5 Best Drupal Alternatives – Top Open Source CMS for Building Professional Websites

Drupal is among the top 3 most popular content management systems on the web. Developers rely on it as it provides a structured approach that leads to an interoperable, modular code system which can be used for a vast array of purposes. This system incorporates some of the best bits taken from forums, e-commerce sites, content management systems and blogging platforms. It can be used for publication, e-commerce and communication purposes, which is why its developers call it a community publishing system.

Drupal is very flexible and it makes sure that you can make modifications however and whenever you like. It can also be used as an application development framework. This has drawn many developers to it, as complex applications can be developed through it, with maximum transparency from start to finish.

This open source CMS powers more than a million online applications and websites for free and has a massive community supporting. The people in it consistently work to make Drupal better, creating the plugins and extensions it needs to take its functioning to the next level.

The Benefits of Using Drupal

Drupal is probably one of the most advanced content management systems out there. It offers features like advanced user management, menu management and content type management. Thanks to these functionalities it is much easier to run an advanced blog, social media platform and create the entire website content, including blogs, videos, texts, statistics and more.

Drupal is highly customizable so both designers and developers can make their ideas come to life. It handles content types very well and has a powerful taxonomy which makes it possible to take content, making it easier to target the keywords you’ve researched.

Companies often use Drupal because it makes the development process a lot faster, thanks to its many embedded functionalities and features. These offer a stable, reliable, secure, and manageable array of features for developing websites and apps. This is how this open source content management system is on par with many industry leading, enterprise level content management systems.

Drupal has many themes and plugins available, so it can be easily customized on the go. It can handle private websites easily and you can learn how to use it pretty quickly. But Drupal is best used for enterprise purposes. It can perfectly serve the diverse wants and needs of an enterprise. It isn’t perfect by any means, but no software is in this situation. The good thing about it is that you can fully modify this software for your individual needs and set it to apply to your staff, their skill level, your budget and any other aspect that affects your company. If you’re looking for a system that handles B2B sites very well, Drupal is the way to go.

Though if your ambition isn’t to build a large enterprise-level website, than there are other popular content management systems you can use.

The Best Self-Hosted Drupal Alternatives

If you’re a blogger or someone who doesn’t have much of the technical knowledge necessary for building a website, you’ll be glad to know that you have a lot of other options. Here you’ll find our top 5 recommendations.


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wordpress best drupal alternativesWordPress was developed in 2003 as a blogging platform, but it has evolved into an all-inclusive, open source content management system. Its greatest advantage is that it is incredibly user friendly, to the level that it can be used by non-tech savvy users. Through a bit of experimenting and watching a few tutorials, you’ll easily wrap your head around managing your website. You’ll easily add new pages, images, blog posts and more without facing any clutter.

You don’t need to have a working knowledge of HTML, CSS, PHP or any other coding language in order to make your website work. Though, you do need a lot of it if you’re looking to fully customize your theme or a plugin. However, most WordPress themes come with plenty of flexibility and customization options, so you’ll easily accomplish the look you want with simple drag and drop tools. You can even manage your website, publish posts, moderate comments and do a lot more on the go from your phone or any other mobile device.

Benefits of WordPress

WordPress is the ideal CMS if you’re going at building your website by yourself. You can download a huge variety of free or premium themes and plugins. Few other platforms make it so easy to create and manage a website as WordPress does. This is why about every 4th website is built with it. That makes 78 million websites relying on this powerful CMS. It has gained enough popularity for it to be around for the years to come and thanks to its devoted community of developers, WordPress will only get better.

Being an Open source CMS, WordPress is completely free to use. It even has a self-hosted version, but you’re always better off if you have your own hosting plan in place. One thing is for sure, WordPress will help you create a great website with a minimum amount of effort and money.

joomla best drupal alternativesJoomla! creates a middle ground between WordPress and Drupal in terms of complexity. Just about anyone can get the hang of the system, but an experienced developer can take it to new heights. It has the flexibility and the robust features necessary to do so. This CMS manages all the content of your site and helps you with accelerating your development speed. It doesn’t take more than just a click to organize your content and get things on track. Joomla! can power all kinds of websites, from simple to the most complex. This is why it has made it to be among the top 3 content management systems on the web. It is an open source CMS so you needn’t pay anything to use it.

Benefits of Joomla!

Joomla is extremely comprehensive and safe editing software that will keep your content fully secure from the moment you’ve uploaded it. This CMS also has some unique site building features, such as a simple menu builder tool. It allows even non-technical users to build hierarchical menus from scratch.

Joomla’s core is completely modifiable so anyone can make modifications to it with enough PHP knowledge. You’ll eventually need to do this if you’re looking to fully optimize Joomla for your individual needs. One of its most important features is the built in caching, which will save you a lot of time as you work to build your website. Just like WordPress and Drupal, Joomla is completely SEO friendly, which is a great bonus, since you won’t need to do much on-site optimization.

If you need some information on how to make the most of Joomla or run into a problem along the way, you have a strong community and a huge amount of information to help you. Just about every problem that you would come across has been solved by someone else on the web.

Even if you’re not much of a technical person, you’ll easily work your way around Joomla and create a website that fulfills your goals.


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concrete5 best drupal alternativesAfter gaining plenty of experience from earlier content management systems, the creators of Concrete5 sought to take a more innovative approach. They have created a powerful open-source CMS that addresses the challenges of building and managing a website.

Concrete5 is a comprehensive platform that has all the processes in place for you to build a powerful online presence without spending a dime. You can also do whatever you want with it as it is a free and Open Source Software under the MIT license. Concrete5 offers some incredibly powerful features and tools that not many would expect from free software.

Concrete5 makes it easy for anyone to build a website within minutes and edit it to fit their individual taste. The site you create can be modified at any time. Users can do all this without extensive technical knowledge. Developers like it because it has a very flexible and robust framework that provides a stable development process for powerful applications.

Benefits of Concrete5

The comprehensive editing interface is one of Concrete5’s strongest qualities. It makes customizing your website an easy and efficient process. There aren’t any creative limits to what you can achieve and it’s made incredibly easy with the WYSIWYG editor. It doesn’t require any coding knowledge, so anyone who can handle a visual interface can freely customize their website. Since sites built in Concrete5 are fully responsive, they will look good on mobile devices as well.

Concrete5 offers thousands of themes and extensions that help you broaden your site’s functionality. All of them can be installed in a few clicks through the dashboard. You can also create and edit forms seamlessly through the form builder. Concrete5 also has regulated content workflows, integrated reporting systems, user permissions and more.

You can easily manage the users and admins of your site and create different groups for them. You can model your publishing policies according to your organizations standards, and have only those users work on your content that have access to it.

Concrete5 is SEO friendly right out of the box, without having to apply and additional code or plugins. It will help you improve your search rankings right after you launched your website. You can also include social sharing buttons with a few clicks.

Concrete5 has everything that a personal website or a smaller organization’s website needs. You can set it up within a matter of minutes, so it’s definitely worth giving this content management system a try.

modx best drupal alternativesMODX is one of the content management systems that prides itself in giving users complete creative freedom. It has been downloaded more than one million times since its launch in 2005. It is mainly popular because it is also very business friendly. That might be mostly because of its flexible payment plans as they are quote based. Basically, users only pay for the features they know they genuinely need. It has been created specifically for people who care deeply about creating something truly unique that is exactly in line with their vision. It is a blank canvas that allows users to paint their visions on it.

Benefits of MODX

Complete freedom in customization is the greatest benefit of using MODX. No other content management system or website building platform can match it in this aspect. MODX is the only one that makes it possible for non tech savvy users to have zero creative restrictions. It is what makes MODX an innovator in the industry, making it one of the best creative tools for web designers. You can go forward even with the bravest and most demanding web projects.

Administrators can upgrade, install or migrate many add-ons, themes or even complete websites through the MODX installer. They needn’t worry about any dependencies as the process is simplified with this platform. Everything is made to be as user friendly as possible, so it is the perfect tool for non-tech savvy users. But experienced developers can create custom features without having to hack the system’s core. Through JSON implementations, MODX can interact with other systems as well. It also comes with comprehensive SEO add-ons that let you manage your website’s and content’s optimization effortlessly.

MODX is definitely an outstanding tool for those who put their creativity first. Check it out and see how well it works!

typo3 best drupal alternativesTypo3 is a much more sophisticated and serious tool than a lot of other content management systems out there. It isn’t a platform for casual users, rather one for more advanced programmers who know the way of the code. They have a lot of things to benefit from it as Typo3 is a comprehensive application with plenty of functionalities. You just have to invest the time and energy into learning it, but it is well worth it. Most programmers on the web have given positive reviews on the software. It is very advanced and requires plenty of knowledge, but what concrete benefits does it have?

Typo3 Benefits

The main benefit of Typo3 is its diversity and modularity, which makes it great for a company website or a massive news website. It’s easily extensible, with the thousands of available add-ons that can be installed very easily. They expand the functionalities of the system, allowing the user to create an online shop, add image galleries or discussion boards.

Typo3 comes with a very flexible administrator system as well. It allows you to set specific permissions for specific users. They cannot mess with the site’s code or anything else that is outside of their range of responsibilities.

With content types, it is much easier to control what’s happening on the site, especially when you want to set the page layout, add videos, images or other scripts. In case you don’t know how to make full use of it or have any other kind of problem, you can reach out to the discussion board. There are plenty of helpful users whom you can reach out to and a lot of documentation you can read.

What makes development easier and a lot less problematic is the undoing changes module. It is unique to Typo3 and it is very popular among administrators, to whom such a function is very useful. They can easily restore a previous version of the website without having to go through much trouble. To top it off, changing the page structure is easy and done without any pre-fixed order of divs, blocks, articles or sections.

Typo3 is an outstanding tool if you’re an experienced programmer, but I have to mention that it doesn’t go easy on server resources. Expendability and modularity means that such software puts a great strain on server parameters. If the website isn’t too big or doesn’t have thousands of visitors every day, it will work well. But you’ll need a server upgrade as your site grows.


Drupal isn’t the only open source platform that offers a comprehensive framework for developing awesome websites. Though it is one of the best, but there is a good chance that you’ll find something that works better for you. I hope that this article helped you do just that and that we’ll see you in the next one!


David Cross

David is the chief editor at WebHostingMedia right from the beginning. He has a great passion for building and managing websites and creating helpful content. He is also interested in programming - currently learning python.