WordPress is Awesome but There’s Certainly Competition
WordPress is the beast to beat, in the publishing platform market; and according to some statistics, one in five websites is built using WordPress. But that leverage is slipping, day by day, and many other platforms are gaining stronger footholds. Believe it or not, there are dozens of great alternatives to WordPress; but many of them are optimized for specific web publishing niches. If you don’t have time to browse the rankings at Best 10 Website Builders, this list can help you narrow down the best options!
The Medium Platform
Medium is immensely popular, and one of the leading web publishing platforms which compete with WordPress. But that’s not to suggest it’s a carbon copy: Medium lacks a few notable things which WordPress provides. For example, Medium is not content management option, and does not have the ability to scale up, like WordPress. Instead, Medium is primarily a personal blogging option, which provides in-line commenting capability and preset viewing options. All of the Medium platform’s themes are automatically responsive, and there are no third-party options, themes, or plugins to worry about. So, if you’re looking for a pared-down blogging option, Medium can be incredibly attractive.
Ghost was borne in the same vein of ideas as Medium: many WordPress users and developers disappointed in WordPress’s shift from the blogging platform decided to take things into their own hands. Ghost is based on the NodeJS blogging software, and provides a streamlined blogging experience. It’s an open source framework which supports team integration and multiple users, and is optimized for ease of use and mobile interface. In fact, it is so user optimized on both the publisher and the user end that Forbes, Wired, Mashable, and TechCrunch have lauded its design.
The Joomla Framework
Joomla, now over a decade old, is a framework which is an open-source content management system with a large dedicated community of support. Like WordPress, it’s one of the frameworks which dominates the industry, with millions of users worldwide. And Joomla has a few perks over WordPress, including being more secure, and having less plugin compatibility issues. But it also has some downfalls as well, such as running on fewer hosting platforms, and having less exhaustive customization options and extensions.
The Drupal Framework
A close runner-up to Joomla is Drupal, with is similar to both Joomla and WordPress in that it is a scalable content management system which is open source. According to published statistics, Drupal powers approximately two percent of all websites, including many state and federal websites. It’s also used for several nationally running syndications, including the Economist. It can run on most hosting providers with ease, and has a number of extensions and themes. Many defenders of Drupal note that it’s often more secure that WordPress, but unfortunately has a very steep learning curve, and can be difficult to update. Drupal relies on net-savvy users who can fine-tune its base settings so that its basic operation doesn’t consume too many of your host resources.
The Jekyll Site Generator
Site generators are becoming more and more common, and for a good reason: they incorporate user-experience based algorithms to update a site’s appearance based on dozens of fields the builder can set. Because of this, Jekyll sites are very difficult to scale up, as they rely on hard-coded, static HTML rather than operating from a database. Coded in Ruby and NodeJS, it’s likely best used for one-off projects which don’t need frequent updating. As a perk, though, Jekyll provides free hosting and is dev-friendly, allowing you to use Markdown, Git, and SVN.
The Tumblr Platform
There isn’t much that’s better than free, and Tumblr is a free-hosted blogging platform which combines many elements of a social media site. With a large and growing base of dedicated users, Tumblr is responsive, streamlined, and optimized for great user interface while mobile. One of its best perks is that the platform makes it ridiculously easy to crosspost across all one’s other social media accounts.