10 Free CMS alternatives to wordpress that you might not know about

WordPress is no doubt the king of CMS at the moment. I personally use it on a couple of my websites. However, there are times when wordpress might feel a bit bloated due to its long legacy and the fact that it can be used to create almost any kind of websites. This is why we are seeing a number of new CMS coming to the market to address different kinds of needs. For example, there are some CMSs that focus on powering portfolio websites while others just cater to writers who need no other distractions than just being able to put words online.

Regardless of the need, here are some CMS that you might not be aware of.  They are all free to use so do give them a spin if you are looking for one.


#1: CraftCMS

free CMS alternatives to wordpress 1

Craft has been around for some time. Its main strength is that it is simple to use and yet allows for some degree of customization. Currently, there are 2 pricing plans: free and paid. If you just want the basic service, go for the free service as it already has some nice template and features to work with.


#2: SecretaryCMS

free CMS alternatives to wordpress 2

Branded as a CMS built specifically for designers, artists and photographers, Secretary CMS is a simple tool that allows users to create beautiful portfolio websites easily. It is free to download and the service depends on donations to sustain its operations. If you have used it and liked it, do consider giving them a tip.


#3: Prose

free CMS alternatives to wordpress 3

Prose is a rather interesting idea. It sits on top of your Github account and provides an interface for you to manage your files. It is a great tool for anyone who is using Github to host and create their websites.  It also provides support for Jekyll.


#4: Dunked

free CMS alternatives to wordpress 4

Dunked is a hosted solution catering to folks who wants an online portfolio. Currently there is no self hosted versions. However, if you want a simple and quick way to create a portfolio website, Dunked is a great alternative with its beautiful interface and templates.



free CMS alternatives to wordpress 5

Koken is a free CMS website that provides powerful funtions in the area of media management. This makes combining words and images a breeze and will be very useful when used to create a media rich site such as a portfolio website.


#6: Middlemanapp

free CMS alternatives to wordpress 6

If your website is mainly static and doesn’t need much content updating, you might want to consider a static website generator such as this middlemanapp. The software employs a lot of shortcuts for a developer to easily create a static website easily.


#7: 900Dpi

free CMS alternatives to wordpress 7

This is a relatively new CMS service for designers. They offer a free plan for those who just want a create a website for themselves.  There are some really cool features built into this CMS including auto synching with your dropbox, lots of forms, shortcuts etc. Worth to take take a look if you have not heard of it before.


#8: Ghost

free CMS alternatives to wordpress 8

Ghost is a blogging CMS platform meant for folks who want to publish their writing as there isn’t a lot of other distractions on the software. The only thing you need to note is that the installation needs node.js knowledge as there is no installation software built yet. In case you are interested, I covered 15 premium ghost blogging templates for 2014 here.


#9: KeystoneJS

free CMS alternatives to wordpress 9

For developers who love to play around with node.js, you can try this CMS built specifically on node.js. It is still in development phase but the features are solid enough currently for a developer to download and create a site with it.


#10: Stacey

free CMS alternatives to wordpress 10

Stacey is a barebone CMS that is ultra lightweight. If you have used Kirby before, Stacey feels like that but it is free while Kirby needs payment.  Again, it is still in development so I am sure there are bugs that might still need to be fixed.


#11: Cockpit

free CMS alternatives to wordpress 11


I have test drived Cockpit and I must say I like what I saw. The documentation is a bit weird but it is really lightweight and fast. Cockpit is still in beta but you can already run sites on top of it. Worth a look.



About the author

With a passion for Knowledge, Smashinghub has been created to explore things like Free Resources For Designers, Photographers, Web Developers and Inspiration.

Twitter Visit author website

Subscribe to Smashing Hub

Comments are closed.