7 Best WordPress Alternatives (Modern Platforms!)

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It's time to say goodbye to WordPress and choose the best alternative for you. Here are 7 excellent WordPress alternatives.

"Best WordPress alternatives" with 3 screenshots of the alternatives

"WordPress is the best because 40%+ of sites use it."

WordPress is also:

  • Often the wrong tool for the job
  • Was built in the early 2000s and never went through a complete rewrite
  • Prone to plugins and themes clashing and breaking
  • Time-consuming to maintain

Popularity does not equate to quality.

I won't tell you there is one single best WordPress alternative. All platforms have strengths and weaknesses. I will share the best alternatives to WordPress and their advantages and disadvantages compared to WordPress.

PS I have extensive experience with all of these platforms, having owned a web design and development agency and now creating a next-gen website builder called Webstudio.

TL;DR – Best WordPress alternatives by use case and features

✅ Green checks indicate the platform is good at it.

General Webstudio Ghost Webflow Duda Framer Shopify Drupal
Pricing
Community
No maintenance
Open source
Target users Webstudio Ghost Webflow Duda Framer Shopify Drupal
Agencies & Freelancers
Beginners
Professionals
Enterprises
Primary purpose/type Webstudio Ghost Webflow Duda Framer Shopify Drupal
Large websites
Small websites
Dynamic websites
Ecommerce
Complex websites
Blogs
Features Webstudio Ghost Webflow Duda Framer Shopify Drupal
SEO
Accessibility
Performance
Animations
Localization
Integrations

List of the best WordPress alternatives

Let's dive into the list of the top WordPress competitors, a high-level overview, advantages and disadvantages, and comparison tables.

Webstudio

"Webstudio advanced no-code builder" with screenshot of the website builder
  • Best known for: Advanced visual website builder
  • Open source: Yes
  • Year founded: 2022
  • Starting price with custom domain: Free for five sites, then $20 for unlimited sites
  • User level: Advanced

Webstudio (that's us 👋) is a free WordPress alternative that aims to be the best no-code website builder on the market – no unnecessary abstractions, no bloat, and high ecosystem compatibility. It offers the full power of CSS in a visual tool, the ability to fetch data from any HTTP API, and reusable styles without the pain of class management.

Join us in Discord. From beginners to professionals, the community offers help to everyone.

Feature Webstudio WordPress
Pricing ✅ Generous free tier with 5 custom domains and unlimited pages Limited free tier and priced per site
No maintenance
Open source
SEO With plugins
Accessibility Plugins and themes often have issues
Performance ✅ Ludicrously-fast on the Cloudflare edge No optimizations out of the box
Animations ❌ Custom code only
Localization
Community ✅ Join us on Discord! ❌ No official community
Integrations
Drag and drop editor ✅ Full power of CSS in a visual tool With plugins, typically limited CSS
Templates/themes Only a handful of premade templates

Top 3 advantages compared to WordPress:

  • Ludicrously fast performance – Webstudio is lightweight. Every decision Webstudio makes is highly scrutinized to ensure performance is a priority. When using Webstudio Cloud plans, your website builder deploys to Cloudflare – milliseconds away from all users on Earth.
  • Dump hosting and plugin maintenance – Never click "update" or diagnose plugin issues again. Webstudio Cloud offers hosting without having to do anything but click "Publish." No plugins, no hosting maintenance, no worrying about breaking your site.
  • Design freedom and developer power without plugins – Get a powerful builder out of the box. It's highly flexible, letting you control every CSS unit, breakpoint, and property entirely through the UI. You can fetch data from any backend and bind the response to the various page components and fields.

Top 3 disadvantages compared to WordPress:

  • Requires external CMS integration – Webstudio doesn't have an internal CMS but relies on integrating external ones. Webstudio offers a flexible way to interact with any HTTP API. Setting up integrations with third-party apps may require looking at API documentation instead of just installing a plugin or using built-in features.
  • Less online documentation – WordPress has been around since electricity was invented (kidding), and it has basically an answer to every question somewhere online. If you can't find what you need in Webstudio's resources (blog, docs, YouTube), then get personalized help in our Discord community.
  • Fewer templates – Those looking to start with templates will have seemingly limitless options on WordPress. Webstudio doesn't have many templates.
webstudio lighthouse test
Perfect lighthouse scores are highly attainable on Webstudio

Ghost

"Ghost blogging engine" with screenshot of the post editor
  • Best known for: Blogging platform
  • Open source: Yes
  • Year founded: 2013
  • Starting price with custom domain: $9/month
  • User level: Beginner

WordPress started as a blogging platform and evolved to do "everything." Ghost, on the other hand, is one of the few blogging tools on the market that is focused on providing creators with a straightforward publishing platform. Like WordPress, it's open source, has an intuitive block editor with the super helpful slash shortcut (click "/" and a menu of blocks open), and works great for multiple editors.

Feature Ghost WordPress
Pricing No free tier ✅ Limited free tier
No maintenance
Open source
SEO With plugins
Accessibility Depends on the theme Depends on the theme and plugins
Performance ✅ Modern codebase and much faster No optimizations out of the box
Animations ❌ Blogging-first platform, so no
Localization
Community ❌ No official community ❌ No official community
Integrations Some, but less than WP
Drag and drop editor ❌ Block editor ✅ With plugins
Templates/themes

Top 3 advantages compared to WordPress:

  • No maintenance – Write, publish, repeat. Ghost is a minimalistic yet powerful website builder and blogging engine with everything you need to create and monetize a blog without installing or updating anything.
  • Grow an audience and monetize it, out of the box – Without installing anything extra, you can create posts and pages, collect emails, monetize your content, and send emails.
  • Far less security concerns – Any time you have to maintain software or install third-party plugins, you increase the security risks. In addition to using Ghost Cloud and not having to maintain or update any software, Ghost takes many security precautions.

Top 3 disadvantages compared to WordPress:

  • Less flexible – One of the draws towards WordPress is the massive amount of plugins available. WordPress's underlying architecture enables code modification using Hooks (mainly Filters and Actions). Ghost doesn't provide this, limiting the backend customization.
  • No Shortcodes – While many built-in "components" or blocks can be inserted within a blog post, you can't create your own or install a plugin. It does, however, support embedding many types of content.
  • No page builder – You can create custom pages using the same block editor as blog posts, but there is no drag-and-drop website builder. Ghost will suffice for sites that don't need any/many marketing pages. But if the blog is only a part of your website, then you have two options: one, custom code the theme, or two, use Ghost as a headless CMS and build the frontend on Webstudio (that's the setup you are viewing on this site).
wordpress vs ghost core web vitals chart
Ghost vs. WordPress Core Web Vitals (higher is better)

Webflow

"Webflow all-in-one visual builder" with screenshot of the Webflow editor
  • Best known for: All-in-one visual website builder
  • Open source: No
  • Year founded: 2012
  • Starting price with custom domain: $18/month per site
  • User level: Advanced

Webflow pioneered the no-code website builders, showing people what was possible entirely through a UI. WordPress users who are sick of dealing with detached/third-party page builders, upkeep and maintenance, and no out-of-the-box customizable content management system will surely appreciate what Webflow offers.

Feature Webflow WordPress
Pricing Limited free tier Limited free tier
No maintenance
Open source
SEO With plugins
Accessibility Depends on the theme and plugins
Performance No optimizations out of the box
Animations ✅ Very flexible With plugins, most don't compare to Webflow's
Localization
Community ❌ No official community ❌ No official community
Integrations Some, but less than WP
Drag and drop editor With plugins
Templates/themes

Top 3 advantages compared to WordPress:

  • Integrated powerful page builder – The connection of WordPress to page builders isn't very elegant, from how the UI works with the page builder being nested in Pages to how the data is structured in the database. Plus, because many page builders are on the market, you/your team may experience a learning curve when inheriting a site someone else built. Not with Webflow. One page builder is neatly integrated – no nonsense of switching in and out of pages to enter page builder mode.
  • Content management systems (CMS) – On WordPress, users must install plugins, such as Advanced Custom Fields and Custom Post Type UI, to create post types and add fields. This means that WordPress, out of the box, is more of a blogging platform than a content management system. With Webflow, you get a customizable CMS and website builder out of the box.
  • No maintenance – Webflow handles all hosting, security, and updates, freeing users from the maintenance required with WordPress.

Top 3 disadvantages compared to WordPress:

  • Price hikes that don't align with usage – Unlike WordPress, Webflow's pricing does not scale proportional to your usage.
  • Hosting lock-in – Exporting sites remove Webflow-specific features like CMS, ecommerce functionality, and form handling, so you'll need to recreate those aspects manually or use alternative solutions.
  • Closed source – Unlike WordPress, Webflow is proprietary software, limiting customization and control.
wordpress vs webflow core web vitals chart
Webflow vs. WordPress Core Web Vitals (higher is better)

Duda

"Duda many agency tools" with screenshot of the Duda editor
  • Best known for: White label/agency website builder
  • Open source: No
  • Year founded: 2010
  • Starting price with custom domain: $25/month
  • User level: Intermediate

Duda is an excellent WordPress alternative, especially for agencies looking to manage many websites. Duda addresses many issues that agencies face with WordPress. It offers a centralized platform to manage all websites, a white-labeled builder, client permissions, site invitations, and team member management, all from a single URL.

Feature Duda WordPress
Pricing ❌ No free tier ✅ Limited free tier
No maintenance
Open source
SEO With plugins
Accessibility Depends on the theme and plugins
Performance No optimizations out of the box
Animations ✅ Easy to use ✅ With plugins, and more flexibility
Localization
Community ❌ No official community ❌ No official community
Integrations Some, but less than WP
Drag and drop editor With plugins
Templates/themes Yes but more limited than WP

Top 3 advantages compared to WordPress:

  • Agency tools – Gone are the days of keeping track of all your different WordPress sites, their URLs, and maybe even their different hosting providers. With Duda, you have a dashboard where you, your team, and your clients log in.
  • Learning curve – I think there is a higher learning curve with the WordPress setup and all the plugins. Duda is always the same. Same page builder, same experience – every time.
  • Speed – Duda offers some of the fastest sites around. They put a lot of effort into improving Core Web Vitals by doing things such as lazy loading everything (including widgets), and loading only above-the-fold CSS on the initial page load.

Top 3 disadvantages compared to WordPress:

  • Hosting lock-in – You're not protected against platform-wide price increases, which have happened several times recently.
  • Limited apps – The Duda App Store has fewer WordPress plugins available. And because Duda is closed source, the apps aren't growing quickly.
  • No reusable styles – On Duda, you can set global styles for elements like your headers and links, but you can't create a reusable style, making it difficult to keep all cards or sections in sync, for example. This makes it challenging to maintain consistency on anything but a small site.
wordpress vs duda core web vitals chart
Duda vs. WordPress Core Web Vitals (higher is better)

Framer

"Framer works like figma" with screenshot of the Figma canvas
  • Best known for: Website builder with a designer-oriented approach to UX
  • Open source: No
  • Year founded: 2015 but in 2022 they rebranded
  • Starting price with custom domain: $10/month
  • User level: Advanced

Framer is a next-gen alternative to WordPress, with a unique twist: it behaves like a design tool such as Figma but can actually output websites (instead of just designs). Framer has enabled designers who work within prototyping tools to build websites using a familiar canvas.

Feature Framer WordPress
Pricing Limited free tier Limited free tier
No maintenance
Open source
SEO With plugins
Accessibility Depends on the theme and plugins
Performance No optimizations out of the box
Animations With plugins
Localization
Community ❌ No official community ❌ No official community
Integrations Some, but less than WP
Drag and drop editor ✅ Prototype-style With plugins
Templates/themes Yes but more limited than WP

Top 3 advantages compared to WordPress:

  • Modern code – Framer was released in 2022, not in 2003 (WordPress – and it's never gone through a complete rewrite)
  • No maintenance – No managing your own server or versions of the software. Sign up, log in, and always stay up to date.
  • Unique animations – Framer offers many unique animations, including the ability to animate page transitions (made possible by the Views Transition API).

Top 3 disadvantages compared to WordPress:

  • Hosting lock-in – You can't export a site. According to Framer's CEO, because of the way they decided to build the backend, it's "impossible to export a working version of the site."
  • Proprietary naming – Naming conventions and how layout works have little to do with HTML and CSS, making knowledge not transferable to or from Framer.
  • Limited functionality – Framer offers nowhere near WordPress's flexibility and extendability, limiting the tool's use cases. Part of this limitation is due to its method of rendering (static site generator), which limits dynamic functionality such as filtering content.
wordpress vs framer core web vitals chart
Framer vs. WordPress Core Web Vitals (higher is better)

Shopify

"Shopify ecommerce" with screenshot of the online store editor
  • Best known for: Ecommerce platform
  • Open source: No
  • Year founded: 2006
  • Starting price with custom domain: $29/month
  • User level: Beginner

Shopify is the only ecommerce platform I recommend on this list. While many of the other WordPress alternatives offer ecommerce features, they fall into one of two categories: one, they can cover only simple use cases, or two, you must maintain a lot, increasing the work and chances that something will break. Shopify is a powerful tool for small business owners and large companies to build online stores.

Feature Shopify WordPress
Pricing ❌ Starts at $5/month Limited free tier
No maintenance
Open source
SEO With plugins
Accessibility Depends on the theme and plugins Depends on the theme and plugins
Performance ✅ Outperforms WordPress on average No optimizations out of the box
Animations ❌ Custom code or simple transitions if in the theme ✅ With plugins
Localization
Community ❌ No official community ❌ No official community
Integrations
Drag and drop editor Very limited ✅ With plugins
Templates/themes

Top 3 advantages compared to WordPress:

  • Online store ready to go – Shopify is an out-of-the-box solution for online stores. No plugins, no hassle, just start selling.
  • Don't worry about breaking things – With WordPress and the many plugins required to get the necessary functionality for your store, there is a higher likelihood that something will break. Stores have a lot of functionality, and it's worth the peace of mind not to be responsible for keeping servers up to date and everything talking to each other.
  • Built-in email – Send emails to your customers without configuring or paying for a separate system.

Top 3 disadvantages compared to WordPress:

  • Platform lock-in – Moving from Shopify to another platform is challenging because it is a closed system. Exporting your data and reconfiguring your store on a new platform can be complex and time-consuming, while WordPress, being open source, provides more flexibility for migration and greater control over your site's content and structure.
  • Higher costs – Shopify's pricing can be higher overall, especially as your store grows and you need additional features or higher-tier plans. Additionally, Shopify charges transaction fees unless you use Shopify Payments. In contrast, with WooCommerce or other plugins, WordPress can be more cost-effective, with more control over payment gateways and lower ongoing costs.
  • Limited no-code customization – While Shopify 2.0 has enabled the page builder on all pages (instead of just the homepage), there's still limited customization using the UI. However, users with coding skills can dive into the theme and customize it using HTML, CSS, and Liquid (Shopify's templating language). Shopify themes are similar to WordPress themes in the sense that they aren't just design templates, they provide logic and new functionality in many cases. The downside of themes is that they are hard to switch.
wordpress vs shopify core web vitals chart
Shopify vs. WordPress Core Web Vitals (higher is better)

Drupal

"Drupal advanced cms" with screen of the drupal content type editor
  • Best known for: Highly customizable content management system
  • Open source: Yes
  • Year founded: 2001
  • Starting price with custom domain: Free (hosting costs vary)
  • User level: Advanced

When people talk about the best WordPress alternatives, the classic answers are Drupal and Joomla. Drupal is similar to WordPress because they are both open source, written in PHP, and released in the early 2000s. However, they are very different platforms. Drupal is a very abstract and powerful open-source CMS, a great WordPress alternative to create a complex website. Out of the box, you get a highly customizable CMS, the ability to visually query content, and granular permissions.

"If WordPress is like Legos then Drupal is like raw plastic"
Feature Drupal WordPress
Pricing Depends on hosting, usually not free ✅ Limited free tier
No maintenance
Open source
SEO With modules With plugins
Accessibility Plugins and themes often have issues
Performance ✅ Advanced caching system No optimizations out of the box
Animations ❌ Custom code only
Localization
Community ✅ In Slack ❌ No official community
Integrations
Drag and drop editor Some modules offer this but page building is more difficult With plugins, typically limited CSS
Templates/themes

Top 3 advantages compared to WordPress:

  • Powerful CMS – Let's use another analogy. WordPress is built to make a car, and Drupal is built to make a vehicle – from trucks to rocket ships. The abstract nature of Drupal enables you to create just about anything you need from a CMS.
  • Flexible logic – The Drupal ecosystem is well-built. Modules (what Drupal calls plugins) solve abstract problems in a very integrated way. This enables the user to bend and twist Drupal however they need.
  • Modernized codebase – Drupal went through a complete rewrite, Drupal 8, released in 2015. At the time of writing this, they are on Drupal 10 and have made the upgrade path backward compatible. When rewriting the platform, it adopted object-oriented programming, configuration management (letting users version control configuration changes), and improved caching mechanisms for better scalability and speed.

Top 3 disadvantages compared to WordPress:

  • Page building – It's always been a drawback of Drupal. Building one-off pages like marketing pages isn't easy. It often requires custom templates. If your website doesn't have a significant amount of CMS or permission requirements, I'd think twice about using Drupal.
  • Hiring people – Drupal has a steep learning curve. I've used it for over ten years, and there's always something new to learn. Therefore, hiring people with solid Drupal knowledge is difficult and expensive.
  • Code – Using Drupal properly, at a minimum, requires you to use the command line interface (CLI). Composer, a CLI dependency manager, is used to install modules and keep Drupal up to date. In many cases, you need to be comfortable with web development to modify the theme and possibly the modules.
wordpress vs drupal core web vitals chart
Drupal vs. WordPress Core Web Vitals (higher is better)

Why seek a WordPress alternative

Chances are, you are already feeling the pain of WordPress, but just in case you, someone on your team, or a client needs more convincing, let's highlight the reasons to seek a WordPress alternative.

Spend time creating, not maintaining

Two huge downsides of WordPress are setting it up and keeping it up to date.

  • Setup – Find a hosting provider, install WordPress, set up an account, compare page builders and settle on one, and install all the plugins you need to build a website. Then, do this for every site you create.
  • Maintain – There's a lot to keep up to date: the server, PHP, WordPress, plugins, and themes. But wait, there's more: updates are bound to break something. Hopefully, your web hosting offers daily backups and testing environments!

WordPress requires more time for website setup and maintenance taking away from building your business.

Performance

WordPress websites don't come with any performance optimization! While vanilla WordPress has decent performance, nobody uses it without installing plugins. This blogging-first platform doesn't even have SEO tools out of the box!

  • Plugins slow the site down – Anytime you add a plugin, you are hurting performance (unless it's a performance optimization plugin). Sometimes by milliseconds and other times by multiple seconds. Plugins may be poorly coded or add a lot of functionality to the site. Worse yet, most WordPress plugins run on every page, even if their services aren't required there! Want to add a directory to your site? You can likely kiss the performance of your blog posts goodbye!
  • Plugins leave a mess – By default, deactivating a plugin does not remove its database tables or data. This is intentional, allowing users to reactivate the plugin later without losing settings or data. However, the majority of times, the plugin is removed, and the data is left behind, leaving a bloated database.
  • No image optimization – A proper image pipeline converts the image to the latest format (WebP or Avif), compresses it to the smallest sizes, and serves the image size for the appropriate space it's going in. WordPress does none of that without plugins.
  • No persistent caching – When you load a page or post, WordPress goes to the database to get the contents. This process is relatively time-consuming, but instead of WordPress intelligently storing a copy of that data in a faster location and updating it when the source changes (aka cache), they go to the database every time.

Sure, things can be done about these problems, often involving web development, but it goes back to setup and maintenance. I've spent months isolating and fixing WordPress performance issues using 24 different methods. Who wants to do that?

Integrated SEO tools

I could never wrap my head around why WordPress doesn't have any built-in SEO tools. Not even the ability to set a meta title and description! This nearly makes Wordpres useless out of the box unless you don't care about traffic from search engines.

Integrated page builder

Switching in and out of pages in WordPress is less than par UX. The website builder operates in its own isolated mode, removing access to your left and top navigation.

This means it often takes over seven clicks to switch pages! That should never be more than two clicks (click pages nav, then click the individual page).

Universal setup

Another reason to seek a WordPress alternative is because each WordPress site is different.

You or your team may be trained on WordPress or have built processes for certain things, then inherit a WordPress site built by someone else that uses a different page builder, SEO plugin, and other plugins or themes.

The WordPress alternatives on this list all operate the same when it comes to the website builder and SEO tools.

Learn (or train) once, and that knowledge carries over to every other project.

Manage multiple websites

Managing one site already wastes a lot of time, but managing a suite of sites is much worse.

There is no one place where you manage clients, team members, permissions, and sometimes billing.

Onboarding and offboarding team members is time-consuming and prone to error.

Security

Despite what you may have heard, WordPress itself is pretty secure.

So why all the horror stories about it getting hacked?

Three reasons:

  1. People don't apply updates (or do it fast enough)
  2. Third-party plugins carry higher risk
  3. People are responsible for their web hosting, another way into the site

Basically, users have 100% control over everything, so human error is as high as ever.

However, human error is enough of a reason to find an alternative to WordPress that is much more hands-off.

Outdated code

While there have been many major upgrades to WordPress, there hasn't been a rewrite.

Technology and its use cases have obviously evolved since the early 2000s, and updating parts of the system without rewriting the entire thing can only get them so far. That's why WordPress's counterpart, Drupal, went through an entire rewrite in 2015.

One of the big problems preventing WordPress from initiating a rewrite is that it would render all plugins incompatible, and the maintainers would need to rewrite them using the updated code. Suddenly, WordPress's top UVP (massive ecosystem) is gone. Quite the conundrum.

I'll leave you with a quote I always reference from a developer on StackOverflow that sums it up nicely:

"Wordpress is a mix mess of procedural and OOP with the worst development practices added in (global variables, no separation of concerns, echo()'ing from anywhere, bad database modeling, etc). Do NOT under any circumstance learn from the WP way of doing things, except as a bad example."

Compose the perfect tech stack – Switching from WordPress to Webstudio

There's something very unique about Webstudio: it doesn't try to be everything. It focuses on providing the very best website builder and high ecosystem compatibility, enabling you to use it with other tools such as headless CMSs, databases, and ecommerce (see status of the Shopify integration).

For example, a store has at least three large requirements:

  1. Ecommerce features
  2. Marketing pages
  3. Blog

Users think they are stuck because no platform will excel at all three of those requirements... nor should they.

When, in fact, they can use Webstudio as the frontend and integrate multiple backend tools, getting the best of both worlds!

  1. Ecommerce features – Headless Shopify (see status)
  2. Marketing pages – Webstudio
  3. Blogs – Headless CMS

Check out Webstudio as an open-source WordPress alternative.

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