Starting as just a blogging software called b2/catalog, WordPress has now gone through more than 18 years of continuous development. That time is enough for WordPress to build itself a wide network of customers around the world.
As of 2021, the number of websites created and supported by this platform accounts for 40% of the total number of websites worldwide.
And it’s not too surprising that big companies like Sony, Time Inc, NBC, TechCrunch, or CNN also choose it as the preferred solution when it comes to web connectivity. However, nothing is perfect. WordPress also has its limitations. If that bothers you, the following platforms are the best alternatives to WordPress.
What is WordPress? What do I love about this platform?
WordPress is a CMS (Content Management System) system that is open source and free for everyone. It works to publish blogs or websites using PHP and MySQL, the most popular website programming language duo currently supported on all web hosting.
Over time, the number of users increased, and collaborators who were programmers also participated in large numbers to develop the WordPress source code that added great features. WordPress supports users to create many different types of websites such as blogs, news/magazine websites, business introductions, e-commerce, even with highly complex websites such as hotel reservations, Rent a car, post real estate projects.
WordPress is used by many people because of its ease of use and many useful features. WordPress provides a user-friendly platform to install, use and develop without having to know too much about PHP and other programming languages.
Besides, it has various templates and themes from free to paid, where you can customize everything according to your taste. Along with that, the rich library of WordPress plugins available helps to make your work easier and more efficient. WordPress also offers to monetize with WooCommerce, an eCommerce platform optimized for WP.
The powerful WordPress back-end allows you to quickly update any content of your site and add all the information afterward (if necessary). And finally, when the going gets tough, you’ll always have the support of WordPress communities around the world. The WordPress community is also involved in many outreach activities, organizing WordPress events around the world, and supporting the growth of small groups of WordPress users.
Those few short lines are enough for you to understand why more and more users migrate to WordPress, right?
Limitations of WordPress
1. Income restrictions
You cannot operate Google Adsense or other advertising programs to serve ads on WordPress.com blogs. You cannot write paid posts, sell links, review products, etc. WordPress.com’s terms of service restrict your free use of the blog for any commercial activity on your site.
However, you can apply to WordPress.com’s advertising program called WordAds. This program is available for WordPress.com blogs and is suitable for certain traffic and quality requirements. Once you are approved for the WordAds program, you will share your advertising revenue with WordPress.com.
2. Restrictions on updating plugins and themes
The incredibly rich collection of plugins and themes is one of the greatest strengths of WordPress. However, the platform seems to “bundle” the users into the available resources if they do not have a bit of programming capital for themselves.
WordPress themes are hard to edit unless you understand what you’re doing. Even for coders who aren’t familiar with WordPress’ theme structure, it can take a long time to tweak.
A lot of free WordPress themes and plugins are not updated and supported, making it difficult to keep everything running smoothly once the WordPress platform is updated.
The solution to this is to rely mainly on premium plugins. Many users also choose to switch from using WordPress.com to self-hosted WordPress.org to take advantage of the features. But many people are still using WordPress because they do not understand the advantages and features of self-hosting.
3. Are you hoping for WordPress security? Don’t do that!
Security is also one of the limitations for WordPress. This comes from the fact that the platform is open source and very popular. This makes WordPress a prime target for many hackers who can search WordPress sites and find you even if you only have a small website.
They can also easily find security loopholes and weaknesses, making these websites more vulnerable to hacking. The constant occurrence of hacked WordPress websites requires users to update new versions, patches, or plugins to enhance security continuously. This doesn’t take long but can become annoying when you just want to install and forget about them to focus on other things.
4. Not a platform for development
With WordPress, you get a free blogging service but you don’t get the powerful CMS features that are the main reason for WordPress’ popularity. To make it easier for you, let’s say that you start with a basic blog and then want to offer online courses, sell digital downloads, or open a forum, or even an online store. line. It is impossible to do all of this with your free WordPress.com blog.
Professional blogs with multiple authors and editors find that WordPress lacks basic user management and role division capabilities. This can be overcome through WordPress multisite plugins and split management roles, but it cannot be as good as using a CMS with built-in functions.
5. Storage capacity
The last limitation for WordPress that I’ve noticed is the hosting issue.
WordPress has also been reported to have low performance in handling large and multisite databases. Websites built with WordPress are often large and consume a lot of server resources. This is more than necessary for the needs of most users (nor is it appropriate).
Best alternatives of WordPress
Joomla! is an ideal WordPress alternative. It is an award-winning open-source CMS. Their features are diverse, and the admin page is easy to use with the ability to build websites based on menu building. It also has a lot of search optimization (SEO) tools. You can increase the functionality of Joomla above with different extensions, which work just like WordPress plugins.
Understandably, the platform gives you fine content flow control and powerful interface control with customizable layout templates (similar to WordPress themes). Another popular Joomla! function is the integrated Access Control List (ACL), which makes site administration and editor permissions easy.
- Has a powerful PHP application-building framework
- Integrated cache management feature to speed up Joomla website
- There are 15 custom field types, making it easy to set up any type of content on your website
- The initial security settings are tight and safe.
- This CMS is completely free, although some premium extensions need to be purchased if you want to use it.
Joomla is ideal when you want to build a large, complex site without having to know too much about programming. This platform is superior to WordPress in that it has better team management and project management capabilities. For example, there is a messaging function to increase the possibility of cooperation.
Ghost is a popular open-source CMS that focuses on building a “quality” blog or online publishing (rather than a complicated website). It has flexible features for editing page layouts, scheduling posts, injecting analytics code, and more – all from a single complete management interface. Ghost also makes it easy to optimize and publish content across multiple channels (maximizing your audience).
Another plus point of Ghost is its extremely user-friendly nature. In addition to giving you full control over API integration and theme development, Ghost also has automatic backup capabilities (so you don’t have to worry about your content suddenly losing everything due to a system crash or server down).
- Manage subscriptions and integrate RSS feeds.
- Use Markdown, an advanced structure for text formatting, that turns content into complete HTML.
- A simple user management tool, to decentralize user rights and user functions
- AMP support, for faster mobile page load and better search ranking
- The price of Ghost depends on the level you choose with the lowest package Personal is $19 (1 blog) to the highest plan Business is $199 (create 50 sites)
If you prefer a powerful yet minimalistic management interface, mainly for publishing content, and don’t have to worry about installing dozens of plugins for your site, Ghost is one of best alternatives of WordPress. Or if you are looking for a CMS that is both powerful and simple, yet integrates many SEO features for your content, then Ghost is the ideal choice.
At number 3 on the list of the best alternatives of WordPress, we have Textpattern. In addition to being a much lighter version of WordPress, it is also a worthwhile option as it is built on a tag-based template language, which is lightweight yet powerful. Textpattern has a bunch of ways for you to structure your content. Beginner-friendly interface, a well-supported platform with full documentation.
Like WordPress, Textpattern can be easily extended with plugins, which are regularly updated by collaborators. There are also a variety of front-end and backend themes to choose from, all of which can be easily customized to meet your requirements.
- Lots of free options to customize your CMS, themes, and plugins.
- Integrated comment management and visitor information management.
- Not only the subscription management feature but also can customize the content to suit each visitor based on their interests.
- In addition to being a powerful, well-supported, flexible popular CMS, Textpattern is also free.
Whether you’re a programmer looking for a background in HTML and CSS programming, or just a blogger looking to try something new and less fragmented than WordPress, Textpattern is well worth checking out. It’s a great solution for you to master in no time, as it also includes a detailed set of Textpattern tutorials.
4. Tiki Wiki
Unlike other similar WordPress, Tiki Wiki does not focus on 3rd party extensions, but heavily on developing native features. So it’s a powerful framework, easy to update the core. Tiki Wifi is suitable for projects that require a lot of cooperation from many sides, or sites with a strong social network community.
Tiki Wiki is easy to install, the related documentation is very well written, supported by one of the largest open-source teams in the world. This platform is especially secret because it is built only on trusted technologies (including MySQL and Bootstrap). These features make Tiki Wiki a good choice for any web developer.
- Use one seamless interface to create a variety of content (from wiki pages to calendars, to online polls and quizzes).
- Having a good database control system is ideal for reporting and detecting errors.
- Ability to edit content in many different ways and many ways of administration.
- Can manage membership and other payment-related features.
- Tiki Wiki can be considered as one of the most trusted free and open-source CMS today to be able to replace WordPress.
If you are looking for an easy-to-manage CMS platform for a project that requires multiple contributions from multiple sources or an e-learning site, Tiki Wiki is the option you should consider. While it’s not as customizable in terms of interface as WordPress, it has fewer plugins compatibility issues.
The next candidate on the list of WordPress alternatives would be WebsiteBaker. This is one of the popular CMS for programmers and designers. Its simple interface can build many different layout templates, through XHML, CSS, and jQuery. There’s also a built-in What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG) editor, allowing you to see changes as you code on the site.
The functionality of WebsiteBaker can be extended through downloaded modules. These modules can help you add image galleries, subscription forms, event calendars, and more. You can also customize the module you just downloaded, using different admin tools. In addition, WebsiteBaker also has many beautiful templates to design your site.
- There is a ready-to-use version, helping programmers create a perfect test environment on the local machine with 1 click
- Includes a good file management system that helps batch-upload files to your site
- Can secure user management, and security administration system.
- Multi-language support.
- While WebsiteBaker is one of the popular free CMSs, users are encouraged to donate to get the platform running.
Each platform has different advantages to compete fairly with the world’s most loved CMS, WordPress. My analysis and evaluation above are based on the feedback of countless users around the world and my experience in using WordPress.
Hopefully, the list of best alternatives of WordPress will give you more suggestions in the selection process.