It is also much more flexible and extensible than WordPress. The best part is also that unlike WordPress with predefined content type, it allows the user to set up their own content type using 18 different types of field. But like we mentioned before, this is not the perfect place to start if you are looking for a simplistic website and are a beginner.
I am biased towards WordPress, just FYI. I train new bloggers and website owners (non-profits and small businesses, etc) in setting up WordPress.org with an SSL and I do it in an 8-hour class. My point being I recommend you setup: 1) WordPress.org NOT WordPress.com; 2) Go with 1and1.com “Unlimited” + SSL (costs about $62 for 12 months, includes: domain name, SSL Certificate + web hosting). This will get you a web hosting account with a domain name, SSL and 1-year of web hosting for the cost of a SSL Certificate (most are $60+). Why SSL? because your site will display https and you can process online payments using Stripe.com (Payment processor similar to PayPal, Authorize.net, etc). I have setup at least 6 of these accounts exactly like this for attendees and clients. This will work for you and it will not have any ads popping up unless you put them there. Any questions just reply.
Dear Jeremy, Your list it very interesting and really helpful for non technical website creator, all your suggestion like wix, weebly, shopify dont need html or other coding skill you can create website easily within few clicks also benefits are to choice ready to use design and no major thinking require for hosting provider selection etc. But in the other end wordpress become very huge, recently i find very interesting statistics for wordpress market share in website developer compare to other CMS, see https://blogs.perceptionsystem.com/infographic/wordpress-cms-in-2016/ Year 2016 out of 100 domain in USA 20+ website build with wordpress...and as per wordpress community it will increase lots.
The reasons for going with NameCheap are simple, they are cheaper than GoDaddy and other domain name registrars, they are well known and have been in the business since 2001, their support is amazing and fast, and they offer FREE Whois privacy for every domain name registered through them and their renewal prices are also low beating GoDaddy and the rest of the registrars.
I agree with you that Pulse CMS offers an interesting way to go, without databases. Before moving all my sites to WP over the past two years, I had always felt reluctant to use databases: but testing WP had convinced me to go ahead. Although I do not use it at this point (I played a little bit with previous versions), I bought a Pulse CMS license, if only in order to support that interesting project. I do not rule out using it for a site some day, at least experimentally.