Many people who have decided to make their first website consider going to WordPress to build and host their website because, of course, it’s free! WordPress also offers significant support and offers free WordPress themes which are relatively easy to put together. WordPress also has significant brand clout: it’s often the leading option for those first considering building a website on their own without the help of a developer, and its framework can be used to build literally any kind of site.
But WordPress can be complex for those who don’t have any existing experience building a website, and comes with the significant security drawbacks of any open source platform. As most of its plugins and themes are all user-made, they aren’t compatible with all versions of WordPress, and surprise compatibility issues often crop up with each update to the baseline WordPress framework.
Luckily, there are several popular alternatives to WordPress which easily allow users to create a website, which include management platforms, website building tools, and a wide variety of other website systems which can help the coding illiterate develop and publish a beautiful website without too much effort.
If you’re just starting out and trying to get a live website, but have never built one before and are concerned about getting in too deep, consider using Website Builder. This product is aimed at helping the least-savvy clients create designer-quality websites, and allow users to pick from hundreds of themes and easily pop in their own graphics and content. They offer secure hosting and several useful plugins all for free, and their easy website builder tool is a simple drag-and-drop platform which is remarkably more intuitive than the WordPress interface. Whether its products for sale, images, video, text, buttons, or infographics, you can easily place your content wherever you want it.
Wix is gaining steam where building websites is concerned, and like Websitebuilder.com, offers an easy-to-use drag and drop website builder which cuts through a lot of the confusion many first time user experience when trying out WordPress. Wix comes in at a higher price point than Websitebuilder.com, but offers several paid advanced features for those who need the top tools used to manage very large websites or those which have robust shop features.
Drupal is like WordPress, in that it’s an open source framework atop which websites are built. But Drupal has a far smaller pool than WordPress, and does require more technical skill to use. But because of this, it’s also far safer than WordPress, and has significantly less likelihood of major crashes related to system updates or coding changes. At its most basic level, it also has a far deeper reaching assay of content management options, which usually translates to a broadly better consumer experience on Drupal websites. Like WordPress, many Drupal themes are purchased separately.
Tumblr has gained a great deal of steam in recent years, and has a broad base of users. Though Tumblr wouldn’t suit the needs of an ecommerce website, it is incredibly easy to use with just a few buttons and has all the functions one could need for a personal blog or portfolio at the best price of all: absolutely free. Tumblr also comes packed with a suite of social-media-esque features which allow you to follow other tumblr users and easily repost and share content you enjoy.
Ghost, similar to WordPress and Drupal, is a framework on which a blog or website is built. It comes in free and paid versions, but is easier to use than either of the other two framework options. Ghost combines great drag and drop elements with coding, and has a fantastic content mark-up interface. It’s great for small projects, but might not be well suited to ecommerce or large business websites.