The Best Alternatives to WordPress for Small Business Websites

Final: 7 Alternatives to WordPress for Your Website WordPress is a self-hosted, open-source content management system (CMS) for building and managing websites, especially among small online businesses.  WordPress’s popularity is second to none, and its incredible features and ready-to-use templates are why it is the preferred choice. It’s free to use, although you will need a web hosting plan.

However, as impressive as WordPress is, many great alternatives are better suited for some website types. If you’re unsure whether WordPress is the right choice for your website, it’s worth exploring other options and weighing their respective benefits and drawbacks which we’ll discuss in this article.


Key Highlights

  • WordPress is the most used content management system globally, with many features and benefits. But it has limitations.
  • There are several alternatives to WordPress with better features and security, like Shopify, Wix, Weely, Squarespace, etc.
  • Before choosing a WordPress alternative, consider whether it is easy to use, the customization options, security, support, and scalability
  • Despite having several alternatives, WordPress is still used to build hundreds of websites daily
  • The continuous usage of WordPress is largely due to it being customizable and flexible, scalable, and SEO-friendly


What Are the Limitations of WordPress?

WordPress has some limitations as a content management system that make it unfit for building some types of websites. If you ignore this drawback, you might find yourself with a website that doesn’t function properly and unhappy clients. So, to help you make an informed choice, here are some of the limitations of the website builder.

1. Security Vulnerabilities

WordPress does not have the best security, which leaves many of the sites built with the CMS open to hackers. The platform’s vulnerability is primarily due to it being open-source. WordPress does not monitor the codes web developers use to create themes or plugins, making WordPress sites a target for hackers.

Also, since WordPress relies significantly on plugins, you must constantly update the plugins and themes to prevent hacking. 98% of the security attacks on websites built with WordPress occur when plugins and themes are outdated. Also, in 2020, there were over 90 billion malicious WordPress login attempts.

Aside from plugins, other WordPress security vulnerabilities are:

  • Outdated core software
  • Malware
  • Structured Query Language (SQL) injections
  • Phishing
  • Supply chain attacks
  • Cross-site request forgery, etc.

2. Site Speed

Final: 7 Alternatives to WordPress for Your Website

WordPress has excessive plugins, oversaturated codebases, and databases. All these, combined with large images and unreliable hosting, make WordPress websites slow. Other reasons for slow loading are ‘caching’ data, no content delivery network, low quality, bulky themes, etc.

The downside of slow loading is that it discourages users, causing them to abandon a website for one with a better speed. Also, slow-loading pages affect your ranking on search engines. So, what can you do to improve your WordPress site speed?

Here are some website speed optimization tips:

  • Conduct performance tests
  • Updates plugins and themes
  • Use a reliable hosting provider
  • Optimize site images
  • Use the latest Hypertext Preprocessor (PHP)
  • Don’t host videos on your server, etc.

3. Scalability Issues

WordPress usage has seen a steady average of 12% increase yearly since 2011.



WordPress may be the most popular CMS globally, but some websites built with it are not scalable or elastic. This is because WordPress lacks the capabilities to handle large and complex sites. For instance, when WordPress attempts to pull all posts from the databases of a large website when pages are listed in the admin, it makes it slow.

Also, it is challenging to scale enterprise-level websites with WordPress. So, how do you deal with WordPress scalability issues? These tips will help:

  • Improve your website speed
  • Improve the security of your WordPress website
  • Optimize images to reduce page weight
  • Automate tracking and site reporting

4. Maintenance

Another WordPress limitation is the ongoing maintenance WordPress sites need, like updates, security checks, backups, optimizing the website for SEO, etc. If you fail to conduct WordPress maintenance tasks, your site will have issues and vulnerabilities. Examples of these problems are:

  • Less site speed
  • Poor user experience
  • Increased probability of site attacks
  • Loss of top positions in search queries

On the other hand, when you properly maintain your WordPress site, you enjoy an improved user experience and increased base functionality. Also, your site will comply with the latest trends and attract more visitors.


Expert Pick: Top 7 Alternatives to WordPress

Final: 7 Alternatives to WordPress for Your Website

There are several WordPress alternative CMS, but this section will focus on seven. These seven best WordPress alternatives were chosen based on web design, blogging, online sales tools, features, and our panel of experts.

Here are our top seven expert picks.

1. Wix

Wix is an easy-to-use hosted web builder with reliable hosting and better security features than WordPress. Wix also offers SEO tools and over 800 website templates to choose from. Using Wix’s drag-and-drop editor, you can customize the pre-designed template to match what you want for your website.

Here’s how to customize a Wix website:

  • Select the font to use
  • Customize navigation and menu
  • Add images and videos
  • Add parallax scrolling
  • Include a lightbox popup
  • Add SEO plugins
  • Integrate third-party tools
  • Use strip to define specific parts of your website

Additionally, you can add animations, video backgrounds, and scroll effects when customizing your website. You can import the content of your existing website or document to the site you are building with Wix. Furthermore, you can create a Wix app using the Wix mobile app builder for Android and iOS. The builder lets you integrate your website with the app.

2. Squarespace

About 2.96 million live websites use Squarespace.


As a WordPress competitor, Squarespace is the preferred choice for web developers who want to build mobile-friendly websites. You can access over 100 websites with pre-designed templates and customize them using the Squarespace drag-and-drop editor. Most of Squarespace’s templates have bold and minimalist styles, making them ideal for web developers interested in impressive visual impact.

When designing a Squarespace website, use blogging and SEO tools to create optimized content. The platform has built-in analytics tools that show where most of a website’s traffic comes from. Also, Squarespace has accelerated mobile pages (AMP) for faster load times and shopping features on mobile phones and tablets.

Finally, you can use Squarespace to build both business and personal websites. When using the platform for a personal website, you can access SSL security, a free custom domain for one year, SEO features, etc. For a business site, you have complete customization with JavaScript or CSS, premium integration and blocks, website analytics, etc.

3. Weebly

Weebly is another CMS that is better than WordPress. It is a website builder suitable for web developers at any skill level and boasts many pre-designed templates. Weebly also has amazing blogging tools and over 50 mobile-friendly themes.

With the drag-and-drop editor, you can customize the header and footer of your website easily. You can also create pages, blog posts, online forms, images, video galleries, etc. Another noteworthy feature is social media integrations, and you can change Weebly themes without losing the content on your website.

Weebly is also an excellent platform for creating e-commerce websites. You can use the website builder for travel, music, health, and photography websites. Examples are The Box Bros, Japhlet Bire Attias, Leo Edwards Photography, etc.

4. Ghost

Unlike other alternatives to WordPress on this list, Ghost is based on Node.js, primarily  for content creation. It is simple and lightweight and used to create sites that can be monetized with recurring subscriptions. However, it is not as flexible as WordPress.

Ghost is best suited for bloggers or new web developers looking for an easy-to-use tool to build and manage a site. To create and publish a blog on Ghost, you can copy and paste raw content from web pages, paste an image from your clipboard, etc.

5. Joomla

Similar to WordPress, Joomla is a popular CMS platform. It is a multi-purpose tool that is flexible and user-friendly. Also, Joomla has several features than WordPress, and you can customize the site from the backend.

You can alter articles, menus, banners, media, redirects, and SEO settings, create custom posts, and publish in different languages. Joomla has about 6,000 extensions in its official directory, but you must install them from the backend. Finally, this tool is best for membership, social networking, and community sites like Harvard University.

6. Drupal

The defying quality of Drupal is that it is highly customizable, has unlimited functionality, and has design flexibility. Drupal can be used to build news, e-commerce, and institutional websites. Like WordPress, it is an open-source platform, and you can choose the hosting to use.

Also, Drupal allows you to add plugins, design themes, and modules to improve your design and functionality. Drupal has about 46,000 modules in its directory and thousands of free themes. However, since many customization options exist, building a site with Drupal is more complex than WordPress and takes longer. An example of a website built with Drupal is the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) site.

7. Shopify

Over six million websites use Shopify, and over four million are live.



Shopify is one of the best platforms for building e-commerce websites, and it has several features that support unlimited product listing and orders. There are over 70 e-commerce themes for building blog posts and pages, and Shopify also has a reliable drag-and-drop website builder.

Furthermore, Shopify integrates with several platforms like HubSpot and has a better security system than WordPress. You can customize theme colors and fonts, edit product page layout, etc. Examples of online stores built with Shopify are Hiut Denim, Staples, Press London, Beard & Blade, etc.


Factors to Consider: Choosing the Right Alternative to WordPress

Final: 7 Alternatives to WordPress for Your Website

It’s one thing to know the best WordPress alternatives, but there are factors to consider before choosing. It is essential to pick the right alternative to avoid the same issues that made you ditch WordPress. So, when choosing an alternative to WordPress, factor in ease of use, scalability, customization options, etc.

1. Ease of Use

The first factor to consider is whether the WordPress competitor is easier to use. This is essential as a CMS platform that is easy to navigate and customize and doesn’t need extensive technical knowledge is better than the opposite. For instance, Wix is easier and less complex to use than WordPress.

2. Customization Options

Ensure the alternative CMS platform has flexible and extensive customization options. Customization lets you decide your website’s functionality, updates, and interface. You also have control over design and usability, which lets you build the site to meet your needs.

3. Scalability

A good WordPress competitor should be able to handle large and complex websites. Also, the CMS platform must be able to support your growth, have asset storage, and be able to handle traffic spikes. Dr. Squatch, built with Shopify, is an example of a scalable website using a WordPress alternative.

4. Security

Although WordPress Security Guide provides guidelines on securing your website, the number of cyber attacks WordPress sites face daily shows its protection is inadequate. Therefore, the alternative CMS platform must provide better security. You can protect your website by frequently updating plugins, adding HTTPS and SSL certificates, using a secure web host, etc.

5. SEO

Search engine optimization is essential for websites to rank high on search engines. Therefore, the CMS platform must have better built-in SEO features than WordPress. A good WordPress alternative allows you to seamlessly manage your website’s posts without writing code.

6. E-Commerce

Some CMS platforms do not have e-commerce functionality. So consider the e-commerce features of an alternative to WordPress before choosing. Ensure the alternative platform has a single customer view, content workflow, personalized content creation, APIS, a text and HTML editor, etc.

7. Support

Finally, the alternative CMS platform should have good support features like community support, customer support, and documentation. For example, WordPress has support documentation, a support forum, and live chat but no phone support. So, you might want an alternative Platform with phone support.


Is It Worth Using WordPress in Today’s World?

63.3% of all websites with content management systems we know use WordPress. This amounts to 43.2% of all websites on the internet.



Despite several alternatives to WordPress, it still powers 36.28% of the top one million websites globally. Also, it is used by 65.2% of all websites using a CMS system. Below are reasons why WordPress is still a popular choice despite the limitations discussed earlier.

1. Customization and Flexibility

WordPress has many customizable templates and a built-in CSS editor. The platform has thousands of customizable WordPress themes, and the customizer settings are built into the theme’s dashboard. WordPress is flexible and allows you to add new users and change the color scheme, font, topography, etc.

2. Active Community

The WordPress community is pretty famous in the web-building world, and it has numerous benefits. Members have active support, can access thousands of plugins, and a wealth of resources and knowledge online. Also, community members are constantly creating new resources and adding new features and plugins to improve the platform.

3. Scalability

Another reason for the continuous usage of WordPress is that you can build large and complex websites. Also, the platform can also easily take a significant volume of traffic, making it scalable. The New York Times, TechCrunch, Forbes, and Sony Music are examples of sites that scaled with WordPress.

4. SEO-Friendliness

WordPress has several built-in SEO features for optimizing websites for search engines. These elements include customizable permalinks, automatic generation of XML sitemaps, meta descriptions, and keyword support. Also, there are SEO plugins to take advantage of, like Yoast SEO.

5. E-Commerce Functionality

WordPress allows you to build e-commerce sites, but there are some limitations. For example, it lacks functionalities like shopping carts and payment gateways. However, WordPress has e-commerce plugins like WooCommerce, BigCommerce, WP eCommerce, etc. These plugins improve the functionality and features of the e-commerce website.



It is evident that WordPress is the leading open-source CMS platform for building different types of websites. However, there are excellent alternatives based on your needs, but ensure you consider the factors covered in this article before choosing. Finally, if you need more information on WordPress websites, hosting, and servers, visit HostAdvice’s extensive resource center.


Next Steps: What Now?


Further Reading – Useful Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some popular alternatives to WordPress?

Some popular WordPress alternatives are Wix, Shopify, Squarespace, and Weebly. Others include Ghost, Drupal, Joomla, Magneto, etc.

How do I choose the right alternative to WordPress?

There are factors to consider to choose the proper alternative to WordPress. They include support, customization options, e-commerce functionality, SEO, and scalability.

Are alternatives to WordPress easier to use than WordPress?

It depends on the WordPress alternative. Some have a more user-friendly design, and your skill level and experience determine whether an alternative will be easy to use or difficult.

Do alternatives to WordPress offer the same level of customization as WordPress?

No. Each platform has its unique customization features. As a result, while some WordPress alternatives have a higher level of customization, they may not be as extensive as WordPress.

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