if you’re looking to get online with a beautiful website that won’t take much time or investment to manage.
Wix and SquareSpace are close competitors in the beginner website space, with SquareSpace maybe being a little more complex but also a stronger system for large websites or ecommerce sites (in most cases).
Wix has earned its place though. While being less customizable than other platforms on this list, Wix is probably the best all-in-one system out there for small businesses. Wix have developed a wide range of designs and templates that will plug into your design for an incredibly quick website build that’s fully functioning and professional.
In fact, advanced design features are being added all the time, including video backgrounds and animations. SEO options are simple but Wix essentially includes an optimal SEO setup out of the box. Dedicated support and live chat is also useful for anyone new to web design.
Medium is essentially a blogging website. Right now you can head over to Medium, create a free profile and start blogging on the platform, exposing your writing to a pretty wide and engaged audience.
Medium also allows you to add your own custom domain to your profile. This means you can launch your own website directly from the platform, with all the hard work already done for you.
While design options will be limited, you can still create a unique feel and style for your website within Medium’s editor. If you’re purely looking to publish a blog and you have no real need for service or product pages, Medium will be a perfect platform to get started.
Alternatively, you could just use Medium as the CMS for the blog section of your website, and have your other pages handled by a different platform (like WordPress).
Shopify has become the go-to for startup ecommerce businesses and it’s a great alternative to WooCommerce thanks to its ease and simplicity. Shopify makes launching an ecommerce store so easy and comes packed with templates and designs that can be completely customized to your branding.
Shopify benefits from a huge community, so tutorials, tools and support is never hard to come by. You will be able to create product variants, manage taxes & shipping directly on the platform. You’ll also get analytics on your website traffic and sales in the backend.
Just remember, Shopify users incur a monthly fee and Shopify will take a small percentage of sales. This is pretty standard across ecommerce platforms that aren’t open source and you’ll have aspects like hosting, SSL and uptime handled for you by Shopify.
So, while WP will also be a viable platform for just about any website, it’s certainly not the only option. Depending on your goals, one of the WordPress alternatives listed above could be a great option for you and may even be a better fit for your next website.