uKit Website Builder Reviewed
Gone are the days when you needed to code each single page from scratch to build a website. Thanks to DIY website builders the barriers to building a site have vanished.
During the past few years a lot of new code-free web publishing platforms emerged to meet the growing demand, offering aspiring bloggers, independent professionals, and businesses an easy, low-cost way to build a web presence.
With so many competitors out there, in order to survive, website builders have to differentiate themselves from the others. As a result, many choose to specialize, providing the same basic feature set, while focusing on a specific domain, say, restaurant business, blogging, or photography.
uKit website builder is probably the most modern builder around, bringing together all the latest trends of web design. With uKit you don’t even need to have basic technical experience. The system is simple and flexible, and it does 70% of the work for you — no HTML coding, CSS, Photoshop, or any other part of the web developer’s daily routine.
uKit follows the latest web and mobile trends letting users build a mobile-friendly website and preview it. The feature makes it easy to tune the appearance of each page and check who it will look like on both tablets and smartphones. The platform comes with a simple editing tool. Users can hide or ad different blocks and edit their website separately from the web version.
The platform regularly updates its templates and delivers new designs to meet users’ expectations. Moreover, the software has added some new tools for more outsourcing opportunities. The owner now has a chance to provide a temporary access to a uKit website.
Based on one of the best types of visual editors, uKit allows a non-tech-savvy user to create a website from scratch within 1-2 hours. The main advantage of the builder is that anyone can achieve a result equal to the work of a professional web developer.
You can forget about mistakes — all imperfections will be resolved by the system. The grid aligns itself, images are adjusted by size, and the font color is matched to the background. No issues whatsoever.
To stand out in this crowded market, uKit site builder focuses on delivering business-specific features. This site builder was developed by the uCoz team which is no stranger to producing this type of software.
Ease of Use
uKit provides an intuitive, well-structured interface. Most of the tabs and buttons are self-explanatory. The builder supports drag-and-drop editing, which means you’ll be able to add new elements and widgets to the page simply by dragging those onto the canvas.
uKit website builder has an intuitive and modern interface. Importantly, it lacks unnecessary features and pointless steps that would slow down the site-building process.
After you’ve signed up and chosen a design, you can create a temporary domain name or generate a random one. Next, you are taken through 3 simple steps: type in a website name, enter contact details, and links to social media accounts. Done!
The site builder has three working modes: Site pages, Builder, and Design. Let’s have a closer look at each of them.
Design: From here, you can change your website by choosing its color scheme and background. For the background, you can use a regular color scheme or an uploaded image. It’s worth mentioning that the design settings are quite succinct, which prevents a user from applying garrish incompatible color solutions.
From this section, you can also switch your current design to any other, enable the site version for the visually impaired, and activate animation for elements’ appearance.
Builder: As an editing method, a WYSIWYG editor and drag-and-drop builder are used. The combination of these two tools lets users perform basic changes to a website’s elements and blocks: you can add, delete, edit, and rearrange items with just one click of the mouse.
The result of the changes can be seen right on the spot.
uKit offers a generous set of functional elements referred to as widgets. These can be added by simply dragging them onto the page; they include product Cards, Video, Google Search, Live Chat, Callback, Timer, AddThis Sidebar with popular social media buttons, Callback, Price List, Slider, News Widget, and many more.
You can also go for ready-to-use block sets tailored to the realization of a specific function: header/footer, about us, products, contact form, portfolio, testimonials, etc.
Pages: Here, user can perform a number of actions with pages: you can add new pages, delete existing ones, change their order in the menu, and duplicate them. From this place, you can also configure SEO settings by setting up a page’s and keywords. SEO-savvy users will also find it handy that they’ll be able to hide a page from indexing.
All the elements that you add onto the page can be edited in the nitty-gritty: change the elements’ layout within the blocks, choose from the visual formatting options, select the number and the view of elements to be displayed, set the background, etc.
uKit feature set will really allow inexperienced users to launch effective websites. There is nothing to doubt here at all.
Besides creating static pages, uKit lets you start a simple blog and integrate various dynamic widgets. To start a blog, switch to the Pages mode and when adding a new page, choose ‘News’ instead of ‘Page’.
When your blog is enabled, you can allow commenting by connecting a Disqus account, schedule a publication, add video and photos, set the number of posts per page, toggle the Read more button, choose whether to display the date of publication or not, among other options.
A nice bonus that differentiates uKit from competitors is that you can save yourself a trouble of manually uploading content to the Blog if you already run a Facebook page. In just 2 clicks, you can import up to 50 posts from your Facebook page’s feed.
Also, there’s an opportunity to add a callback button, price lists, ad banners, and AddThis sidebar allowing website visitors to share links to your pages over their social media accounts. On top of that, for some elements such as a Button, it’s possible to set up a pop-up window that will perform a function of an order form.
Excitingly, uKit has enabled the opportunity to promote websites built with their platform. On the Dashboard, you can get tips on how to optimize your website for search engines. Those new to site-building will definitely appreciate this kind of care.
uKit functionality appears to be quite appealing in its niche. It’s easy to master and allows the user to implement all the features needed for a successful business website.
Other widgets include SoundCloud, LiveChat, Instagram feed, Google Maps, email forms, and more.
Unlike other systems that let users get under the hood and make direct changes to the site’s code, uKit doesn’t explicitly provide this possibility. It’s main focus is non-techies. However, if you are a web designer or a developer who creates websites for clients, you will find much to like on the PRO plan.
It allows deep customization by offering HTML code integration and personalized color schemes.
uKit is known for its advanced widgets that contribute to the flexibility of the website builder and its performance. To add the required widget to the page, you just have to pick the one and drag it onto the page. Let’s quickly review the most popular uKit widgets and their functional value.
“Timeline” and “Steps” are the best samples of widgets the website builder offers. They make it possible to provide information regarding any sequence of actions (schedule events, event posters, steps required to complete a certain task etc.) in the understandable and easy way.
uKit has also introduced a well-known Google Maps Widget that can be integrated into a website to provide the location parameters of a certain object/business. Mind that integration of this widget was previously possible via API key application and creation of a separate billing account. However, it’s no longer required to get the API key to connect a map to your website. This is an advantage in itself.
Social Networks Widget offers access to the set of popular communication/interaction services, such as Telegram, WhatsApp, Viber etc. This allows posting the links to social media systems and messengers on websites users create.
The website builder has recently introduced a Facebook Pixel widget that can be added to the website without the HTML widget. Just reach the dashboard of the system, click the corresponding widget, copy the pixel IDfrom the window with pixel code installation options and paste it into the required input field. Mind, however, that the widget is currently available to the owners of Basic, eCommerce and Pro Plans.
Another widget that is worth the attention of web developers, who give preference to uKit, is Google Tag Manager. It is available for Pro Plan subscribers only as the feature should be used correctly not to affect website performance. Google Tag Manager can be found in the widget section of the system dashboard. To integrate it into the project, just pick the one and follow the instructions the system generates.
The system developers have recently updated the settings of the Timer widget. You can now select the timer type, which automatically restarts as you reload the web page. This means that users, who visit the website, will see the timer that will countdown the minutes and hours you have set up in advance.
uKit also integrates with SendPulse. The widget can be used by anyone, who has the desire to add and set up web push notifications for website visitors with a couple of clicks. The widget is also available in the dashboard of the website builder, where you can pick and add it to the website in less than no time.
Another update of the website builder is the Comment Widget that can now be activated for all website pages. Other widgets you can select and integrate into the website include Video, Cards, Google Search, Callback, Contact Form, Contact Information, MailChimp, LiveChat, JivoChat, Timer and more.
uKit provides two options to create an online store: with the help of the third-party Ecwid Store service and using uKit native tools.
In the first case, you’ll need to create an account with the Ecwid system and connect your website to it. In the end, you get yourself a visually compelling and neat storefront. However, you’ll hardly be able to build a big online store because it’s not really convenient. For each category you need to create a new page, set up its view, etc. The whole process isn’t automated. Visitors are shown only what you have manually published on your pages. Yet, if you invest time and effort, you can achieve decent results.
To cover the needs of those who didn’t find the Ecwid system useful, uKit has recently introduced an in-house solution to set up an online store. And while many features are still in the active development, there’s already a lot of useful stuff in there.
Creating a store with the native tools is very simple: you add one or more products or services using the Product widget and then the store gets automatically activated. Next, you just configure the cart according to the specific requirements of your business and you’re done. The store settings allow you to change currency and cart behavior, customize your products in terms of design, description, image, and price, as well as set up an order form and specify shipping and payment methods. As far as the payment processing options go, uKit offers the industry-standard and probably the most well-known payment system in the world – PayPal.
uKit does have a free option for people who just need a basic informational website, but if you want to take advantage of their in-house eCommerce features, you’ll need an upgraded plan (eCommerce or Pro) starting from $8.40/month.
If you’re wondering if uKit native eCommerce is a good fit for you, you can go for a free 14-day trial period and see if their functionality meets your needs.
Apart from launching eCommerce websites, uKit makes it possible to add a blog to your website. The entire process does not take much effort and time – blog connection feature is realized via adding a “News Informer” widget to your ready-made website. Right after that, you can set up the news display format with regard to your current requirements. This is done within several minutes and is absolutely easy even for first-time-users. If you need, you can set up the blog page as your homepage to let users reach it at once. As soon as you adjust the settings, all the posts published in the “News” section will be automatically displayed in the blog. That’s quite convenient for website owners.
One of the features that will contribute to the ease of blog management is the scheduled news publication option. It implies the possibility to prepare the news and posts in advance and then schedule the time of their publication. The feature will come in handy, if you plan to take a vacation or a business trip, for example. You won’t have to worry about your blog updates as the posts will be added automatically, while you are away based on the schedule you’ve set up.
All in all, blogging with uKit is simple, engaging and clutter-free. No coding skills are required from you – just create a blog and add posts to it whenever you wish. The system makes it possible to add any media and elements to your blog posts to give them the desired look and attract user attention. You just focus on the content instead of thinking about web design nuances. That’s definitely a valuable aspect for blog owners.
During the setup stage you can use a free subdomain, and connect a custom domain later when you’re ready to publish your site.
At the outset, a free third-level domain name like 7r9f77543.urest.org is assigned to your website. It’s good enough when you are only starting with your site and want to test the system, but it needs to be changed if you make a decision to carry on with your site and develop it professionally.
From the first day, you can connect your custom domain or purchase one through your Dashboard. It will take you only a couple of clicks and about 15 minutes for a domain to be connected.
Websites created with uKit are SEO-friendly too. First of all, each page can be edited to add meta tags. Next, connecting your Google Analytics account will let you track the statistics of the site traffic and make adjustments to your promotion strategy.
To help you better understand your site audience, uKit has recently released the extended statistics allowing you to quickly learn who your website visitors are, where they’re coming from, and what they are viewing on your website. The nice thing about this new feature is that all these essential data about your site traffic are available directly from your site’s Dashboard.
uKit goes even further and allows setting up “goals” to measure how often your site visitors fulfill specific actions, e.g. placing an order or submitting a contact information form. One more important thing is tagging your business. Adding your organization to Google Maps will add value in the eyes of search engines as well as visitors. All in all, everything is set for SEO.
The website builder has recently made changes in the site settings. It has now become possible to hide the entire website from search engine indexing. The feature will be of great help to those users, who have just started working on their project development and, thus, don’t want it to be listed in the search results.
uKit offers a library of free templates designed with small business in mind. uKit templates are all responsive, and you can preview each template in three modes – tablet, mobile, and desktop.
Make sure you choose the right template from the start, since in the future it can be difficult to change the template in any meaningful way – uKit only allows for slight design customizations. This approach helps avoid many frustrating scenarios and web design mishaps such as mismatched fonts and awkward color combinations.
The first thing that catches the eye is a wide range and quality designs, divided into 40 categories; in all, uKit offers over 400 responsive design choices. Each can be customized the way you want it. Rearrange, create and delete the blocks, change images in the slider, experiment with colors of the elements, menu items, and more.
To simplify the development process, it’s advisable to choose a design from your business category: photography, construction, legal services, logistics & transportation, travel, business & finance, education (recently updated design category), etc. That way, you will straight away be provided with the needed structure and preset industry-specific content.
Allow 10-20 minutes to edit the latter and half of the website is finished. Additionally, tweak the background, colors, and, if needed, the default block’s layout. This is the easiest way to work with uKit.
If you build a website, fill it with content, and then at a certain point decide to change its look and feel, you can easily switch to another design at any time. And whatever design you switch to, all of your previously added content will be preserved. This is handy because even if you change from a construction design to a photographer’s website, nothing will crumble.
uKit has an advantage when it comes to design responsiveness — all designs are optimized for a multi-device experience and can automatically adapt themselves to any screen size, be it mobile, tablet, or a laptop. A sandwich menu looks great on any screen while the blocks flexibly change their sizes. Well done, uKit! Take a look at the real uKit examples made by its users.
uKit pays special attention to the mobile browsing convenience of users. To boost the engagement rate, the website builder has introduced the advanced Adaptive View feature that allows fine-tuning and customizing the way your uKit-based website will display on tablets and other mobile devices.
If there are any website blocks you don’t wish to be displayed in the mobile website version, you’ll have an opportunity to disable them. Likewise, you will be able to change the block backgrounds and number of columns available in the widget. Finally, it is possible to configure the positions of widgets so that they would be divided into 2 columns when displayed in the tablet view mode.
It should be mentioned, though, that the mobile version of the website is automatically synchronized with the initial desktop mode. However, if you activate the features related to mobile browsing only, block background desktop settings won’t be synchronized with the mobile version anymore.
uKit has recently made it possible to add the copyright block to the footer of each website created with the system. The copyright is now available in two design options – light and dark. Newly registered users, who start with the trial feature, can just reach the block and pick the option that matches their website design. Minimal Plan subscribers are also allowed to choose the preferred design, while Basic, eCommerce or Pro Plan users also have an opportunity to completely remove it from the website. Mind that the new feature is applicable for new websites only and it does not affect the sites purchased before with the Basic, eCommerce or Pro Plans. For these projects, the footer will remain untouched. Websites launched with the Minimal Plan will come with dark copyright footer block by default, but there is an opportunity to change the colour to the light or completely disable the footer.
At the moment, you can connect with technical support via email, a feedback form, or a live chat (available to premium users) available 24/7. There’s also an informative FAQ section and a forum where you can leave your feedback and discuss the site builder with other uKit users. If you don’t manage to find answers to your questions for some reason, you can also get in touch with the support team via Skype
uKit offers four pricing options: Minimal Plan ($5/mo, or $4/mo when paying for a year), Basic (10/mo, or $8/mo when purchasing a yearly subscription), eCommerce ($12/mo, or $9.60/mo when committing to a yearly package) and Pro Plan ($15/mo, which is discounted to $12 if paid annually). The prices are further reduced if you decide to upgrade to a longer period of 2 years. Also, you are offered a free trial period to see the premium features in action.
It’s worth mentioning that you can upgrade at any time without losing any free days from your trial, as they will be added to your subscription period. It’s a little thing but really nice.
uKit.com is a great project. The system has everything you need to create a corporate business website, a personal promo website, a small online shop, or a bright landing page. The platform recently celebrated 2 years since its launch, but during that time it has managed to gather over 1,000,000 registrations. More and more websites powered by uKit can be found on the web.
uKit website builder was designed as a simple tool for beginners who want to build a site without hiring professional web designers and programmers. The platform implements the latest technologies to put an ease on the building process.
Apart from an intuitive editor, the software boasts its newest “My Site” tab that makes it easy to manage several projects at the same time. Simply go to a dashboard, add sites, sort them out by name, date or plan and start managing within a single account. u can switch between websites with just one click.
One con is the absence of a free plan option. However, taking into account the fact that the project is aimed at business owners and provides conveniently arranged features, uKit is definitely worth the money. In fact, very few platforms offer anything interesting for free accounts. More than that, it’s really easy to hunt for sales up to 50% off: all more or less significant occasions are generously marked with discounts. As a result, you can get yourself a powerful CMS for next to nothing.
Another great advantage of the project is its continuous development. Not that long ago it left the beta-testing stage and is currently enhancing its functionality. By starting now, you will have even more impressive opportunities in half a year or a year. Your website will keep growing, and your business along with it. The project developers treat their brainchild with great care and attention, which is a real bonus for the system’s users.
If you don’t wish to invest time and effort to bother with CMS and coding, I advise that you consider uKit. With its help, you can easily create an effective business website — even if you are not familiar with abbreviations like HTML, CSS, PHP, or JAVA. It’s cost-efficient and beautiful. Give it a try – you won’t be disappointed.