The 3 major players in the land of CMS are undeniably Joomla, WordPress, and Drupal. It’s easy to see why when even governments and major brands opt for CMS technology over raw sites. CMS allow users to skip the expense of a competitive website and deliver features far beyond simple informational website software. They achieve a wide range of functionality with only a few clicks including features related to point-of-sale, customer service, communities, organization management, marketing, and much more. WP theme development is widespread, and WordPress sits atop the heap as the most used resource with over 70 million sites employing the technology, but what if you’re interested in something more, or something different? In this guide, we examine a selection of the strongest WordPress alternatives based on three key areas: security, ease-of-use, and extensions. We also take a look at 5 new players threatening the throne.
5 Great Alternatives to WordPress CMS
Before you take a look at any features or details, you’ll want to know how the competition compares. The 5 big boys include Drupal, Joomla, DotNetNuke, Django, and Magento.
|Name||Language/ Framework||Databases Supported||Number of Extensions||Number of Sites|
|Drupal||PHP||MariaDB, SQL Server, MySQL, Oracle, Percona Server, PostgreSQL, SQLite||30000||1M|
|WordPress||PHP||MySQL, MariaDB||44633||74.6 M|
|Joomla||PHP||MySQL, PostgreSQL, MSSQL, SQLite||7779||1.6 M|
|Django||Python||PostgreSQL, MySQL, SQLite, Oracle||1000||151K|
Alternative WordPress CMS Features
The two strongest performers out of the best alternative WordPress solutions are Joomla and Drupal. Let’s take a closer look at their features to get a better idea of the package they offer.
|Known For||It’s preferred by small and mid-sized entities selling products and services.||The White House uses Drupal.||It remains the most popular tool in the blogosphere.|
|Strengths||It sits between the power of Drupal and the end user-friendly qualities of WordPress.Community platform focused designStrong social networking features||It’s a developer-friendly CMS for engineering complex websites. Use requires expertise and experience.Strong taxonomyTags and categorizes complex content||It’s an easy-to-use blogging platform and CMS with a huge repository of extensions.Delivers viable power with ease of use|
|Setup and Customization Cost||$2,000 – $20,000||$5,000 – $20,000||$250 – $15,000|
|Best Solution For||Standard website||Large and/or multiple large multi-featured websites||Blog|
|Core Module Features||Design templates and add-onsMenus, pages, multi-user support, search, feed, polls||Design templates and add-onsMulti-user and multi-site supportMenus, blog, forum, contact forms, feed, search, polls, statistics reporting, file upload||Full-featured bloggingDesign templatesAdd-ons
|Who Uses It||HarvardLinux.comBarnes and Noble
UK National Crime Agency
|Johnson and JohnsonUK GovernmentRed Hat Linux
|TechCrunchThe New YorkerBBC America
5 New Alternatives to WordPress
Outside the known world of the big three, scores of CMS exist, and many are turning to these new options as WordPress becomes larger and more complicated. They feel these new and simple options better satisfy their needs in web development. You have to know about future of programming and trends.[Tweet “It’s on the tip of everyone’s tongue, and shamelessly positions itself as a WordPress clone.”]
Remember plain HTML? Do you want to relive 1995? Jekyll wants to help you. It generates static HTML out of text files, and requires comfort at the command line. Those with more minimalist site needs have their answer.
This flat-file CMS mixes static and dynamic (the source of its name) elements. It renders pages ad hoc style like WordPress, but avoids the database, opting instead for flat-file directory structure. Taking the database out of the equation accelerates your site.
This CMS isolates the core and absolutely essential features of a CMS. It shuns bloat and excess from trying to satisfy every possible need. Essential features are free, but non-core features (e.g., localization) are not.
This CMS allows users to build a basic site, separate from Perch, and then incorporate CMS functionality later. Users avoid committing when they only want a few editable, dynamic pages. It appears to target brochureware and non-technical site needs.
The decision you make ultimately rests on the goals, requirements, and resources of your investment. Any tool can work, and in some cases, you need a wide variety of tools to get the job done. There is also the fact that using a tool is like slipping on a jacket.