WordPress is one of the most popular blogging and content management service (CMS) platforms currently on the internet. Its ease of use and its customization tools have made it a go-to for developers, bloggers and businesses seeking to give to get their brand a sleek and professional look.
However, WordPress costs for optimization and customization can get a little steep for those who are just starting out. If you’re new to website development or are looking for an alternative to WordPress that may prove to be more cost efficient, or simply a little easier to use, consider these ten choices. Free WordPress Themes / Templates.
Tumblr’s popularity as a blogger cannot be denied. In addition to be among the most popular content platforms on the web, it is also incredibly easy to acclimate yourself to, offering free tumblr templates that allow the user to express themselves while not sacrificing ease of use. While more experienced bloggers may have an issue with Tumblr’s limited fine tuning tools, beginners will rejoice in how easy it is to hit the ground running. Keep in mind that Tumblr’s strong suit is visual posts- so if your prospective website has more of a visual bent, Tumblr may be just what you’re looking for.
Weebly started out a few years ago as a less-than-impressive website builder that has grown into a true contender in the CMS arena. With little or no technical experience, you can have your website on Weebly up and running in practically no time at all. Weebly also offers a wide variety of free weebly templates and tools to make your customization experience a relatively painless one. While you can buy a .com from Weebly- it is a little costly at $39.95 a year. However, you can re-direct a previously purchased domain to your Weebly site and streamline your services, if you wish.
With Wix, you need no knowledge of code whatsoever, as it utilizes a purely drag and drop interface. What you see on the page is what you get when you publish, making this an exceedingly problem-free site builder for beginner and intermediate users. Wix also has 510 HTML5 website design templates for you to choose from for free users, so you are certain to find one that suits your particular needs and tastes.
This is a website builder that is also particularly good with image-based design with well integrated content display. Wix is available on a free-to-try basis for one month, but should you decide you like what you see, their most basic rates are extremely affordable starting at $4.08/month for basic service and $12.42/month for their premium services which includes 2 premium apps.
Squarespace is a beautifully designed and elegant solution for bloggers. The templates are uncluttered, minimalist and thoughtful and the style editor allows you to custom edit virtually every facet of your chosen template’s style. Squarespace’s strong suit is as a blogger moreso than an e-commerce site. While it does offer the ability to donate and an e-commerce option, currently it only offers Stripe as a payment processor.
Nonetheless, Squarespace is a blogger’s dream with beautiful layouts, intuitive selection of images and it offers the ability to add Disqus as your comment moderator, or to use their own in-house moderator. Squarespace is a must-see and use for bloggers that want usability and clean, modern, thoughtful content displays.
Ghost is another blogger-oriented platform that is creating a lot of buzz, particularly with it’s features being more writer focused. It also boasts a minimalist design geared at the blogger whose focus is less on images and more focused on content and text, specifically, writing.
The Ghost interface has built in observable analytics keeping the serious blogger in mind so you can easily keep track on the popularity of your posts and articles. A basic plan for your Ghost account is $10 a month and includes access to their Content Delivery Network. Ghost was launched as a Kickstarter and seems to be holding its own garnering much popularity amongst bloggers.
Cushy CMS is a “lite” version of WordPress. It basically allows you to “tack” CushyCMS to a pre-existing website so you can then make edits and changes. Sound daunting? Don’t worry. CushyCMS has an easy to use interface and templates that will help lay out your page beautifully and simply.
Update and create edits in your sites quickly and easily.The revisions of every edit you make are saved so if you want to revert back to a previous edit you can do so with ease. CushyCMS is free to use, has no software to download and can be used directly from their site.
Croogo is a jack of all trades of content management. Widely used and powered by CakePHP-which means you get access to some excellent customization options. Croogo offers a graphical installer, admin panel, what you see is what you get editing properties and much more. For the more technically inclined, Croogo’s CakePHP framework will make Croogo a dream of customization heaven come true. However, for the blogger, Croogo also makes excellent personalized blogs, pages and other customizable content. It is also completely free.
SilverStripe is another free and open source CMS FOR maintaining and content and web creations. You must download and install Silverstripe, but doing so takes less than a minute. Once in, Silverstripe makes it simple to make edits, manage your content and tweak your templates using familiar and intuitive interface. SilverStripe also has a very active and engaging user community that make it easy to get answers to any questions you might have making it very popular amongst it’s users, and gaining more every month.
Textpattern is a simple CMS that also allows content editing, management and creation, and also allows you to run multiple blogs. No frills in its design, it is targeted towards users that may have more than one website that they wish to manage content on, and also those who may be a bit more technically inclined. If you are comfortable with code, you will be pleased with its open source customization and easy to use interface. It is also free to use.
Drupal is a free and easy to use framework that allows you to update and organize the maze of your site’s content and functionality as well as letting you creating your own CMS platform. If you have some technical expertise with code Drupal may be gold in your hands- it is open source and has an excellent user community that are all too happy to share tips and tricks with new Drupal users. If complete control of your CMS and content is one of your primary concerns and if you’re a developer or are enthusiastic about code, Drupal is definitely worth a look.
Depending on your level of expertise- from beginner to expert- there is a CMS or blogging software than can suit all of your needs. These are a few of the best out there that the web has to offer. Good luck on your search!