We know very few website builders that built their philosophy around a movie. The Duda team is a huge fan of the movie “The Big Lebowski.” In their own words, they roll with the punches just like the Dude and are always ready to help others. In addition to the interesting backstory, the fact that there are 14 million Duda-powered websites is truly fascinating.
The builder boasts of being an all-in-one solution. Apart from the website building tool, Duda also offers team collaboration and client management tools.
The primary focus of this Duda review is the platform’s website building tool. However, we’ll also look into how Duda handles team collaboration and what CRM tools it offers. Let’s begin.
Ease of Use
The Duda editor can seem a bit overwhelming at first. From our perspective, the builder is not the easiest website development tool on the market. Plus, you cannot create an account on the platform without having a company website.
Taking this into account, the Duda website builder is not beginner-friendly as someone who’s never created a website won’t even have the opportunity to test this tool. However, this shouldn’t come as a surprise. The builder clearly defines its audience – agencies, hosting companies, and digital publishers.
The Duda site editor is intuitive to some extent. Just like many other website builders, its main editing options are tucked in on the left side of the screen. However, these are categorised somewhat differently. If we add to that that there’s a wealth of editing options as well, becoming fluent with the system can be a bit time-consuming.
Drag and Drop
This website builder is a drag-and-drop builder. Most website builders allow you to add site elements to a blank canvas. Duda, on the other hand, has taken a different approach to adding content to your site.
The main components of the builder are rows, columns, and widgets. The simplest way to explain how the rows and columns function is to imagine that a website is a house. Inside of that house, rows would be walls and columns would be rooms. Individual elements, i.e., Duda widgets, such as images and text, would then be the room furniture.
Additionally, the option of dragging site elements is slightly restrictive. Users cannot drag site elements and drop them anywhere on the site. While you can move site elements (widgets) within a section, you cannot move that section without moving the entire row.
The whole process is a bit confusing, especially if you’re not used to working with structured website builders.
So far, this review of Duda focused on the ease of use. Next, we tested the builder’s image editing options, which are quite impressive.
First of all, Duda’s Image Editor offers more cropping options than any other site builder. Based on how you want to crop your images, you can set a custom image size, turn it into a square, or use predetermined aspect ratios (16:9 or 4:3).
The editor can also set an image to match the size of a Facebook profile picture, ad, cover, or post. The cropping area supports rotating images too.
Next, Duda offers an abundance of image filters. The filter categories range from Black & White and Duo Tone effects to Summer and Winter effects. On top of these options, you can add text, frames, and stickers to your website imagery.
Another crucial aspect of this Duda review is the content editing process and how simple it is. Website builders such as Wix and Weebly have raised the bar pretty high when it comes to managing website content. The easier it is to edit content, the higher the bar. Duda passed our content editing test with flying colours.
The site builder helps its users highlight their content using different text styles (bold, italic, etc.). They can also use a specific font and adjust font weight.
Other content editing options include adding numbered and bulleted lists, aligning content, and setting line and paragraph spacing values. In short, Duda offers an extensive set of content editing tools.
When it comes to site templates, the builder features about 100 of them. Duda’s template library is home to responsive and modern template designs. With all the templates available, users easily get stuck when trying to determine which of them they should use. Luckily, there’s an abundance of Duda website examples that can serve as inspiration.
However, Duda does its best to help you with template selection. In addition to grouping templates into different categories, the builder offers suggestions on what type of websites work best with a particular template. For instance, the Online Store category displays templates suited for toy, eyewear, and online fashion stores.
Duda divides its template library into three different categories. The first category allows users to filter templates to show blank templates only. Duda’s blank template selection is one of the most versatile we’ve seen compared to competitors’ blank template offering.
Advanced users can choose between 10 different blank templates such as Blank Store, Blank Parallax, and a blank template for sites in right-to-left languages.
Apart from blank templates, the Duda website builder groups its template offering based on the type of websites. There are 10 types of sites that range from business, event, and lifestyle websites to single page and community websites.
Lastly, the platform features templates with a fixed content width (up to 960px). The other type of templates can span the entire width of a screen via the Full Bleed Row option. To help users differentiate these two types of website templates, Duda compiled a list of templates that don’t have the Full Bleed Row option.
Duda Mobile Responsive Designs
All Duda themes are compatible with different devices, including desktop, tablet, and mobile devices. Building excellent mobile experience is a concept that Duda team is quite familiar with. The company’s roots lie in turning cluttered desktop site designs into fast-loading mobile websites.
The DudaMobile product was available until March this year when it was discontinued. The company then decided to switch focus from building mobile-only websites to building responsive sites that work flawlessly on desktop, tablet, and mobile devices.
Duda framework is fully responsive thanks to the React framework it was built on. With this in mind, using the new and improved Duda tool, users can adjust their site content to fit different screen sizes. Additionally, they can choose what content will show on each device.
Duda allows its users to add a blog to their site with a single click, and it automatically creates a new page for a website blog. Once the blog is all set up, users can change its layout. Each change they make applies to all blog posts.
The default blog layout consists of a large heading and paragraph. The paragraph area displays a post author, title, etc.
The website builder allows users to manage blog settings with the option of adding a blog title, description, and a thumbnail image. Based on this data, Duda generates an RSS feed URL.
When it comes to individual post settings, users can add meta tags, a post author, publish date, and description. Plus, users can set a custom URL for each blog post. Additionally, there are three blog elements: the search bar, Related Posts, and All Posts elements.
While Duda has a lot to offer when it comes to blogs, WordPress is undoubtedly the most popular CMS system. For this reason, WordPress is often compared to every website builder with blogging functionality, including Duda.
Before you start comparing blogging options and google for a Duda vs WordPress review, make sure you know your priorities. Are you starting a blogging site? How much do you know about blogging? We recommend beginner users to start with WordPress, while advanced users can opt for either of the two platforms.
Since Duda doesn’t offer a free plan, we looked into SSL encryption options available with the builder’s paid plans. The good news is that all paid plans have SSL encryption protection.
Duda generates SSL certificates via Let’s Encrypt project, and these are valid for three months. The builder is in charge of renewing SSL certificates, so users don’t have to worry about the security of their website.
Duda doesn’t offer email services at this moment. The lack of email plans is one of the most common user complaints in Duda reviews. With that in mind, users should select a host for their email. An alternative is to use the Click to Email widget or a Form Builder and add a personal email to it.
Creating forms with Duda is incredibly simple. The Form Builder is nested under the Widgets tab. The widget is called Contact Form, but users can name it however they like. The default Contact Form includes Name, Email, and Message fields.
However, there’s a wealth of additional form fields that users can add to the form. File attachments, radio buttons, opt-in, long text, and phone are some of the many field types Duda supports.
On top of it, the option of adding Captcha validation to forms is available too.
Another thing we wanted to emphasise in this Duda review when it comes to form-building options is that you can send submission data to third-party services. Your choices include MailChimp, Webhooks, Google Docs, and Constant Contact. Apart from integrating a form with any of these third-party services, you can manage form submissions through your Duda dashboard.
Duda has gone one step further to provide all of its sites with intuitive navigation. Users can select a different menu for different devices.
Top bar header menu, sidebar, and expendable menu are the menu types you can set to show on desktop. Plus, each of these menus comes with several menu layouts, while available desktop widths are 960px and 1200px.
Next, the menus for tablet devices include the top bar and sidebar menus. The top bar menu can be horizontal, vertical, or horizontal with a logo, while the sidebar menu supports eight different layouts.
Lastly, menus on smartphones can be placed at the bottom or top of the page. Moreover, the list-type and off-screen menus are also supported on mobile devices.
Whichever menu type you choose, your website will have good navigation and help your visitors find their way around your site easily.
At this time, Duda doesn’t have an integrated membership system. However, the builder recommends integrating GoPaywall into Duda websites. Using this membership tool, Duda users can add “members only” areas to their sites by installing an embed code in the Duda editor.
Moreover, the builder also supports POWr.io plugins. Using POWr, users can create a membership form and add it to their Duda-powered website.
Unlike most website builders, Duda doesn’t have an App Store. The builder supports 26 integrations that can add to your site’s functionality.
These integrations are divided into four groups: Business & Commerce (PayPal, Google Sheets), Marketing (Constant Contact, MailChimp), Social (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.), and Videos (YouTube, Vimeo).
Duda has an excellent e-commerce solution. Users can add an online store to their website with a single click. Apart from the Main Store widget, Duda offers three other online store widgets — Store Search, Categories, and Shopping Cart widgets.
Moreover, the builder has the App Market that features e-commerce plugins only. By adding these apps to your store, you can increase your Duda sales, add different payment gateways, and manage shipping for your online shop.
The store setup is an intuitive process, thanks to the setup wizard that guides users every step of the way. Each of the setup steps has a time estimate, which is a nice touch.
Some of the many options available with Duda online stores include managing orders, adding product categories and subcategories, discount coupons, etc. Adding new products to your store is quite simple.
Additionally, you can add the Duda login feature to your store. As Duda doesn’t have a signup/login widget, to enable the login feature, add a button widget, and link it to the Store Login section.
Keep in mind that different online store features are available with Duda’s e-commerce add-ons. The 2,500 product plan lets you add 2,500 products to your store, as well as edit customers’ orders and recover abandoned carts.
The 100 product plan allows you to sell digital goods and manage your store on-the-go by using Android and iOS apps. To see a full breakdown of all features with different e-commerce plans, visit the Duda E-commerce Master List page.
One of the unique Duda features we wanted to highlight in this review is the option of creating personalisation rules. Website personalisation is about triggers and actions. Users set conditions that trigger specific actions on a website. For example, you can set a coupon to show to visitors that come to your site on a particular day.
Duda users can apply these rules to new and returning visitors. Website personalisation also allows users to display notifications, special promotions, and pop-up messages to their target audience. They can edit or deactivate these rules at any time.
Team Collaboration Tools
Duda’s team collaboration tools are quite extensive. Site owners can create teams with up to 10 members and work together on website creation projects.
Additionally, the option of adding individual permissions and roles is available too. Site owners can add bloggers, store managers, and sales teams, among other roles, to help them build websites swiftly.
Duda’s team collaboration tools allow users to use the Duda’s Section builder, save designs, and build custom widgets. Now, even though Duda is not a PHP website builder, creating a custom widget does require coding skills.
Client Management Tools
When it comes to Duda’s client management tools, the platform’s offering is quite broad. When building a website for your client, you can get instant feedback from them on different site areas via Site comments.
You can also give them access to the website and assign different permissions. For example, your client can have content editing or developer permission. Apart from these tools, you can use Duda’s white label solution.
In other words, you can integrate the Duda platform under your brand. Lastly, users can get white label marketing material from the Duda download section.
One of the areas where Duda websites stand out is loading speed. The platform boasts of following Google’s best practices for getting an excellent PageSpeed score. Duda also claims to be the only website builder that Google prefers.
However, our review is not based on words, so we couldn’t just take the builder’s word for it. We tested Duda’s homepage to find out the actual page loading speed.
The results we got were terrific. Duda is one of the few website builders that got a high desktop PageSpeed score – 90 out of 100! When it comes to mobile loading speed, Google’s PageSpeed report showed that Duda should further optimise its mobile site for ensuring better performance.
Additionally, we tested Duda’s homepage using GTmetrix. The builder got a B (83%), which is above the average.
Desktop Loading Speed (90/100)
Mobile Loading Speed (39/100)
This website builder lets its users optimise their websites using various SEO techniques. In the SEO settings tab, it’s possible to add site title, description, and keywords. The same options are available for individual pages on your site. Plus, Duda gives users the option to enable lazy loading for images and widgets, which increases page speed.
Apart from these options, you can customise your 404 pages and manage URL redirects. The option to change default URLs for your website and pages is available too.
Users don’t have to worry about sitemaps either. The builder automatically generates, updates, and auto-submits sitemaps for all of its websites.
When it comes to traffic evaluation tools, Duda allows its users to track visitors by connecting their Google Analytics account with Duda. The builder also has an in-house traffic evaluation tool. It shows which device your visitors used for accessing your site, the number of page visits, views, and much more.
There are three Duda plans: Basic, Team, and Agency. As there is no free plan available, users can sign up for a 30-day free trial. The free trial is available only with the Team plan.
Once the trial is over, you can either downgrade your plan to the Basic plan, stay on the Team plan, or get even more features with the Agency plan.
The basic plan includes one website, email support, AWS website hosting, and the option to add 10 products to your online store. Website personalisation is available with this plan, as well as the option of creating a multilingual website.
When it comes to importing content from other websites and adding it to the platform’s Connected Content Library, this feature has some limitations with the Basic plan. While it is possible to manage images, files, and business information, the option of adding clients’ data to widgets and design elements is not available.
The difference between the Basic and Team plans is that the latter has full access to Duda’s Connected Content Library and the support options are more versatile. The Team plan users can reach out to the support team via live chat, email, and phone.
Unlike Basic and Team plans, the Agency plan includes eight websites. Users on this plan receive priority support, and they can also use Duda’s Widget Builder to create custom widgets.
One of the things we have to emphasise in this review is that the builder categorises e-commerce features as add-ons. With that in mind, here’s what you should know about additional expenses and limitations for each of the plans.
The Basic plan allows you to add up to 10 products to your online store without any additional charges. You can, however, add only two product categories. With the Team and Agency plans, there are no limitations to how many categories you can add. However, both plans have additional costs.
The Team plan allows adding 100 products to online stores, and with the Agency plan, that number increases to 2,500 products. These two plans also support a wealth of features that are not available with the Basic plan.
Some of these features include the option of managing your online store via Duda’s mobile app, creating discount coupons, and enabling inventory tracking.
The cost of the e-commerce add-on features for the Team plan is $7.25/month with a yearly subscription and $19.25/month for the Agency plan.
Price per Additional Website
As we previously mentioned in the Pricing section, the Basic and Team plans include one website, while the Agency plan includes eight sites. The option to purchase an additional website is on the table too.
With the Basic plan, each additional website is $19/month or $171/year. With the Team plan, the price is slightly lower at $13/month or $117/year. Lastly, the Agency plan offers the best deal on additional websites at $11/month or $99/year.
Unlike most of its competitors, Duda doesn’t sell domain names. Instead, the builder works with domain name sellers. So if you want to purchase a domain through Duda, you can do so via Google Domains or Hover.
Duda offers two types of subscriptions: monthly and yearly. The monthly subscription for the Basic plan is $19/month. If you opt for a yearly subscription, you’ll save $60 ($168/year).
The Team plan costs $29 with a monthly subscription and $264 with a yearly subscription. As far as the pricing for the Agency plan goes, the plan is available at $99/month or $888/year.
If you decide Duda is the best fit for creating websites, you can purchase any of the builder’s plans via credit cards.
Customer support might be Duda’s weakest spot. The platform offers customer support via email, live chat, and phone available during the work week from 12 am to 6 pm (Pacific Time).
The problem worth mentioning in this review is that, in most cases, you can only rely on the builder’s Help Centre.
The customer support team average response times are way below the standard. For instance, the live chat team typically replies in a few hours. When writing this review, we wanted to get some answers from the support team. Both an email and a message to the live chat team were answered after five hours of waiting.
We did manage to get to live chat agents once and exchanged a few lines with a live chat operator. The operator answered our questions swiftly. We noticed that the option to download Duda chat transcripts is available, which could often come in handy.
Still, locating the live chat icon could be quite a challenge. We spotted it on the pricing page, but not inside the website editor or any other page of the website. This is another think Duda team should fix.
We have come to the part where we get to share our final verdict on Duda site builder. Overall, Duda is a powerful website builder with a wealth of features. The builder has mastered building fully responsive websites, and its template library features some truly fascinating designs.
The builder has also defined its target audience, i.e., hosting companies, agencies, and digital publishers, and apart from a website building tool, it offers a plethora of collaboration and client management tools.
On the other hand, this Duda review focuses on the downsides of the builder too. Taking this into account, Duda is not suitable for beginners, as well as for anyone who wants to create a simple site.
The lengthy responses from the customer support team are another minus. Its collection of integrations is quite limited in number too. Email hosting and the option of purchasing a domain directly from Duda are not available either.
So if any of the builder’s downsides are a deal-breaker, you should continue looking for a website builder that will suit you better than Duda.