From Russia with love, comes uKit (we just couldn’t hold back with this pun). In 2015, the Russian and Ukrainian team that built uCoz launched uKit. While uCoz combines customisable themes and ready-to-use modules with a fully supported code editor, uKit is designed with a wider audience in mind. Or think of it like this: Use uCoz to create a large and structurally complex website whereas you use uKit to create small a site – in visual mode in its entirety.
Even so, uKit is a multi-purpose website builder and it doesn’t require you to have basic technical experience. It’s a mobile-first website builder for creating business landing pages, online stores, and other sites for personal and commercial use. As an all-inclusive service, you will be able to design your site and when it’s time to launch it, uKit will handle the hosting, and if needed sell you the domain name.
Pros and cons of uKit
- Easy to use
- Easy-to-grasp interface
- Solid SEO toolset
- Well-designed blogging tool with the same solid SEO features
- Automatic and manual backups
- Fair pricing offer value for money
- Not many integrations
- No free forever plan, but that’s understandable since it’s target market is business owners
- Not for larger projects
Who is uKit for?
As one of the newer players in the market, uKit sets itself apart from the others in that it’s geared towards small and medium-size businesses who want to have professional looking websites. They want the tools to create and manage their sites hassle-free and effectively.
How easy is uKit to use?
Anyone will pick up how to move around and use uKit in a matter of minutes, especially if you’re coming from another website builder. It uses a What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG) drag-and-drop interface with widgets and blocks. The widgets are elements like text or image. Grouped widgets are blocks. For example, if you want a section with your contact info you place the block Contact into your page. Blocks will help keep your site consistent.
All we wanted to accomplish we could do with the help of the mouse, dragging and dropping the elements into place, or crating and moving pages. Obviously, changing headlines, or editing the copy needs the keyboard. At no time did we feel lost or had to hunt for the controls.
Very useful are the undo and redo along with the backup functions, so you can not only restore the last step but the entire site from a previous backup.
If you’re very pressed for time, you can turn your social media page, for example, your Facebook page, into a website. Just provide the link to it and uKit does all the work to generate a website based on the content it sees on the provided link. After that, edit your website as needed.
Design and templates
The ample choice of templates is organised into business-specific categories and mobile-friendly. For a new project, you’ll choose a template that fits your niche, then customise it. You can change colours, styles, fonts, and much more.
You can fill in your website with content and maybe at a later point decide to with to another template. In this case, uKit is so helpful that all your content will be preserved in the new design. This is very practical, as you don’t need to redo all of your previous work.
When contemplating the wide range of templates, we felt that the design of the templates seems to look similar. This may lead to projects built with uKit to look cookie-cutter.
How easy is managing your ecommerce store with uKit?
First things first: If you want to have an online storefront, know that you at least need to subscribe to the eCommerce plan.
UKit comes with its own ecommerce system – the product widget – that covers the basics needed for an online store like shipping methods, discount codes, payment methods, and more. It’s straightforward to setup up a basic online store with almost no learning curve.
If you need more ecommerce features, you can also integrate your site with Ecwid. It’s a solid tool that is often included in many other website builders.
There is no plugin or app store. You can however still ingrate uKit with services like SoundCloud, SlideShare, Mailchimp, and more.
What marketing tools does uKit provide?
You can add to each page a title tag, meta description, keywords, and even an image meta tag, or choose to hide it from search engines. The page URL can be set as you want, and you can give each page and sep-friendly URL. A bonus is that you can set the HTML tag of each element, so that you can have a deeper structure for your heading tags for example.
If you connect your Google Analytics account, you’ll be able to keep track of your site’s traffic and adjust your marketing and promotion strategy. UKit itself also has its own reporting to help you understand your audience. You can even set goals in uKit’s reporting tool.
It’s very easy to add a blog to your website. Instead of adding a new page, select News. Once your blog is enabled, you have options like to schedule a post, the same SEO features as for pages, or allow Disqus for comments. Through the news widget, you can add as many posts to your pages as you like.
You can add your social media profile links with the help of a widget and equally, you can embed your Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and VK streams.
An SSL certificate will protect your site no matter which plan you choose. The manual and automatic backup will ensure that you always have a previous version to return to. Having backups is always a good feature.
Even with such an easy to grasp and easy to use website builder, there is an ample knowledge base that covers every aspect of creating your site. In case you run into questions that aren’t yet explained in the tutorials, you can contact the support team that usually answers 24/7.
Unfortunately, there is no forever free plan, but the pricing is very fair and you get a free 14-day trial period. The longer the subscription period you select, there discount you get, up to 50% when you select 2 years, the longest period.
When you’re selecting the template and find nothing quite fits, uKit offers a service in which they’ll create a website for you, within 10 days, for $100. You see the offer once you’ve scrolled down through all the design categories and arrive at “No matching design?”.
Is uKit the right solution for you?
If you’re on the lookout for a website builder that lets you create professional, mobile-friendly website, uKit is a serious option with only minor niggles. It lets you set up everything from one-pagers, promo sites, business websites, and online stores. Especially for setting up a basic online store it’s an excellent choice. It has almost no learning curve with a straightforward drag-and-drop interface.
If your eCommerce project is larger and more complex or in general if your website needs more customisation, uKit will be too restrictive.
Anyone who doesn’t want to spend time or be bothered with any of the technical aspects in web design, give uKit a go.
Even though it’s aiming at business owners, its pricing does not come with a hefty price that spells “for businesses”. It’s well worth the money.
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