Is Webydo legit?

Earlier this week, a website builder called Webydo was brought to my attention by a friend seeking my opinion and wondering if I had heard of it. While I had not, intrigued and curious, I decided to reach out to them for more details and scour the web for reviews.  One specific part of their offering that was concerning to my friend and I, was that it doesn’t seem possible to host a client site outside of their ecosystem. We both knew that this wasn’t realistic unless of course your only ambition was to work with clients that didn’t even have their domain name registered and wanted you to do everything for them.

If however you want to grow a small web design business or just take on more web design work you are going to run into scenarios where clients don’t want to switch hosts, many believing that the domain registration and unnecessary hosting they were sold at the time are joined at the hip.

My Google search for reviews of Webydo led me to quite a few where I found a lot of comments from actual customers that were not aligning with the reviews themselves because unfortunately many were actually not reviews at all but overviews. Leveraging a companies jargon, almost word for word at times isn’t a review. From an SEO POV, it’s just free advertising for whatever the service or product is but ultimately lends little to no value for customers seeking real answers.  Many of these self professed “professional reviewers” also put their reputations and trustworthiness on the line by giving a service or product high marks when it’s clear they haven’t put the product or service through it’s proper paces which ultimately might have produced reviews that would closer align to user sentiment and experiences.

What exactly is webydo?

Webydo is an online website builder or DMS(Design Management System) that was founded in 2012 by Shmulik Grizim and Tzvika Steinmetz. Like many before it and those that came after, the claims and language used suggests you can build websites without having to know any code whatsoever. I personally think this is a very dangerous statement for two reasons. One, these type of statements directly conflict with many startups and the tech sector in particular that truly believes everyone should actually learn to code. The second unintentional result might be a continued lack of appreciation for what Developers actually do and it’s importance as an integral part of any web design process.

On Webydo we find language such as  “Professional websites created without code” – “Create pixel-perfect, responsive websites for your clients, without code”. According to what I believe to be a very outdated wikipedia page it’s closest competitors are apparently Adobe’s Muse and Webflow but there are many popular and more importantly, very capable website builder solutions available.

Some have surpassed Webydo by being able to deliver better results on their core value propositions or simply offering a more flexible and diverse set of tools Web Designers needed as a part of their client solutions and offerings. Do understand though, none are perfect for several reasons. For example, I could not find any examples in Webydo’s spotlight section that offered a true integrated ecommerce solution. The two sites I did find that offered an online shopping experience redirected me to Etsy. I think it’s also important for us to better understand how Webydo is defining the term “professional”.

Well is it true or not?

Can I build websites for my clients without knowing how to code? Yes and no. What Webydo is not being clear and upfront about(for obvious reasons) is who your clients should be and what needs they may have in order to find some if any value in their service.

Webydo is for designers that:

  • Do not want to learn to code or can’t and/or may not have the budget to hire a Front End Developer.
  • Don’t mind that the code output is not clean.
  • ONLY has clients who need sites with 1-10 pages and I personally believe 10 is really really pushing it.
  • Don’t plan to do anything more than super basic sites as evidenced by their spotlight section.
  • Does not and will not work with any clients who already have a hosting plan.
  • Does not plan to offer any integrated ecommerce solutions to their clients.
  • Does not plan to offer SSL certs or the ability to have a dedicated IP.

Defining professional –

Now here’s the reality check. Do any of these limitations sound like issues a professional deals with? If you said no, you’re 100% correct. Firstly, most professionals I know would never use these types of tools to build a website for several reasons. Developers are your friends and the sooner you build a RESPECTFUL relationship with one that is extremely reliable AND ACTUALLY LISTEN TO THEM the better off your “professional” career choices and clients will be as it pertains to web design. Professionals don’t make excuses, they make things happen.

Professionals don’t blame their clients or say “well, your needs were out of the box and I just started out doing web design”. If by your own admittance you just started out then you’re not a professional…yet. Hard work and determination will get you there if that’s what you want. Most professionals I know only take on work they can confidently complete and aren’t afraid to ask for help or explore every possible option when things get hairy. They also don’t shy away from new business because a client insists on using their own hosting service for their web site vs one that came with a packaged deal(Webydo).

I could go on and on all day defining what a professional does and does not do but the short of it is, this is not a tool for “professional designers” and Webydo knows that but they’re really really hoping you don’t.

Here’s what happened when I called Webydo for more info –

I called Webydo on Wednesday, June 1st, 2016 at 8:49am EST and Chris could not answer my question or immediately connect me with anyone that could. Chris then asked for my contact information and said someone would contact me shortly. That “shortly” manifested itself a full day later in the form of one Dan Reynolds. His email which I received on June 2nd, 2016 was only asking if he should call or email to help walk me through my account and the process to get me started. Whoa…Dan. Say what? I have an account?

Dan did not include a single word or sentence in his response to me that actually addressed the reason why I called Webydo in the first place. His email and it’s tone seemed more concerned with onboarding me into a service I still had questions about vs actually answering my specific question regarding hosting. The email also felt templated and impersonal.

Aggressive or pushy sales people who ignore your questions and seem more interested in meeting their sales targets are always a red flag of any product or service. If you follow some of the linked reviews I posted below and do your own research, there are many complaints about the aggressive nature of Webydo’s sales team. When I didn’t receive a response from Dan, I called Webydo again on Friday, June 3rd, 2016 at 8:16am EST and was told all sales and support staff might be in a meeting. Everyone? How convenient.

I was told yet again my information would be passed along and yes we both confirmed Webydo did in fact have my specific question in their system. At the time of this post no one at Webydo has contacted me with any answer, much less a clear one to my original question about hosting.

If I haven’t signed up yet and they already can’t provide clear answers in a timely manner what exactly do you think service and/or support will look like once I’ve given them my money? We’re creatives right? Let your imagination run wild my child…

I’m almost certain I already know the answer. Dan is missing in action, providing of course there is a Dan in the first place.

A disturbing pattern of poor customer service and support – do those comments look like a few isolated issues? Not to me and I see commonalities in the comments section about this service but let’s dig deeper shall we? What about their forum shouldn’t we look there? Why yes, yes we should. A companies forum and blog or social media channels generally give AMAZING INSIGHT into how a company will treat you, respond to feedback and/or the type of support they might offer.

As we start reading some of the comments in the forums we again find some very troubling, unaddressed concerns from actual customers. Let’s look at more user comments shall we?  This review, which clearly states “The following is a sponsored post brought to you by the fine folks at Webydo in collaboration with HackingUI.” is also very telling.

Conclusion –

Learn to code or leave it to professional Front End Developers(FEDS) because this is not a tool for professionals and I can see quite a few client related issues arising as result of using it. I know it’s extremely tempting to try and bypass the designer + developer relationship, process and costs but you will run into issues, some of which could ruin what little reputation you have. In the end only you can decide whether the reward outweighs the risks.

Disclaimer –

I am a freelance multidisciplinary creative and I do not work for “Adobe”, “Webflow”, “Webydo” or any other service or company mentioned or not mentioned in this post that offers any service or product defined as “a website builder”. I was not promised or given any one time payments or future guarantees by any individual or company for posting my opinion. I simply see a huge problem with Webydo, a lot of overviews vs actual reviews and think it should be avoided until they can get their act together. Even then, the age old question still persists. Should designers learn to code? I say yes, but that’s just my opinion.


  • Kar wü says:

    Well worded. Thnx for sharing SJ. kwü

    • admin says:

      You got it my friend! I do hope this can serve some value for those looking for an alternative opinion regarding Webydo.

  • Joseph says:

    I code. But I also feel like Webydo fits the bill for some clients. Clients that have a smaller budget, need a basic site with some content management, and want to avoid the template-y feel of solutions like WordPress. From a design perspective, I feel like Webydo fits the bill in terms of allowing me to create a custom UI. Starting from scratch means you don’t need to fit content into an existing template. Instead, you can let content design lead. True, you can create your own WordPress template, but if (like me) it’s not your focus, learning to create and maintain one is just not worth the time. It’s also easy to edit the site, and let’s face it. As much UI/UX expertise we might have, it’s ultimately educated guesswork. Testing, learning, and tweaking gets results. It’s much easier to do this economically using a tool like Webydo.

  • Joseph says:

    I also want to add that some of my clients have been with the same host for 10 years or more. To many smaller clients, it’s really not that important who they host with and they rarely see a reason to switch. So I think there’s a category of client that would have no problem being “locked in” to a provider/platform like Webydo. Additionally, they “technically” do allow you to host your site elsewhere. You can do this by downloading the entire site (code, images, etc.) and placing your host of choice (not the best solution, but would be fair to mention). All the above being said, I had an exceptionally rude and pushy “business development manager” that scheduled a call with me and basically told me how he was going to run my business. That conversation ended quickly. The rep who eventually followed up with me was much, much better.

  • Patsy says:

    Good info, Steve. Well-written article.

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