Jan 20, 2014
Designing a website exactly as you or your client envision can be difficult to do if you don't know code. You can work with a developer, but that cuts into your profits and adds extra time to your project, which in turn costs your clients more. For these reasons and more, many professional web designers are turning to website builders, a lot cheaper and faster solution than learning to code.
However, there are loads of website builders and not all are created equal. Some site builders are completely free even after the site is live, but these often come with limitations in design options and no e-commerce option. Others advertise that their website builder is specifically for designers, but they come with additional requirements or a limit in regards to the price.
Webydo is a website builder that has recently come to my attention and covers all of the aforementioned cons. The founders started Webydo because they wanted to help create a more efficient web design process by allowing designers to communicate directly with a client, rather than through a developer. So they created a website builder that provides designers with creative freedom and turns their projects into an HTML website and CMS seamlessly. It even comes complete with ecommerce options, unlimited access to all of the design features in the free plan, and a platform to create a responsive website with cross-browser capabilities.
Every designer is different, so Webydo may not be your cup of tea. But take a look at the premium, professional features and some of the stunning websites that designers are creating with Webydo. Even if you decide not to use Webydo, it is undeniable that the creators of this website builder certainly did an amazing job!
All of the features are great, but probably what surprised me the most about Webydo is that they allow designers to create a website in-browser for free. You can even take the site live temporarily to allow clients to preview it before deciding to publish through Webydo's cloud hosting.
A real live website in your own domain name does come with a price, but thankfully a very reasonable price (see the plans below). And once you do purchase a subscription, the cloud hosting includes automatic backup, fast and secure servers, and worldwide CDN through Akamai so that clients access your site through whichever server they are closest to. What all of this boils down to is assurance of a fast website no matter where in the world viewers access the website.
- Free - 15 pages, Webydo's sub-domain, unlimited bandwidth, 1 GB storage, can create as many temporary sites as needed
- Premium - $7.90/month (billed annually) subscription or $9.90/month (billed biannually) - unlimited pages, own domain, unlimited bandwidth, 2 GB storage
- Large web agency premium plan for over 100 websites
Easy Design Features
Here's the fun part - designers have amazing tools to use while creating their web design and all in-browser. Just as with most website builders, Webydo works on a drag and drop system but extra design features include fill, shadow, stroke, smart guides with snapping, text captions for images, grid generator, layers window, and set corner radiuses. One of the best time-saving perks is the automatic optimization of any media you upload, no need to worry about good site performance. Another time saver is the access to free open-source web fonts, so you don't have to spend an hour looking for the right free font and then downloading it to your hard drive.
Keep in mind that Webydo is definitely for those with design experience, and especially web design experience. You have the choice to start either with a blank screen or a readymade design. Webydo points out that you can change every single pixel of the design, but what about when you just want a quick switch? As of now, changing templates is not possible, but head over to the suggestion for adding the ability to switch templates and add your vote (more on this below).
Ecommerce, Responsive, and More
Webydo uses the Ecwid E-commerce widget so that you can offer an ecommerce solution to customers. It comes with various payment options, excellent control over stock, product descriptions for media-rich categories - all the basics for a website selling products.
For the first few years, Webydo was cross-platform but not responsive. Thankfully due to enough votes, the builder now creates responsive websites so that your website looks great even on mobile and tablets. Honestly, the fact that a designer can create a responsive website makes Webydo much more competitive in the website builder industry.
An interesting feature unique to Webydo is the ability to reinforce your brand as a web designer. You can replace the Webydo logo with your own in the client's login screen, your dashboard, client's CMS, and even your online design studio.
The CMS functionality of your Webydo website is quite robust. You can choose which design elements you want to lock and which you want to leave open to your client to edit. The design is a WYSIWYG and similar to Word, making it easy for your client to learn. It also comes with SEO features, site analytics, and the ability to manage multiple clients from single dashboard.
Suggest and Vote on New Features
I like this aspect so much, that I gave it an entire separate section. Webydo has a page on its website called Participate, which is basically a forum. Just like other site builder forums, you can either suggest a new feature or you can report bugs. However, the awesome extra on this forum is that you can vote on suggested new features and the guys over at Webydo will not only listen and respond but also add these new features.
Sometimes Webydo will immediately agree that a suggested feature needs added, but other times they wait to see how many votes a suggestion will receive. With enough votes, they will push the suggestion to the top of their to-do list. The other nice function is that Webydo shows the status of a suggestion on the forum, such as "Gathering Feedback", "Started", or "Completed". This is a brilliant move on their part, as it gives users a powerful voice in the improvement of the features.
After reading this review, if you feel like Webydo is the website builder for you, then head over to the site and immediately start designing. Or even you want to try it for free, remember that you can create a design in-browser and preview it, with no pressure to sign up. With this in mind, the free-no-strings-attached aspect of Webydo is enough to garner even just a quick look, especially since no other robust website builder offers such a refreshing pressure-free offer!
Tara Hornor has a degree in English and has found her niche writing about marketing, advertising, branding, web and graphic design, and desktop publishing. She is a Senior Editor for Creative Content Experts, a company that specializes in guest blogging and building backlinks. In addition to her writing career, Tara also enjoys spending time with her husband and two children. Connect with @TaraHornor on Twitter.