Website builders have been popping up all over the place in the last few years, so what makes this one special? Well, to start with, Ucraft is a truly multinational website builder. Headquartered in Yerevan, Armenia with another office in LA, Ucraft has only been around for a couple of years, but is already making some serious waves in the website builder arena.
Add to that the no-frills attitude they hold (to the point that they don't even have an about us page!) and we have something interesting on our hands. Therefore, we decided to take them on and do a full Ucraft review, in an attempt to find out exactly why you should choose uCraft over of the other great website builders! Let's find out:
Ucraft Pricing & Plans
Like many website builders, Ucraft offers plenty of plans, in an attempt to appeal to anyone and everyone. Just one option is free, and strangely, it doesn't include a website builder. Instead, the free Ucraft plan is simply a landing page.
This is actually pretty nice, as if you are working on your own site from the ground up, you have a free and easy way to keep your site online and let readers/customers know that something amazing is coming soon!
Above are the 4 plans you're greeted with when you head over to Ucraft's pricing page. The Ucraft pricing is as follows:
- Free Website - 1 Landing page, add your own domain, free hosting, Ucraft watermark
- Pro Website - 1 Website, 50 online store products, drag & drop builder, multilingual site, connect your own domain, no Ucraft watermark.
- Pro Shop - same as Pro Website plan, but 1000 products allowed, and plenty of eCommerce-specific features.
- BigCommerce - same as Pro Shop plan, but unlimited products, eBay, Facebook, and Yandex support added.
So plenty to take in! Let's break the plans down even further and find out exactly what each is offering!
|Free Website||Pro Website||Pro Shop||BigCommerce|
|How Many Website Templates?||18||70||70||70|
|Connect Your Own Domain?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|How Many Websites Can You Make?||1||1||1||1|
|Are Email Addresses Included (And How Many)?||No||No||No||No|
|Builder's Ads On Website?||Yes||No||No||No|
|How Many Products Available?||0||50||1000||Unlimited|
|How Many Add-Ons?||N/A||15+||15+||15+|
|Choice For Server Location?||No (Google Web Servers)||No (Google Web Servers)||No (Google Web Servers)||No (Google Web Servers)|
|Free Auto Backup?||No||No||No||No|
|Money Back Guarantee?||N/A||14-day free trial||14-day free trial||14-day free trial|
Let's now break down the pricing, to see what you'll pay in the basket:
|Period / Plan||Free Website||Pro Website||Pro Shop||BigCommerce|
Like I mentioned previously, paying yearly will save you money in the long run. For instance, the Pro Website plan, if paid monthly, will cost $156 over the course of a year, so that's $36 more than if you just paid for 1 year up-front! So it's definitely worth it to pay more upfront!
From the first time I clicked on over to Ucraft's page, I was impressed by how legitimate it feels. That isn't a dig against Ucraft by the way. I was just a little surprised that such a young company seems to have created, at first impression, a fully-featured and polished product.
All plans are offering unlimited bandwidth and disk space, as well as the ability to connect your own domain for free even on the most basic Landing Page plan. Compare this with the likes of Wix or Weebly, who both only allow you to connect your own domain when using a paid plan. Good stuff!
If you look at the benefits section of Ucraft's site, you'll see 6 main features listed. Multilingual websites is a big one! All of Ucraft's templates are fully language compatible, with over 100 languages supported. This is something really nice, and it's not that common, either. The only other website builder we've seen offering this is Voog (Keep on the lookout for that review, too!).
Everything is fully drag & drop, so you don't need any coding skills at all to build a beautiful site with Ucraft. With that said, you are able to add your own HTML element to the page. Sadly, there is no way to edit the actual code of the template you're using. 70 website templates is pretty fantastic too.
That's almost 20 more than Weebly offer! In terms of integrations, Ucraft really is lacking behind some of the big boys, sadly. Offering just 15 add-ons/integrations.
It's worth mentioning when talking about templates, that with the eCommerce/Pro/Unlimited plans, you can't change the template of your site after creating one. This is a big limitation and something Ucraft really should change.
Now let's quickly touch on the extra bonus features that come with all Ucraft plans. SEO optimization comes as standard, as well as designer tools, a logo maker, and the articles app.
Here they are in action:
Articles is basically a way to create, edit and publish content on your website. You can upload images to the content here too, as well as connect integrations for sharing and comments.
Designer tools allows you to edit the look and feel of your site. In the Typography tab, you can edit the weights, colours, sizes and more of each type of text (H1, H2, Paragraph etc). In the UiKit tab you can edit text forms and buttons. And in the layout tab, you can change the distance between blocks, elements and your container width. Don't worry if some of that went over your head, Ucraft has a tutorial for everything!
The SEO manager is a fairly basic add-on, which allows you to name and describe each page on your site. You can also make redirects from here too.
And finally the logo maker. Actually, the logo creating app you see here is available to everyone for free! It's nothing incredibly thorough, unfortunately. But for a free addition to a website builder, it's not bad at all. For anyone looking for truly professional looking logos, though, you should either hire a designer or work on it yourself in a full design application like InDesign or Illustrator, but for basic needs, this is perfect.
Prices are good in general, especially considering what you get for them. A $10-a-month Pro Website plan, for example, includes all the features of a premium website builder, plus it adds eCommerce capabilities.
If you wish to have unlimited products and premium features, sure, you will have to fork out $39 a month. Sure, this may seem expensive. But seeing what you get for that money puts things into perspective. Ucraft can get you plenty of value for the money.
Overall though, if you wish to save, the long-term plans are definitely the ones you should go for. There's plenty of cash to be saved if you commit to an annual plan.
Creating a Custom Website
In order for a website builder to be considered one of the greats, it has to be good at two things:
- Ease Of Use
So, let's take a look at how Ucraft stacks up!
Here is how things get started. You choose which package you're interested in and move forward to the template selection stage:
Like I mentioned above, there are 70 website templates available with Ucraft. Each one caters to a different audience, user-base or aesthetic. You really have the freedom to start however you want here. Strangely, however, there is no option to start entirely from scratch. You can just go ahead and delete all modules until you have a blank slate though if you want to.
After selecting your desired template, you create your subdomain. Don't worry, you'll be able to connect your own hosted domain later if you want to, this is just the free subdomain that Ucraft provides to get you started. All Ucraft subdomains mean that your site will end in .ucraft.me
If you have chosen any of the eCommerce packages, you will now be prompted to enter your business' name and country. Again, you can change this later from the dashboard if you need to. If you haven't chosen an eCommerce package, at this point you'll be prompted to either login or sign up and purchase the product! Unless you're using the free landing page, of course, in which case you'll just sign up and go!
When you enter Ucraft's builder, the first thing you will see is the tutorial video. It's not super in-depth, only around 2 minutes long, but it's still very useful for people that have no website building experience!
Ucraft doesn't muck around with any fancy 'Artificial Intelligence' (AI) systems, they simply present you with your template options and let you decide what is next. If you ever get stuck, you can contact support or check out their knowledgebase.
Above, you can see the options present in the Ucraft sidebar. From left to right they are - Blocks - Elements & Fx settings.
The blocks tab contains the blocks themselves. These are broken down into three categories: Header Blocks, Main Blocks, & Footer Blocks. All three are heavily editable and can be resized, moved and changed as you so wish.
The elements tab allows you to add extra things to your site, usually smaller or foreground items. Things like text boxes, images, buttons, etc. Not only that, though. The elements tab also enables you to add social, eCommerce or integrations, too.
Finally, the Fx tab. This allows you to edit how blocks and elements appear on the page when loading in.
Now, let's find out how easy it was to recreate our Hosting.Review homepage using Ucraft's builder!
Hosting.Review Recreation Experience
In this part of the Ucraft review, I attempt to recreate our own homepage! Complete with fonts, headers, pictures, providers and a search bar. By doing so, I can quickly tell just how easy it is to build a website when you have a clear vision in mind. Here’s how it turned out, and how it compares to the real thing.
Here's the real thing:
And here is how I fared attempting to recreate it in Ucraft:
Not too bad! Some things were really quite easy and simple, like adding the image, logo and header info. However, there are some big problems that we need to address.
Firstly, there is no search element. Well, there is a search element: strangely, it prompts you to connect to Algolia, a hosted search platform. This is so strange, as a website search should be something every builder has without the need to sign up for a separate platform.
Once you sign up for an account with Algolia it's really easy to get things connected and working. But it's still very odd to make you jump through this hoop for such a simple and obvious element.
The second issue is that there is no tables element. The only good way to recreate our hosting provider list is with a table element, so this would be tricky! I attempted making it with text boxes and line breaks, but when it got to the stage of aligning the hosting provider logos I could go no further. This is because whilst Ucraft is a drag & drop builder, it isn't free real estate. You can only drop elements in certain places, which means aligning them next to the text how I wanted to was not possible.
When I asked support about this, they suggested making my own HTML table and importing that using the HTML element. Whilst a solution for someone familiar with coding, it is of no help to someone that just wants a site to work! That's the whole appeal of drag & drop builders, so not having such a simple element is pretty shocking, to be honest.
We've seen so far in this Ucraft review, that Ucraft has some awesome features, some beautiful templates and many options when it comes to creating your site. However, all of this will count for nothing if performance doesn't match up! So, let's look to Uptime Robot to find out how it does:
Nothing incredible, but nothing terrible, either. Although technically almost twice the response speed of Wix, the site itself feels snappy and responsive, and it's also very nicely mobile optimized, too! There have been some little blips, however. Downtime has been present, not much, but still present. Ucraft uses Google Web Servers, so it is a little surprising that the downtimes are here and speed isn't as good as it could be.
Options for customer support are fairly standard here, you get:
- Live Chat
- Email Support
Like I said, standard! However, the quality of the support was sadly not to the norm I would like or expect. Take a look why:
See those timestamps? I connected at 11:07am, received a response that the agent would check something for me almost 20 minutes later, and then after 1 hour and 10 minutes I had to follow up and see what is going on.
This is really poor, and I thought maybe I connected to a new agent who isn't quite sure so, can't be too harsh.
Then I connected to another agent. And things got worse:
I wanted to confirm the number of add-ons available for Ucraft, so I thought that asking a support agent this simple question couldn't really go wrong. Sadly, I was wrong. After my message at 18:05, I received an automated message basically informing me that they are busy right now and to wait. So I did.
Then, at 18:18, I was contacted that same 'let me check something and get back to you'. This left me a little worried.
And my worries were justified! That was 24 hours ago at the time of writing, and my message still hasn't been answered!
What's the point of a live chat that takes hours at best and days at worst to get a response to?
Ucraft Review: Conclusion
Well, where do we begin? Ucraft, whilst being a newbie on the block, has shown that it can stack up to the competition in some important areas, and even beat them in some, too! The feature list is solid, the templates are beautiful and nicely editable, and the many free extras that Ucraft includes show some serious promise.
There are of course some issues. Namely the lack of some basic elements like a simple search box or a table element. But the biggest issue by far is the support. It's just not good enough.
Overall, there are lots of reasons to consider Ucraft as your website builder of choice. You just have to keep in mind that some issues will still need ironing out, and that's normal for a company like this as it grows and develops. If your goal is making professional looking websites without paying much or doing much editing, then Ucraft could be the one for you!
- Beautiful Templates
- Lots Of Integrations
- Fair Pricing
- Support Needs Serious Work
- Lack Of Drag & Drop Freedom
- Some Basic Elements Missing