CMS Spotlight: 6 Alternatives to WordPress
Jenna EricksonOctober 10th, 20184 minute read
Jenna is the Marketing Manager at Codal, blogger, and technology + startup enthusiast. With a responsibility of Codal's marketing programs and brand management, she is always strategizing new ways to reach clients through content and inbound marketing tactics. In her free time, Jenna enjoys traveling, cooking and reading.
Every company is looking for a content management system (CMS) that is easy-to-use, robust, and scalable, and for many, WordPress is the first CMS to come to mind. WordPress is the industry standard when it comes to content management systems, powering a whopping thirty percent of all websites.
Yet despite its popularity, WordPress isn’t the best fit for every business—in fact, some companies have cited several different headaches that come with the platform. WordPress is an easy target for hackers, updates can easily break the site, plugins will likely be necessary and will consistently require updates, its speed isn’t always up to par, and it may not meet the requirements of an SEO optimizer.
Sometimes, WordPress simply isn’t the best option for certain websites that have a more complex functionality. But, what else is out there?
To answer that question, we have compiled a short list of some of our favorite WordPress alternatives, if you’re in a need of a different CMS solution.
Expression Engine is one of many CMS’s used as an alternative to WordPress. It is flexible, secure, and does not require complex programming skills.
Alexandra Bohigan, a Marketing and Sales Director at Enola Labs stated “our company decided to use ExpressionEngine over WordPress because it is highly scalable, makes designs and animations look beautiful, and is highly customizable (more so than WordPress). We have a basic company website, but we wanted to incorporate custom animations, allow for gated content, and needed to ensure we could scale to meet the needs of our business.”
One large reason that Alexandra’s team wanted to use Expression Engine was that there wouldn’t be a huge learning curve for employees without much technical experience. A forgiving learning curve is a common reason that people want to use WordPress, but Expression Engine checks that box too!
One drawback of EE—a PHP developer may be needed to help set up the initial website and make major changes, but for day-to-day content updates, anyone can make them.
According to Lindsey Havens, Senior Marketing Manager at Phish Labs, “Joomla is becoming one of the biggest rivals of WordPress. It's a great content management system and its interface is extremely easy to use.”
While WordPress and Joomla have a lot of similarities— they both offer free versions, they’re open-source, easy to use, have powerful developer APIs, and offer many plugins & extensions—there are a few aspects that set Joomla apart.
Joomla has widgets that are not only much more flexible than WordPress’s, but also are easy to install and can be used right out of the box. The CMS also has off-the-shelf multilingual support, offers more backend organization, and even has unit-testing and system testing built-in.
Like WordPress, Drupal is another open-source CMS, which means that it is freely available and can be modified for every business.
Tim Absalikov, Co-Founder, and CEO of Lasting Trend, agrees that Drupal can be a better option than WordPress for some businesses:
“Drupal is good for handling large amounts of data if you’re running an enterprise site. It’s also easier to display different types of content with better flexibility than a WordPress website, and has better user access and permission control than WordPress.”
Similar to what Tim stated, Drupal may be ideal if you’re running a website that is more on the enterprise level, with more functionality than a basic marketing website. Drupal has out of the box functionality that goes way beyond what WordPress offers but definitely has a steeper learning curve than Expression Engine or WordPress.
While the Statamic CMS is a lesser-known platform, it truly is a great content management system. As a website design & development agency, we are often asked for suggestions beyond WordPress, and although it depends on what the website’s functionality consists of, Statamic is often one of our recommendations.
Many common features that would require a plugin on WordPress are already built into the Statamic CMS, including advanced custom fields, form modules, search functionality, a backup utility, and an advanced caching system.
The CMS is built on Laravel, one of the most modern, robust, and secure PHP frameworks ever created. It is also has multilingual functionality at no extra cost, does not require a database, and some even say it’s easier to use than WordPress as well.
For some businesses, HubSpot is the perfect content management system. Different from Expression Engine, Drupal, or Joomla, HubSpot is not only a CMS, but an entire digital marketing platform.
HubSpot is a unique content management system because it was built for digital marketers, and its functionality goes beyond a typical CMS. It combines website creation, website management, website optimization, CRM, and marketing automation.
“Hubspot is not only our CMS, but also our entire marketing automation platform. It allows me to do everything from build blogs, build landing pages, create page fly-ins and lead generation forms, and much more.” Says Levi Olmstead, from G2 Crowd.
If your company has a large marketing team and heavily focuses on inbound marketing, like G2 Crowd does, HubSpot could be ideal for you. If you’re looking to build a small scale website on a small budget, this CMS may not be a good fit.
Putting It All Together
Even though WordPress nearly dominates the market of content management systems, there are so many other options available to you.
Knowing the full range of what different CMS’s are available can help you ensure that you can run your website without too many roadblocks, and reach your web presence goals.
Lastly, if you’re looking for an agency to help implement your website onto one of these awesome content management systems, let’s chat! Codal is a UX design & development agency and has built and launched hundreds of successful websites, using all sorts of content management systems.