Best website builder for makers, sellers and doers.

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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. 
In this post, we’ll be comparing the 14 most popular alternatives to WordPress available — covering general website building tools, content management systems, website management platforms and e-commerce platforms. In short, systems that can all be used by relatively inexperienced users as tools for building new websites. We’ll cover their basic features, their pros and cons and how each one compares to WordPress.
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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.
WordPress is a big name when it comes to creating websites. But you should know that WordPress.com is not what most people are talking about when they mention WordPress. What most internet-savvy people mean by the term WordPress is the free, open-source blogging platform that comes from WordPress.org. Using this requires you to find your own website hosting service. The WordPress.org software is such a popular site-building platform that many web hosting services even offer managed WordPress hosting plans. WordPress.com, on the other hand, is a service that deploys and hosts that software for you, so you don't have to go out and find your own hosting service.	

As the Weebly team states, the idea behind the platform is to make website creation available for everyone — not only programmers. Weebly remains one of the easiest-to-use site-building solutions out there. It delivers great tools for creating straightforward sites that serve specific purposes. Weebly is another hosted solution, which means that it takes care of housing your site and all the technical details related to it.

The blog feature is the most flexible we’ve seen. You can create all sort of layouts and use all the available elements (e.g. galleries, contact forms, video integration, etc) and have blogging features (e.g. tags, categories, comments, etc), excellent for publishing posts. It also boasts an integrated video and audio player (Pro plan only). Check out our direct comparison: Weebly vs WordPress.
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. 
Hi Cedric, Have a look at this guide on mobile interfaces for drag and drop website builders. You can also build multiple sites within one user account. But if you want to subscribe to a paid plan, you will have to upgrade one website at a time. So for instance, you have 1 Wix account and within this account, you have 4 websites. You can upgrade each of the website one at a time. Jeremy
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
In a nutshell, when it comes to WordPress it is an all in one platform which helps in creating a website, blogs and manage content. It has its advantages and disadvantages. When it comes to specific projects or sites which are to be created it may have pluses and minuses. It depends on the project, user and his requirements and strategies which define which application is to be used. There are many WordPress alternatives with different features.
Imagine just letting your website sit around for a year without ever editing its content. After a year, the WordPress CMS version is old and probably susceptible to hacking. Most website builders, on the other hand, are silently updated and maintained behind the scenes by the provider. As long as your password is secure, you have almost nothing to fear.
Ghost is another popular open-source CMS, geared more towards creating stylish blogs or online publications (as opposed to complex websites). It comes with versatile features for customizing page layouts, scheduling posts, injecting analytics code, and more – all from one streamlined interface. Ghost also makes it easy to optimize and produce content on multiple distribution channels (maximizing your readership in the process).	

Thanks, Jeremy, for your excellent article, but I still have a couple of questions. We use Dreamhost for our website, which was built in 1999 (seriously) and we keep it semi-current using SeaMonkey's editor. Last year we added an ECWID shopping cart to replace the really difficult to use PayPal shopping cart system, which has helped, but a replacement website that's easy to change is what we really need. It seems that all of these site builders want to host us, when what I need is a program I can use to create the new site and replace my existing one. Is there a standalone site building program you recommend? How about an easy to use interface to put between me and Wordpress? (That seems like it would be an excellent tool for someone to develop.) Or should I just buy a copy of Wordpress for Dummies and start fresh? Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

Getting your own website used to require a lot of tech wizardry, including knowledge of servers, HTML, FTP, site registrars, and web hosting services. Thankfully, we now live in the age of easy online site builders. The services included here let you make a well-designed, mobile-friendly site with minimal technical knowledge. They can even take a small or sole-proprietor business to profitability with buy links, online stores, and other money-making options.
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.
If Wix does not make to your cut, then Weebly is also an awesome WordPress alternative for you. It is a fully hosted online site builder that enables the users to easily create and build the ideal site. Much like WordPress, Weebly also has a selection of tools built-in that helps with various features. However, where it differs is that while WordPress has a huge range of third-party software and plugins, Weebly is not as competent. However, it does make up for it with the stunning and excellent design structure. The Drag and Drop Page builder makes the process as easy as a breeze.
It’s chock full of some pretty sweet features that will make your content managing life easier, leading its devoted fans to argue it’s even better than WordPress. You can split-test two versions of web and landing page examples, build in easier content transition, take a deep dive with Google Analytics, for truly detailed marketing analytics, and even let HubSpot CMS analyze your pages to help you optimize them for higher search engine ranking.
Comparatively not so advanced, Squarespace is ideal with the simplest method to build a basic website. Unlike traditional Page Builder, you do not need to sign up for hosting, purchase a domain or go through the extra hassle. Instead, you simply create an account on Squarespace and that’s about it. After answering a few more questions on your preference you end up with a working website in a matter of minutes. While it includes a drag and drop builder that you can use to add and customize the elements of the site, it does not provide much control to the users.
We believe in democratizing publishing and the freedoms that come with open source. Supporting this idea is a large community of people collaborating on and contributing to this project. The WordPress community is welcoming and inclusive. Our contributors’ passion drives the success of WordPress which, in turn, helps you reach your goals. More Info »
Now I don’t want to pretend as if there weren’t any cases where WordPress is the only real option – there definitely are. If, for example, you want to run a website with a searchable database for real estate offerings. It’s also a great choice if you need a complex member area. You can find some tips on WordPress solutions in our Beginner’s Guide to WordPress.

WordPress, one of the leading platforms for websites, blogs and online shops has been the choice of millions all over the world. And why not? It offers tons of amazing features at your disposal. It is powerful, flexible and enables the user to own a piece of the internet, that is your very own website. What’s more is that there are plenty of Themes and Plugins that makes it even easier for you!
GoDaddy Website Builder is an online editing and publishing tool that helps you create a website, regardless of your technical skill level. Just create an account, pick a design and use the built-in editor to add your own images and text. You can make your website as simple or complex as you’d like. Need to sell your stuff online? No problem. You can add a full online store complete with product listings, coupons, shopping cart, shipping and multiple payment options.
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. 

Drupal is another alternative to WordPress which is more digital. Being preferred for digital solutions Drupal is not suitable for beginners to use. The various advantages of Drupal include creating blogs, personal websites, forums, and even social networking sites. It also has several modules and themes which have various features and help in enhancing the looks of the site. It can handle huge amounts of data and hence makes it useful for different corporate and enterprise websites. The varied kinds of modules make it user-friendly. The modules that are present in Drupal can instantly help you in handling the non-English sites by just activating them. With the perfect prototyping options, it can help you in creating complex sites in a very short span of time. Having the complexities of digitization, Drupal is ideal for being used for highly advanced websites. Learning it initially is a bit difficult but once you get the hang of it you can easily understand how extensible this is. You can use contributed modules and start a completely blank site and extend Drupal to see how your requirements fit in.


Your report was exactly what I was looking for, thanks for doing all that research. It is daunting to change my website hosting & building. I am a long time Adobe muse user and hosting with GoDaddy and now I feel abandoned by both, as Muse is being discontinued and GoDaddy seems more interested in selling me more services than supporting what I already have.	

It is more developer friendly. The project structure is very clean, easy to configure and deploy. Using flat files instead of a SQL database might be limiting for some, but it's perfect for most standard sites like blogs, agency websites and even E-commerce. Twig for templates leads to cleaner code and a better separation of concern (Almost impossible to mix business logic in your templates). I guess the only downside is lack of plugins and templates for now. Guest • Jan 2018 • 1 agrees and 1 disagrees Disagree   Agree
Joomla is also another Content Management system which works on model view controller architecture. It is one of the biggest competitions for WordPress. In addition to the usual functionalities of WordPress, it also has additional extensions like components, modules, plugins, templates, languages, libraries and different packages. All these features have a purpose and are mostly built on Joomla. Joomla created URLs are great for SEO services. Also, the modules that are provided by Joomla are more flexible and can be easily moved to individual pages or menus. It helps the user in managing the site with all the ease even though the site may have multiple subpages. When it comes to being multilingual Joomla is ahead of WordPress. It supports many languages as they are created right from the core. Joomla also provides several plugins that can be easily accessed from its homepage.

It goes without saying that WordPress has emerged as a leading option when it comes to building a website for all kinds of different online endeavors: from small personal portfolios to enterprise-level business and eCommerce sites. It’s got a large community of devotees and users, and a huge list of developers forever coming up with all kinds of different plugins to expand its capabilities. That said, WordPress isn’t the be-all and end-all. Indeed, there are in fact a number of different alternatives on the market.


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/
Amongst most of the website builders, another name that comes to mind is Squarespace. The versatile builder for blogs, portfolio sites as well as online stores, has managed to rise in its popularity in the recent years. Despite the huge difference, this being a closed source software while WordPress is an open source; it certainly is a great alternative to WordPress Page builder. That’s right, for the casual users the overall functionality and the flexibility is the main aspect.	
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