Drupal alternatives

Drupal is a frequently used content management system (CMS) that is open source and available free of charge. The software is consists of a building kit that can be individually adapted to the needs of the user in terms of scope and functionality. Users can access plugins (also called “modules”) in Drupal that can be extended as desired. However, extensions tend to increase the degree of complexity.

There are a number of useful Drupal alternatives, some of which make it easier for users to achieve the desired result. We present the most important providers to create individual websites and integrate further functionalities such as an online store.

Article up-to-date as of November 2021.

Quick overview: Drupal alternatives compared

Provider Open source or package solution Available from Max. cost
IONOS Package $1 / month $50 / month
Shopify Package $29 / month $299 / month
Magento Both options available Free Fee on request
WordPress Package $3.95 / month $40 / month
Joomla! Open Source $8.25 / month Depends on additional features
Weebly Package $9 / month $29 / month
Webflow Package Free $212 / month

IONOS offers the right tools and plans for you to design your website.

Drupal alternatives in detail

The selection of top Drupal alternatives includes some well-known, but also lesser-known providers. Depending on resources, required programming skills or time restrictions, modular kits or free open source solutions that let users compile functions may be preferred.

IONOS (Website Builder): the right solution for beginners and professionals

IONOS is a great alternative to Drupal because it offers different plans for website and online store creation. Even the basic plan already includes all the important features and the Website Builder delivers professional results quickly and easily. The Website Builder is suitable for beginners and professionals alike. The modular website builder can be expanded with comprehensive online store functions at any time. The customer service is highly-rated, easy to access and answers any questions to help with setup and operation of your website or online store.

Service fees range from $1 to $50, making it a low-cost option when compared to other provides. Functionalities are defined into plans with no hidden or follow-up costs. Users also receive an email address and can access image archives to design their sites. The IONOS web store can be added later in true modular design fashion and offers a vast range of templates to make the design process as smooth as possible.

Advantages Disadvantages
Favorable pricing for websites and stores – in premium segment too Functions in entry-level plans somewhat limited
Access to plenty of templates, including some for industry websites  

Suitable for: Beginners, advanced, and professionals

Shopify: quick online store setup with additional website

Shopify is worth a closer look if you are looking for a Drupal alternative for your web store. Like IONOS, Shopify is available in three different plans with added functionality as cost per month increases. The top end of the scale is $299 per month – a plan that boasts many features beyond those of a simple online store. Analytics tools and international domains are included to boost international sales strategies.

Shopify has a simple-to-use website editor to combine a website with an online store design. The editor is also useful to set up a blog or organize content on a content management interface. Designing is made simple with templates and users can access numerous plugins, some of which incur additional charges. All in all, Shopify is a great alternative to Drupal, especially for beginners. However, users should be clear in advance about which functions they will require for their website and online store, and plan ahead accordingly.

Advantages Disadvantages
Quick setup of website and online store without specialist prior knowledge To get the most from the features, users should have some idea of their needs
Plenty of design and plugin options available Personalization can be expensive

Suitable for : Beginners, advanced, and professionals

Magento: all about eCommerce

Magento is a popular eCommerce solution that offers a wide range of options to design online stores. Magento is particularly advantageous for beginners because the Community Edition is free to download as an open source edition. Users can get started designing their web store right away. The Enterprise Edition takes into the account the scope of a project and can vary greatly in price – from five-figures and six-figures.

The functional scope of Magento focuses predominantly on eCommerce. If you plan on designing a corporate website alongside your store platform, you will need a second host for this purpose. However, if you already have an existing website, Magento is easy to integrate. Because of its scope, the Drupal alternative is more suitable for advanced users and professionals, unless you are using the Community Edition.

Advantages Disadvantages
Very professional and comprehensive online store solution Enterprise Edition is very expensive
Beginner-friendly Community Edition available free of charge Website must be hosted separately

Suitable for: Advanced and professional users (Community Edition available for beginners too)

WordPress: versatile alternative to Drupal and co.

WordPress is one of the most popular CMS that can be used for corporate websites, blogs, and online stores. The software solution provides an extensive selection of design templates and websites can be adapted through add-ons and plugins. Operating a professional website incurs monthly fees of around $25. Cheaper plans do not include special functionalities such as search engine optimization or plugin integration.

If you wish to integrate an online store, costs can increase to $50 per month, which is competitive when compared to premium offers from Shopify and the like.

However, WordPress functions are not all that self-explanatory, which means users should have some basic knowledge of website creation. To integrate a web store, users would need an idea of how to integrate plugins in WordPress.

Advantages Disadvantages
Live demo previews of final website Combination of website and online store is cheaper elsewhere
Over 50,000 plugins for high degree of customization Basic knowledge required to create website and store

Suitable for : Beginners, advanced, and professionals

Joomla: CMS with community support

Joomla is a free CMS solution with an extensive arsenal of functions and extensions. What is special about Joomla is the user community – neither customer support nor service staff will be available to help.

In combination with the many functional possibilities of the CMS, the learning curve is steep for beginners. Creating a website with Joomla is less intuitive than using more modular systems. Experienced website developers will be pleased with the possibilities Joomla provides, making it an excellent Drupal alternative for more advanced users. At just $8.25 per month for hosting, Joomla is one of the cheapest website creation tools.

If you wish to launch an online store as part of your web service, the CMS provides a range of store integrations. With a large number of store extensions, some of which are free of charge, users only pay for the services they really need.

Advantages Disadvantages
Many functions and extensions, for example online store plugins Can be overwhelming for beginners
Free CMS and cheap hosting For technical queries users depend on community help

Suitable for: Advanced and professionals

Weebly: ad-free as of Pro version

Weebly is similar to Drupal in that the CMS is structured like a website builder. Users can create a website in just a few steps using drag-and-drop features. Basic functions include search engine optimization and are free of charge. However, the web domain in the basic plan is Weebly-branded. For personalized domains, Weebly charges $9 per month. However, the Connect plan doesn’t come with advanced functionalities.

The Pro version costs $16 per month and boasts advanced features such as telephone and chat support, and extensive site statistics to measure web traffic. Versions below the Pro plan feature adverts. In the Pro plan all adverts are removed.

Users can integrate a shopping cart when selecting the Pro plan. Although Weebly divides its offering into websites and online stores, the Pro and Business rates already include online store features. To manage articles or discount codes, you will need the Business plan from $25 per month if paid annually.

Weebly is a great alternative to Drupal for beginners because of its ease of use. However, costs can add up for more advanced features. It is a good idea to compare Weebly’s professional plans with those of other providers before making a decision.

Advantages Disadvantages
Simple website creation via modular system Web store functions limited in Pro plan
Integration of online store takes place without an additional plan starting with the Pro option  

Suitable for: Beginners, advanced, and professionals

Webflow: programming skills facilitate setup

The final Drupal alternative in our comparison is Webflow – a mixture of CMS and website builder. Once registered, users can either use a ready-made template or design the desired website themselves. Compared to WordPress only a few templates are free of charge. Other designs can incur charges of over $100.

Webflow is special when it comes to creating a website. The system uses boxes that can be arranged on top of one another, next to each other, or nested inside each other. The final design of a website is based on a user’s arrangement of boxes. In terms of operation, Webflow is more reminiscent of an image editing program such as Photoshop or GIMP. In order to achieve the desired result some programming skills are advantageous, making Webflow less suitable for beginners.

Basic use of Webflow is free of charge. The Business plan costs $36 per month and lets users boost the number of permitted page views or functions and integrate forms, among other features.

An additional $29 per month is charged for online store integration which can increase to $212 for the Advanced plan, making Webflow’s professional plan one of the more expensive solutions available at a total minimum cost of $248.

Advantages Disadvantages
Extensive, customizable design options Not suitable for beginners due to complexity
  Additional costs for templates

Suitable for: Advanced and professionals


If you already operate a website and wish to create an online store to sell your goods, check out the eCommerce Website Builder from IONOS. The starter plan provides all the functions you need to get started.

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