Webnode: Website Builder Review 2022
Over the past decade, website builders have exploded in popularity. As ever greater numbers of services flood the market, seemingly out of thin air, it has grown increasingly difficult to choose the right one. Among the more established providers are a number of site building pioneers, platforms that launched at the turn of the last century, and whose developers (rightly) predicted that accessibility and ease of use would be the trends of the future.
Webnode is one of these: The joint Swiss-Czech service first appeared on the market in January 2008, and has, to date, been used by more than 40 million people. In this review, we'll show you whether Webnode is past its prime, or can still go head-to-head with the 'new kids on the block'.
What Is Webnode?
Webnode is a drag and drop site builder developed by Webnode AG, a Swiss company. The service embraces the "what you see is what you get" (WYSIWYG) principle, helping anyone, even those without a lick of programming knowledge, to create and host their own websites. In short, Webnode offers everything needed to bring a website to life, all in a user-friendly package.
In this review, we've taken a closer look at how the platform works in practice.
Pros and Cons
Clear, easy-to-use editor
Nice selection of templates
Limited number of elements to choose from
No app center
Underdeveloped blogging capabilities
Doesn't support the sale of digital products
Configuration and Usability
Registering with Webnode only requires a few clicks, the input of an e-mail address, and the selection of a domain name. After this, you'll be asked whether you want to create a website or an online store. Of course, the differences between the two have become blurred over recent years, and you are able to integrate a store into your website later should the need arise.
Website or online store? Don't worry, you can add a store to your site later on.
After this, you're provided with a selection of templates, grouped into categories like "Business", "Portfolio", or "Restaurants & Food". Once you've selected an appropriate one, you'll be directed to Webnode's editor and greeted with a brief tutorial video.
Even without the tutorial, you should feel immediately at home: This is because Webnode only emphasizes the most important or critical features, with a sleek interface being the happy result. Apart from a few items in the menu above, which allow you to edit your products, pages, and general settings, you'll complete all other tasks with elements directly in the main window, which also doubles as a sort of live site preview. There, you can manipulate all elements, checking precisely how they will appear on your website.
In Webnode's editor, you can modify content directly in the live preview.
17 different section types
In Webnode's editor, your website is primarily divided into sections, the selection menu for which is reached by clicking on the plus sign that appears between columns. Through this, you can add text, images, columns, contact forms, and all sorts of other content. Clicking on this plus symbol also provides the option to insert content into the super-ordinate section.
So far as the comprehensiveness and variety of content are concerned, other site builders offer more, with Webnode providing little beyond the basics.
As of the time of testing, 17 different types of section are available.
Lacking full drag and drop functionality
Content can be moved around like puzzle pieces, interlocking with one another. When repositioning an element, Webnode's editor will automatically align other content to it. As such, your drag and drop freedom is somewhat more limited than in other editors, like Wix's, however, at the same time, elements are guaranteed to be symmetric and aligned with one another. You can also easily undo any unwanted changes by clicking on the arrow in the upper menu.
Similar to the editor, the settings menu is also sleek and uncluttered. In addition to providing an overview of your account, including your bandwidth and storage capacity, you can connect your Google Analytics account, or tinker with other settings.
In settings, you can manage your subscription, domain, page design, and your store's data.
Webnode's editor is intuitive and highly accessible, meaning that within a short amount of time, anyone can dexterously use it. Of course, this comes at the cost of certain features, however, in terms of usability Webnode does little wrong.
Score: 4.7 / 5
Basically, Webnode possesses everything that we look for in a good website builder. As noted above, its editor only emphasizes the most essential aspects, and as such, is somewhat limited in scope when set alongside those of its competitors. Specialized content, such as restaurant menus or tools for doctor's practices, for example, is nowhere to be found.
The menu's features do make sense, however, a bit more choice would definitely do the service a world of good as far as clarity is concerned. As two examples, Wix and Weebly serve up many more elements in the menus of their editors than Webnode manages, and without overcomplicating things to boot.
Webnode offers access to the most important elements for a website, including image galleries, buttons, and contact forms, however, don't expect more than the basics.
Blogging - with limitations
Similarly, Webnode's blogging features are decent but restricted to the bare necessities. In the page menu, you can incorporate a blog onto your site like any other kind of page, to which it's possible to add entries. Any existing entries will be arranged according to their date(s) of publication. To work with your blog, you're provided the same tools and elements found in the standard editor.
Additional features like tags or categories aren't included. Webnode recommends setting up sub-pages on your blog to serve as a workaround for the inability to create categories. This works, but requires sacrificing a menu level. Other site builders definitely offer easier solutions for grouping blog entries.
Webnode also doesn't make it possible to add authors to blog entries, meaning that if your blog has an editorial team, or multiple contributors, you might want to look elsewhere.
With Webnode, blog features are rather limited.
No app store
Regrettably, Webnode doesn't have an app center to make up for its somewhat limited selection of features. Other website builders like Wix, greatly enhance their features through their app markets or hubs. To offset this, Webnode does facilitate the inclusion of elements via inputting user-defined HTML code, allowing you to further customize your website beyond the pre-packaged tools that the service comes with, so long as you possess the requisite proficiency in coding.
More experienced users can insert content and features which Webnode lacks via HTML.
Multilingual websites possible
One of Webnode's neat features is the ability to add new language localizations to your website with the click of a button. After this, your site's content will be automatically copied, allowing visitors to select which language they'd like to view your page in. Of course, we should mention that you'll need to translate all of the content yourself and be a paying subscriber to make use of the feature.
You can add multiple language localizations to your website with just a few clicks, so long as you're a paying subscriber.
Webnode prioritizes user-friendliness, and its straightforward editor clearly underlines this. With that said, other programs have certainly done a better job of balancing between simplicity and functionality. We can't help but feel that Webnode's user-friendliness might be meant to divert attention from its lack of features. At the end of the day, users are provided with exactly what they need to create a site or blog, albeit, little more. Particularly appealing is the ease with which multiple language localizations of a website or store can be created.
Score: 3 / 5
Templates & Design
With around 100 templates, categorized as "Blogs", "Music", or "Portfolio", Webnode offers its users an impressive array of design options. Most of these will endow your site with a sleek and modern look, however, there aren't too many fancy templates.
Since the designs are striking on their own, it's likely that users will simply add original content or move a few elements around, creating unmistakably stylistic sites, albeit in our opinion, somewhat generic and conventional ones.
Webnode offers access to nearly 100 design templates.
Switching between different templates is not possible without starting over, however, you can modify the background, colors, as well as fonts of your page(s). There are also a few layout options that differ, for example, in how their menus are organized.
Still, even within the templates, choices are limited, and you aren't offered a hex color selector. This again underlines the platform's courting of beginners: Templates aren't intended to be customizable, apart from their text and user-defined content.
Under settings you can adjust some aspects of your template's style, however, not too many.
As noted above, speed and simplicity are Webnode's emphases, and this extends to their templates, each of which can be quickly and easily applied to a website. The cost of this simplicity, however, is creative freedom, for which we've deducted a few points. Once again, other site builders strike a better balance between removing obstacles for their users while ensuring that they can express themselves.
Score: 3.3 / 5
E-Commerce, Marketing & SEO
You can add an online store to your Webnode site through the page menu. In the navigation menu, you'll be able to stock your digital store with new products, which thankfully, is made fairly easy. On the platform, you can provide information about the number of products available, set up variations, and create collections for larger groups of products.
Product variations are added without fuss: From the appropriate tab, simply select the types of variations you want to include, such as "Color" or "Size", and set individual variations for each group. As an example, should your product be available in three colors and three sizes, nine different variations will be created. Sounds easy, however, you'd be surprised at how many store builders continue to be unable to offer their (paying) customers this sort of capability, let alone make it as intuitive as Webnode does.
Unfortunately, Webnode doesn't support the sale of digital products.
You can create variations in order to offer your product(s) in different colors and sizes.
Further adjustments to your online store can be made through the "Settings" menu. There, it's possible to input your contact information as well as set shipping and payment methods. For the latter, alongside the usual options, you can also integrate Stripe and PayPal.
Orders are managed through the super-ordinate Webnode dashboard. Beyond checking incoming orders, there it's also possible to view visitors statistics as well as customer profiles.
Discounts and sales
Webnode also provides a few marketing tools, which allow subscribers to offers discounts (either for all orders, or those from a specific amount upwards). Of these, three types of rebates are offered: Free shipping, a percent-based discount, or a fixed-sum.
Somewhat hidden in the menu, under "Discounts", you can also add rebates to certain products, and direct visitor attention to price changes.
Proper email marketing isn't integrated into Webnode, even if customer metrics are collected and you can prompt visitors to subscribe to a newsletter.
You can boost sales by offering discounts and rebates.
SEO & Analytics
Under "Page Settings" you can attend to the most important search engine optimization (SEO) settings, such as meta descriptions, titles, tags, keywords, and sub-page URLs. Managing SEO settings for individual products has also been integrated since our last assessment. Our only criticism is the aforementioned issue relating to formatting blogs (categories, tags, and authors).
Webnode provides information about purchase statistics and site viewership under the "Project Overview" heading, however, Google Analytics can be easily integrated should you prefer to use it.
How many visitors does your online store have? Webnode provides some statistical insights to help answer this.
Webnode provides all of the tools needed to create a functional online store, however, in comparison to other website builders, the toolbox on offer isn't all too full. As with most everything else, Webnode's simplicity does make it easy to set up a commercial web presence.
Score: 3.7 / 5
Webnode's handbook includes a number of tutorials, as well as FAQs which can answer a nice variety of questions that might arise when using the site builder. These short texts are clear and illustrated with a number of pictures, helping to resolve issues step-by-step. While browsing, we happened across a few rather dated support entries, however, most of the time we quickly zeroed in on relevant content.
In Webnode's handbook you'll find FAQs and guides grouped into different categories.
If the FAQs don't provide the help you were hoping for, you can also contact the support team by email, which tries to address all queries within 24 hours. During our assessment, we received a comprehensive answer to our numerous questions after 14 hours. Taken together, we were satisfied with Webnode's support, even if more means of getting in touch would be welcome.
Score: 4.3 / 5
A free version of Webnode is offered, which can be used to create a website at no charge. As might be expected, this version's features are limited, and you'll need to stomach a Webnode domain, which doesn't exactly exude professionalism.
Four premium pricing plans are offered for those looking to access more of what the platform serves up. These are Limited, Mini, Standard, and Profi and differ in terms of their storage space (100 MB, 500 MB, 2 GB. 5 GB, respectively) and bandwidth (1 GB, 3 GB, 10 GB, unlimited). Free unique domain names are included starting with the Mini subscription.
Should you be looking to set up an online store, you'll need a Standard or Profi subscription. The former allows you to add a second language localization of your site, create up to five backups, and offer 100 memberships. The Profi subscription offers unlimited localizations, backups, and memberships.
Below, we've provided an overview of Webnode's pricing plans:
|Effective monthly price||$0.00||$3.90||$7.50|
|Contract period (months)||0||12||12|
|Free of ads|
And how does Webnode stack up against other site builders in terms of price? Below, we've compared the least expensive subscription from each platform in our sample that is ad-free and includes at least one free unique domain. Among these, Webnode is one of the least expensive providers:
Webnode offers a 15-day, money-back guarantee on all of its premium subscriptions.
Webnode consciously refrains from including too many bells and whistles on its dashboard, keeping things as simple as possible without sacrificing too much functionality. It also offers users an experience that, in our minds at least, couldn't be more straightforward. The result is the ability to quickly create a professional-looking website without the involvement of AI.
As noted above, all of this simplicity and usability do come at a cost, namely, that Webnode lacks a handful of features its users might eventually need or want to use. This is understandable, even though in our opinion, Webnode went too far in cutting useful tools that wouldn't have overloaded the dashboard or interface. For example, Webnode could easily integrate more element options, support for e-commerce (digital products, for example), or email marketing campaigns without overwhelming anyone.
For those who can live without these features, access to a highly efficient, no-frills website builder easily capable of creating elegant and visually-appealing end products awaits.
Based on the reviews we examined, Webnode only manages a satisfactory overall rating, largely owing to the sizable amount of criticism we found on Trustpilot. These reviews targeted Webnode's slow customer service response times as well as their brevity. Beyond that, difficulties switching from the platform's older version to its newer one were also highlighted.
Depending on which features you're missing from Webnode, there are a number of programs that might be able to better meet your needs. For example, Weebly and Wix both excel in e-commerce, with the trade-off being that they aren't as easy to use as Webnode (although still relatively simple).
More of the best alternatives to Webnode can be found below: