Top WordPress Alternatives, Competitors & Similar Software (2023 Updated)
WordPress is a CMS that allows you to create your website or blog. It is famous for building business websites, eCommerce, blogs, membership sites, etc.
WordPress started as a blogging platform, but now it has become a full-blown open-source content management system. Content management systems help you manage your website's essential aspects, like the content, without technical knowledge. You can also add plugins to expand the features.
Although you don't need technical knowledge to build a website on WordPress, it might not be the best fit for your business. In addition, adding many plugins can become a hassle for you and your members.
However, WordPress is not the only option for building a website. There are many alternatives to WordPress but first, let's look at where WordPress falls short to help you make an informed decision.
Why should you look for WordPress alternatives
WordPress offers a lot of great features, templates, and customization options. However, it's not the right solution for everyone. Some people may prefer a more user-friendly platform, while others might need one focusing more on eCommerce. Choose the right platform for your needs to ensure you don't waste your time and money. Here are some WordPress facts to help you make a decision:
WordPress is a great platform for those who want to use its basic templates. However, if you're going to use more robust features to customize your site, you may run into trouble. Many users have complained that plugins have broken their websites.
WordPress can be challenging for you. Without proper web development experience, building a website that really stands out can be difficult. You may need to hire an external developer to create a more custom or personalized site. This can make it challenging to execute changes fast on your own.
WordPress users have said that it can be challenging to use at times. You may feel limited in what you can do with your website. Some people have also found that WordPress can be expensive for its features. At the same price, other platforms include a built-in store, calendars, dashboards, community, etc.
Best WordPress Alternatives to try
Scenes is an ultimate community platform that helps you build a robust community where you can sell your courses and host live events, webinars, and live streams. Scenes offers the best community features through which you can moderate, manage, and monetize your community all in one place - with your brand appearance, under your custom domain. Scenes can also generate a whitelabelled mobile app and list it on the Play Store/App Store.
- High level of customization: You can plug in your domain, add your branding, maintain the brand's colours, and even copy/paste your exact UI (via custom CSS). Scenes is an absolute "brand-consistent" platform.
- Built-in store: A built-in store allows you to sell courses, information products, digital goods, merchandise and even membership tiers. Plus, you pay the lowest transaction fees compared to all other similar platforms.
- Push notifications on mobile: When more than 60% of global internet users are on mobile devices, your members must have access to the community on the go. Push notifications via a mobile app ensures that your users are engaged regardless of where they are.
- Available across in multiple formats & avatars; be it a web app under your domain, a native whitelabeled app on Android and iOS, integrations within your existing app or API-based integrations.
- Auto Scaling across platforms - Scenes uses powerful auto-scaling technology to keep your community blazing fast no matter how many visitors you have across all devices. They scale as you scale.
- The only platform that enables custom CSS for top to bottom granular-level user interface customization. You can make your community look close to your app/website's UI.
- A built-in coin system lets you incentivize your community members to engage more.
- Live audio-video features for your events, webinars and live classes where all your members can get notified and RSVP.
- You will lose some members during the platform migration process.
Squarespace is a platform that offers you multiple tools to create and manage your website. From creating and editing content to adding products (such as ebooks, online courses), managing payments, and more, you'll be able to do it all in one place.
- Engagement Analytics - Track engagement with an activity log, form & button conversions, popular content and site search keywords.
- Social Media Links - Showcase your social media links, giving your visitors quick and easy options for following you on all major networks. Breakaway’s design builder provides a variety of styles that let you keep up a unified look across every social network.
- Squarespace’s custom WYSIWYG engine supports custom designs - so whether or not you are a professional web developer or designer, you will be able to customize your site to match your vision and make it work for your business.
- Starts at $19/mo.
- Free trial available.
- They have great templates, design and color palette, type family are a useful feature.
- There is no requirement of technical know-how or design skills to create a solid website. The high-quality templates, with predetermined styling, ensure that even a simple website looks clean and elegant.
- You can edit websites using your web browser without any special software. This also allows you to train my clients easily since it's drag and drop. Usability is a big plus especially with smaller clients.
- There is no autosave option after you make any changes and always asks to save it manually. No site history feature either.
- Their template score low ratings by Google’s page speed tool, which could lead to a poor user experience on smartphones and possibly harm your search engine rankings.
- It is not for larger businesses as they require customizations and functionality.
MemberMouse is a popular WordPress membership plugin that turns your WordPress site into a membership site. It allows you to easily sell any type of digital or physical products, you can setup a membership area and offer 1-click upsells or downsells.
- MemberMouse offers robust reporting tools that help you calculate sales, customer lifetime value, churn/retention, and more. Embrace a data-drive approach with the right metrics at your fingertips.
- Automate your member engagement, support and marketing with our tools and integrations. It's time to put things on autopilot.
- Member management is built into the core of MemberMouse. We also give you CRM tools to track member info, activity, transaction history and more.
- It seamlessly connected with my billing software (Stripe and PayPal).
- The support team is incredibly quick and thorough when issues do arise (usually stemming from my customizations, not the MemberMouse product).
- MemberMouse is easy to jump in and configure and manage members on a day to day. It has reporting to see where sales are at and help with churn.
- It requires WordPress knowledge to implement MemberMouse. It can get technical at times which leads to a learning curve for some administrative users.
- It is not user-friendly.
- The starter plan has limited features.
MemberPress is the easiest and most powerful WordPress membership plugin available today. It lets you quickly and easily set up a membership website, sell access to premium content or files, charge recurring fees, and so much more. And it's all included right in your WordPress dashboard!
- Power of WordPress - MemberPress’ paywall feature is a built-in WordPress capability that gives you extraordinary power over what content or products you wish to make available behind your paywall.
- MemberPress is a wordpress forum plugin that allows you to easily build password protected forums with the same quality software and support as WordPress.
- MemberPress is great at giving you control over what content you’re users can see. You can decide and customize who can access your site based on content restrictions set within MemberPress and fine-tune your WordPress site in so many different ways.
- The access restrictions is a great feature, wherein you can select any content that you want to block.
- It is flexible in deep integration with WordPress. It makes it very easy to brand and pull into their API to meet your needs.
- Its 2-in-1 feature of Course and Membership plugin for WordPress is convenient for setting up course sites.
- Expensive, no Lifetime Option.
- Interface is not the friendliest.
- Integrations should be built inside the plugin.
The PeepSO plugin is an easy way to add a social network or an online community to your WordPress site. It is extremely light, free and it looks great on any device. You can connect with your friends, share photos, videos and much more.
- You can automatically create a corresponding Post on Community Stream when a new blog post is published.
- WordPress blog posts can be reacted on and commented on. Comments and reactions are synced with the corresponding community posts.
- Provides live On-site and Email Notifications.
- Dashboard with an Overview of Your Community and statistics.
- Configure your entire community navigation from one place.
- Built-in security configuration, preventing brute force attacks and more.
- Peepso expect customers to go into a testing-phase to find errors that the plugin causes the site.
- It is not user-friendly.
- Plugins are buggy.
Discourse is an online discussion platform. With it, you get the power and flexibility of social networking with the best of the traditional forum software. This software is easy to use, comes with many features and can be scaled without paying for any add-ons.
- Conversations, not pages - Why break conversations into awkward and arbitrary pages, where you have to constantly find the Next Page button? We’ve replaced all that with the power of just-in-time loading. Want to read more? Keep scrolling down.
- Simple, but with context - Discourse is a simple, flat forum, where replies flow down the page in a line. Expand context at the bottom and top of each post, and also in quotes, to reveal the full conversation without losing your place.
- Social login - Easily add common social logins like Google, Facebook, Twitter, Discord, and GitHub.
- Starts at $100/mo.
- Free version available.
- Anything you see on screen, you can also do via an API call.
- Automatic notification of new versions in the dashboard, with a one-click web upgrade process.
- Very easy to administer and moderate discussions.
- Some configuration UIs are difficult to follow.
- Not well-suited for managing workflows (grant management as an example).
- Bulk operations across multiple threads either impossible or difficult to figure out.
LearnDash is a platform for creating course websites using WordPress. In addition, LearnDash offers great LMS features for course instructors, educators, and knowledge creators.
- The drag & drop course builder helps course creators create courses easily and quickly.
- It offers gamification tools like badges and certificates - Award certificates based on quiz results and course completions.
- It has a built-in notification feature that prevents your students from missing any necessary updates.
- Paid plan starts at $199/year.
- No free trials available.
- The video preview feature gives students a sneak peek into video lessons and makes the course more engaging.
- It offers a flexible quiz builder that makes creating QnAs easy.
- Provides gamification tools that help in engaging your members in your courses.
- Its URL structure is highly complicated, making SEO difficult. There is no way to shorten it.
- It takes some time to get used to all the new features. The learning curve is steep.
- It runs only on WordPress, which means you'll need to know all WordPress functionalities.
Podia is a platform that lets you build a free, no-code website and sell your online courses. With Podia, you can create a business from anywhere in the world with zero fees or start-up costs.
- Connect your audience and your content – You can host an online community in the same place that your audience uses your digital products.
- Community – In Podia, you can create a community that works like a forum or Slack. The design is clean, and the workflow is simple.
- Course Features – Using Podia, you can quickly create lessons and quizzes.
- Paid Plans start at $39/month.
- It has a free version.
- You can offer your audience webinars using YouTube Live and Zoom with Podia.
- If you want your website to look professional and run smoothly, you do not need to be tech-savvy or have coding knowledge.
- You can connect your payments, scheduling, and sales pages all in one place in minutes with Podia.
- Podia does not have a mobile app if you want to build courses that will be accessible on mobile for your members.
- Podia doesn't offer in-depth lesson reports if you're interested in knowing how impressive your course is. Only some basic information about student progress is provided.
- To assess your students more effectively, Podia lacks open-ended questions. The use of multiple choice questions is not suitable for all courses.
Tribe is a Whitelabell community platform for businesses. It is famous for its customizability and integration capabilities. Primarily, Tribe is built for text-based conversations using features like forums, polls, etc.
- The UI is easy-to-use and comprises customizable blocks called 'spaces'.
- It offers powerful rich-text features to format and deliver your content how you want to present it to your users.
- A moderation panel that lets you manage your community smoothly and efficiently.
- Paid Plan starts at $59/month.
- The free Plan includes 100 total members, essential apps, and a custom domain.
- Offers a white-label community with a good level of customizations that lets you match your community aesthetics to your brand aesthetics.
- Has widgets and APIs that let you integrate with several third-party applications.
- Has a generous free plan that lets you house 500 members (without the Paywall feature, however).
- More of an old-school forum-based tool rather than a full-fledged community platform with real time-communication features like live audio/video.
- It lacks an incentive system and gamification features necessary for community engagement. Your users need incentives to engage.
- No built-in shop/paywall system that lets your users buy products from you, such as premium memberships, courses, and the like.
SamCart courses is an e-commerce platform for creators. It allows you to create and sell courses, offers, templates and digital products on a single platform. You have complete control over your pricing, content, and branding.
Samcart Courses Features
- Drag & Drop Builder - You can add anything you want to showcase about your product. No coding experience is required to design pages.
- Pre-Designed Templates - You can easily create an attractive website with customizable templates to help you start selling.
- Conversion Rate Optimization - Optimization can be applied to every page on your site, making it easier to improve conversion rates.
SamCart Courses Pricing
- Pricing starts at $49/month.
- SamCart courses offer free trials.
- The affiliate management setup is very simple and easy to use. Each product has an affiliates option that can be enabled or disabled.
- Building sales pages and the checkout process for the customer are convenient and easy.
- You can easily add Google Pay and Apple Pay to the check-out flow, making it easier for your customers to pay.
- Due to SamCart's lack of an autoresponder, you cannot use your lists to send reminders, so the entire email process must be handled manually.
- SamCart's customer service is lacking, leaving customers with unanswered questions.
- Email marketing and website builders will require you to utilize multiple tools, which will take your time and effort.
Kajabi is a platform that enables educators to run their online courses and manage their students in one place. Moreover, Kajabi also offers a mobile app to allow your users to access courses on the go (however, it is not a native white-label app)
- No bandwidth or storage restrictions - Upload all of your videos, photos, and other files without worrying about space or bandwidth limitations.
- Fully-fledged LMS capabilities let you run your courses and manage your students seamlessly.
- Integrated checkout - Accept payments from anywhere in the world using Stripe or PayPal and give instant access to your content behind a paywall.
- Starting Price is $119/month.
- Kajabi offers a 14-Day free trial.
- Kajabi has rich-text and media features that let you upload all kinds of content into your online content library.
- You can track lesson progress, view grades, and get detailed analytics on how well students digest your content.
- Kajabi offers your prospective students free trials to taste your content before rolling them over to become paid customers.
- Kajabi is one of the most expensive solutions out there when it comes to LMS + community platforms.
- It lacks good customer support and offers minimal options to customize your course community.
- You have no native branded mobile app; your students will have to download the Kajabi app to access your content.
Thinkific is a digital course creation platform where educators can curate online courses for their students. In addition, they offer competitive LMS features that let their customers run online courses effectively.
- Assessments & Certificates - Offers comprehensive quizzes, engagement surveys, assignments, exams and certificates.
- Progress Tracking - In-depth reporting to track student progress.
- Live Lessons - Deliver lessons via live audio/video and let your students engage with you in realtime (via Zoom integration).
- Paid plan starts at $39/month to $399/month.
- The free plan includes access to all the core features of the platform.
- Easy-to-use UI that makes running courses on Thinkific all the more seamless.
- A very prompt support system responds to customer queries and problems and comes with an active Facebook group filled with Thinkific customers.
- You can design the access portal, the courses, and the payment methods all in one interface without needing third-party integrations.
- Not built for community engagement - in 2023, an LMS is not enough to successfully run courses. Thinkific lacks critical community features like gamification and incentive systems.
- Cannot manage multiple cohorts under the same roof - this may constrain you as your courses start scaling and diversifying.
- The pricing is slightly more expensive than alternatives and confusing for some.
Disclaimer: To curate the pros, cons and reviews - we mine the internet for customer references regarding the said software. Some of our sources include Reddit, Product Hunt, Twitter & Quora (and sites like G2 & Capterra).
What you should do now
Whenever you’re ready…here are 3 ways we can help:
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