WordPress is a formidable program. However, it’s not for everyone. You may be looking for something a little simpler to get started with, or a tool designed for a particular niche (such as e-commerce).
Fortunately, you have plenty of other open-source options to choose from. In this article, we’ll cover a few of the reasons you may want to consider choosing an open-source WordPress competitor. Then we’ll review the pros and cons of three top contenders. Let’s get started!
Why You Should Consider an Open-Source WordPress Alternative
If you’ve heard a lot of buzz around the term ‘open-source’, there’s a pretty good reason. Open-source technology is any software that its developers have made freely available. That means its users can alter it as much as they want, as often as they want, for no cost.
This kind of software can offer you a lot of benefits. For example, you won’t be under the control of a certain vendor. If you don’t like what the developers have written, you’re free to change it yourself. You might also save money if you’re not paying for license fees.
One of the most well-known pieces of open-source software is WordPress. This highly-customizable, constantly-evolving program has a huge community of avid supporters. With a projected value hovering around $636 billion, many users choose WordPress to power their sites.
Nevertheless, it might not be the right choice for you. Perhaps you don’t like how often you need to update the program. On the other hand, the flexibility of WordPress might simply present too many choices that you don’t have time to make.
Whatever your reason, you’re probably looking for a WordPress alternative that still gives you all the benefits of open-source technology. Fortunately, there are plenty of great options to choose from.
The Top 3 Open-Source Alternatives to WordPress
Here are three of the best open-source WordPress alternatives for you to consider. While these aren’t your only options, they’re a few of our personal favorites.
At first glance, Ghost almost doesn’t look like a Content Management System (CMS). The design is sleek, and the interface is modern. However, these stylistic choices are just a preview of how streamlined Ghost is.
Ghost is designed with ease of use in mind. You don’t need much technical knowledge to get started. The simple interface is fairly easy to understand from the start. That means you can spend less time tinkering and more time promoting your organization.
In addition to an effective layout, Ghost offers other unique benefits, such as:
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and social sharing features that reduce the need for additional tools
- A non-cluttered interface that tends to be less confusing than many competitors
- Extremely fast load times, thanks to the use of Node.js
Ghost is certainly impressive, but this minimalism comes at a cost. There are no real ecommerce features in this CMS. As such, it’s probably not the option for you if you’re looking to sell products or services.
You may also find the theme choice a bit limited. This could result in a less unique web presence. As such, you’ll likely have to rely on high-quality posts to make your site stand out from the crowd.
Nevertheless, we highly recommend Ghost if you’re looking to start a blog. While the pared-down interface can be limiting, this CMS uses all its remaining features to help you build a world-class blog. If your site is heavy on the written content, we suggest giving Ghost a shot.
An enormous ecommerce company is bound to have different needs than an individual looking to start a blog. If you’re in the market for an enterprise-level solution, look no further than Django.
This platform is built to support large-scale projects. Additionally, it’s also extremely developer-friendly. There is a lot of room for customization, which means you can create a professional website tailored to your exact needs.
This advanced option also has growth in mind. Smaller organizations are likely to find that scaling is easy with Django CMS. That makes it worth considering for any company with an eye towards expansion.
Here are a few other features that have earned Django CMS a place on our list:
- Support for internationalization and multiple languages
- Top-notch security features such as session management and granular privileges
- Sitemap generation tool to help you provide excellent navigation
However, although Django CMS has a selection of useful features, it might not be the right choice for everyone. Similar to WordPress, this CMS gives you almost limitless freedom. With so many features to choose from, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. The wide range of customization options available can also mean a steep learning curve for beginners.
We generally recommend Django CMS if you’re running a large-scale ecommerce store (or are planning to). You’ll have a high level of control over your security settings to ensure visitor safety.
Furthermore, you’ll also have room to grow. The international capabilities plus the scalable nature of this CMS mean this is a technology that will grow with your company.
If you favor a more lightweight, elegant solution when it comes to content management, you might want to consider Bolt.
While Ghost focuses on producing powerful blogs, Bolt supports the creation experience for all kinds of websites. Here are a few of its key features:
- An intuitive administrative panel to streamline your editing process
- A host of pre-made extensions to help you to add dynamic content, such as a connected Instagram account
- A detailed activity log so you can keep track of who’s editing your content
Bolt CMS may be lightweight, but that doesn’t mean it’s simple. If you don’t have some prior technical knowledge, you may find the platform difficult to use. For skilled developers, the features and customization option Bolt CMS offers may be a dream. However, for beginners, they may pose a challenge.
However, it’s not impossible to use the platform without experience. Bolt CMS comes with impressive support options, including a dedicated Slack channel. As such, you’ll find a lot of guidance if you want to jump in feet-first.
In general, we suggest that you try Bolt CMS out if you want a simple but effective website. Given the lightweight nature of this software, it may also be a wise choice if you’re looking to prioritize site speed.
WordPress’ popularity can make it seem like there’s no other CMS available. Fortunately, that’s not the case. By understanding how the top options compare, you can choose an open-source alternative to WordPress that will support your goals.
Did we miss your favorite WordPress alternative? Let us know in the comments section below!
Image credit: Pixabay.