Hey Frank, we are big fans of WordPress ourselves. This very site was built with WordPress. However, this post is about website builders, not self-hosted solutions or content management systems. And, of course, having a website is just the beginning. To make it successful, you also need to learn about SEO, content, and other forms of marketing. We actually have a post on that very topic: https://websitesetup.org/increase-website-traffic/
I’ve made some use of Kirby CMS. It’s a really well put together flat file CMS. It takes some coding out of the box to get it set up as desired, but then it’s a pleasure to use. Advantages of not having a database include simpler setup, and the ease of version control of the whole site. Statamic is a similar option, though I’ve not spent any significant time using it.
If you’re knowledgeable about site building and e-commerce, you’ll find solutions on this list that give you better extension possibilities, more overall features, and the freedom to potentially do anything you want with your online store (since you’d be hosting it on your own server). That said, if you’re just getting into selling things online and want to do everything yourself, Shopify can often be a great place to start for new businesses and less technically-savvy folk!
The selection below should be plenty to get you started. Read the blurbs and then click through to the linked reviews to find the one that best suits your needs. And don't hesitate to chime in below in the comments section to report your experience with a site builder or praise one that's not included. For more advice and alternatives to DIY website building, check out our primer, How to Create a Website.
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For more than a decade, Jeffrey L. Wilson has penned gadget- and video game-related nerd-copy for a variety of publications, including 1UP, 2D-X, The Cask, Laptop, LifeStyler, Parenting, Sync, Wise Bread, and WWE. He now brings his knowledge and skillset to PCMag as a Lead Analyst. When he isn't staring at a monitor (or two) and churning out web hosting, music, utilities, and video game copy, Jeffrey makes comic books, mentors, practices bass and Jeet Kune Do, and appears on the odd podcasts or convention panel. He also collects vinyl and greatly enjoys a craft brew.
Joomla is one of the more popular WordPress alternatives, and it’s easy to see why. The platform gives you a great deal of control over content workflows and template layouts, which dictate the appearance of your Joomla site in a similar fashion to WordPress themes. Another popular feature of Joomla is its built-in Access Control List (ACL), which makes site administration and granting contributor access an easy process.
Although Craft CMS is not that famous, it is extensively being used by Netflix and Salesforce websites. It is developer friendly due to its extensive back end features for your application. It does not provide any front-end themes. Unlike WordPress, it does not have a predefined content type and hence it allows the user to set up their own content by making use of 18 different types of fields. It provides user view to the admin console and also enables side by side changes that they can make. The admin can create groups that can help in restricting or enabling different users from accessing some specific features. It supports different environments which can help in creating site locally. It deploys to staging and then to production. The flexible fields can also help in creating perfect interfaces with complete developer control.
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