The Best Joomla Alternatives

Joomla is a widely used content management solution, with which users can quickly design inexpensive websites for their first Internet presence or create extensive, professional websites via the numerous extension options. A lack of customer support on the part of Joomla, sometimes unclear total costs, and the possibly overwhelming range of available extensions brings us to alternative providers, whose offers we would like to take a closer look at here.

Brief overview: Joomla alternatives

We have clearly compiled the most important features of the various CMS solutions (Status: December 2021):

Provider Open source or package solution Priced from Priced to
Joomla! Open Source 4 pounds/month Per additional function
IONOS Package 1 pound/month 30 pounds/month
WordPress Package 3 pounds/month 3 pounds/month
Drupal Package 4 pounds/month 15 pounds/month
Contentful Open Source Free of charge At least 370 pounds/month
Contao Open Source Depending on theme cost Depending on theme cost

Joomla advantages and disadvantages

Joomla offers users as a free content management system (CMS) a variety of functions paired with different extension options, with which users can create an individual and professional website. At the heart of the CMS is the Joomla community, which serves as a central point of contact for all questions and replaces customer support. With hosting costs of around 4 pounds per month, users thus receive a cost-effective website, where, for example, an online store can also become part of the web presence. A big advantage of Joomla lies in the partly free Joomla templates and extensions, which are tailored to very specific use cases. Thus, users get exactly the functions they need.

This advantage is at the same time a disadvantage. If possible, users should know at the beginning of starting to configure the CMS what they will need at the end in the finished website and what range of functions should be integrated. Thus, Joomla is aimed more at experienced users than at complete newcomers, who may be overwhelmed by the scope of the numerous plugins and possibilities. They sometimes find it easier to get along with building block systems from other providers. Let’s take a closer look at these Joomla alternatives with their respective advantages and disadvantages.

Joomla alternatives presented in detail

IONOS MyWebsite: Get professional websites through packaged solutions

MyWebsite from IONOS is the first alternative to Joomla. The package solution relies on a powerful editor, where a suitable layout for the website is selected at the beginning. The layout is then customised step by step via drag-and-drop, for example with additional photos, a special font, or additional elements such as blog pages, image galleries, or even an online store. The additional elements are usually added to the website simply by selecting them and are then integrated into the appropriate place.

Extensions with technical functions in the form of widgets are also gradually added to the website from a catalogue. At the end of the configuration, you simply click on confirm to put it online. Using the editor, additional features can also be conveniently added later on. This way, you can, for example, integrate a blog or connect an online store to an existing website at a later stage.

Tip

With the Website Builder from IONOS you can create an individual website quickly and easily!

Users have the choice between different packages with IONOS. The following applies: The higher the monthly package price, the more features are available to website owners. The basic plan starts at 1 pound per month and includes the most important functions such as an own domain, email address, and secure SSL encryption. The most comprehensive plan in the premium segment costs around 30 pounds per month, making it the most affordable premium version in the provider comparison.

Thanks to the simple operation and the different package solutions, MyWebsite is suitable for beginners as well as professionals who want to quickly create professional and individual websites via editor.

Pros Cons
Simple and fast website creation Starter plan offers mainly basic functions
Professional plans offer a lot for little money  

Suitable for: Beginners, advanced users, professionals

WordPress: One of the most used Joomla alternatives.

Users get another option with WordPress, one of the most widely used content management systems in the world. With WordPress, websites for different purposes can be created and customised with various extensions. For this purpose, a variety of free layouts and paid premium variants are available, where users can make adjustments to fonts, inserted photos, and many other details in an editor. The special feature: WordPress offers a live demo that can be used to customise and test potential designs in advance. The required content for the website is then entered via CMS interface, where numerous plugins, for example for search engine optimisation, can also be integrated and managed.

WordPress, just like MyWebsite by IONOS, organises the provided functions in several plans of varying scope. Users receive a professional website for as little as 7 pounds per month, while companies go straight for the ‘Business’ solution for just under 25 pounds per month, as plugins can also be integrated in this variant. If an online store is to be part of the website, the costs rise to 40 pounds per month.

For simpler websites, such as blogs, WordPress is also suitable for beginners; more professional and especially more extensive websites with many sub-navigation points require a certain basic knowledge in the creation of websites. In any case, users are well advised to be clear about the functions they need in advance and to find out about the extensions required for them.

Pros Cons
Many customisation and extension options Only conditionally suitable for beginners
Designs can be tested via a live demo before purchasing  

Suitable for: Beginners (e.g. bloggers), advanced users, professionals

Drupal: Modular system for advanced users

Unlike the Joomla alternatives presented so far, Drupal can be used as a free open-source CMS (WordPress basically falls into the same category, but users receive such a severely limited range of functions in the free variant that this is difficult to compare with Drupal). For hosting a ready-made website, Drupal can be found with various providers that offer different hosting options for a few pounds per month.

The special feature: Drupal relies on the use of ‘nodes’ as building block software. Nodes are a set of related content, such as text content with a headline, as well as metadata and publication date. Websites are created by users from composite nodes to which extensions are added, defining the content on the one hand and the functionality of the website on the other.

Due to this rather abstract functionality, Drupal is less suitable for beginners, as programming knowledge facilitates the creation of a website with the free CMS. Users who have gained experience in this area and who are able to master the steep learning curve will be pleased with the wide range of customisation options offered by the CMS.

Pros Cons
Wide range of customisation options Programming knowledge required
Free CMS Separate provider required for hosting

Suitable for: Advanced users, professionals

Contentful: Especially suitable for larger companies

Contentful is not a content management system in the classic sense: The application falls under the so-called Headless CMS. This means that the frontend and backend are not monolithically linked. Thus, using a headless CMS allows content in the backend to be displayed in any number of media.

With Contentful, users get a powerful alternative to Joomla, where content is set once centrally in the backend and then distributed to the various applications such as websites or apps through an interface. With Contentful, users can post and manage content cloud-based, enabling a variety of publications in a quick and easy way. The software’s basic functions are free, but the professional version costs 370 pounds per month. More extensive functions for companies are priced according to the exact requirements and must be discussed individually with the provider.

At the same time, the great advantage of the diverse publishing options severely restricts the user base. The application is simply not suitable for beginners without sound programming knowledge. Companies with a large number of websites and apps, on the other hand, benefit from the provider’s management options and extensive functions.

Pros Cons
Simple and fast distribution of content Programming knowledge required
  Too expensive for operating a single web application

Suitable for: Advanced users, professionals

Contao: The lean open source solution

The Joomla alternative Contao is an open source solution in the field of content management systems and is, according to its own specifications, suitable for the creation of small and large websites. The structure of Contao follows so-called lists, with which content is arranged in the software. The lists and content are managed via a browser extension, which should enable editors to create websites quickly and easily. They are supported by Contao’s minimalistic design, so that even beginners should find their way around easily after a short training period.

Additional functions can be integrated into the website through extensions and are located in a separate area in the backend of Contao.

Costs arise with Contao, on the one hand, through the hosting of the website, for which an additional provider is needed, and on the other hand through the purchasing of different themes that define the design of a website. Unlike other providers, there are currently no free themes in Contao’s catalogue. However, the price range is in line with the provider average, ranging from 25 to around 95 pounds per theme.

Pros Cons
Also suitable for beginners Range of functions is aimed more at editors
  A separate provider is required for hosting

Suitable for: Beginners, advanced users, professionals

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