10 Best Open-Source CMS: Wordpress Alternatives 2022

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WordPress is one of the most popular Content Management Systems (CMS) used by new users and experts. However, that doesn’t make it a perfect solution for you. You may want to use a more beginner-friendly platform, or you may want to use a platform that helps you sell products internationally. This article will help you see the 10 best Open Source CMS WordPress alternatives.

Let’s first understand the difference between open-source CMS and proprietary CMS.

Open-Source CMS vs Proprietary CMS

Open-source CMS has a source code that is open to the public eye and can be used by anyone free of cost. Developers that develop open-source CMS will publish the code, allowing others to modify and use the code. Inexact contrast, proprietary CMS will have source code that is the legal property of an organization, individual, or group developing it. The code is hidden by the developers of proprietary CMS and can’t be accessed by the public.

The benefit of proprietary CMS is complete control over the source code as it is hidden and can’t be modified by anyone else. It is only dependent on the developers or the creator of the platform. This is only useful if you don’t want anyone else to access your code.

The benefit of open-source is that there is continual testing and development of the product by different programmers, ensuring that the CMS is not at a standstill and always keeps improving.

You can choose either of these to build your website. They are both equally flexible and offer similar features.

10 Best open-source CMS WordPress Alternatives

Now that you understand what is an open-source CMS let’s have a look at the best WordPress alternatives :

1. Drupal

Drupal is a free, open-source CMS and a true WordPress alternative as it shares the same software requirements with WordPress and is equally flexible to create websites. Like WordPress, Drupal also has a strong community of users and developers. Drupal offers thousands of themes similar to the plugin and themes provided by WordPress. 

Written in PHP language, Drupal comes with robust content management tools, multi-site support, sophisticated APIs for multichannel publishing, security and new release updates, caching, multi-level menu system, lazy loading, multilingual system, marketing automation, advanced permission control system, and much more. One of the most important features offered by Drupal is its lockdown security that makes it popular amongst government institutions and security-conscious organizations.

Drupal is distributed on GNU General Public License and can help build community web portals, corporate websites, discussion sites, intranet applications, Aficionado sites, personal blogs, e-commerce applications, social network sites, and resources directories. It is preferred by industries like publishing, e-commerce, healthcare, travel, education, government, and many more. 

The only drawback to using Drupal is that the back-end can be a little complicated, and it requires coding knowledge. But, once you get the hang of it, you will find it to be an excellent platform, especially if your website manages a lot of content.

2. Joomla

Joomla is another self-hosted popular open-source CMS WordPress Alternative that offer excellent opportunities to create great digital experience platforms. Like WordPress, Joomla is a versatile platform to create simple websites and complicated social network sites. Using Joomla, you can do many things similar to WordPress and much more. Joomla is more secure than WordPress, with built-in two-factor authentication making it harder for unauthorized visitors to hack into the website.

Joomla offers features like multilingual systems, access control list, built-in SEO tools, WYSIWYG editor, extension directory, menu management, flexible design, security functionality, and more. It offers multiple admin pages in the control panel and greater control over site management. It also provides an excellent scope of customization with numerous templates and extensions. Joomla has a rich repository of training videos and free documentation that can be used to learn how to build a website. 

With its user-friendly platform, Joomla powers a wide range of high-profile websites all over the world. It is used by small businesses, governments, corporations, and nonprofits worldwide. 

The major drawback for Joomla is no customer support. Even the community portal and forum have a limited number of members compared to the community Drupal or WordPress have. The other important drawback is the complexity of using Joomla.

3. Grav

Grav is an open-source modern flat-file CMS best suited for non-developers looking to run a website. It requires zero installations and, like WordPress, is comparatively easy to customize and manage. 

Grav is a CMS in PHP language and licensed under MIT license that stores data and files in text files and folders instead of a database. It offers features like one-click installation, robust API, dynamic content type, content filtering, multi-language support, image media processing, extension plugins, simple backups and restores theme customization, and much more. Grav can be used to build short-term sites, microsites, high traffic campaign sites, and stand-alone websites with single or handful pages. 

The only drawback is that you can't use Grav if your site needs multiple account profiles, databases, and dynamic web pages.

4. ProcessWire

ProcessWire is a free, open-source CMS and Content Management Framework (CMF) with a great user experience and smooth interface to manage your website. Like WordPress, it has a powerful API and is easy to use. It offers more control over templates, markups, and fields than WordPress or other platforms.

ProcessWire offers platforms that are scalable and secure. It keeps on receiving regular updates and maintains exceptional stability. ProcessWire also enables extreme customization of data type definition and fields. 

The drawback with ProcessWire is that there are no pre-packed templates or solutions to use. You will need some web design skills to get the desired design.

5. ExpressionEngine

ExpressionEngine is a free open-source, fully-featured CMS that builds websites, serves mobile applications, and creates web applications. It is one of the oldest WordPress alternative and has a strong community of developers and users. Just like WordPress, on ExpressionEngine, you can publish content from any device and update it in one click without having the site offline.

Built on PHP language and licensed under Apache License ExpressionEngine comes with live preview, one-click update, and runs multiple sites in one place. It has a large body of add-ons and a robust set of consent and privacy tools to make the implementation of GDPR compliance seamless.

ExpressionEngine lets you store the site content in channels that are basically flexible data containers consisting of fields for any type of information. Allowing you to create channels for blogs, news, product or service description, document downloads, team bios, and more. 

6. Jekyll

Jekyll is a static site generator written in Ruby and requires NodeJS to run is a simpler open-source CMS. It is very different from WordPress but a simpler software to use. Licensed under MIT license, it takes up written text in HTML and uses layouts to create a static website. It has a simple blog-aware static site generator. 

Its features include a focus on content, themes, plugins, and built-in blog features. You don't have to have a domain name as Jekyll websites are hosted on GitHub servers, and you will get a GitHub subdomain. It has a faster load time with a lower rate of website crashes and has a version control available.

Jekyll is best suited for those that know to code as it has a steep learning curve. You will not have a graphical interface as it operates directly from the command line. Another drawback is that you will have a GitHub subdomain and not your own.

7. PrestaShop

PrestaShop is an open-source CMS best suited for creating an online store on the website. It is an excellent WordPress alternative to create an e-commerce website, especially if you have customizable products. 

It has self-hosted free and paid versions and is best suited if you don’t have a blog. PrestaShop offers features like support for customizable products, eCommerce functionality, PrestaShop experts, multilingual options, and one-page checkout. It has a great range of customizable options and offers data-driven insights to grow your online business.

The cons of PrestaShop include limited free templates and modules and manual updating of exchange rates.

8. OpenCart

OpenCart is a popular open-source CMS for creating e-commerce websites that offer easy options to manage products and stores. It is a reliable WordPress alternative with advanced built-in features suited for medium to large businesses that want to sell internationally.

OpenCart features include e-commerce functionality, intuitive dashboard, multi-store sales, affiliate system and multiple currency and languages, built-in SEO features, and more. It has dependable support and offers easy control over the design and functionality of the site with numerous templates and modules.

The only drawback for you would be needing some coding skills for store customization.

9. October CMS

October CMS is a self-hosted open-source CMS platform based on Laravel popular among big enterprises and offers a great framework. Like WordPress, it is easy to use and has a simple development workflow.

October CMS has a simple core and modern template engine, CMS page components, full customer support, built-in asset combiner, built-in page editor, transparent layer between creativity and final product, and file-based templates. It is used by companies like KFC, Toyota, and Nestle.

10. Concrete CMS

Concrete CMS is a secure CMS for teams written in PHP and licensed under MIT license. Like WordPress, it offers robust functionality, low cost of development, and ease of use. Concrete CMS offers easy editing capabilities, seamless workflow, security features, easy compliance, control page access, and mobile optimization.

Open-source CMS doesn’t cost a tremendous amount of money, and in case you don’t have much experience with coding, you will still have available WordPress alternatives. The choice needs to be based on your requirements for the website and the available resources. Which of these CMS have you used to build your website?

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