It goes without saying that all businesses nowadays need a website. Websites do everything from attracting new leads to creating a marketing platform, boosting brand profile, and more.
But you don’t need to spend thousands of dollars and hire a programmer to build what’s effectively an enhanced business card type of website that many small businesses need.
As long as a site looks professional, navigates well, and has the essentials like an About Us, Homepage, Blog, etc., it should more than have what most SMEs need out of their online platform.
And this is where Duda shines. This easy-to-use and affordable website builder allows basically anybody to create a site using a drag and drop editor and a large collection of gorgeous templates.
While it’s definitely not powerful enough to run an eCommerce empire that rivals Amazon, there’s a lot to love about it, especially if you’re a freelancer or marketers who designs sites on behalf of clients.
In this review, we dive into what you need to know about Duda. We’ll show you how to get started with it, its core features, as well as its pricing and more.
Should you Duda build your next site? Find out in this review.
What Is Duda?
When we think of website builders and content management systems, a few big names come to mind. Of course, WordPress is king and powers about 33% of all sites on the web. Then there are other major players like Wix and Squarespace.
Although you may not have heard of Duda, it’s actually much bigger than you realize. Over 450,000 businesses partner with the company to build for their website needs.
Duda has been around since 2009. The founders of the company realized early how much the iPhone was going to revolutionize the internet experience. They launched to focus particularly on creating websites optimized for mobile platforms—their original name was Duda Mobile, in fact.
A few years back, they switched to just Duda and recalibrated their product to create responsive sites that look great no matter the screen size.
If you’re wondering where the names come from, it’s a reference to the main character of the Big Lebowski, the favorite film of the founding team. Doesn’t it just sound so much cooler to be hanging out with Duda rather than a square in Squarespace?
- Drag and drop editor
- Responsive design
- White label
- Landing pages
- SEO management
- Blog tools
- Form builder
Getting Started With Duda
Duda offers a no-credit card free trial. To get started using it, sign up with your email, phone number, and answer a few questions.
Once you do, you’ll be immediately taken to your dashboard, where you can create a site. It’s all very simple. Duda will walk you through the basics. Then, choose a template or start building your site from scratch.
If you change your mind, you can go back later and switch templates. Duda will keep most of your site data, including uploaded images, products, blogs, and more.
What’s really cool is you see exactly how your site will appear on desktop, tablet, and smartphone so you can design accordingly. Once you’re ready, hit publish, and your website will go live.
Duda has three plans: Basic, Team, and Agency. Here’s what each of them includes:
- Basic: $19/month or $168/annually – 1 website, site hosted on AWS, email support, 1 team member, $19/month for additional sites.
- Team: $29/month or $264/annually – 1 website, site hosted on AWS, email, chat, and phone support, 4 team members, your brand and logo across site, access to team and client management features, $13/month for additional sites.
- Agency: $59/month or $528/annually – 4 websites, priority support via email, phone, or chat, all Team features, plus Widget Builder and API, Up to 10 team members, $11/month per for additional sites.
Duda has promotions running all the time. For example, until the end of this month, they have an extra 50% off for annual plans for Team and Agency. Keep your eyes open, and you’ll be able to score some serious deals.
In terms of pricing, Duda is a little more expensive than other website builders, but you get a great UI and experience with it. And it gets particularly affordable if you’re on the Team or Agency plans and you manage multiple sites.
Duda Main Features
Everything in Duda revolves around design and customization—even from within templates. You have font-styles, a built-in photo editor, and a cool widget tool for you to really create a tailored experience for your users.
If you’ve built a site on Wix or Squarespace before, it will all feel familiar. But you’ll love how quick the site operates and how easy it is to use.
Here’s what else you can do with Duda:
1. Lead Generation
Duda has a wide array of lead generation tools you can add to your site, including pop-up bars, CTA buttons, coupon codes, and more. You can find all of these in the Personalize section of the site.
Then just drag the box where you want it to appear on your site, enter the relevant details, and it’ll be ready to go in minutes.
Adding features onto your site is super easy. In the Widgets section, you can drag and drop elements like contact forms, maps, icons, image galleries, and more. You can tell Duda stays on top of the game because they already have a Zoom Meeting widget you can add to your site.
3. White Label
While anybody can build a site on Duda, their main focus is on marketers and agencies who create websites on behalf of their clients. As such, they have a variety of tools you can use to get a better sense of your clients’ needs and wants.
One of the coolest is the Branded Survey. This form-fill questionnaire includes everything clients need to answer about what they’re looking for. But you can attach your logo and name to it.
In fact, your clients never even have to know that Duda exists since you can manage everything through white label tools if you want to. Other tools include custom client accounts, feedback tools, and other features.
Duda makes blogging a breeze. You can import from existing blogs using the RSS feed, set up multiple authors, and track basic metrics, including page views.
It’s nice this an integrated feature in the main web dashboard too compared to how clunky and inaccessible it can be on other site builders like Squarespace.
We have mentioned earlier that you wouldn’t want to operate a massive eCommerce platform like Amazon using Duda, but that doesn’t mean it’s not useful for any small to medium-sized online stores.
Setting up eCommerce is very easy, and similar to the Blog includes a built-in feature on the main menu. Duda can create a store, let you manage products, and SKU numbers, and more. And it’s affordable. Adding basic eCommerce starts at just $7.25/month
Who Should Use Duda?
Two types of users will benefit from using Duda. Duda is an excellent fit for agencies and marketers who need to get a professional-looking site up and running for clients in no time flat. It’s so easy to use that as long as you have a solid copywriter and all the important client details, you can get a solid website launched within an afternoon, maybe even sooner.
In this same vein, Duda is also a good fit for most SMEs. Sure, you might be able to save a few bucks a month going with a WordPress site, but you’ll love how easy it is to use.
There’s no sorting through complex menus or figuring out difficulties on the back end; anybody can add elements to the site. And don’t forget that all content is automatically optimized to be responsible on all platforms. So, say goodbye to usability errors that hurt not only the user experience but also your SEO rankings.
The one area where Duda isn’t perfect is that it’s not super customizable. You have to work within the parameters they set for you. Likewise, if you have advanced hosting requirements like needing a dedicated IP address or cloud hosting, you’ll want to look elsewhere. In short, this is not a tool for enterprises, but you’ll likely understand that already.
The one curiously absent thing, however, is email addresses. If you or your clients want an email address with their custom domain, you’ll have to get an email plan from another host. This isn’t a deal-breaker and doesn’t take much time or energy to figure out. But it is something to be aware of.
Is Duda Worth It?
Absolutely. Duda shines in designs. All of its templates look amazing, and you have a ton to choose from.
Duda isn’t the cheapest option out there. If you want rock-bottom pricing, you’ll want to find a cheap host and use WordPress as your CMS. However, it’s still really affordable, and you’re talking about a difference between $19/month and $12/month. But if this price difference is going to make or break your business, then you likely have bigger concerns.
There is one more thing to love about Duda. The developers are constantly improving it and adding new features. They really do listen to their users. Go back and look at criticism from a few years ago. One of the biggest was that Duda had no email newsletter support. Well, now it does. The same goes for other features like porting site data and more. If there is something you think could be better with Duda, it’s only a matter of time before you see it improved.
If you want to save time and, more importantly, a lot of frustration in the website design process, then there are a few options out there that are better than Duda.
- Awesome template library
- Excellent UI
- Very easy to use
- White label tools
- Customizable widgets
- Powerful analytics tools
- Decent eCommerce tools
- Social media integration
- Effect dynamic content features
- Updates and adds new features all the time
- No built-in email addresses
- Not the most customizable
If Duda hasn’t convinced you yet, you have a wide array of alternatives to choose from. With Weebly, you get more affordable start plans. Wix gives you more control over your site. And Squarespace has an equal number of great designs to choose from.
If you’re looking for something a little different while also more focused on lead generation and conversion, than you should check out Leadpages.
What Is Leadpages?
Leadpages is a lead generation platform that focuses on marketers who want to publish web pages, convert more users, and scale their audience. It not only includes great landing page and form tools but also a website builder and lead generation hub.
Leadpages integrates with tons of CRMs, email marketing tools, eCommerce, and other apps. Its plans are a little pricier than Duda, starting at $25/month, but there are so many extra ways you can use it to increase your site’s ROI.
Duda: The Verdict
Duda makes site creation a breeze for SMEs, agencies, and freelancer marketers. With their responsive website builder, you can quickly and easily make sites that look great everywhere. Take advantage of the 14-day free trial and see what Duda can do for you.
Ease of Use
Duda is a web design platform loaded with powerful team collaboration and client management tools. The Duda platform enables users to build feature-rich, responsive websites at scale. Additionally, every Duda website is automatically optimized for lightning-fast loading and great out-of-the-box SEO. So, is this the website builder you’ve been searching for? Find out in our thorough review of Duda.