With so many content management systems, e-commerce platforms, and visual builders out there it’s certainly a valid question. WordPress isn’t without its faults, but for many reasons it just makes the most sense. Here we will break down some of the fundamental differences between some alternatives to WordPress. Some comparisons are like comparing apples to oranges in their methodology, but the needs they’re addressing are the same.
WordPress vs. Shopify
Personally, I think Shopify is really impressive. You have everything you need in one place, so setting up an online store is pretty easy. Also, as a developer, I really like their templating language (Liquid).
Shopify’s pricing starts at $29 USD, which is pretty reasonable, but additional features are going to cost extra. For example, I’ve seen the feature for adding a popup to your website cost an extra $10/month. If you have the technical skills, then you would be able to code one in yourself for free, but that’s not the route most people are going to take. So, with a feature here and a feature there your costs will get up there pretty quickly.
If you come to the conclusion that Shopify isn’t what you want after all, you can’t move it. You could download all of your data (for your store), and you could download all the files for your site, but you have nowhere to put them since Shopify uses its own templating language. Not to mention that all of their e-commerce operations needed to be handled by them anyway.
With WordPress, you’ve got options. If you don’t like your web host, you can move the site. If you want a popup, there are lots of plugins that’ll handle it for you and many of them offer free versions. And, of course, WordPress was already free to begin with.
WordPress vs other content management systems
There are too many content management systems (CMSs) to count, so why choose WordPress? The main reason is ubiquity; WordPress is everywhere, and most people have at least a little bit of experience using its backend features like making posts and adding images. If you’re going to have employees handling some of these duties, then they’ll need to know how to use the system and the chances of them knowing a little bit about WordPress is significantly higher than any other CMS. It’s similar to how people put Microsoft Office programs experience in their resume rather than another office suite.
WordPress also has some pretty good documentation, and forums are full of people asking questions on how to do things with it. If you end up having a problem with WordPress, either as end user or developer, it’s pretty likely someone else has had the same issue and there’s an easy solution for it.
WordPress vs Webflow
I’ve only spent a little bit of time with Webflow, but it’s become very popular among graphic artists. It’s similar to Figma in that it offers a really good web-based interface for creating graphics and layouts/mockups, but it also offers you the ability to turn what you’ve made into a full fledged website that is hosting by Webflow itself. So, instead of creating a design and then coding it, you pretty much just click a button and your graphical representation becomes a full-fledged website.
Of course, the downside is that you’re now stuck with them (like Shopify) so you can’t exactly move the site without rebuilding it. And, as cool as it is, it’s really not going to be the answer if you have really specific needs that require a fair bit of coding.
WordPress may not be the most exciting solution, but it’s track record and wide use make it the right choice most of the time for any kind of site that needs content management. Shopify has some great e-commerce functionality, and Webflow is great for designers, but they’re both specialized and limiting in many ways. Finally, other CMSs offer similar functionality and flexibility, but tend to be more difficult for end users simply because they’re not as well known.