Background: Background: Duda provides a web design platform to anyone (individuals, freelancers, small companies, and large businesses) who wish to offer web design services. The company started in 2009 and is in Palo Alto, California, the US. To date, Duda has garnered over 450,000 clients.
Starting Price: $14/mo
Visit Online: https://www.duda.co/
Review Summary & Ratings
Duda comes across as a capable design-focused website builder, perfect for those looking to design more polished websites while relying heavily on their templates. Duda targets service providers who build websites for others. Their feature-rich editor and structured-design templates help get a mobile-friendly website up fast.
Pros: What I Liked About Duda
1. Simple Onboarding
Duda offers a 14-day free trial with the features available in the Team plan ($22/month). Although you are only allowed to create one site with AWS hosting included and up to four team members allowed, the plan is sufficient for you to test Duda well enough to help you make a well-informed decision.
Signing up is easy. You can create your account via Google or input your first and last name, email, and password. You'll then answer a few questions by selecting from the drop-down list. And you are good to go.
2. Easy to Build Websites
Before I start on the building website process, I'd like to highlight that Duda goes the extra mile to inform you of the latest updates and additions via a pop-up when you sign in to the dashboard. Nice touch, as this is a seamless way to get you up to speed on Duda's latest happenings.
How Do You Use Duda?
To start building your website, click “Create a Site.” You'll specify the type of website you want to create. Then, you choose from tons of top-notch modern templates. Maneuver through the sidebar for the template categories.
I liked that Duda displayed the templates at a glance without making you go through another list of questions to narrow down the suitable template, as some others do. You can preview the template before selection. Once you have made your selection, start customizing it.
The whole creating website process was easy to grasp and execute. Of course, the bulk of time would be spent mainly on the customization part. But Duda gets you to the customization part speedily. Once done, you can publish your website. To add, Duda comes with a decent blogging tool. You can edit, save and preview posts to your taste.
3. Powerful Website Editor
The website builder editor is user-friendly and powerful. You can edit the global styles across the template for almost anything (text, buttons, images, background, layout, and more). There are widgets you can add to your website. They are well-categorized into Business, Social, Media, Blog, and others.
Duda Website Editor Features
Just find the widget you want and drag and drop it anywhere on the page in a customizable grid-based layout. Although you don't get total drag-and-drop freedom on everything, sensible and well-balanced options are available that are sufficient. Edit any pre-filled dummy content, add new sections, replace images, and more.
You can import content into your Duda website; this is especially helpful if you wish to move site(s). Perhaps the part where Duda excels the most is the editor's capability to preview your template's changes on three devices (desktop, tablet, and smartphone). Just click through the thumbnails at the top, and you can easily switch between these device editors.
What is DudaFlex?
DudaFlex is a powerful, next-generation editing capability that helps you speedily build responsive, pixel-perfect websites. Also, you can add Flex Sections to the traditional templates to exercise greater freedom in arranging the necessary elements.
4. Quality Pre-built Templates
Duda's templates are beautiful and visually appealing. Duda has over 100 templates, which include what they call starter templates. The sidebar allows you to browse the templates by categories (Business, Lifestyle and Health, Professional Services, Restaurant and Food, and more).
Blank and semi-blank templates cater to those who wish to be adventurous and have more control, especially those wanting to build original websites for their customers. Also, Duda's templates are mobile-responsive, which is essential for SEO.
Duda's Flex templates include advanced editing options, allowing you to create fully responsive websites. Unfortunately, they only have several Flex templates to choose from (Creative Agency, Photographer, and Empty).
5. eCommerce Features
Duda website builder has a built-in eCommerce solution that is mobile responsive. You build your online store under your brand via Duda's offered white-label features. All products from across the web are auto-synced with your store catalog. You can experience an omnichannel eCommerce function all from one platform.
With over 40 payment gateways (PayPal, Square, Stripe, and others) and no transaction fee imposed, Duda makes converting your website into an online store easy. Unlike others who throw in eCommerce features only in their high-tiered plans, Duda offers three types of eCommerce add-on plans.
So, you can be on their cheapest plan but still enjoy eCommerce features by adding to the related eCommerce plan. Pretty nifty! Also, Duda comes with the whole sales system package, including the basics, shopping carts, checkout, shipping, social media selling, subscription selling, selling on marketplaces like eBay and Amazon, and more.
6. Comprehensive Knowledge Base and Support
Duda's support is noteworthy and exemplary. They have a lot of educational material about how to get started on their editor, build a website, and others. You can browse through the categories for what you need. There's a dedicated section on troubleshooting in case you run into any hiccups.
An active forum is available where you may chat with other like-minded community users. Duda University is for those who are serious about attending any relevant courses. And if your developers are keen to learn Duda's APIs to integrate Duda into your website, you'd be glad to know they have comprehensive documentation on this.
7. Great Uptime
I like that Duda published their incidents online by the month. Not only do they describe what happened, but they update on the action as well. Kudos to them. Also, you can check Duda's uptime by day, and you can see each month has been displaying a healthy green status. Transparency is praiseworthy.
Duda is confident of its 99.99% uptime SLA because its platform is hosted on Amazon Web Service (AWS), using the CloudFront CDN. Hence, each Duda user can rest easy that their websites are in industry-leading hosting good hands.
Duda Drawbacks and Cons
1. Editor Can Be Restrictive and a Tad Slow
While the website editor is powerful and responsive, it does restrict you with its well-structured templates. Don't get me wrong, you can still customize and edit the templates, but you have less creative freedom because you need to edit within the template's guidelines.
Editor Can Be Sluggish
Hence, if you're the unhinged type who does not like being controlled, you may find it unwise to test and push the limits of the template, as this will only make using Duda difficult and frustrating. Also, sometimes, I find using the editor a little sluggish when loading. I had to wait several seconds before the changes loaded.
2. Limited Fonts
Fonts are very subjective and highly dependent on the individual. While some may find the available fonts sufficient, some will beg to differ. Of course, the basic fonts such as Arial, Verdana, and Tahoma are there, but the more creative fonts seem to be missing.
The available fonts may suffice for the usual business website. However, they may seem lackluster for the more grandeur and artistic websites.
3. Pricey Plans
Duda's pricing is high compared to other popular website builders. Although the Basic plan at $14/month (billed annually) includes quite a good number of features with AWS hosting, this figure can be rather steep for the starters.
If you need to build online stores as well, there is an additional $7.25/month if you opt for the Standard eCommerce add-on package. So, if you don't have the volume, especially at the beginning, $21.25/month can be burdening.
Duda Pricing and Plans Review
Duda's plans are widespread, from $14/month to $74/month (billed annually). The Basic plan is the cheapest and has a good offering (a site with AWS hosting). You have the choice to add more websites at an additional fee. I find the plans overall quite pricey for individuals or smaller businesses. Perhaps this could be due to the more pricey AWS hosting included.
Duda Website Builder Plans and Pricing
Take note that there is a Custom plan I did not include in the table below; this is the highest-tiered plan you consider if you build and manage many websites. You get the cream of the crop with this plan.
|Number of Websites||1||1||4||4|
|Price per Additional Website||$171/year||$144/year||$119/year||$119/year|
|Number of Team Members||No||Up to 4||Up to 10||Up to 10|
Duda eCommerce Plans and Pricing
There is no free option which is a bummer, but there is a 14-day free trial with no credit card required. However, many would opine that 14 days is too short to try out everything about the platform to make a solid decision. That said, I love that Duda separated the eCommerce plans into add-ons giving you the flexibility to convert your simplest plan option into online stores.
|eGoods||Up to 100 MB||Up to 1 GB||Up to 10 GB|
|40+ Payment Methods||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Integration with local Payment Gateways||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Sell on Social Channels||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Sell on Marketplaces (Amazon, eBay)||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Alternatives to Duda
Comparing Duda to Wix
Unlike Duda, Wix is available for free, although limited (your website has some Wix advertising and others). Although Wix's pricing is overall cheaper, you don't get any eCommerce features unless you opt for the pricier Business plans – Business Basic, Business Unlimited, or Business VIP.
Comparing Duda to Weebly
Overall, Weebly works well for almost anyone and is a powerful tool for building online stores. Newbies may need some time to familiarize themselves with Weebly, but the learning curve is minimal. Unlike Duda, Weebly also has a free option to get things started for you.
Final Thoughts: Is Duda Worth a Try?
Duda is indeed a worthy contender as a website builder with hosting. The editor is feature-rich with lots of deliciously appealing and top-notch quality templates. Also, you won't have to worry about how your websites will look on mobile devices as the editor allows you to verify the views before publishing.
The inclusion of DudaFlex, a powerful, next-generation editing capability to build fully responsive, pixel-perfect websites, is hard to ignore. Hence, despite the pricey tag on Duda and lack of flexibility in the structured templates, I would say that Duda is still a wholesome website builder suited for those of you who have a lot of websites to build for your customers.
FAQs on Duda
Yes. Duda's templates are responsive. The editor allows you to “proof-view” your website on desktops, tablets, and mobile phones.
Unfortunately, no. However, you can sign up for the 14-day free trial with no credit card required.
Although Duda has a decent set of blogging features and tools, which are sufficient for starting a blog, others excel with blogging. Hence, if you need a blog with extensive features that you may want to expand in the future, you may want to consider others like WordPress.
Duda's Custom plan is the highest-tiered plan. A step up from the Agency plan, the Custom plan caters to those who have large-scale businesses and manage massive numbers of websites. The Custom plan certainly comes with advanced features. You will need to get in touch with Duda directly to discuss further the pricing and the details.