In this article, I’ll share my thoughts regarding Duda.co and WordPress.org. I’ve tested both and compared different aspects of these 2 platforms.
The increasing demand for new websites on the market made the number of builders grow significantly.
Now you can find elementary tools that require no coding skills up to the most sophisticated frameworks.
Before going deeper into the topic I think you should know that there isn’t any right or wrong choice here, but the details make the difference.
1. Duda.co vs WordPress.org – Editor
Duda has a pretty simple and intuitive editor. It’s easy to understand and not overwhelming. The editor works smoothly and is fast. It reminds me of Divi builder in a way, but the similarity is minimal.
You start by choosing a responsive template out of 90 options they currently have. Each is tailored around a specific industry.
Right after you choose a template, there’s a 90-second explanatory video that helps you (for real) start the editing process. That’s it, you can now customize your website.
There are 66 types of widgets you can choose from and add to any section of the page. To add a new widget, click the + sign from the left hand menu with options.
In the Design tab you can define your global design settings. These are not super powerful, but are ok for average websites. For example, I was stuck with several default fonts to choose from, so I had to upload a custom font.
Another thing I didn’t like in Duda editor is the lack of layer view or list view. You can’t see the list of all design elements on a page.
To sum up with Duda editor – I like it and would try it again. It’s one of the few fun editors I had the chance to try out.
In WordPress, things look different. Everything is based on design blocks. The default Gutenberg editor is not as simple and straightforward and there is no tutorial to help you get started.
On the other hand, the WordPress editor is more powerful and gives you more freedom, so you can adjust the elements of your page as you wish, especially if you use a 3rd party blocks plugin like Kadence Blocks.
Moreover, the complexity of each feature in the WordPress editor is determined by the theme developer. So, compared to Duda where I can change a few aspects of a button, in WordPress, I can tailor everything around my needs.
It may look a bit too complex at first sight but is extremely flexible once you learn how to handle it.
However, the downside of the WordPress editor is that not all themes are developed equally. Some might provide inferior features and other can be great. You simply need to choose reliable themes, like Kadence or Astra.
2. Duda.co vs WordPress.org – Templates/Themes
Duda has about 90 premade templates for different website types. Duda templates look modern and crisp. I can’t say I’m super impressed by the designs, but can’t say they are bad looking either.
There is no simple way to switch templates. You need to reset the website and choose the option to keep the data. Even so, not all content will be transferred.
If you don’t like the available designs, you can start with a blank template and use the builder to design your pages from scratch.
Duda will for sure release more templates in the future, but that is not even close to the huge number of themes available for WordPress.
WordPress themes are built by the community members (web developers) and are available for free.
There are also premium themes, sold by WordPress theme shops, like Kadence WP for example.
At the moment of writing, there are more than 9,700 free WordPress themes available in the WordPress.org directory. Most of them are fine, but if you need a great looking website, you should go for a premium theme.
Premium WordPress themes are highly customizable and look amazing. You can choose from a wide variety of providers. You will definitely find a theme for any kind of website – blog, business, travel, photography, ecommerce, etc.
To put it all together, here’s a comparison between Duda.co and WordPress.org related to templates/themes.
|90 premade templates||Over 30,000 themes in total (free + premium)|
|Limited customization options||You can change everything|
|1 click installation||1 click installation|
|Free templates||Free and premium themes|
|Limited to a specific number of niches||A wide variety of themes for every niche|
|You can’t switch themes easily||You can switch themes easily and keep your content|
3. Duda.co vs WordPress.org – Apps/Plugins
Talking about apps, Duda has several tricks in the sleeves. Even though it doesn’t even compare to the number of WordPress plugins, Duda covers pretty much all required features with its App Store.
The Duda App Store counts 32 apps that cover additional needs or preferences one might have when building a website.
I don’t want to list them all, as I would also have to list all WordPress plugins for the sake of fair play, but I want to mention that they thought about GDPR compliance, contact forms, CRM, accessibility, SEO, and even AMP among others.
In other words, Duda tried to cover all the main options users could ask, via a defined number of apps.
At the opposite end of the table we have WordPress. It’s enough to mention that it has over 59,400 plugins. You will find a plugin for every feature you might need – SEO, contact forms, performance, security, backups, and many many more.
Fun fact, it’s recommended to install maximum 20-30 WordPress plugins on a website, to keep it unbloated.
If I’d install all available Duda apps on my website, I could still need several more to get the same level of functionality as a similar WordPress site. In other words, WordPress is superior in terms of functionality, via its huge ecosystem of plugins.
4. Duda.co vs WordPress.org – Search Engine Optimization
Since lots of websites rely on organic traffic, SEO is very important to keep them in the business. That’s why, I included SEO in this comparison.
And here is where I leave no chance to Duda, because it has the same limitation as other hosted platforms. The builder doesn’t allow you to change the HTML code or optimize it for performance.
Another concerning aspect is the lack of an SEO app in the app store. You can only use the built-in SEO options which are pretty basic, allowing you to change the meta titles/description, define OpenGraph tags and add noindex tags.
On the same topic, WordPress is much more customizable for SEO purposes. There are multiple well-known and capable SEO plugins like Yoast, Rank Math, SEOPress, allowing you to improve your website and rank higher in search results.
These plugins can help you define the main SEO aspects of your website like: meta titles/descriptions, schema markup, redirects, canonical tags, and many more.
Want to improve the loading speed of your web pages? No problem, there are plenty of plugins for that.
Alternatively, if you know what you’re doing, you can dig into the code and change it for SEO. WordPress platform is an open source software, so it can be modified by anyone who has web development skills.
If SEO is concerned, I choose WordPress over most of the other website builders.
5. Duda.co vs WordPress.org – Ecommerce
The Ecommerce options in Duda are pretty customizable and intuitive. Selling the first 10 products is free, but if you want to add more – that’s at least $7 / month atop the subscription.
The Ecommerce dashboard follows the same principle as the general dashboard. It’s easy to edit, add and remove products. The store integrates with Google ads and Facebook ads.
You get reports to measure campaigns’ effectiveness. There are options to edit shipping and payment information. Also, it’s easy to edit currencies and locations, and make updates on other regional settings.
On the other hand, WordPress.org doesn’t charge you for Ecommerce options. You only need to install WooCommerce plugin, which is free, and the setup wizard will guide you through all the steps up to publishing your products online.
WooCommerce is the most versatile Ecommerce plugin for WordPress, so it is packed with all the features you need to launch and run an online store.
Needless to say that you can define everything in WooCommerce: tax and shipping rates, payment methods, email notifications, etc. and sell products individually or bundled, at a flat rate or via subscriptions. The possibilities are endless (almost).
After you install the plugin, you will find all the options within your WordPress admin under the following sections: WooCommerce, Products, Analytics, Marketing.
When it comes to Ecommerce capabilities, I prefer WordPress over Duda, as it’s much more customizable, has plenty of features and extensions, and it’s free.
6. Duda.co vs WordPress.org – Support Options
Besides this, Duda provides courses via Duda University, giving you the opportunity to earn a certificate.
If we break down all support options and review them closely, here is what we have:
- Duda Community can be barely called an active forum as the number of questions surpasses the amount of answers and reactions to a post. The scale of the community is not impressive either.
- Duda’s Knowledge base is well organized and covers a lot of information. The layout is appealing and the documentation is easy to read + there are videos to help you out.
- The Duda University have over 40 courses in total. There are 6 certification courses, but I’m not sure about the value of these certifications.
There are even several sales courses that teach how to earn more using the platform. It’s true that the info is related to ads, and is also pretty general, but nonetheless, these courses are optional.
The WordPress forums are by far some of the most active on the web with an hour-to-hour question and answer frequency. This means that you’ll most probably get support on the forums, as the community if very active and helpful.
The forum section is very well organized and includes multiple topic related forums. If you require support for a specific plugin or theme, they have their own forums.
The documentation section is comprehensive and includes useful information added by active community members and contributors over the years.
Almost any guide can be found there – from installing WordPress up to detailed customization of the website.
And if by any chance you didn’t find the answer in either of these sections, you can simply search in Google about your issue and get hundreds of articles provided by enthusiasts.
There is also a whole industry around WordPress support and development. Lots of agencies make business by supporting, maintaining, customizing WordPress-built websites.
To sum up the support comparison between Duda and WordPress, here’s what we’ve come to:
|Ticketing support for membership||Forums supported by the community and 3rd party businesses|
|Relatively small and less active community||One of the largest communities on the web|
|Easy to read and understand knowledge base||Comprehensive articles about everything|
|Limited but free courses to get specialized in Duda services||Huge collection of free or premium courses developed by community members, tech companies, specialists, developers, etc.|
|Requires less time to acknowledge all the information||Takes more time to understand and handle the CMS, but offers more opportunities in the long run|
7. Duda.co vs WordPress.org – Pricing
Duda is subscription-based, hosted platform that comes with a 14-days free trial to build and enjoy almost all its functionalities.
The difference is that WordPress.org is a self-hosted platform, absolutely free for everyone, and lets you explore its functionalities without even mentioning the pricing (because there isn’t any). But things aren’t so simple.
First, let’s start with Duda. As a subscription-based and hosted platform, it means that you need to upgrade once the trial period ends. Besides their subscription, you need to pay for the domain and also for e-commerce features (optional).
The plans start at $14/month, but if you plan or have a larger business – the plans go up to $44 / month + at least $7/months for e-commerce features.
Here’s is the price breakdown for Duda.co:
Now let’s talk about WordPress.org pricing. In my latest blog about WordPress website costs, I’ve calculated that the minimum amount you will have to pay for a website is $60. But wait, didn’t I say that WordPress.org is free?
Indeed, but as WordPress is a self-hosted platform, it means that you will have to buy a domain name and hosting.
Assuming that you’ll get a free theme, do the design by yourself, use a block based WordPress theme, install free plugins and spend nothing on security and maintenance – that’ll be $60 I was talking before.
However, if you need a premium design, advanced features and some extra plugins, the price can go up to about $250 / year (without web development costs). In the table below I split the spending for starting a WordPress website.
Wrapping Things Up
If you don’t have any prior experience with builders and editors, nor basic knowledge of coding, Duda might be for you. You can built a decent website with Duda, and the experience is fine.
At the same time you’ll be limited to the built-in options and won’t be able to fully customize your website. Also, you won’t have a huge selection of 3rd party products.
If you need more advanced features and endless customizations possibilities via themes and plugins, WordPress is for you. It also has one of the biggest communities on the web.
It has a steeper learning curve though, but I think it’s worth it. Once you know how things work in WordPress, you are in full control of your website.