Though many believe that WordPress is the best solution to use when building your small business website, it’s not a panacea that fits ever company’s needs.
Fortunately, there are many small business alternatives to WordPress.
While some of these alternatives, such as Joomla and Drupal, bring the same challenges as WordPress, others are more straightforward and manageable. That’s an appealing prospect for those who don’t wish to focus on — or spend much money to have someone else focus on — the technical side of their website.
Back in the day, these alternative solutions sacrificed flexibility of both design and function their an attempt to standardize the website building process.
Today, these solutions have matured greatly and, while full customization still requires a solution like WordPress, you can get the full suite of features with any one on the list below.
List? Yes, list.
Many of you are looking for small business alternatives to WordPress so here’s a list of viable solutions to kick-start your efforts. Each of these enables you to create a website for your small business without requiring technical know-how.
In addition, the solution vendors handle upgrades and backups so you can take those tasks off your plate.
One important tip: many of not all of the solutions listed below offer a free level of service or a free trial. Use that to evaluate a solution before deciding to move full-steam ahead.
Jack-of-All-Trades Website Builders
Each of the solutions in this section will give you a little bit of everything from the ability to blog to ecommerce and community building. Of course, the depth of functionality in all these areas will vary from solution to solution so do your homework before selecting one for your small business.
Wix is always pushing the boundaries by adding more features and functionality by partnering with others through the Wix Marketplace:
Throw in great site designs, eCommerce and mobile conversion so your site looks good on phones and tablets and you’ll see why this solution deserves a look.
Featuring sharp-looking templates, built-in ecommerce and easy-to-use functionality, Jimdo is a great alternative to WordPress.
Like many of the solutions in this section, Jimdo offers custom apps to manage your website on both iOS and Android devices.
One of the oldest solutions on this list, Weebly is still running strong with good-looking templates and eCommerce functionality. While most of the solutions in this list offer a drag-and-drop interface, Weebly takes it to new heights by bringing that ease-of-use to eCommerce and blogging as well:
A solid contender in this space, Jigsy offers fashionable, mobile responsive templates, meaning that they’ll look good no matter what device your visitor is using. It also features eCommerce integration.
They also include access to stock photography as well as many font choices:
Another solid entry, Yola provides a fast and easy way to build your small business website.
With features such as eCommerce and a nice, albeit small selection of templates, Yola’s most interesting offering is the ability to publish once on its platform and have that update pushed to other spots such as Facebook. Now, that’s a time-saver.
If you like to focus on visual elements, then you should give Squarespace a look. Thanks to a partnership with Getty Images, you have access to 40 million high-quality images for $10 each.
Aside from eCommerce, you also have access to its logo creator, a tool that can help you create your brand identity.
eCommerce Storefront Website Builders
If you plan to offer many product via your online storefront, then a website building solution from this section may well prove to be a fine alternative to WordPress.
Offering robust eCommerce features such as supply-chain and inventory tracking as well as live-sales tracking and re-order triggers (just to name a few), these solutions come with all the bells and whistles you need to move merchandise while making the management of it all as easy as they can.
Bigcommerce is one of the most popular eCommerce platforms available today. Bursting with features, functionality and integrations with many partners, they somehow keep the process of building and managing your storefront website from becoming overwhelming.
Though they target artists and others in the creative community such as crafters and photographers, Big Cartel offers a website builder than can be leveraged by almost every type of small business.
Designed to be easy-to-use when selling online and in-person, this solution is a fine alternative to WordPress.
If you’re looking for an eCommerce website builder that lets you get under the hood and tinker a bit more, then Volusion is a good option. While you don’t have to get your hands dirty, the opportunities to manipulate code does offer more opportunities than the other solutions in this section.
Potentially higher learning curve aside, with mobile responsive templates that knock your socks off, this solution has earned its place on this list.
Long considered a simple shopping cart solution, Shopify has matured into a solid eCommerce website building solution. Offering integrations with many partners via its app store, you’ll have a lot of fun and get great results.
Industry-Specific Website Builders
The final category of alternatives to WordPress list are website builders that focus on specific industries.
The benefit to using one of these solutions is the specialized features and tools they offer. It’s like buying a custom-fitted suit rather than taking one off the rack and then altering it to fit you.
If you run a hotel, motel or inn, Hotelgenius is worth a look. Not only can you use the solution to build an attractive website to promote your lodging, it can handle bookings, act as a mobile concierge and more.
Building a restaurant website is a snap with Happytables. Every feature is drag-and-drop, from menus to locations and events. Throw in review integration and this is the website builder you didn’t know you were looking for.
eDirectory and Brilliant Directories
Both eDirectory and Brilliant Directories enable you to quickly create targeted directories of all types from classified listings to local search sites, buyer’s guides, membership directories, yellow pages sites, product directories, and restaurant guides.
Both solutions come packed with features for building a community and monetizing your efforts by charging for listings and even up-selling featured positioning.
While WordPress still leads the small business website builder pack, it’s not a fit for every small business.
If you’re looking for easy-to-use yet robust small business alternatives to WordPress, then the list above should help get you well on your way to finding a solution to build your website.
Image: JimdoMore in: WordPress