The Best WordPress Alternatives: Top File-Based CMS For Websites & Blogging

Not just WordPress alone, there are other popular WordPress alternatives which can be used for websites and blogging platforms.  Let us look at the top 3 WordPress alternatives which are also the top 3 content management systems you can use.

Flat file or file based CMS are the best WordPress alternatives. There are many popular file-based CMS such as Ghost, Jeklyll, Statamic and Kirby.

What is a flat-file or file based CMS?

A flat-file or file based CMS is a regular content management system, except it stores all the content in files and folders not in a database like a traditional CMS (WordPress). In a traditional database-based CMS ( such as WordPress), contents are accessed via SQL query but in a file based CMS, the content is accessed in the regular file-folder structure. It’s just like you are using your PC for accessing a file which is kept inside a folder.

Advantages of file based CMS

The three prime advantages of using a file-based CMS are speed, portability and less server load.

  1. File based  CMS offers fast speed. Since the files are accessed locally (without any database connection), contents are retrieved very quickly and also the filse-based website load extremely fast.
  2. It’s easier for a file-based CMS websites to move it to another server. You don’t have to export the database and configure it again on the new server, just like WordPress websites.
  3. File based CMS are low on server load and usage. They don’t use high server storage or resources in comparison to database-CMS (database uses much space and consumes high server usage).


Ghost is a free, open-source blogging platform created by John O’Nolan and Hannah Wolfe. The Ghost blogging platform is very unique and it’s different from WordPress as it’s primarily meant for blogging. WordPress is more of a CMS than a dedicated blogging platform.

Ghost is primarily focused on the content. All you have to do is write – without worrying of the format. You write the content in Markdown (on the left) and you can see the live-preview of it and how will it appear in the blog-post.

The ghost blogging platform comes with a very impressive dashboard and easy to use features. Ghost dashboard displays all the important data about your blog in one place. It also shows the website  and different blog-post’s performance, social media activity growth and user engagement.

In the past few months, Ghost has been widely popular and is being used by many bloggers. Just like WordPress, you can download and install custom themes for Ghost blogging platform.


Jeklyll is a static-HTML website generator and is created by Tom Preston-Werner, co-founder of GitHub. It transforms your plain and simple text into a statis website. Jelkyll does not requires PHP and you can host your static HTML on Gifthub Pages. Jeklyll works via Terminal – command line and its doesn’t require server side-programming.

Jelkyll comes with many configuration options and Jekyll a built-in development server. The built-in server allows you to preview the website locally. You can preview your website in your browser. It also comes with many configuration and customization options. The only requirement to install and run Jelkyll on your system is – you must have Ruby, RubyGems and Linux/Unix/Mac OS X. You can also run Jelkyll on Windows PC.


Statamic is file-based CMS built on PHP 5.3, which comes with a robust API, easy and powerful template language and responsive control panel. Statamic uses static and dynamic web-elements to create an impressive website.

The only requirement is PHP 5.3 and it can run on any server, any machine and any platform. Just like WordPress, you can either build your own theme or install a ready-made theme. Statamic is developed by Jack McDade, Fred LeBlanc and Mubs Iqbal.

The first version (v1.0) of Statamic was released on June 18, 2012 and today there are thousands of websites running on Statamic.