Alternatives to Free Website Builders?

As you look to build your next website, you can go with the standard backends or try something new. Besides the big website backends—Wordpress, Wix, Shopify, and BigCommerce—what are some up-and-coming alternatives? Though we tend to be creatures of habit, branching out can open up some new features and efficiencies that suit your processes. And who knows, you may not even look back. We asked a panel of digital marketing and design experts to share their favorite website backend alternatives. Here’s what they had to say:
Alternatives to Free Website Builders?

Rio Rocket

Rio Rocket, Digital Marketing Strategist and Branding Expert at

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After over 20 years of building websites, [I have discovered] a new web development platform that combines speed, flexibility, and simplicity into one cohesive product. Gatsby is an open-source framework that will pull data from any other CMS whether it be WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, etc. and merge it with Markdown and website framework data to create extremely fast websites and applications.

Gatsby’s framework is based on React and outputs websites with higher compatibility for mobile, JavaScript and APIs – also known as the JAMstack. The result is a faster, more secure site that can be served without a web server.


Stick to Shopify and BigCommerce if you need an online store or e-commerce capabilities. Where you have room to explore is when you’re creating pages for content like blogs or to improve SEO.

New companies like Elastic Path, Upscale, and eComchain are introducing us to digital commerce and the ability to develop mobile-first digital e-commerce and websites, but Shopify has acquired and created digital products that have feature parity.

Duda is one of the best new website hosting sites, very comparable to WordPress, Wix, and Weebly. It’s actually more customizable with similar SEO.

Alternatives to Free Website Builders?

Shayne Sherman

Shayne Sherman, CEO of
Zarar Ameen

Zarar Ameen

Zarar Ameen is the Founder and CEO of CANZ Marketing, a superpower for online paid advertising with expertise in building and implementing marketing strategies.


Weebly is emerging as a strong backend alternative to WordPress. It offers an engaging, user-friendly interface that suits the needs and expertise of a non-technical beginner.

Building a website with its drag-and-drop menu and using add-ons to enhance your website with its app center is a piece of cake. The Weebly interface caters to the basic to advanced level-needs of E-commerce businesses and offers a good number of changeable templates to any kind of business. They have a well-done, built-in SEO solution for your website (that could still use a bit of flexibility and improvement, though). The blogging-related services are competitive to WordPress, and they have excellent round-the-clock support available.

Though they have a long way to go before being considered an actual replacement of WordPress, the option can’t be ruled out based on how fast they have gained their current standing.


Webflow is the new(ish) website backend on the block. It offers visual and vivid designs which set it apart from the main protagonists.

A lot of people are familiar with the WordPress backend. I would advise that they put the same time and effort into learning Webflow, as it is likely to become a lot more prominent in the near future.

With mobile users overtaking desktop and mobile-first indexing, Webflow is simple and effective in implementing responsive design.

Sick of being a mediator between designers and developers? Worry no more. Webflow bridges the design-development gap. The absence of pixels and vectors, replaced with real HTML and CSS, helps your designers hand over a clean version that is already code – to the developers.

Brett Downes

Brett Downes, SEO Specialist of

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