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Migrate from WordPress with these superior alternatives

We've compiled a comprehensive list of the best WordPress alternatives tailored for various business applications.
Jing Li

Written by Jing Li

Jun 19, 2024
 Migrate from WordPress with these superior alternatives

WordPress is used by 43.3% of all websites, which speaks volumes about its capabilities and popularity. However, it has drawbacks, ranging from slow site performance to difficulties with customization, security concerns, and lack of advanced features.

Suppose you're in charge of technology or strategy at your company. In that case, you might be experiencing these limited customization options, especially if your business is growing or has specific needs that WordPress struggles to meet.

We've compiled a comprehensive list of the best WordPress alternatives tailored for various business applications. We will also group these alternatives based on the two types of content management systems (CMS): monolithic and headless.

Editor's Note

Monolithic CMS are traditional platforms where the frontend and backend are tightly coupled, and headless CMS separates the backend (content repository) from the frontend (presentation layer)

#Headless CMS alternatives to WordPress

Headless CMS platforms are gaining traction as innovative alternatives to WordPress. They offer flexibility and performance to developers, allowing them to create seamless digital experiences across various channels by decoupling content management from presentation. Let’s consider the following headless alternatives:

  1. Hygraph
  2. Contentful
  3. Ghost
  4. Strapi
  5. Sanity

1. Hygraph

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Hygraph is a headless CMS designed for building and managing mission-critical applications. It stands out with its API-first, GraphQL-native approach, which allows for rapid content development and deployment across multiple channels.

Here are some features of Hygraph:

  1. GraphQL API: This enables efficient data fetching, letting developers query exactly what they need, reducing load times, and improving application performance.
  2. Content Federation: Allows data integration from various backends into a single GraphQL API, simplifying content management across different systems.
  3. Extensibility: It offers a marketplace of apps and integrations, enabling the platform to be customized to meet specific business needs.
  4. Granular permissions: Supports creating custom roles with specific access controls, ensuring security and proper data management.
ProsCons
Advanced structured content managementRequires some technical proficiency
Highly scalable for growing needsHigher costs for large scale use
Robust security features
Facilitates real-time collaboration across teams

Here are some popular companies using Hygraph:

2. Contentful

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Contentful is a cloud-based, headless CMS that enables developers and content editors to manage and deliver content across various platforms.

It features robust APIs for consuming and publishing content, allowing developers to create applications for multiple channels. Here are some features of Contentful:

  1. Structured content authoring: Allows content creators to define custom content types with specific fields arranged in defined hierarchies tailored for any channel.
  2. Contentful apps: Contentful offers two powerful apps designed to streamline content creation and enhance collaboration. Compose offers a page-based interface for managing content with SEO optimization and localization features. Launch helps teams manage content scheduling and workflows more effectively.
  3. GraphQL API: Provides a schema that enables the consumption of both published and unpublished content through GraphQL, enhancing flexibility and speed in development.
  4. WebHooks: This tool enables real-time notifications of content changes, allowing for automated workflows and integrations that react to CMS changes.

Pros and cons

ProsCons
Platform-agnostic content deliveryHigher operational costs
Scalable for enterprise needsComplexity requires developer skills
Strong support for internationalization

Here are some popular companies using Contentful:

3. Ghost

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Ghost is a swift, contemporary alternative to WordPress, dedicated solely to professional publishing.

Like WordPress, Ghost's most appreciated aspects are its open-source and adaptable nature. However, the key distinction lies in Ghost's singular focus on excelling at one specific task: publishing.

Here are some features of Ghost:

  1. Rich editor and dynamic cards: Offers a rich text editor tailored for optimal writing experiences, supporting various dynamic cards like image galleries, embeds, Markdown, and HTML.
  2. Subscription commerce: Integrates tools like registration forms, member management, payments, and subscriptions into the CMS, facilitating direct monetization opportunities without extra plugins or fees.
  3. Built-in SEO and social sharing: Features comprehensive support for SEO and social media integration, including Google AMP, canonical tags, optimized URLs, and social media tags, all configured automatically.
  4. Simplified setup with Ghost(Pro): Provides a hosted service that simplifies setup to just a few clicks, offering the same level of control as self-hosted options but with less hassle and more speed.

Pros and cons

ProsCons
User-friendly interface for writersLimited customization options
Integrated subscription and SEO toolsPrimarily suited for blogs and simple publishing sites
Fast performance with modern technology stackLess versatile for complex, feature-rich websites
No transaction fees for monetization featuresSmaller user and developer community compared to WordPress

Here are some popular companies using Ghost to power their blogs:

4. Strapi

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Strapi is an open-source headless CMS that allows developers to build, manage, and distribute content across any digital channel. It is designed to work seamlessly with modern development stacks.

Strapi is free to use and powered by a modern technology stack using Node.js and offers many advanced customizations.

Here are some features of Strapi:

  1. Flexible content management: Allows for easy creation and management of content structures that can be used anywhere and customized without restrictions.
  2. RESTful and GraphQL APIs: Supports both REST and GraphQL out of the box, facilitating the development of data-driven applications and websites.
  3. Role-based access control (RBAC): Offers detailed access control settings to manage permissions across different levels of users and teams.
  4. Plugin system: Extensible via a rich ecosystem of community and custom plugins that enhance functionality.

Pros and cons

ProsCons
High customization and flexibilityRequires developer skills
Strong community supportLess comprehensive documentation
Scalable architectureInitial setup can be complex

Here are some popular companies using Strapi:

5. Sanity

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The Sanity composable content cloud is a customizable alternative to WordPress that treats content as data to power your digital business.

It is a platform for structured content with a fully customizable editor and a real-time collaboration feature. It's designed to build modern, faster, and personalized digital experiences.

Here are some features of Sanity:

  1. Real-time collaboration: This enables teams to work together in real-time on the same document, improving coordination and productivity.
  2. Portable text: Uses a JSON-based approach for rich text fields, allowing developers to use and reuse content across platforms without losing context or formatting.
  3. Powerful APIs: Offers robust APIs for reading and writing data, ensuring seamless integration with existing systems and scalability.
  4. Extensible editor: Sanity Studio's editing interface can be fully customized and extended to fit specific project needs.

Pros and cons

ProsCons
Highly customizable editorSteeper learning curve for non-developers
Excellent real-time featuresRequires more initial setup
Strong API capabilitiesHigher cost for higher usage tiers

Here are some popular companies using Sanity:

#Monolithic CMS alternatives to WordPress

  1. Joomla
  2. Drupal
  3. Wix
  4. Squarespace

1. Joomla

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Joomla, a free and open-source CMS, currently supports around 2.1% of all websites and holds a 3.5% market share, ranking it third behind WordPress.

Initially developed to build portal-style websites with functionalities like login forms and membership systems, Joomla is now utilized by over 4 million websites across various industries.

Here are some features of Joomla:

  1. User management: Joomla has a registration system that allows users to configure personal options. It provides nine user groups with various permissions on what users can access, edit, publish, and administer.
  2. Media manager: The media manager is a tool for efficiently managing media files or folders. You can configure the MIME type settings to handle any type of file.
  3. Language manager: Joomla has international support for many world languages and UTF-8 encoding, making it easy to use in the language of your choice.
  4. Banner management: The banner manager makes setting up banners on your website easy and monetizing them with ads.

Pros and cons

ProsCons
Highly customizable and flexible for complex websitesCan be complex for beginners
Strong user management optionsLess extensive range of themes compared to WordPress
Good multilingual supportSome plugins can be outdated

Some excellent examples of websites powered by Joomla are:

2. Drupal

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Drupal is a leading open-source CMS renowned for handling complex, enterprise-level projects, typically on a larger scale.

With Drupal, you can develop more intricate experiences and manage more complex content. If your project demands high complexity, avoid compromising by trying to fit it into WordPress.

Here are some features of Drupal:

  1. Composable architecture: This enables developers to customize and extend the functionality with modular components, making it highly adaptable to various use cases.
  2. Composable content: Facilitates creating and managing content as discrete elements that can be dynamically assembled and reused across multiple web pages or digital experiences.
  3. Multilingual management: Supports extensive multilingual features that allow creating, managing, and presenting content in multiple languages.

Pros and cons

ProsCons
Highly customizable and adaptableSteep learning curve
Excellent for complex data managementCan be resource-intensive
Strong multilingual capabilitiesRequires technical expertise

Some examples of websites powered by Drupal are:

3. Wix

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Wix is a robust, no-code platform for website creation, packed with business tools suitable for anything from a simple personal blog to a complex enterprise-grade professional-looking website.

It offers integrated functionalities for eCommerce, marketing, scheduling, branding, and additional features. Wix has consistently led in web design and has been an early adopter of innovative technologies, such as AI-driven website creation.

Here are some features of Wix:

  1. Drag-and-drop editor: This allows users to customize their website layout and design elements easily, making it accessible to non-technical users.
  2. Templates: Offers various customizable templates tailored to different business needs and industries.
  3. Wix app market: This market provides a variety of plugins and applications that can extend the functionality of your website, such as adding social media feeds or restaurant reservations.
  4. SEO tools: Includes built-in tools to help optimize your website for search engines, improving visibility and reach.

Pros and cons

ProsCons
Intuitive user interfaceLimited customization flexibility
Comprehensive template libraryCan become costly with add-ons
Strong customer supportLess control over hosting

Here are some popular companies using Wix:

4. Squarespace

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Squarespace offers a versatile and flexible platform for individuals and small businesses to establish their online presence.

With just a bit of effort, you can create an attractive website with features such as built-in eCommerce checkout tools, a custom domain name, and SSL certificate protection.

Although Squarespace is accessible to anyone looking to design a website, it is primarily tailored for designers, artists, photographers, and other creative professionals.

Here are some features of Squarespace:

  1. High-quality pre-designed templates: Known for their stylish and professional designs, which are highly responsive and customizable.
  2. Built-in eCommerce tools: Offers integrated solutions for businesses to start selling online, including inventory management and payment gateways.
  3. Analytics: Provides detailed insights into website traffic and user behavior, helping businesses make data-driven decisions.
  4. Marketing tools: Includes email marketing, social media tools, and blogging platform capabilities to enhance digital marketing efforts.

Pros and cons

ProsCons
Design-focused platformHigher cost than competitors
All-in-one functionalityLimited third-party integrations
Excellent customer supportSteeper learning curve

Here are some popular companies using Squarespace:

#WordPress alternatives for eCommerce platforms

While WooCommerce and other eCommerce plugins are popular choices for WordPress users, they often come with additional expenses like premium hosting and domain registration.

For businesses focusing solely on eCommerce, it's worth exploring CMS alternatives designed specifically for this purpose. However, it's important to note that while these platforms replace the commerce functionality of WordPress, they don't typically offer content management capabilities as comprehensive as those found in a system like Hygraph.

Hygraph can be integrated seamlessly with these eCommerce solutions to enhance your site's content management and deliver a more robust digital experience.

Here are some top commerce alternatives to WordPress:

  1. Shopify
  2. Adobe Commerce
  3. Commerce Layer
  4. BigCommerce

#Monolithic commerce alternatives to WordPress

1. Shopify

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Shopify is a globally recognized SaaS eCommerce platform renowned for its user-friendly interface, pre-designed and competitive pricing plan, making it a favorite among startup merchants and small businesses. However, it is also suitable for larger brands.

The variety of features available on Shopify depends on the plan you select, so it's advisable to thoroughly review the features list before registering.

Some features of Shopify are:

  1. Integrated payment solutions: Shopify offers built-in payment processing with Shopify Payments.
  2. Extensive app marketplace: Shopify’s App Store is specifically curated for eCommerce enhancements. This focus ensures that almost every third-party app adds direct value to your online store, whether through improved SEO, better inventory management, or advanced customer analytics.
  3. Robust security measures: Shopify provides a secure, PCI-compliant platform with SSL encryption right out of the box, reducing the burden on online store owners to secure their sites.
  4. Multi-channel selling: Shopify seamlessly integrates with platforms like Amazon, TikTok, and in-person point of sale (POS) systems, facilitating online and physical store sales.

Pros and cons

ProsCons
Intuitive interface for easy setup and management.Monthly fees, transaction fees, and app costs can add up.
Manages hosting, security, and updates, reducing technical tasks.Customization options are restricted due to Shopify's proprietary coding language, Liquid.
Built-in payment system supporting multiple methods.Blogging and content features are less robust than those of dedicated CMS platforms.
Suitable for small to large businesses, it handles varying sales volumes.Some SEO aspects are harder to manage compared to more open platforms.
Wide range of apps are available for extending online store functionality.

Here are some popular companies using Shopify:

It is also important to mention that Shopify offers powerful APIs, SDKs, primitives, tools for building storefronts, custom cart and checkout flows, and seamless integrations with your systems.

2. Adobe Commerce (previously Magento)

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Adobe Commerce is an open-source, self-hosted CMS with a highly advanced, feature-rich platform for developing eCommerce websites. It is designed for online business owners who want to expand and deliver an unforgettable customer buying experience.

Since its acquisition by Adobe, it has transformed into an omnichannel solution for B2C and B2B merchants seeking an enterprise edition. Opting for Adobe Commerce Cloud will enhance your site with advanced security features and accelerate the site speed for your target audience.

A recent eCommerce comparison of WordPress and Adobe Commerce states, “Adobe Commerce is the superior choice for business owners seeking a robust, scalable eCommerce solution, while WordPress is better suited for content-rich sites with eCommerce needs.”

Here are some built-in features of Adobe Commerce:

  1. Security: Adobe Commerce provides top-tier security by storing customer passwords as hashes using the SHA-256 algorithm, ensuring that sensitive credentials are robustly encrypted.
  2. Integrations: Adobe Commerce shines by seamlessly integrating into a comprehensive tech stack, including CMS, CRM, and ERP systems.
  3. Content management: Adobe Commerce offers a visually intuitive platform that makes content creation and management straightforward.
  4. Scalability: The Adobe Commerce Cloud is a highly flexible and scalable solution equipped with modern tools and robust inventory management capabilities. It is ideal for businesses looking to grow without switching platforms.

Pros and cons

ProsCons
Highly customizable and scalableHigher complexity and setup costs
Robust security featuresRequires technical expertise to manage
Seamless integrations with other systemsOngoing maintenance can be labor-intensive
Advanced B2B and inventory management capabilitiesLess straightforward than fully hosted solutions

Here are some popular companies using Adobe Commerce:

#Headless commerce alternatives to WordPress

1. Commerce Layer

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Commerce Layer is a transactional commerce API designed for global brands. It enables the integration of shopping functionalities into any digital experience.

With Commerce Layer, you can enhance your existing multi-language website—built on Hygraph, Contentful, or another CMS—with capabilities like multi-currency pricing, distributed inventory management, localized payment gateways, promotions, orders, subscriptions, and more.

As a headless commerce platform and order management system, Commerce Layer seamlessly integrates global shopping features into websites, mobile apps, chatbots, and IoT devices. It supports contemporary development practices, including Jamstack, making adding worldwide commerce functionalities to your digital projects easy.

Here are some features of Commerce Layer:

  1. International scalability: Commerce Layer enables businesses to scale internationally with its multi-country configuration options. This means businesses can easily set up and manage separate eCommerce operations tailored to different countries, accommodating local currencies, languages, tax regulations, and payment methods.
  2. CMS-agnostic: Being CMS-agnostic means that Commerce Layer can work with any content management system. This flexibility allows businesses to choose the CMS that best fits their content strategy and team capabilities without being locked into a specific ecosystem.
  3. Real-time Webhooks: Commerce Layer supports real-time webhooks, enabling instant notifications whenever specific events occur within the platform. This feature is particularly useful for synchronizing data across various systems in real-time, such as updating inventory levels, notifying shipping services of new orders, or triggering custom workflows in response to customer actions.

Pros and cons

ProsCons
Enables easy setup and management of multi-country eCommerce operations.It may be overly complex for smaller businesses that do not require extensive international features.
Highly customizable and allows integration with any third-party tools.Requires technical expertise to implement and manage the integrations and custom setups effectively.
With over 60 CDN edges, it ensures fast content delivery globally.While flexible, heavy reliance on integrations can introduce challenges in managing multiple service providers.

Here are some popular companies using Commerce Layer:

2. BigCommerce

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BigCommerce operates as a headless and monolithic CMS. This dual capability allows users to choose the best setup according to their specific needs and technical environment.

BigCommerce stands out as an exceptionally adaptable and comprehensive headless eCommerce platform. It simplifies the setup and streamlines backend operations, such as product, order, and customer relationship management, freeing businesses and online stores to focus on expansion and innovation without the burden of technical details.

BigCommerce provides robust backend services, including hosting and security, while allowing complete creative freedom in storefront design.

Here are some features of BigCommerce:

  1. Fully customizable APIs: BigCommerce's API-first approach allows full customization, enabling developers to connect and manipulate data between the frontend and backend. This creates an integrated environment that supports dynamic updates and interactions.
  2. Multi-storefront functionality: BigCommerce enables the creation of multiple, distinct storefronts from a single management interface. This is ideal for businesses managing diverse product lines or targeting different geographic markets, simplifying operations, and enhancing customer outreach.
  3. Flexible integrations: With the flexibility to integrate any preferred tech stack, BigCommerce caters to specific business requirements, allowing seamless integration with numerous frontend technologies and third-party services.

Pros and cons

ProsCons
Extensive third-party integrationsHigher cost compared to some alternatives
Robust API capabilities for flexibilityComplexity might be overwhelming for beginners
Strong support and communityLimited customization in the hosted version

Here are some popular companies using BigCommerce:

#Wrapping up

In this article, we have reviewed 13 CMS alternatives for WordPress. The table below shows a quick summary of each CMS's features.

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The switch from WordPress to a headless CMS is one of the best things you can do for your team if you want to build a flexible, efficient, and innovative digital presence. A headless CMS like Hygraph stands out by enabling an API-first approach that supports composable architectures. Businesses can tailor their tech stack to their specific needs without being constrained by traditional CMS platforms.

A headless approach helps companies organize, discover, and use their content data to meet diverse needs, enabling businesses to create future-proof content strategy. To learn more about headless CMS, download our Headless CMS 101 eBook.

Download eBook: Headless CMS 101

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Blog Author

Jing Li

Jing Li

Jing is the Content Marketing Manager at Hygraph. Besides telling compelling stories, Jing enjoys dining out and catching occasional waves on the ocean.

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