Duda is a website builder that includes eCommerce functionalities. Its target audience is quite large and varied. It doesn’t matter if you’re an end-user or an agency owner, if you run a SaaS platform or a hosting company, you can use Duda for your business. But Duda is useful in other contexts too. For instance, if you just intend on improving your online presence, you can definitely use Duda to build a portfolio site. The platform offers features, like various image gallery options, that make it a great choice for this type of site.
Duda was founded in 2009. According to a study of 136,947 Duda clients, the platform is mainly used by small businesses in the fields of construction, hospital & healthcare, and automotive. The great majority of the clients are registered in the US. The number of total visits to the Duda website in April 2021 was 701.81K, which makes it a fairly popular platform.
So, is Duda the right choice for you? In this Duda website builder review, we’ll explore this platform together and you’ll be able to make an informed decision yourself. Let’s get started.
Ease of Use and Control
When it comes to ease of use, Duda is really crushing it. According to this Duda video and this article, based on customer reports on the review-specialized G2 site, in the “ease of doing business” department, Duda ranks higher than some extremely popular platforms like WordPress and Wix.
Frankly, regarding WordPress, the results are not surprising. However, Wix is generally considered to be one of the easiest-to-use site builders ever, so Duda having the upper hand over Wix in this category is not a negligible success.
Most users agree: with Duda, the setup and onboarding processes, along with building and running a website are straightforward, effortless, and simple. As one reviewer remarks, Duda is as close to a turnkey website building system as you can get.
But, even more importantly, the platform is not one-dimensional. Regardless of how simple it is to use, Duda doesn’t over-emphasize ease of use at the expense of control. As you’ll see shortly, there’s a very good balance between these two dimensions; neither comes at the expense of the other.
In that sense, Duda works well for anyone: the rookie, the businessperson, the designer, and the developer. If you don’t want to spend a lot of time doing technical things, Duda is your friend. But if you want to roll up your sleeves and get busy, you’re as free as a bird to throw yourself into some heavy coding too.
Duda offers 4 pricing plans:
If paid annually, there's a 25% discount on the first three plans. Duda doesn’t offer a free plan, but there’s a 14-day free trial, with no credit card required, which is pretty cool. The free trial only applies to one of the plans though - the Team plan.
In addition to this, there are so-called eCommerce add-ons that give your site the ability to run an eCommerce business:
Generally speaking, Duda is considered to be pricey. At first glance, this comes as a surprise. But looking at the pricing plans more closely may reveal the reasons why users believe Duda to be costly. It’s due to the fact that, compared to other platforms, there aren’t that many features in Duda’s repertoire, and those that are there, don’t come in big numbers. For instance, with the first two plans, you can build only 1 site, while the Agency plan includes a maximum of 4 websites. So, this may not be the most cost-effective option.
We’ll start with the most important feature for a site builder: the editor.
Duda Site Editor
Just like countless other platforms, Duda also features a drag-and-drop visual editor. It loads fast and it has an intuitive interface.
An important aspect of the editor is that it includes global design options. It allows you to set up global values for elements of your site such as text, buttons, images, rows, background, and layout. You can make changes across your entire site by defining a value in just one place. On top of this, there’s a guide that helps users understand different design concepts and the options the editor includes.
When you want to change your site styles or add a new element, you just click a certain spot on the page and the editor gives you all of the available options. Apart from the visual editor being super-easy to use, if you can code, or in case you want to hire a professional developer for some advanced customization, Duda allows you to do that too.
One thing that might be confusing is that Duda refers to its basic functionalities as "widgets", whereas most of us think of widgets as some small extra tools, on top of the basic ones.
Sometimes, the editor feels a bit clunky. It takes time to put a new element onto a certain place on the page and you can’t place it exactly where you want it to be. However, this is not a drawback specific to Duda. Rather, it’s typical for—more or less—all of the drag-and-drop editors, unless they’re gridless.
In addition to all of this, you can rearrange, rename, or add new pages, add different types of content (for instance, images and business info), add various customizable rules, and create features like popups, promotions, notifications bars, etc. You can also upgrade your site to an eCommerce storefront by choosing one of the three eCommerce add-ons mentioned earlier.
One interesting thing about Duda is that you can build or edit a site on an iPad too. Clients’ experience with this aspect of Duda has been pretty positive, so you can try it too.
Duda has a great template store full of elegant and modern designs.
The themes are grouped into 10 categories, some of them being one-page templates, others suitable for portfolio sites, then there are those built for online stores, restaurants, travel, and so on. If you prefer to build your site yourself, you can start with a blank template.
One downside to the Duda templates is that you can’t switch them. You have to stick with the one you choose first, or you’re stuck.
Besides website templates, there are pre-designed customizable sections that you can add to your site, which can be very convenient and useful.
All in all, when it comes to themes, Duda offers a first-rate aesthetic experience to its clients and their customers.
Duda offers great SEO features:
- Google PageSpeed optimization;
- Automatically included robots.txt - a text document that tells search engines the pages that should be indexed;
- An automatically generated sitemap - whose purpose is to communicate to search engines which website pages should be crawled, which means that they should be recognized as potential candidates for indexing and ranking;
- Vary: user-agent - an HTTP header that tells search engines that users with different device types will receive different content;
- Page titles;
- Meta keywords and descriptions;
- Customizable URLs;
- Alt and description tags featured on images;
- 301 redirects - which means that if you had an old website and then you moved to a new one, a 301 redirect will send traffic to the new URL, and more.
Duda also provides a responsive blog, which can be customized according to clients’ needs and tastes.
The platform allows you to change the layout, schedule posts for future publishing, include multiple authors, place your blog wherever you want on your website, and even import up to 300 posts from external resources.
For a built-in blog, the Duda blog is pretty good compared to the native, built-in blogging solutions on the majority of other site builders and eCommerce platforms. However, for serious blogging, nothing compares to specialized blogging software like DropInBlog. It’s a top-shelf fully-equipped blog that you can add to Duda in a hassle-free and quick way. So, be sure to check it out.
Hosting and Security
Duda offers a free SSL certificate for each website, which is in essence, a widespread practice among the site builders and eCommerce platforms. On top of this, it provides its users with the possibility to do site backups, so if something goes south, they can retrieve an earlier version or state of their site.
One important security feature is that Duda is GDPR compliant (GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation). This means that the platform guarantees that Duda clients protect their customers’ personal data gathered on the Duda websites they visit and interact with.
Duda also offers reliable hosting on Amazon Web Services, one of the most respected cloud infrastructures. Unlimited bandwidth and storage are included as well as a global CDN (Content Delivery Network) for faster page loading.
One downside to the platform is that a Duda website has to be hosted on the Duda hosting platform. There’s not an option to run a Duda website anywhere else. For some users, this may be a limiting factor.
Stats and Analytics
Through your dashboard, you have access to various types of website stats and tools: general number of visitors, number of visitors per page, visitors’ geolocation, their engagement with the site, what kind of device (desktop, tablet, or mobile), browser, and operating system they use, event tracking (click-to-call, coupon clicks, click-to-SMS, click-to-email, etc.), Google Analytics, and more.
These are some of the eCommerce features that Duda includes: email marketing functionality that allows you to send emails customized in line with your brand, product pages, abandoned cart recovery, multichannel sales (Facebook and Instagram), scheduled in-store pickup, gift cards, coupons, different shipping options, ability to integrate over 30 payment gateways, etc.
There are only 39 integrations on the Duda official website, but since Duda also integrates with Zapier, the total number of available third-party apps is bigger.
Some of the most widely known apps from their collection are: PayPal, Google Calendar, MailChimp, Yelp, Facebook, Foursquare, and Vimeo.
In addition to this, you can add third-party software to your Duda store through embed codes. One example of this type of integration is DropInBlog.
Other Notable Features
Some other noteworthy Duda features are:
- Team collaboration: team member feedback, templates, sections & widget sharing, different permission levels, and more;
- Client management: white label (the possibility to use a custom domain and have your own branded website), client feedback, different level of client permissions, etc;
- Multiple language sites;
- Content library, full of free and premium stock images right off the bat.
The Duda customer service has very high customer ratings, which is good news for anyone interested in the platform. Good customer service is one of the contributing factors to companies’ success nowadays, and it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that a company stands or falls by the quality of its customer service.
Duda provides support via email, chat, and phone. With the Custom plan, clients get around-the-clock dedicated support.
Over and Out
We hope that this Duda website builder review showed you that Duda is a likable and user-friendly web platform created by people with refined aesthetic taste. It may not offer a myriad of features, but what it provides you with is pretty solid. You lose nothing if you take it for a spin. It may tickle your fancy or it may not. But one thing is for sure: it would be time well spent.