Webnode Review – Start Free With This Website Builder

Updated: 2022-07-29 / Article by: Timothy Shim
webnode-hero

Company: Webnode AG

Background: Webnode AG is a Swiss-headquartered company with an additional ground presence in the Czech Republic. It launched in 2008 and is headed by CEO Josef Hos. The business revolves around Webnode, a website builder aiming to provide agility, speed, and convenience.

Starting Price: Free

Currency: USD

Visit Online: https://us.webnode.com/

Review Summary & Ratings

4

Webnode is one of the many website-building tools launched around the same timeline. Yet despite long experience with prominent names like Wix and Squarespace, this brand somehow fell under my radar. Nevertheless, it aims to achieve the same as its competitors – act as a conduit for individuals or companies can quickly build and launch websites or online stores. Today, over 40 million users build with Webnode.

The Pros: What I Like About Webnode

1. Webnode is Beginner-friendly

Webnode adeptly guides new users from the beginning.
Webnode adeptly guides new users from the beginning.

Getting started with Webnode is as effortless as many other modern Cloud-based services. All you need to sign up is to use your email address, Google account, or Facebook account. Once you’ve signed up and logged in, the system will start a guided walkthrough.

I highly suggest you take the time to glance through the various walkthrough pages since they contain lots of helpful information. If not, jump right into the web editor as I did and start experimenting.

Unlike many contemporaries, Webnode doesn’t exactly use a drag-and-drop system. It’s more of a grid system with pre-built modules for you to insert or remove. If you use it for the first time, playing with one of their templates will quickly give you an idea of how it works.

2. 100+ Templates With Easy Customization

Webnode has templates covering many sectors, including food and beverage, professional services, and more.
Webnode has templates covering many sectors, including food and beverage, professional services, and more.

The templates are one of my favorite parts of Webnode. It offers a choice of over 100 templates. These are carefully thought out and suit various needs, from personal websites to niche categories like restaurants or online stores.

The available templates are also quite beautiful and look professionally designed. You can tell the thought that has gone into them. Compared to some systems that offer thousands of tacky templates, Webnode opts for quality.

3. Excellent Server Performance

Webnode servers are fast and clock impressively low first-byte times.
Webnode servers are fast and clock impressively low first-byte times.

Normally, website builders tend to block some external services like performance monitors. Because of this, I was surprised that Webnode works with WebPageTest. I guess the impressive Time to First Byte of 215ms I got is why they allow these tests – they’re rightly proud of their performance.

While I did this test using a nearby server, you can work around the distance challenge by using a Content Delivery Network (CDN). Incidentally, Webnode’s data center seems to be located in the Czech Republic (or somewhere nearby).

4. Webnode Supports a Decent Reporting System

Without any effort on your part, Webnode will provide a statistics reporting system. The system is rudimentary but helps you track two essentials; visitor and page view counts. If that isn’t enough, you can integrate Google Analytics or perhaps a stats tracker of your choice.

For example, Statcounter works by adding simple HTML code to your web pages. You can easily add that code snippet using the Webnode site builder tools. Either way, you aren’t mistreated here.

Webnode also supports forms and provides a single point of reference for all the data it collects from them. For example, you could set up a subscription or contact form and have everything gathered in a single location. That can be pretty handy for businesses that need to stay organized.

5. Multilingual

Webnode automatically allows customers to translate their website content into multiple languages. This feature offers excellent potential but is also potentially a point of contention depending on the type of website you create.

For example, generic websites may end up fine but trying to translate a website covering technical topics might be iffy. It’s simply the nature of auto translators. Note that the number of languages you can support will depend on your Webnode plan. 

The Standard plan supports two languages.

6. Supports Membership Subscriptions

The ability for customers of Webnode Standard and Profi users to set up subscription sites for members is intriguing. This feature is one that many competitors have tried, but it always ends up being expensive. 

At Webnode, even Standard plan customers can host up to 100 members. Of course, that number increases as your plan tier goes up. 

It’s important to note that Webnote separates online stores and eCommerce platforms. If you plan to have a small store with a few products and buttons, you can use one of their better standard plans instead of signing up for an eCommerce plan.

7. Easy Backup and Restore

The ease of use Webnode provides with its building features extends to website resilience. Customers on their Standard and Profi plans can access an excellent backup and recovery tool. Many services provide backup capabilities, but restoring services from those backups isn't easy.

At Webnode, you just have to head to Backup Management, and you can choose the exact image to restore. It’s simple, fast, and effective.

Cons: What I liked Less About Webnode

1. The Free (and cheaper) Plans Are Frustrating

Using the free plan, you will come across paywalls at almost all turns.
Using the free plan, you will come across paywalls at almost all turns.

I ran on the free version of Webnode to see just how far you could go without paying a cent. The good news is that it is effortless to build and deploy a website here at zero cost. The bad news is that things quickly get frustrating once you try to go beyond anything fundamental.

Naturally, providing paying customers with a free domain name makes sense. However, Webnode won’t let anyone on the free plan use a custom domain. You’re also highly restricted in terms of storage space and bandwidth.

Yet free plan users aren’t the only ones facing this issue. Webnode offers a Mini plan that still forces customers to display Webnode ads – despite paying $7.50/mo. That, to me, goes slightly beyond acceptable.

2. Some Design Options Are Buried Deep

While Webnode’s editing platform is robust and easy to use, some basic options are buried deep within the interface. For example, it took me a few navigation clicks to get to where I could upload my images or manage them.

This issue feels like a design flaw that stems from over-optimizing the interface to make it more streamlined and user-friendly.

3. Weak Knowledgebase

There's a lot of mediocre assistance in Webnode's help documents.
There's a lot of mediocre assistance in Webnode's help documents.

Webnode covers many topics in their knowledgebase, which is excellent. There are even low-level issues covered, such as ”What is a domain” that fits the needs of beginners. Yet I feel that problems may arise when looking more towards the technical side, where many answers to the topics seem inappropriately terse. 

Their tutorial section is slightly better, though. While content remains sparse, it’s extremely image-driven and more likely to help newbies.

Webnode Plans and Pricing

Website offers plans in two separate categories. One is for standard websites (although it calls this category “Premium”), including those that want to handle subscribers. The other is specifically for eCommerce websites.

Webnode Premium Plans

The Limited and MINI plans on Webnode are pretty sub-standard.
The Limited and MINI plans on Webnode are pretty sub-standard.

Webnode Premium plans start at $3.90/mo and run up to $22.90 at the higher end of the scale. However, the cheapest plan is not much better than the free plan. As your plan tier increases, you get more resources and features. 

For example, only users on the Standard plan and above can remove Webnode branding from their websites. Those on the Limited or MINI plans don’t even get access to site backups. Even something as basic as Google Analytics integration is not available on these plans.

Webnode eCommerce Plans

Webnode distinguishes online stores and eCommerce platforms clearly.
Webnode distinguishes online stores and eCommerce platforms clearly.

eCommerce plans at Webnode start at a low of $12.90/mo. In line with its restrictive attitude, users on the cheapest plan here don’t get some features. That includes product feeds, conversion tracking, or various SKUs.

Of course, you won’t find many affordable eCommerce plans anywhere for those who want all the features. The surprising thing is that Webnode eCommerce plans seem equally stingy about the storage space they provide to customers.

Conclusion: Is Webnode Right for Me?

Webnode offers advantages and disadvantages compared to other website builders. The base web editor does an admirable job but feels less agile than the drag-and-drop system implemented widely elsewhere.

Yet the stable performance of the editor makes it feel more worthwhile. It’s especially likely to prove a positive experience for those who have not previously tried a website builder. With blinders on, I would say it’s worth trying, but a paid plan will depend on how you feel about the system.

Click here to visit Webnode online.

About Timothy Shim

Timothy Shim is a writer, editor, and tech geek. Starting his career in the field of Information Technology, he rapidly found his way into print and has since worked with International, regional and domestic media titles including ComputerWorld, PC.com, Business Today, and The Asian Banker. His expertise lies in the field of technology from both consumer as well as enterprise points of view.