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Webnode Review

A good, usable editor that provides basic elements. Webnode offers a nice selection of 65 themes— unfortunately, it lacks serious theme customization as you're locked into whatever the templates have chosen for you.

My work is supported by affiliate commissions. Last Updated May 8 2018


User Experience

Webnode is a simple sections and elements website builder— you build your website by stacking sections (example: a "contact" section) vertically and adding or customizing elements (example: a "map") within the sections.

Elements & Sections

Right: Elements & Sections

There are 17 preset sections to choose from. This isn't a lot— other section-based website builders such as WebsiteBuilder.com offer a much wider selection of presets.

Right: Preset Sections Preset sections include: blank, heading, heading with button, two text columns.

Sections are customized by adding, editing or removing individual elements. There are 11 elements to choose from (not a wide selection when compared to website builders such as Squarespace).

Right: The grey dots in the right corner are what you use to show more elements… it’s not very obvious— I imagine many users don’t realize this right away!

Unfortunately Webnode often feels like it offers the bare-minimum. Simplicity can be good (simple is easy to use) but if something is too simple, it lacks utility. Columns are an example of this: there is no column element, instead you have to use a columns section. There is no way to choose how many columns you want— so you can't have four sections. Plus when resizing the section there is no snap-to-grid so finding the perfect center again is impossible.

Right: Trying to resize a column in the centre.

It would be one thing if Webnode matched a simple interface with a low-price but it's actually quite expensive. Their first two paid plans still have Webnode ads on them— who would pay for that! The first plan without an ad costs $11.95 / month— though you have to buy it as an annual plan. This is expensive for such a simple website builder.

Pricing

Right: Pricing

Features

  • Blog

    Blog posts are designed the same way Webnode pages are: you add elements and sections. There are a good selection of layout options for the blog but limited features: you can customize the permalink and schedule posts for the future but there is no RSS feed, no draft posts, no post categories or no support for blog comments.  Show Screenshot

  • Ecommerce

    Not supported. (You can do ecommerce using the old version of Webnode but I wouldn't recommend it. The old version is quite outdated.)  

  • Form Builder

    The ‘Contact Form’ element lets you build forms with a variety of form fields: text, file uploads, dropdown, dates and more. You can also customize the forms success message or send the user to a specific page after success. Webnode does save your form submissions in a database— so you can always access them later. Show Screenshot

  • iOS & Android Apps

    No iOS or Android apps available.  

  • Retina Ready

    No. While the default theme images appeared sharp on retina displays— uploaded images were not optimized for retina displays and would appear blurry.  

  • Newsletter

    Webnode does include an email sign up form— unfortunately it doesn't integrate with email marketing services such as Mailchimp or Constant Contact. This means you'll have to manually add every email address that signs up for your newsletter— which will become frustrating if your newsletter is a success!  Show Screenshot

  • Membership System

    Webnode’s membership system let's you make certain pages visible only to approved site members. It also includes a basic user management system.  

  • Design from Scratch

    Not supported. 

  • Multi-lingual

    Great multi-lingual support. You can create several different language versions of your website and write them as you need. It will require some extra upkeep (if you add a page on one language site, you'll need to re-add the page on another language site) but that's pretty typical of any multi-lingual website.  Show Screenshot

  • Restaurant Menu

    Not supported. 

  • Donations

    Not supported. 

  • Audio Player

    Not supported. 

  • Podcasts

    Not supported. 

Themes

Earlier in this review I talked about how Webnode offers the bare minimum and unfortunately that extends to their themes: there’s no way to make meaningful theme customizations. Seriously— you’re locked into whatever colors the theme has by default. So for example, there is no way to manually set what color the navigation is for the pink theme example to the right. That’s an enormous drawback.

Want to change this color of pink? You can't.

Right: Want to change this color of pink? You can't.

Webnode does offers a nice selection of 65 themes. The themes all look fresh and contemporary.

Right: Example Theme

All themes are also responsive— so they work well on mobile devices. I just wished there were some theme customization options!

Right: Example Theme

Not Ideal Billing Practices

Unlike most website builders which offer monthly billing, Webnode requires you to pay for a year up front. They offer a money-back gurantee, just remember to follow up on it— I asked for mine and it took over a week for them to get back to me. (Even then I had to follow up twice.)