10 CMS Alternatives to WordPress

WordPress has spread its tentacles all over the web. Today, it powers more than 50% of all websites using a CMS and 22% of new U.S.-registered domain names run on it. What has made WordPress so popular is its flexibility—it is not limited to only powering a blog or news site, instead, thanks to a countless number of plugins and themes, it can be customized for e-commerce, business, community, and several other vertical-specific websites.

Many people swear by WordPress because of its unrivaled popularity. However, because it is popular doesn’t necessarily mean it is ideal for everything. WordPress can become bloated and overly complicated for small-scale sites; on the other hand, for complex websites, it may require way so much customization and so many tweaks that it is pushed to its limits. There are many WordPress alternatives that may better suit your website’s needs. Don’t always limit yourself to WordPress; explore the alternatives and evaluate those against your requirements.

This month’s article takes a look at 10 CMS alternatives to WordPress. Remember to also check out the Content Management category on HotScripts for more CMS choices.


Ghost is a simple yet powerful publishing platform that allows you to write and publish your own blog, providing the tools to make it easy and even fun to do. Unlike WordPress, which has evolved more as a CMS for creating any type of website, Ghost aims at being a blog platform. Ghost is based on Node.js, which makes it fast, scalable, and efficient.

Instant Update

Instant Update is a revolutionary CMS in that it is not based on templates and it integrates into any existing website in just a few minutes. All you need is a series of flat HTML pages to upload to Instant Update to allow on-the-fly editing of any HTML elements on the page. You can also set ‘Global Content’ for your headers and footers so that updates are automatically reflected sitewide.


concrete5 is a free open source content management system. Unlike other CMSs, it has a strong focus on the editing experience thanks to its powerful in-page editing functionality; just click on what you want to change. For developers, concrete5 is packed with customization flexibility—it sports an advanced permission system, flexible data object models, and built-in helper classes as well. concrete5 can be used to build and manage simple blogs, complex online magazine and e-commerce sites, and everything in between.


ExpressionEngine is a flexible, feature-rich content management platform that empowers hundreds of thousands of individuals and organizations around the world to easily manage their websites. It is based on the popular open source CodeIgniter framework. Its forte is its security and stability; in the past 10 years, ExpressionEngine has never had a major security breach. The only caveat is that ExpressionEngine is a commercial application selling at $299 per site license.


PyroCMS is used by individuals, small and medium-sized businesses, and large organizations worldwide to easily create and build a variety of websites and web-enabled applications. With an ever-growing community and a large selection of modules, themes, and addons, PyroCMS makes it easier than ever to build your website!


Statamic is a flat-file and lightweight CMS built on PHP. It supports a flexible theme engine, taxonomies (for defining your custom content types), a forum builder (with validation and email notifications), and a powerful search feature. Statamic is a commercial application with a personal license starting at $29 per site.


HiFi is a ground-breaking hosted content management platform. It allows you to design beautiful websites with web standards and zero design constraints. Users will be able to manage every aspect of their websites using easy-to-use tools.


Zotonic is an open source, high speed, real-time web framework and content management system built with Erlang. It is flexible, extensible, and designed from the ground up to support dynamic, interactive websites and mobile solutions. Zotonic is incredibly fast and wonderfully stable—suited for everything from basic websites to complex distributed applications. It offers an elegant backend for managing content with the flexibility that developers need to build truly amazing applications.


Craft is content management at its finest. It delivers an extraordinary amount of control to developers, while keeping the editing experience simple and elegant for end users. Some of its features includes live preview, multilingual support, custom fields, section types, and one-click updates.


Drupal is a free open source CMS written in PHP. It is used to build personal blogs and corporate and government websites. The standard release of Drupal, known as Drupal Core, contains basic features common to content management systems. These include user account registration and maintenance, menu management, RSS feeds, page layout customization, and system administration. Similar to WordPress, Drupal can be extended through modules—more than 21,500 different modules are available in the Drupal repository.