An optimized sitemap makes for an intuitive website which is why creating sitemaps is such an essential part of web development. From navigation to SEO, it all starts with getting the map right. In this PowerMapper review, we’ll look at their software from all angles so you can decide if it’s right for you.
PowerMapper review 2023: Is PowerMapper any good?
In the past, yes. Today, not as much. For starters, its dated UI means it’s not the easiest-to-use option. Developers looking for advanced planning tools are out of luck as well, but it can make an ok sitemap. In our PowerMapper review, we’ll go through the good, bad and ugly.
Despite having a website that looks like it was built with GeoCities in the mid-90s, their sitemapping tool works. They also offer complementary tools that help with identifying broken links, search engine issues and even accessibility. They’re not included in the standard PowerMapper license but we’ll discuss them too.
PowerMapper pricing plans
Given the old-school vibe of their site, it’ll come as no surprise that their prices aren’t the easiest to navigate. They offer multiple tools and price plans but to keep it simple we’ll focus on the Desktop Suite and OnDemand Suite which includes both their mapping tool and the tools mentioned above.
So, how much does PowerMapper cost? Let’s review PowerMapper prices:
|Desktop Suite*||OnDemand Suite — per month|
|$499 single user||Small $49 (1 user)|
|$1,996 5 fixed users (the same 5 users)||Medium $149 (3 users)|
|$6,237.50 5 floating users (any 5 users)||Large $299 (10 users)|
|Version upgrades — $124.75/year|
*The Desktop Suite is a perpetual license, meaning you pay once and can use it forever
How much does PowerMapper cost for nonprofits?
Qualified nonprofits and education sector users do receive special pricing (governmental users do too but at yet different amounts).
For the Desktop Suite, education and nonprofit users will pay $349.30 with the same annual fee if they want access to new versions.
For 5 fixed users, the price drops to $1397.20; for 5 floating users, it would be $4,366.25.
OnDemand Suite pricing would be $34.30, $104.30 and $209.30 for Small, Medium and Large plans, respectively.
Notably, Slickplan offers discounts to nonprofits and NGOs too. Send us a note here and we’ll make that happen for you.
Are there any PowerMapper coupon codes or promo discount vouchers?
Beyond volume pricing for their fixed user plans, which come with a 20% discount, we didn’t come across any other discounts for powermapper.com.
PowerMapper free vs paid: what’s the difference?
While there isn’t a permanently free version, they do offer a hearty 30-day trial for their mapper and other tools. The main difference is that you can only scan up to 100 pages on the desktop version and 10 pages online. That goes for both PowerMapper and SortSite, which, again, is their website testing tool for checking things like accessibility, links, errors and SEO basics.
Paid plans offer more functionality all around and up the number of scannable pages dramatically. With the Desktop Suite plan you can scan up to 22,000 pages per scan and with OnDemand plans the limit is 15,000, 45,000 and 150,000 pages for the Small, Medium and Large plans.
Those come with 2, 6 and 20 GB of storage, respectively.
At Slickplan we offer 14-day trials on all of our plans at no cost, the best free sitemap generator out there and, get this, 3 of our 4 plans come with 25+ GB of data storage (maxing out at 500 GB).
PowerMapper overview: what is PowerMapper & what is PowerMapper used for?
Getting its start all the way back in 1997, PowerMapper is one of the OGs of sitemapping. Although their site doesn’t exactly inspire confidence, they’ve been a go-to tool for web developers based on their longevity.
Aside from generating sitemaps, they developed SortSite which allows users to analyze entire websites for browser compatibility (i.e., HTML tags, CSS features, etc.), web accessibility, spelling and other metrics.
PowerMapper features list
Now, to the main event. Let’s take a detailed dive into how the features of PowerMapper stack up against Slickplan.
|Interactive visual sitemaps|
|Drag and drop editor|
|Multiple map styles|
|Customization and branding|
|Integrations via API|
|Content Planner & CMS import|
1. Interactive visual sitemaps
You can’t review a sitemapper without talking about their sitemaps.
Naturally, we both offer this, so let’s get into the weeds.
On the positive side, PowerMapper allows you to generate serviceable visual sitemaps from either a web browser or a downloadable desktop version.
The issue is that it’s not a particularly intuitive process and it’s one that’s done from an outdated interface. As well, the edits you’re able to make to these maps are minimal but, in the end, you will get a visual representation of a site.
Their desktop edition is noticeably awkward to use and will be a hurdle for web pros that are accustomed to the sleek design and sensible UI of more modern options.
Another setback for PowerMapper is that it doesn’t look like you can make sitemaps from scratch which is a glaring omission.
From a website planning perspective, the suite of complementary tools is nice but, again, they’re all for sites that already exist. Not planning a new build.
With Slickplan, you’re getting the opposite experience in terms of UI and an entire planning suite for building from scratch or improving existing web pages.
We also just launched a fully revamped version and are at the forefront of developing tools for today’s web developers.
2. Drag & drop editor
Ya gotta have drag and drop editing nowadays when working on sitemaps. Despite the seeming lack of major UX updates over the years, you do still get that with PowerMappers.
What you can actually edit though is another story; all you can really do is move pages to different silos and see the content.
3. Site crawler
The crawler forms the backbone of any visual sitemap generator and the PowerMapper software has a pretty decent one.
With our site crawler, you’ll get all that PowerMapper has plus even more parameters to shape the crawl like SEO metadata, follow mode options and choosing directories.
4. Multiple map styles
Sure, all sitemapping tools give you an alternate map style or two but PowerMapper leads the charge here offering 12 different styles.
The default is called Electrum and each page of the sitemap appears as thumbnails.
Some of the views vary wildly like the one they call Skyscrapers while others are more familiar like the one they label SlickMap. Not surprisingly, it looks like the familiar tree structure you’ll see with our sitemaps.
Whether it’s necessary to have all these options is another question but it is telling that this is really the only tool that offers 12 views.
In our view, information architects and web developers simply haven’t been asking for a dozen views so you could say the market has spoken.
5. SEO tools
While we both offer SEO support, we go about it in different ways.
PowerMapper’s SortSite tool scans a site, taking a look at search engine guidelines from Google, Bing and Yahoo then cataloging issues it may find. You’ll also see notes regarding those issues, such as meta descriptions being too long or syntax errors.
At Slickplan, our toolbox for SEO is more technical.
Adding notes is about as far you can go in terms of being able to work with teams in PowerMapper — and it’s only available in the PowerMapper Desktop Professional version.
Nonetheless, it’s a great little feature to have for capturing ideas on the fly or marking pages you need to powwow about.
With Slickplan, you can add notes in every plan, including our freemium version because we think it’s just that important.
Features included only in PowerMapper:
7. Accessibility testing
Everyone wants their website to be as accessible as possible for visitors and, in fact, there are guidelines for what exactly that means. Namely section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act and the WCAG 2.1 (web content accessibility guidelines).
SortSite evaluates your site against those criteria, a helpful tool for usability analysts.
Advanced features found only in Slickplan:
8. Batch editing
PowerMapper is extremely rudimentary as an editor. Namely, the only thing you can really do is look at a sitemap and move pages from one parent page to another.
Even that basic level of editing requires you to move each page, one by one.
Any sizable project will take ages to modify. Think about a site with 150 pages of content on which you need to reorganize the information silos. With PowerMapper that means making 150 movements.
They technically have a method to batch edit the names of pages but it’s 5 steps, requires exporting a CSV then reimporting it and this "feature" isn’t even available in their standard plan.
That hardly constitutes batch editing from our perspective. In Slickplan, you pick all the pages you want to move…and then just move them simultaneously. Plus you can edit labels, colors and more all at once.
9. Customization and branding
As mentioned, since you can’t build from scratch or really do much editing beyond moving single pages and adding notes with PowerMapper, you certainly can’t customize or brand your maps with logos.
Whether you’re a freelance pro, a small business or a big agency, having a way to customize sitemaps means you can do things like color-code them to make them easier to understand.
Plus, being able to brand each sitemap for your clients is also a no-brainer if you’re putting together a proposal.
Working with your team is tough with PowerMapper because it’s just not a tool built for collaboration.
Sure the Desktop Suite allows for 5 users and you can get up to 10 with the OnDemand options but without a way to have Slack-like live discussions and without being able to follow each other’s movements in real-time…what collaborating is really happening?
If you have a client you want feedback from, there seems to be no way to invite that stakeholder in to get their thoughts and have them move things around. You’ll just have to add a note, share your screen or export the map, send it to them and wait for them to get back to you.
With Slickplan, collaboration is core to what we do. Each tool is optimized for it and was built with teams in mind. You can have real-time chats in the app. You can share maps with stakeholders to get their comments. You can even see each other’s mouse movements when working at the same time.
11. Google Analytics
Like batch editing page names, technically you can add Google Analytics data to a PowerMapper map (in their Desktop Professional edition) but the 7-step process (which again includes needing to have the data in CSV format) is so clumsy and inconvenient that we’re giving it an X.
With Slickplan, it’s just a matter of connecting your Analytics account and importing your metrics. 2 steps. No extra files.
See all the vital data for every page including sources of traffic. Now that is integration.
12. Integrations via API
Oh and about integrations. Again, not quite a thing with PowerMapper. It looks like you can integrate SortSite into Jenkins and other continuous integration tools out there but not so with sitemapping.
Popular back in the day for integrations, Jenkins has been on the downtrend and replaced by more different methods, in particular, APIs.
In addition to the integrations Slickplan already has with tools like Slack, Basecamp and Figma, you can also integrate anything else via our developer API.
13. Content Planner & CMS import
Content is what fills up all those sitemap pages, no? So wouldn’t it be nice if you can plan out your content along with the underlying map?
We thought it would so we include our Content Planner tool with all Pro plans and above. This goes beyond simple content auditing which is all you can do with PowerMapper and into the world of content creation and workflow management.
With Content Planner you can assign tasks, build out your pages with drag and drop blocks, write the content and add necessary media, all from one workspace.
Oh and also nail the SEO.
A sitemap planner is nice, a sitemap planner that also helps you plan and create on-page content…that’s Slickplan.
And once you’ve got everything where you want it, you can migrate that exact content directly into your (or your client’s) CMS of choice with our plugins. We’ve created them for WordPress, Joomla!, Drupal, ExpressionEngine and concrete5 already, but if you use another CMS, just connect it with our API.
PowerMapper doesn’t deal with creating content at all so you’ll need to plan it in a third-party app and then find an efficient way to get it into your CMS.
14. Diagram Maker
Our Diagram Maker is a website planning tool that does many things but a key one is that it gives logic to the sitemap by allowing you to visualize user flows. If you can draw out how a person goes through an individual page or a whole site en route to a decision point, you can optimize that path better.
Planning requires having an eye on the big picture and the details, a sitemap gives you the macro and our Diagram Maker shapes that micro.
At this point, you can guess that PowerMapper has no equivalent functionality.
15. Design Mockups
Rounding out what it takes to plan a website: design.
Design is a vital consideration whether you’re building a site from the ground up or revamping an existing site; it’s another avenue where PowerMapper is lacking.
The site is built on the skeleton of the sitemap and design conversations should already be happening at the mapping stage.
With Slickplan, you can have all those conversations at the same time and in the same place.
Our integration with Figma, among the most popular design apps, allows you to bring your UI designs into Slickplan where you can discuss the details via drop-pin comments. Comments that show up in the same place on both platforms by the way.
PowerMapper pros and cons
TL:DR, here are the key advantages and disadvantages of PowerMapper:
- Has a desktop version
- Full, no questions asked refund within 30 days of purchase
- 12 sitemap views
- Unintuitive and confusing UI
- Dated look and difficult-to-navigate website
- No broader website planning tools outside of sitemaps like content planning, diagramming and design
- Not particularly collaborative
- No plugins, integrations or API
- Can have a maximum of 10 users (at nearly 3 times what Slickplan costs for unlimited users)
- Expensive for the lack of functionality
- Updated infrequently it seems
PowerMapper complaints & praise (PowerMapper reviews from real customers)
What’s the verdict from the people?
Well, the bulk of the reviews of PowerMapper that are featured on their site are from years ago, dating all the way back to 1997, with the most recent being 2016. They’re generally positive…but they’re also marveling at advances that are now standard. Newer reviews, of which there are fewer, give it a passing grade.
In terms of negative PowerMapper reviews, being able to control them in the crawler more came up along with difficulties on larger sites.
Review of PowerMapper support
Their support received stellar marks when it popped up in reviews. Manuals for the products are available on their site along with a knowledge base and FAQ section. They also have standard phone and email support.
Refine UX with superior sitemaps
Use our easy drag-and-drop interface to ensure people can get where they want to go.
Is PowerMapper worth it? Our conclusion
Is PowerMapper worth it?
10 or 15 years ago, it would be an easy yes. Nowadays, because it’s not the only show in town, it’s harder to give it a rosy recommendation since many PowerMapper alternatives offer more for at a lower cost.
As a tool for only generating a sitemap from an existing site, it still does that pretty well. But when you factor in that users are demanding more and more from their tools in 2023, PowerMapper hasn’t quite kept up. SortSite is a nice companion (if you opt for it) with the fairly novel accessibility tester that’s built-in but for full-scale website planning, PowerMapper is not enough.
Our final PowerMapper rating
We give it a 2/5.
If you only need a sitemap, you can skate by with PowerMapper; however you’ll be paying an absolute premium for a tool that doesn’t live up to the price tag. Consider that their Medium plan ($149/month) is more than any of our plans and it comes with no website planning tools for content, design or diagramming and only allows for 3 users.
Slickplan meanwhile is a powerful visual sitemap builder that comes packaged with advanced planning tools that bring unparalleled efficiency to your entire website project.
Give us a try for free for 14 days and see for yourself.