Duda Website Builder Review

 

Overview of Duda 

Duda website builder was launched in 2008, shortly after the first iPhone appeared on the horizon. Duda site builder’s creators thought at this time that Duda mobile-friendly sites that people would open on their iPhones are going to be the future of web browsing. They were right, as far as we can see it in 2019 – over 50% of the Internet browsing by individual users is happening today through mobiles & tablets only (or these two + a PC/laptop combined). 

But Duda website builder today is much more than just a mobile Duda platform – it is a powerful maker of sites for all devices, whereas mobile friendliness is a thing, which is rigidly embedded into every its template. So, building up a site, you can be 100% assured that it will be optimized for mobile screens. So what is Duda? Let’s consider.

 

Duda’s website builder overview

  1. How easy is Duda to use?

It is highly easy to use – its working menu is designed smartly and intuitively. The previews of the result are easy for all types of devices (mobile, tablet, desktop).

 

  1. How much Duda costs?

Depending on the chosen plan of subscription of Duda site builder, the price for Duda is going to be from $14 a month to $99 a month. It is not free, as you can see, but it does offer a 30-day trial (for the plan called ‘Team’, which gives more opportunities than its ‘Basic’ but lesser than ‘Agency’), during which you can estimate, whether Duda site maker is your option of getting online or not. 

 

Duda pricing plans

Duda site creator has three subscription plans.

First, let’s consider the pricing of Duda, which is billed annually. 

  1. ‘Basic’ plan of Duda for $14, which offers:

    • 1 site (1 additional site is going to cost you 19 dollars a month)

    • Hosting of it on Amazon Web Services (AWS)

    • Basic personalization 

    • HTTPS

    • Multilingual sites

    • Millions of images, some of which are free and some are paid

    • Online store with 10 products to sell

    • Duda support of customers through e-mails.

  2. ‘Team’ plan of Duda for $11 (with a promo -50% off discount), which offers the mentioned in the ‘Basic’ plus:

    • You own branding and logo on the pages of a site 

    • 1 site (with every additional one going for $13 a month)

    • Customer support through e-mails, live chat, and phone

    • Cool connected content library

    • E-commerce is paid and for $7.25 a month, gives you 100 products to sell 

    • Up to 4 site contributors

    • You can find additional people to work on your site right through Duda’s platform, without the need to find someone on the side.

    • Client management and White Label system

  3. ‘Agency’ plan of Duda for $55.50 (-25% off the regular monthly price), which offers the mentioned in the ‘Team’ plus:

    • 8 sites (every additional one comes for $11 a month)

    • All support channels + priority in the queue

    • Widget builder

    • API access

    • Up to 10 site contributors

    • for $19.25 a month, 2,500 products to sell in a web store.

    • ADI

    • Site export.

When a user of Duda wants to pay month-to-month, the cost of the mentioned plans will be 19, 29, and 99 dollars a month respectively. 

So the final price of your site created with Duda site is going to depend not only on annually or monthly you pay but also will you use a web store ($7.25 or $19.25 a month additionally), will you use paid pictures from the catalog, additional number of sites and whether you will contract with personnel from the ‘Fulfillment channel’ option of hiring people directly through Duda.

Also, no plan of Duda includes the custom domain name – so for each and every individual website that you’ll have, it is necessary to buy a domain.

 

Pluses and minuses of Duda 

+ Support of multilingual websites. However, you shall translate everything into different languages on your own and there are limitations: blog articles and e-commerce products cannot be viewed in more than one language (if you want that – create copies of those in those languages that you need).

+ Personalization of your website in Duda is high, allowing your creativity to blossom.

+ Strong mobile and tablet friendliness.

+ Drag and drop in Duda is easy.

+ You can make personal offers to clients based on a number of criteria, including their geolocation.

+ Backup and restore for every subscription package.

+ Fast speed of the load of pages, which is profitable for SEO.

+Limitless storage space.

+ Backup and restore are possible in Duda. The website creates a backup in an automated mode when it is published.

- You can’t download your website unless opting for the priciest subscription plan.

- You can’t have any number of websites within one plan – they go for additional money.

- In addition to the plan, if you want to sell products online, there is a separate price to pay on a monthly basis.

- There is a need to buy a custom domain name for each of your websites in Duda.

- Expensive in relation to other website creators, especially taking into account the need to buy a domain name separately – which most of the other website creators deliver by default in one of their subscription plans.

- No app store to choose apps and integrate them easily.

- You can only create your forms and widgets in the costliest subscription plan.

- Navigation in Duda is not great – only up to three levels.

- E-commerce is not an in-house solution – it is based on Ecwid’s. So if you are searching for an e-store initially, then it may be a wise solution to look at Ecwid right from the start.

- There is no possibility to comment your blog directly on the website – it is only done through Facebook and Disqus.

- There is no opportunity to create accounts of users (let’s say, for blogging) or cabinets to make online purchases, which significantly downfalls the power of interaction with users and definitely does not give an opportunity to manage abandoned carts, ever further lowering the power of its e-commerce side of functionality.

- Duda has no newsletter tool.

 

Duda website builder’s features

  1. Easy to use thanks to its drag-and-drop functionality and visual editor.

  2. Mobile friendliness was the core of its initial functionality and stays like this. And it is easily possible to make a preview of your work result for each type of screens.

  3. Many modern designs and their high flexibility. It is also possible to start from scratch if you happen not to find Duda templates to your liking.

  4. There is no advertisement of Duda website creator shown in any of its subscription plans.

  5. Language feature to set up additional languages, which supports all major languages of the world (and even Asian hieroglyphs).

  6. SEO friendliness.

  7. SSL.

  8. Special offers and pop-ups are possible to make.

  9. Monetization through your banners.

  10. Blogging is turned on only with one click – and RSS is included automatically.

  11. Powerful visitor statistics, with own analysis tool. But if you don’t like it for some reason or just having multiple websites, which are connected by Google Analytics in one place – you can add GA here as well.

  12. Many opportunities to make your own personalized contact form.

  13. Availability to add your own HTML code and edit templates through the HTML editor.

  14. Powerful support via multiple channels: FAQ, live chat, e-mail, phone.

 

Duda website builder’s security and speed

There is a free SSL, which will work well with HTTPS. So be sure to enable HTTPS option after you request SSL certificates. 

The speed, according to the tool of measurement of the speed of loading of websites and pages gtmetrix.com of Duda website creator is high – to fully load an average page, it takes only 4.7 seconds (with 5 seconds being good enough for high customer satisfaction). The total page size is actually quite bulky – 5.19 Mb, which can deplete the bandwidth of users if it is the case for them to have data limitations. The page speed score is 88%, which is about 15% higher than the Internet’s average. All technical indices are in the green zone but the number of redirects and browser caching.

 

Duda website builder’s overview of design and templates

The templates that you find in Duda website creator are responsive, offer over 100 fonts to works with, many effects (though some of them are outdated like parallax), icons and numerous pictures to choose from. Copy and paste of individual elements of the pages are available. 

The advanced thing is that once you will have created your website, you can copy it in the wholeness to create another website, just like this one, and even to save a new template out of it – to reuse it in the future. 

Inside of pages, a set of customizable widgets is available, which includes:

  • contact forms

  • pop-ups

  • CTA (click-to-action) buttons

  • scheduling through several calendars

  • Disqus and Facebook comments

  • maps

  • donations through PayPal

  • uploading of files of PDF and Excel sheets

  • the feed of Twitter and others.

It is possible to build your own widget (in the costliest subscription plan).

 

Support of customers in Duda 

The support in Duda website creator is organized through 4 channels:

  • The FAQ with many excellent guidelines

  • Phone

  • Live Chat

  • E-mail.

Be informed that FAQ is available to every subscription plan. E-mail is the only channel of assistance when you opt for the low-cost subscription plan of Duda website creator. Live chat and phone assistance become available in other two subscription plans and in the costliest one, users receive the priority in the queue.

The quality of level of support of customers is really high – and it is one of the strong sides of Duda website creator.

 

SEO and marketing power in Duda builder

There are such SEO opportunities for every available plan of Duda website creator:

  • support for ‘301’ redirects

  • Open Graph integration with LinkedIn & Facebook

  • image alternate text (alt tag)

  • customizable metadata (title and description)

  • automatic sitemaps to insert into Google.

In addition to these, everyone can insert the keywords into the texts and headings, making the texts more relevant for search engines. It’s just you have to make the search for these keywords (and key phrases) on your own – but Google allows this operation in one of its tools. 

Its marketing features include:

  • White Label

  • Landing pages

  • Creating of webinars, workshops, case studies, sales collateral, e-books.

Unfortunately, there is no newsletter or client registration on the website – which shows a weak side of Duda website creator.

 

What integration capabilities Duda offers

Integration power is presented by the integration API. There is some connection to Facebook and Disqus for comments (and also through Open Graph to Facebook). Facebook connect for a very limited exchange of content (like, for instance, it is possible to connect your online store with this social media) but there is no powerful integration to Facebook and Disqus. 

Contact forms and pop-ups can be integrated into your MailChimp, Google Sheets, and mailing lists of Constant Contact.

In the online store, the integration is manifested by shipping options of America-based companies UPS, FedEx, as well as you can indicate more shippers with their customs pricing (but there will be no possibility to track the delivery of those custom added ones).

Aside from what it has – we can also tell what Duda website creator does not have in integration abilities:

  • third-party apps (there is no guarantee that the change of HTML code to attach them will work well)

  • E-mail newsletter

  • CRM or financial accounting systems

  • Databases like MySQL.

 

What payments are possible in Duda

Selling things in its paid online store is possible through such gateways and systems of accepting payments:

  1. PayPal by default – for sales and for fundraising

  2. Stripe (which enables payments through credit and debit bank cards of pretty much all currencies of the world of countries with the developed financial system)

  3. FirstData system.

We’ve listed 3 most popular options but Duda supports over 30 of them actually.

The big plus is that Duda website creator does not charge you commissions for financial operations. You can take payments for the physical and e-goods but the thing is that e-goods are only allowed to be sold in the costliest subscription plan, which enables sales of 2,500 products in one store.

 

Promos and coupons of Duda 

The promos are customizable and they will show to the visitors in your store the full price and the discounted one. Also, it is possible to adjust the promo codes, which will be active for some product only or for the entire order with multiple goods in the basket. 

It is possible to make the coupons and discounts to be shown in pop-ups and pages of the website, which you choose – they are triggered actions, which may be caused by such triggers:

  1. A visitor is nearby some location.

  2. Notification bar to show notices to only some specific users.

  3. If a visitor is a first-time or recurring (returning). 

The coupons are only available in the most expensive subscription plan of Duda website creator.

 

Final thoughts and conclusion

Duda website creator is a wonderful tool for people who want a mobile-friendly website based on many astounding easy-to-use modern templates. Its drag-and-drop functionality is great even for a novice user and can’t be too challenging to master, as Duda website creator’s designers have made a product as much intuitive as possible. 

But it is not the best solution for web stores, as Duda website creator offers many limitations and many of its perks are only active in 2 costliest subscription plans. If you want a really powerful web store, you should choose another tool – for instance, Shopify or BigCommerce. Not only they cost lesser, giving much more power in return but also they were specifically tuned at e-stores from the start of their operation. Also, Duda website creator charges additional money for running a store online in addition to the subscription plan, while Shopify & BigCommerce don’t.

Another powerful drawback of Duda’s functionality is that it is always necessary to buy a custom domain – it is never offered inside of its plans. So, to summarize the cost, it is one of the costliest website creators on the market currently.

There are many positive sides like making changes to HTML, having HTTPS and SSL for free, fabulous customer support, and others. But there are also many downsides (like the impossibility for the users to register, the absence of management of abandoned carts in a web store, and many others), which may actually outweigh the usefulness of its functionality. So, it is actually quite a challenging choice, which every user has to make on its own based on what features he or she expects from the future website.

 

Duda website builder review of users 

  1. Emma from Australia makes some Duda one reviews: I used Duda to run my blog and I can’t say that I am completely happy about its functionality for several reasons:

    • comments are only through the Disqus or Facebook, not directly on the website with easy-to-answer form

    • due to mentioned above, there is always an additional step before leaving a comment – registration or entering through the mentioned two systems (especially Disqus is not loved by users as they don’t see a powerful advantage to register there if it is only relevant to leave a comment)

    • I can’t drag some content from Facebook and into it (the same goes for Snapchat, Instagram, and other popular social media). In a word, there is no cross-exchange with information between them

    • there is no scheduled posting.

  2. Mila from Austria makes a Duda mobile review: The web store that I’ve started in Duda website creator was a disappointment – compared to WooCommerce that I have previously had. Lots of charges to run it and low level of flexibility and literally no integration power to boost up my sales eventually made me consider Shopify.

  3. Lucy from Denver, the US, makes Duda one review: For a business website of a company with 1,000 employees, it was a fine solution when it came just to the placement of information on pages. But we were not able to create an internal portal with the users’ registration and documents workflow.

  4. Nevaeh from Chicago, the US, gives Duda review: I find Duda website creator good for small websites like I did (three). Around 20-30 pages and nothing more – as it becomes heavy to operate with them due to the need for manual changes.

  5. Zurab from Batumi, Georgia: I loved the technical side of it – back up, restore, a possibility to download the website to migrate it elsewhere, secured hosting, nice uptime, decent load times, SSL, HTTPS, protection from scammers, and closure of separate pages with a password.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What kind of advantages does a responsive site offer me?

The responsive website is an opportunity to show information to any user fitting perfectly to his or her screen and device. With the convenience to demonstrate information, customer satisfaction rises, which makes people add your website to bookmarks and visit it much more frequently compared to websites, which are not mobile and tablet friendly. 

 

  1. Can I export my Duda site?

Yes. However, this opportunity opens to you only in the costliest subscription plan for $55.50 a month (in the annual payment) or $99 a month if paid month-to-month.

 

  1. Is Duda primarily for business sites?

No, it is quite well for all types of websites, from personal to business, and from blogs to web stores. Another thing is its cost – which is high compared to other website creators on the market, which makes some chunk of users to search for the same solutions elsewhere.

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