Duda Review: Good for Beginners and Pros?
Wondering if Duda is the right website builder for you? This tell-all Duda review will let you know!
Is Duda a platform for beginners and pros?
In short, yes.
I'm a pro, and Duda is my platform of choice for the majority of projects.
Because it's a solid balance between ease-of-use and capabilities.
Let's dive into this Duda review, where we'll answer most of your burning questions.
- Will Duda set you and your clients up for success?
- Is the learning curve steep?
- How much does it cost?
- Can it do everything I need it to do?
- How is the website builder?
Let's review Duda, so you understand if Duda is the best website builder/platform for you.
If you're familiar with WordPress, that's the opposite of managed. It's self-managed.
On WordPress, you have to choose from the various hosting companies, manage your own server and manually apply plugin and core updates... it's a lot of overhead just to manage a website.
On Duda, all that is taken care of for you.
- Performance improvements
- SSL certs
When managing multiple websites, this really adds up.
The downside of a managed platform is the apps have to come from within (aka approved by Duda), unlike WordPress, where any developer can create a plugin. This is also a positive, though, because Duda maintains the updates and all that good stuff in the app store.
As updates come out, your website and apps are automatically updated most of the time. Sometimes if the update requires a change in the way the builder works, you need to more or less accept the update first.
Duda is pretty much hands-off on maintenance.
My agency saves a bunch of time because of this.
Because there isn't a massive library of apps, you need to verify Duda has the required functionality.
They are adding apps all the time, and they are quite impressive - great functionality and fully integrated with Duda, but its a limited app store.
Here are some of the things Duda has built-in:
- Page builder
- SEO tools
- Site backups
- URL redirects
- Google Analytics
- Site comments
- Client management tools
- Unlimited storage
- Multilingual (multilingual review)
- And more!
Here is some of the functionality you can achieve through apps:
- Powerful and customizable search
- Extendable forms/contact forms
- Appointment setting
- And more!
Design / Website Builder
An important part of this Duda review are the design tools in Duda (which are very powerful). They are a healthy balance between ease-of-use and capabilities.
You can accomplish most designs without writing custom code, but you may need to write CSS for certain things if you want to push the limits.
The website builder is a drag and drop builder which is pretty responsive and intuitive.
Duda gives you most if not all of the tools you need to succeed directly on their platform.
They even have a built in photo editor so you can crop and edit images without leaving the site builder!
I'd say it's better than a lot of the other website builders out there.
For designers who like to access custom code, Duda has an intuitive way of managing CSS by widget and device.
They also make it very easy to edit mobile styles through their UI. This is a huge time saver.
Unfortunately, designing for tablet is difficult because Duda doesn't have a separate breakpoint for tablet styles. I have a separate post going over creating responsive websites in Duda.
Looking for Duda inspiration? Check out the top 60 Duda websites.
Search Engines Reward Duda (SEO)
I see a lot of people getting this one wrong.
If you search for the best platform for SEO, you don't see Duda mentioned much. I think that's because people don't know about it.
Duda is in fact the best platform for search engine optimization.
I cover this topic in depth an another post, but I'll summarize here.
The following are the qualities/features you need from your website platform for SEO:
- A Secure Website
- Website Speed
- User Experience
- Image Optimization
Duda does all five incredibly well.
They have built in SEO tools, insane performance (more on that later), and other SEO tools that work out of the box.
Other website builders don't touch the level of quality in Duda's SEO tools and automation.
Let's talk performance...
This is arguably the most attractive aspect of Duda.
Duda CRUSHES every other CMS/website builder.
The following images show performance data from live websites using every big website platform, and Duda is consistently on top.
Performance is now a ranking factor in Google. That's because your site visitors get frustrated if a page takes too long.
Hop on Duda before your competition!
Duda's pricing is incredible.
Duda offers different tiers, so if you have more websites, the cost-per-website is reduced.
Here are their different tiers and pricing when billed annually:
- Basic plan ($14/month)
- Team plan ($22/month)
- Agency plan ($44/month)
- Custom plan (discuss with sales)
Duda's plan give you flexibility to meet your needs.
Their agency plan, for example, comes with four websites priced at $11/each and $11 for each additional website.
If you are looking for one website, it's $14/month for the basic plan.
But each plan comes with additional features. Duda's features that are most important are available on all tiers. However, something like collections and dynamic pages (Duda's implementation of a CMS) is only available on the agency plan.
Included with that cost is top-notch support.
Different tiers offer different levels of support.
The agency tier allow the following support options:
- Phone support (calls)
All options are excellent! They are very knowledgeable and quick to respond.
And if what you talk to them about some feature that isn't available, they have other options (read on).
How about the future?
It's not only important to understand where the Duda website builder is at today (a really great place), but where they are going in the future.
Duda is on an amazing trajectory. The past two years have been incredible, with huge updates coming out and big plans laid out.
Duda has something called the Ideas Board, which lets its user base add ideas for Duda to implement.
Other users can vote up ideas.
We can also see which requests are in progress, in beta, or have another status.
Duda is on its way to dominating the website market.
Sell, Sell, Sell! (Ecommerce)
Duda has built-in ecommerce functionality for an extra cost (but they don't charge you per sale!).
I've built several online stores on Duda and am impressed. I like it better than Shopify (by far).
Shopify doesn't have a page builder so it's really bad (for many reasons beyond that).
On Duda, you can create an online store using Duda's built-in website builder to make amazing category and product pages.
You can learn more on their website.
The CMS is a very important Duda feature for people that manage content.
Duda offers a pretty handy CMS built-in and is available on higher tiers.
There are three components to the CMS:
- Storing data
- Showing data on a template (e.g., a singular team page)
- Showing data on an overview (e.g., a team grid)
There are several ways to store data:
- Internal collections
- Google Sheets
- External databases
I'm pretty content with the storing options.
When it comes to showing data on a singular page, it's also very handy.
Design a template once using the Duda website builder, connect the various widgets to the data, and you're good to go!
The main downside is there isn't a way to conditionally render fields. I find myself wanting to use "if this field isn't present, don't show it", but that's not a feature at this time. Conditions would be super helpful. Conditions can be accomplished in the custom widget builder (which is available on the agency plan).
Lastly, showing data on overviews is very simple and a bit limited. They offer a couple of widgets where you can connect an image, title, description, and link.
If you want more customizable grids, you'll need to create your own widget.
All in all, I use the CMS all the time, but I also carefully analyze my content needs before assuming Duda is the right fit for my project.
Are you an agency? Do you struggle with managing multiple websites? Dealing with client management? And adding your team members?
Duda solves all the agency issues.
- You can access all your websites in one dashboard
- There are client management tools to assign permissions and sites
- There is team member management with different roles
- You can white label the platform to deliver a personalized web presence!
Duda actually only markets itself to agencies. That's why many people haven't heard of them.
Sure, you can build your own website on Duda and only that one, but their bread and butter is agencies (sell one agency, and sell many websites!).
Collecting client feedback is a breeze with built in comment tool.
Other website builders don't stack up to what Duda offers for agency tools and managing more than one website.
Other Miscellaneous (and Critical) Notes
- Duda offers multilingual websites in all tiers
- Duda integrates with Google Domains so you don't have to leave the platform to buy a domain
- Duda's templates are free and top notch
- Duda is great for a personal website to a large website
- Duda offers unlimited storage
- There is no free plan, but a free 14 day trial
- Building websites is faster on Duda than most other website builders
- Duda's custom plan offers advanced features, additional support, and even better pricing