Looking for a way to improve your site navigation and build a more effective website for your visitors? Sitemaps are a crucial part of that process and WriteMaps is often a tool that pops up in searches. In our WriteMaps review, we’ll take a closer look at the features on offer and identify some significant drawbacks that might have you thinking twice before committing.
WriteMaps review 2023: Is WriteMaps any good?
It’s about as basic as a sitemapper gets, which we’ll explain point-by-point in this WriteMaps review. To put it bluntly, whether you’re a beginner, site-building pro or agency, this likely isn’t the tool for you, especially if you want something that can help you plan your site beyond the sitemap.
WriteMaps pricing plans
The first sign that this doesn’t quite rise to the level a professional would need is the pricing. Yes, it’s less expensive than Slickplan but you get what you pay for and in the case of WriteMaps, you’re not going to be getting much.
Among the drawbacks, their sitemap crawler is limited to 250 pages with no batch editing available and no way to brand sitemaps for clients (big yikes for freelancers). There are also no advanced features for proper website planning, i.e., full-spectrum content planning, diagram making or design integrations.
In a sense, you’re paying for the ability to make a difficult-to-edit sitemap.
Without further ado, how much does WriteMaps cost? Let’s review WriteMaps prices.
|WriteMap plans||Monthly price*|
*Although they only advertise their per month plans, they do offer annual plans but there looks to be no way to sign up for them. According to their site, they do exist and you’ll get "a discount of two months" when signing up; what that means isn’t particularly clear.
How much does WriteMaps cost for nonprofits?
As a barebones product, there are no discounts for nonprofits or anyone. Everyone pays the same.
Slickplan, however, does offer discounts to those doing the vital work that NGOs and nonprofits do. Send us a note here and we’ll make that happen for you.
Are there any WriteMaps coupon codes or promo discount vouchers?
None that we could find, it doesn’t look like there are any discount vouchers or coupon codes for writemaps.com at the moment.
WriteMaps free vs paid: what’s the difference?
There’s a pretty sizable difference between their free and paid plans. The free option maxes out at 50 pages, hardly enough for web professionals working on proper sites. You also only get access to the sitemap builder itself without a way to export, share or even color the pages.
The paid plans, while still limited in how much they can help you with site structure, at least give you a bit of useful functionality. Really just a bit though, for example, you can separate your map into sections and can create a sitemap from an XML (only with the Premium plan). Both things you can do with every plan we offer.
To that end, our free sitemap tool is also more feature-rich and includes batch editing. Plus we offer free, 14-day trials on every plan.
WriteMaps overview: what is WriteMaps & what is WriteMaps used for?
In a few words; WriteMaps is a no-frills, web-based tool for creating very simple visual sitemaps and an aid in the website planning process.
The lack of frills though means that the features offered, even in the Premium plan, would likely be insufficient for projects with sophisticated information architecture or any level of genuine complexity.
Notably, it doesn’t look like they’re doing much to develop the product any further. Their last blog was from 2020 and the "common sitemaps questions" section on their homepage asks "What are the best sitemap tools in 2019?" (spoiler; you’ll find Slickplan in the answer).
WriteMaps features list
Below you’ll find an in-depth look at the features of WriteMaps and how they compare with Slickplan as a visual sitemap builder and site planner.
|Interactive visual sitemaps|
|Drag and drop editor|
|Site crawler & sitemap XML import|
|Notes and content|
|Customization & branding|
|Real-time in-app collaboration|
|Integrations via API|
|CMS import plugins|
1. Interactive visual sitemaps
Of course, both tools allow you to create sitemaps, that’s a given.
The difference is what each can do for your web projects and how the sitemap can help you plan your entire site better.
With WriteMaps you’re able to create a basic sitemap with limited features for creating deeper meaning; no page linking internally or externally, no analytics data, no properties panel for adding page attributes and more.
Certainly no advanced features (more on those below) for improving overall user experience.
Just high-level architecture with a clunky editor for content.
Sitemapping with Slickplan is all about developing a more meaningful sitemap with features like a design tool, workflow integration and data import from Google Analytics coming standard with all plans.
Plus, advanced tools for planning content and diagramming user flow are available on all Pro plans and above.
2. Drag & drop editor
At this point, drag and drop is one of those standard features that you come to expect with this type of software. Being able to move items around without a second thought is a straightforward but monumentally important thing.
3. Site crawler & sitemap XML import
Because you likely won’t be creating every map from scratch, any sitemap creator worth its salt needs to have a way to crawl sites in order to bring in a sitemap.
We’ve given WriteMaps the coveted green check because they technically have a crawler and the ability to import an XML.
But just having these options isn’t the only metric that matters.
Can they move your project forward is the question.
The WriteMaps crawler is limited to 250 sitemap pages so if you’re working on even a modest eCommerce site, for example, chances are you wouldn’t be able to import the entire thing.
Their own FAQs make that clear "if you are looking to crawl larger sites than this [250 pages], other tools would be better suited."
You also have no way to set parameters or choose properties — like selecting domains and all subdomains or getting more specific with file directories — that would yield a better sitemap. Nor can you do things like ignore robots.txt files or HTTP cookies.
With Slickplan’s visual sitemap generator and crawler, you can do all of the above and more, while being able to crawl up to 10,000 pages.
These two go hand-in-hand so we’re counting them as one feature.
As for importing an XML, we said it earlier but it bears repeating, you can only do that with the Premium WriteMaps plan. On the flipside, that’s baked into every one of our plans.
4. Auto Save
Another elementary but excellent feature is having your work saved automatically.
There’s nothing worse than losing work (hours of it potentially!) because you closed your browser without saving your project…or a dreaded browser crash happens.
Not to worry as both WriteMaps and Slickplan automatically save your work as you go.
5. Notes and content
Adding notes and content to a page is something that makes the sitemap to a website builder transition much easier.
Because they help guide the build as you hand things over to your developer.
With WriteMaps, each page has a default section for content and notes. It’s very sparse but it is something.
Slickplan, being a genuine website planning suite, allows for a much more robust batch of attributes to be attached and uploaded to each page, from rich media to notes and analytics.
On top of that, our dedicated Content Planner is just that, a tool that allows you to oversee your entire content plan; developing, assigning and creating content while managing the entire content team.
Advanced features found only in Slickplan:
6. Batch editing
Not having this will rightly be a dealbreaker for many considering WriteMaps.
Without a way to edit and move pages en masse, large projects become all but impossible. If you have an information silo with 50 pages and you want to combine it with another section, for example, with WriteMaps it would take moving 50 pages individually.
Makes the headline on their features page, "a sitemap builder that is fun and fast", seem sort of cruel.
With Slickplan you can edit dozens or even hundreds of pages at the same time. Moving them wherever needed and changing labels and colors as required.
7. Customization and branding
Whether you’re a freelance pro, a small business or a big agency, having a way to customize and branch each sitemap for your clients (and yourself) is important.
One, it’s great for organization and making maps that are easier to digest and, two, it makes you look more professional.
WriteMaps lets you change page color. That’s it. No other changes to the visual look of your sitemap and there’s no way to add logos for your clients.
With Slickplan you can use premade color themes or build your own as well as brand your projects.
8. Google Analytics
Wouldn’t it be nice to know exactly how each page performs and then optimize your site’s architecture to direct even more people there?
Or redesign the pathway and strengthen the page content for those performing poorly?
With Slickplan, you can import Google Analytics data for every single page as well as info like the sources of traffic and do just that.
Useful for fixing your link structure, making your site easier to index and generally improving SEO.
9. SEO tools
Speaking of SEO, beyond being able to add meta descriptions and a title tag, a WriteMaps user has no other way to improve their SEO.
Slickplan’s suite of SEO tools includes an XML sitemap generator and sitemap validator, an HTTPS/HTTP header checker, a robots.txt generator, a redirect checker and a UTM builder to track your ad campaigns in Google Analytics.
And all of those tools are free.
10. Real-time in-app collaboration
If not being able to edit in bulk wasn’t bad enough, WriteMaps isn’t a particularly collaboration-friendly tool either.
Sure, you can share sitemaps with a URL (same with Slickplan) and edits that guests make can be seen live on all screens. But if someone makes a change while you’re offline, you won’t receive a notification and certainly won’t see an in-app explanation as there’s no way to leave feedback or comments.
Discussing anything requires either an email or a 3rd party app like Slack.
That’s hardly real-time, and barely meaningful, collaboration.
With Slickplan you can have live, detailed discussions and follow each other’s movements on screen a la Figma within one, organized workspace.
Not to mention working together on content and diagramming user flows, which we’ll talk about below.
11. Integrations via API
There’s an entire world of business software out there to help you with workflow efficiency. With Slickplan, in addition to the integrations we already offer (Figma, Slack, Basecamp, etc.), you can integrate any other apps or tools through our developer API.
That means you can design your workflow to suit your needs. Something you can’t do with WriteMaps.
12. Content Planner
Content planning is more than only being able to add some text and images to a single block, which is what WriteMaps offers.
Content that keeps visitors interested and has the ability to convert requires planning.
Content planning is being able to create page layouts (or start from a template) and move elements around with a drag-and-drop editor. It’s being able to assign a team member to create the content itself, add any media required and plan the SEO.
It’s being able to see the progress of each piece at a glance; managing and communicating with your whole content team within one platform.
That’s what Slickplan’s Content Planner can do.
13. CMS import plugins
Once you have the content perfected, you need to get into your CMS, no?
Because WriteMaps doesn’t have a real focus on content, it’ll come as no surprise that they don’t have any CMS plugins for efficiently migrating content either.
You’ll be copying and pasting, section by section.
A great use of time. Fun!
Alternatively, we made plugins for WordPress, Joomla!, Drupal, ExpressionEngine and concrete5 which will bring all your content in, just as have it in Content Planner.
If by chance you use a different CMS, you can whip up a plugin with our API.
14. Diagram Maker
Understanding and shaping user flow, or how visitors to your site move through the pages and make decisions, is a part of sitemapping that is often overlooked by more basic tools.
Certainly that’s the case with WriteMaps.
On the contrary, at Slickplan we built Diagram Maker, a tool dedicated to sharpening the user journey and lending key insights that make your site more instinctive to navigate.
15. Design Mockups
It shouldn’t come as a surprise at this point that WriteMaps doesn’t have any built-in design tools or integrations. Fair enough, it doesn’t claim to be a full-scale website planning tool.
At Slickplan, that’s exactly what we are.
As you build out your sitemap, plan your content and diagram key processes, you can also centralize your UI layouts and stay on top of page design with a Figma integration for our Design Mockups tool.
With it, you can bring designs straight into Slickplan and add drop-pin comments to specific elements; comments and feedback that you can see instantly in both Figma and Slickplan.
One workspace to rule them all.
WriteMaps pros and cons
TL:DR, here are the advantages and disadvantages of WriteMaps:
- Among the least pricey sitemapping tools
- Free version allows for 3 sitemaps (limited to 50 pages each)
- Has free trials for Professional and Premium plans (only 3 days)
- Crawler tops out at 250 pages
- Can’t batch edit pages
- No plugins for common work tools or API to build them
- No CMS integrations
- No information on how much storage you get with any plan (up to 500 GB with Slickplan)
- Not a tool for planning your whole website and doesn’t include tools for developing content, diagramming UX flow or designing UI
- Appears that it hasn’t been updated since 2020 (as per their blog/Twitter)
WriteMaps complaints & praise (WriteMaps reviews from real customers)
So what are the people saying? While there aren’t a ton of reviews of WriteMaps out there, the ones we found were largely upbeat.
The fact that it’s simple, easy to use and low-cost came up most frequently.
Regarding negative WriteMaps reviews, it was similar feedback oddly enough. The fact is, it’s a tool that is too simple and makes doing any sort of complex project a stretch.
Review of WriteMaps support
Folks tend to give their support a thumbs up. Their site has a learning center full of articles, a contact page for shooting over questions and an in-app chat box which typically yields a reply within 24 hours.
Refine UX with superior sitemaps
Use our easy drag-and-drop interface to ensure people can get where they want to go.
Is WriteMaps worth it? Our conclusion
So, is WriteMaps worth it?
In a pinch, on a smaller project, WriteMaps can theoretically get the job done but it’s missing a lot of functionality. So much so that doing any sort of complex project would be a tall order and ultimately not worth the effort.
The fact that even their free version includes a way to add content is nice but not enough to warrant a recommendation over other WriteMaps alternatives.
Our final WriteMaps rating
We give it a 2/5
With a crawler limited to 250 pages, no website planning tools to speak of at all and only the most basic of features included in their bread-and-butter sitemapper, WriteMaps just doesn’t bring much to the table.
Whether you’re a pro or just getting started, there are simply better options.
Slickplan is one of them and even our freemium sitemapper represents an upgrade. Give our sitemap creator and planning suite a try for 14 days — free.