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Duda Website Builder Review

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The Duda website builder powers over 450,000 businesses around the world. It aims to make quality, responsive web design easy through its simple templates and drag-and-drop editor.

The platform is particularly good for users looking to quickly create multiple sites for clients, which explains why Duda is so popular with freelancers and agencies.

It works by providing a variety of templates to pick from, which can then be edited accordingly. This can involve changing text, creating new pages, adding images or even building personalized widgets. Duda also hosts your website for you, so there’s no need to consider extra costs or technicalities.

On the flip side, Duda has fewer features than a lot of its competitors. And it lacks an app store, so users have to pay extra for add-ons and features. Duda also has some of the most expensive starter prices on the market.

So, is Duda the right web builder for you? How much does it cost? And what do you get for that? Read our Duda review for everything you need to know.

Duda website builder pros and cons

What business is Duda best for?

Duda is a good website builder for artists and ideal for small businesses looking to create a dynamic and personalized web presence in a short space of time. It offers simple functionality that is best suited to digital publishers, agencies, freelancers, SaaS platforms and hosting companies.

Duda’s fully responsive platform has a wonderfully simple drag-and-drop functionality that allows users to get websites up and running with speed and ease. So, there is no need for an in-house web designer. That being said, Duda is also very popular among web designers who need to build multiple sites for clients in a short space of time.

Users can choose from over 55 international languages and can quickly create multi-language responsive sites based on automatic translations by Google Translate. This makes the Duda website builder a compelling option for businesses with an international customer base.

Duda markets itself as a website builder for businesses. Therefore, it may not be the best option for anyone looking to create a personal website or online store. This is largely due to its higher-tiered pricing and a lack of included features. Despite this, everyday users will still find much to like about Duda if they’re happy to pay.

Duda tools and features

Duda offers a wide range of design features that make it easy to personalize your website. You can choose from a large selection of font styles, access and edit HTML and CSS, and use the built-in photo editor. Duda’s mobile editing functionality means that users can also easily make changes on the go from a mobile device.

Templates

Design is certainly a strength of the Duda website builder. It offers almost 100 professionally designed templates to choose from, alongside 10 blank options that can be fully customized. Templates can be filtered by category, including Travel, Portfolio, Online Store and Business. They can then be previewed in desktop, tablet and mobile views.

Duda preview
Duda preview template

Users can edit and customize the available templates by adding in elements such as images, text and widgets. The responsive templates will then automatically readjust to fit any screen. Duda makes it easy to save custom layouts and templates . You can then build a template library of your own with elements from premade templates and snippets of your own code.

Choose a template
Build your website
Edit your site

Hosting

All Duda websites are hosted on Amazon Web Services (AWS). This is one of the industry’s most secure and trusted cloud-based solutions. There is no limit to storage or bandwidth. Even better, load times are reduced due to Duda’s global Content Delivery Network (CDN) which hosts all static files, like PDFs and images.

However, domain names and email hosting are not included. Users can register a domain through the platform or link an existing one to their Duda website. Duda also restricts the number of websites each user is able to build and host based on the package they have selected.

Security

Once the trial period ends and you begin to pay a subscription fee for the Duda website builder, you will receive an SSL certificate for your website. This small green lock icon by your website URL shows users that your website is secure, which in turn improves your overall SEO score. Many web builders do not yet offer this feature, so this is a real plus point for Duda.

Duda’s servers are also equipped with intrusion detection systems and malware protection. AWS conducts regular checks for security related updates, ensuring that known security issues cannot be used to gain unauthorized access to data and systems. All data communication networks with external access are protected by a central firewall.

E-commerce

Duda has a range of excellent e-commerce features. Even its basic plan comes with some options to build a basic online store. This is another feature that makes Duda stand out from the crowd, as a lot of website builders only include e-commerce functionality in higher-priced plans.

Duda’s e-commerce tools include:

  • Over 30 payment options
  • Low stock notifications
  • Digital downloads
  • Coupon codes
  • Customizable shipping options and rates
  • Product categories
  • Automatic tax calculations

Alongside these features, Duda allows for multiple product images and integrated design between your website and storefront. This makes the platform a good choice for users who want to sell products on their website, though it cannot compete with dedicated website builders for online selling, like Shopify and Wix.

Duda’s e-commerce solution is based on Ecwid’s online shop system. This is a SaaS tool for building your own online store.

SEO

When compared to its counterparts, the Duda website builder has a relatively basic SEO offering. This includes:

  • Responsive templates
  • Free SSL
  • Google Page Speed Optimization
  • Customizable titles
  • Meta descriptions
  • URLs
  • Alt text

While all relevant settings can be adjusted to match your needs, and your rankings will certainly benefit from SSL-encryption and fast-loading pages, there are better options on the market, such as Wix and WordPress.

That’s not to say that Duda’s SEO tools are bad. Simply put, your Duda website will be picked up by a search engine, but users with SEO experience may find it frustrating if they have specific SEO needs that can’t be met.

Marketing

When it comes to marketing, Duda has a wide selection of resources available to customers on the Team plan or above. These include:

  • Lead generating landing page templates
  • White label handouts
  • White label sales decks
  • Email header images

Unfortunately, Duda lacks basic marketing features. Unlike many other website builders on the market, Duda does not currently provide users with an integrated newsletter tool. This is a significant drawback when it comes to growing a following for any website.

Duda also falls short when it comes to apps, as users can’t easily add extra functions, like widgets or client management tools to their site when needed. Instead, users are reliant on the in-house features that come in their plan and must upgrade to access more advanced tools.

Personalization

Duda has an impressive array of design features that make it simple to personalize your website. Users can even create their own widgets and develop a tailored experience for visitors. It also makes it easy to add unique functions to your website and send visitors customized offers tailored to their browsing history or location.

Web personalization

Duda’s Website Personalization Tool lets you further customize the user experience for your visitors, as you can do things like show a welcome video to new users. It’s easy to create your own actions and add interactive elements like pop-ups, information bars or special offers.

Tutorials and support

Depending on your specific plan, FAQs, email, chat, and telephone support are available for users. Here’s an overview of what support comes with each plan:

  • Basic Plan: email support
  • Team Plan: email, chat, and phone support
  • Agency Plan: priority email, chat, and phone support

There is also a Help Center available to all users, which contains guides and articles for every element of the website builder. There is a Resource Center too, which provides marketing materials, product updates, webinars and more. Both of these resources can be accessed by all users, even those on the basic plan.

Duda limitations

Despite the many excellent features and functionalities available, there are a few specific limitations to the Duda website builder. We found restrictions within hosting capabilities, e-commerce potential and SEO functionality. We also identified weaknesses in Duda’s basic marketing features and tools, including the inability to integrate newsletters.

Duda is also slightly more expensive than its web building counterparts, and users may find that they have to upgrade their payment plan to bypass a lot of Duda’s restrictions. This will be covered in more detail in the pricing section a bit further down.

No app store

A notable limitation to the Duda web builder is that it doesn’t have an app store. Though there are many different features available by default when using the platform, users are unable to easily add extra functions as and when they are needed. Really, Duda limits itself by not offering an added solution for the apps that users may need and are unable to find on the builder. While users can still add functions like a live chat, this has to be done manually.

Users are reliant on the in-house features that come with their plan and are required to upgrade to source more advanced tools. Duda falls short in this regard when compared to alternatives like WordPress, which has thousands of free and paid plugins available to users.

Lack of site portability

Another limitation that users of the Duda website builder may face is in the lack of site portability. This means that it’s not possible to get the code from your Duda site and host it on another server provider if you want to switch.

It’s important to note that Duda shares this restriction with most of its online counterparts. The exceptions to this rule in web hosting are SquareSpace and Weebly, which allow you to export your site or download your site assets in a standard folder structure.

Add-ons, widgets and plugins

The Duda website builder comes with a large variety of interesting and useful features, add-ons, widgets and plugins. This helps users to get creative and add more unique functions to their sites, whilst also creating a heightened, tailored user experience for visitors.

Duda widget selection for unique site functions

Duda is unique in that it lets users create their own widgets. The Widget Builder allows you to make your own custom widgets, which look and act just like other widgets in the Duda platform.

You can use standard Duda input options for the design and content of your widgets to maintain consistency of UI, whilst inputting your own background or colours in the customization stage. This functionality, however, is only available on the highest pricing plan.

Users can also integrate with third-party services to expand site capabilities and simplify the design process with design-based widgets that can be used across multiple sites. Integrations include Vcita, Google Analytics, YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook and PayPal, to name but a few. These integrations mean that you can add useful features such as an outsourced calendar or a form to capture lead generation information.

Finally, Duda provides the option of writing your own code. Through customized CSS and HTML, you can change the look of your website, customize buttons, embed third-party integrations and much more.

How easy is Duda to use?

Duda’s interface is very easy to use. For those who have used website builders before, the format will look familiar, with clear options to edit, save work, publish your site, undo/redo edits and upgrade your account. Duda is an easy but capable website builder.

Website building

One of the biggest appeals to using the Duda website builder is its built-in drag-and-drop tools. There is no need to get overwhelmed by traditional programming languages like CSS, JavaScript and HTML, as users can simply drag and drop elements as they see fit.

You can quickly copy customized templates and develop new pages in no time, without the hassle of manually programming and formatting each new file individually. Duda also includes pre-designed sectioning for your website, which removes the inconvenience of site architecture.

Of course, if you do have experience with coding and you want to integrate designs of your own, this is also possible with Duda. You can implement your own coding with just a few clicks.

When building a site with Duda, users will benefit from the menu formatting, which is simple and intuitively structured. The editor mode offers an immediate preview on desktop, mobile and tablet. Duda automatically optimizes pages to fit the device it’s being viewed on, which is one less worry for the user.

Finally, Duda allows for front-end editing on the go from any device. This enables users to implement timely updates and make quick fixes as and when the need arises.

Unpublishing your Duda website

By unpublishing your site, you will make it invisible on the internet. Whilst the site is no longer visible to the public, you will still be able to make edits and your site subscription payments will continue. It’s easy to republish your site at any time to make it live once more.

This feature is handy if your site needs more work before it can go live. You can simply unpublish, make changes, preview the updates and then republish once it’s ready. The only limitation in this process is that users cannot publish a site from a mobile device. This is because it’s not possible to preview a site on desktop or tablet view whilst inside the mobile version of the editor.

Website migration from another platform

The Duda website builder has three migration options available to users. Manual Migration creates an entirely new website. Members of your team (or a third-party service) have to take each individual existing website, transfer the content over to the new Duda site and then make necessary adjustments. This is the most labor intensive migration option.

When manual migration isn’t possible, there’s Plug and Polish. This is where Duda builds and provides custom plugins for the various platforms that will be involved in the migration. Duda does this by learning the layout and patterns of your site and then customizing its content import algorithm to work specifically with your legacy platform. Duda estimates that this option reduces migration time to under 25 minutes per website. Generally, it takes Duda around four months to build the plugin.

Finally, there’s Fast Migration. Here, Duda builds a plugin that copies over the code of your existing desktop websites. This option can only really be used to replace images or text. Further changes will require the use of Duda’s ‘Developer Mode’ to access the code and make changes in the HTML and CSS. Fast Migration is great for quickly moving to a new platform, but not the best option for anyone who lacks the technical ability to make edits to their sites.

Duda pricing structures

Duda is one of the more expensive website builders on the market, with prices starting at $14 per month. There are four price plans to choose from, ranging from $14 - $44 per month when billed annually.

Unfortunately, there is no free plan available. However, the Team Plan has a 14-day free trial included. Once you’ve tested the platform out, you can choose to sign up to any plan.

Pricing table

Basic plan

The Basic plan costs $14 per month, billed annually. With this plan, users get one website hosted on Amazon Web Services and ongoing email support. Basic features included in this plan are:

  • SSL security
  • Website personalization tools
  • Multi-language tools
  • Free/premium images
  • Limited connected content library

Team plan

The Team plan costs $22 per month, billed annually. This is the only plan to offer a 14-day free trial. In this package, you get everything from the Basic plan, plus a selection of team collaboration and client management tools. These include:

  • Users and permissions settings for team members and clients
  • White label client access
  • Site comments
  • White label sales and marketing materials

Agency plan

The Agency plan costs $44 per month, billed annually. This is the best plan for larger projects, multiple sites and more team members. It gives you all the features from the Team plan, plus the following tools:

  • Instant websites
  • Website export
  • API integration (limited)
  • Connection to Google Sheets and Airtable
  • Widget builder
  • Four websites

Custom plan

There is a custom plan available for those who have hundreds of websites and need a custom quote. This includes a wide range of features, such as:

  • Access to Duda’s API
  • Tiered discount pricing
  • Single sign-on
  • Integration with external datasets
  • Unlimited access to team and client management features
  • High-value managed services
  • Onboarding and account management

Duda offers a 14-day free trial for users looking to test out the site’s functions and capabilities before committing to a subscription. No credit card details are necessary at this stage. This is a perfect opportunity to get a feel for the interface and to see if the product meets your needs and matches your skillset.

Signing up for the free trial is straightforward. Simply enter your name, email and password, alongside a website address and some information on your current role.

And since Black Friday 2021 is coming up, check out our list of best Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals for website builders.

Duda website examples

Duda website example: RV rental website

Website example

Duda website example: Creative content website

Website example 2

Duda alternatives

There are many website builders on the market that are very similar to Duda in terms of key features and benefits. Amongst its top competitors are Wix, which gives you total creative freedom over your site, and Squarespace, which has equally attractive designs and templates. We’ll explore both in more detail below.

Duda vs Wix

Just like Duda, Wix provides a great drag-and-drop site builder to create small websites. There are hundreds of free templates available to users, and the platform provides its own web hosting and domain names. Wix also has an App Market which makes it easy to add extra functionality like eCommerce or image galleries.

Wix’s interface is very flexible, and it’s one of the few web builders that lets users animate text and other elements. The cheapest ad-free plan with Wix is called Combo, which starts at around $8 per month. Wix also has a completely free version available to users.

When lined up side by side, it’s hard to pinpoint a winner between the two web builders. However, if having full access to the HTML of your site is important, then Duda has a slight edge over Wix.

Duda vs Squarespace

Pricing plans for Squarespace begin at $12 per month. This popular website builder provides 60+ templates that adapt easily to mobile devices. It also offers a range of built-in tools that support small business owners, bloggers and creatives.

With Squarespace it’s easy to integrate PayPal. The platform has a variety of eCommerce functions available, alongside SEO tools and simple social media integration. No coding skills are required to use Squarespace, but the editor is generally considered to be a little tricky and manual at first. The website builder also offers a 14-day free trial for anyone interested in checking it out.

All things considered, Squarespace is better value for money and a better website builder than Duda.

Duda review summary and final thoughts

With the Duda website builder, it’s easy to get a site up and running in no time at all. When it comes to template variety, the platform is practically unmatched by others in the field. The interface, with drag-and-drop functionality, makes Duda extremely user-friendly. For this reason, it is perfect for an agency or a freelancer looking to build multiple sites quickly.

Duda promises super fast loading speeds, which enhance the user experience and boost your overall SEO performance. It is also unique in its User Journey feature, which lets you customize the experience of users depending on specific factors like location.

Of course, the product is not perfect. Duda has somewhat limited features compared to competitors and the web builder lacks an app store. Whilst there are many excellent add-ons and features available, you will be paying extra for the privilege. This brings us to another drawback to the Duda website builder: it is quite costly. Indeed, it has some of the most expensive starter prices on the market, with no free version available beyond a 14-day free trial.

Duda also restricts the number of websites that each user is able to build and host, based on the package they have selected. And, unlike many other website builders available today, Duda does not currently provide an integrated newsletter tool. That being said, Duda is a good choice for anyone looking to build a polished website with minimal design input.

FAQs

Here we’ll answer your frequently asked questions about Duda.

Comments

Paul J Lancieri
Paul J Lancieri
prefix 5 months ago
“Make sure to join the “Unofficial Duda Support Community” and get help, support, and a lot more at https://www.facebook.com/groups/dudasupport/ Giving support and getting support! Great place to show off your work or get inspiration from others. We’ll see ya there!
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