Ucraft

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Ucraft Review

Author:/ Date: August 10, 2018

9.1

Highlights:

  • User-friendly editor with drag & drop functionality
  • Affordable plans
  • A great number of templates
  • Great customer support
  • Missing some basic features

About Ucraft:

Ucraft offers an extremely simple and intuitive content editor. There are some free options but they are heavily limited so it’s best to opt for one of their affordable plans. The Ucraft website builder can be perfectly convenient for creating responsive sites, even if you’re a beginner. Their customer service is active 24/7 so they can help you with anything related to the website building process with Ucraft. Although the webmail option is not supported, Ucraft features make up for it as you’re going to see for yourself in this Ucraft review!

Pricing

Landing Page

Free landing page

Website

$6/month

eCommerce

$13/month

Introduction

Ucraft is a website builder that went live in 2015. Just a year after it’s been launched, the Ucraft team received a nomination from CMS Critic for the best new CMS. Now, I wrote an in-depth Ucraft review to see how much the website builder has evolved since its initial launch and, of course, to help you decide if this is the website builder you want to use. But first, let’s go through some interesting facts!

Did you know that the number of websites has doubled in the past two years? In 2016, there were over 900 million sites, while at the beginning of 2018 there were more than 1.8 billion websites. So, the question is, Can you afford not to have a website? But perhaps there’s a more important question – How do you make your site stand out in such a competitive environment?

Writing original and informative content and optimizing it for search engines will help you with that, but before you can do any of those things, you need to select a website builder that will help you start off your DIY adventure right. But how do you know what the best website builders are? This is where my in-depth review can help you made an informed decision and set up your new website quickly and easily.

Ease Of Use

Intuitive

I’ve used many different website builders, and I could say that Ucraft falls into the group of website builders with intuitive navigation. Again, it’s not as intuitive as other website builders such as Wix, but it does the job just fine. Plus, the Ucraft pricing heavily influences my opinion on this topic.

Drag and Drop Feature

Once I entered the Ucraft editor, I was presented with all the tools I can use to launch my site. To help users create a website, Ucraft offers a simple drag-and-drop builder. On the left side of the editor, you will find the Preview button, which lets you see how your site looks at any point. The sidebar shortcuts also allow you to add effects to your site (fade in, rotate, and parallax), as well as check your progress in creating your website.

 

Ucraft Review - Editor

 

Now, the two crucial components of the Ucraft editor that must be mentioned in every Ucraft review are blocks and elements for which you’ll also find a shortcut on the sidebar of the editor. These components are your weapon for creating ‘a killer website’, as Ucraft likes to say.

Elements allow you to add anything from text and images to article categories and sharing buttons, whereas buttons are pre-formatted sets of elements that you can adjust to a certain extent. If you want to have more customisation freedom, you need to activate Designer Tools. You don’t need to look for this feature, as Ucraft will automatically let you know if you’re trying to change something that requires enabling the Designer Tools feature.

 

Ucraft Review - Upgrade Message

 

The sidebar of the website editor is home to the Dashboard panel as well, where you’ll find essential website building apps. Enter the Dashboard from the Ucraft signin page, and you’ll be editing your site in seconds!

 

Ucraft Review - Dashboard

Image Editing

Next, let’s take a look at the image editing options Ucraft offers. This website builder has an exhaustive image library of free stock images you can use, but you can also upload your own media. Ucraft uses Adobe’s Creative Cloud Image Editor, Aviary. If you’ve ever worked with it before, then you know how powerful it is. Or you can check a random Ucraft review to confirm.

The image editing software comes with various tools allowing you to adjust your image’s brightness and contrast levels, as well as to crop it using pre-set dimensions or by adding them manually. You can also add stickers, frames, and overlays.

 

Ucraft Review - Image Editor

Content Editing

Content editing is one of the things I really liked about Ucraft. Using the Articles App, you can add content to your site in seconds without too much effort. Ucraft’s content editor allows you to add categories, tags, and SEO descriptions to your content. The auto-save feature is an excellent addition too, as you don’t have to worry about losing your data. The auto-save detects when you’ve stopped typing and automatically saves all the changes.

 

Ucraft Review - Content Editing

Themes

Ucraft themes have a contemporary feel, and they add a fresh note to your website’s look. If I placed Ucraft vs Squarespace templates side by side, I wouldn’t know where to cast my vote. Both Ucraft and Squarespace themes are of high quality and quite pleasing to the eye.

 

Ucraft review - Templates

 

To help you find an ideal template, the Ucraft team added tags and short descriptions to their templates library. All of them are designed to perfectly fit different devices. There are 75 Ucraft themes divided into 11 categories. Now, the answer to the question Is Ucraft free? is yes. The website builder allows you to select a template for your site regardless of the plan you’ve subscribed to. However, if you decide to use their free plan, you’ll have 21 templates to choose from.

  • Business (27)
  • ECommerce (20)
  • Restaurant (8)
  • Sport (5)
  • Personal  (23)
  • Travel (5)
  • Design (10)
  • Portfolio (17)
  • Art (11)
  • Photography (4)
  • Blog (20)

Additionally, the Ucraft website builder features the Templates App, which allows you to switch between templates at any point. Keep in mind, this feature is only available for website plans, which doesn’t include eCommerce plans.

Mobile Friendliness

When it comes to mobile friendliness, Ucraft describes its website building elements as smart and capable of adapting to different devices. So if you decide to create your website with this website builder, you can rest assured that those accessing your site from mobile devices will be able to view your site’s content without any glitches. However, there are no separate tools to help you edit your content for mobile view. You can preview your Ucraft website using the Mobile View, but apart from deciding whether you want the site blocks to be aligned horizontally or vertically, there’s not much room for any other tweaks.

Ucraft Features

I dedicated the next part of my Ucraft.com review to the different features this website builder offers to its customers. Now, let’s see what you can do with Ucraft.

Blog Creation

Using Ucraft, you can create your blog easily thanks to this website builder being a content management system. Ucraft has everything you need to create a blog. WYSIWYG Rich Text Editor allows you to add new content, manage post tags and categories, add images, use different formatting options, and enable comments and social sharing. Additionally, you can optimise your content for search engines by adding descriptions and customising your blog posts’ URLs.

SSL Encryption

Enabling SSL on your site is something you have to do outside of the Ucraft website builder environment. The website builder notifies its users that it ‘doesn’t host any SSL on their servers as it is not secure’, and recommends using Cloudflare.

Email Services

Ucraft does not offer email services at this time. So when collecting data from your users, you need to add your email address. Additionally, you can send all the data to your Intercom or Mailchimp account, or you can connect your Ucraft website with your Google account and export all the data to Google Sheets. As you may have noticed, this is one of the rare cons you’ll find in this Ucraft review, but it had to be mentioned nevertheless.

Form Builder

The Ucraft contact form is easy to configure, giving you a lot of customisable options. You can add regular fields such as name, email, and message, as well as create dropdowns with custom labels. As I already mentioned, with Ucraft you can’t set up a webmail account. So when gathering your site visitors’ info, you can configure the form element to send all the data to your business or personal email, Google Sheet, Mailchimp, or Intercom account.

Menu

The next question I’d like to address in this Ucraft website builder review is what options they offer to help your visitors navigate through your site easily. For the primary navigation, you can add a menu to your site using the Pages element. By simply dragging the Pages element into the editing area, you’ll add a standard (horizontal) or burger (slide out sidebar) menu to your site. Apart from this, you can also use breadcrumbs to help your users find their way around your site with ease.

Membership Systems

Creating a membership site with Ucraft is another option that is not currently available. The website builder’s support assured me they would add the membership feature in the future though. The closest thing to a membership site is creating a password-protected page, but building a Ucraft login page can’t yet be done.

Social Media

You can easily add social media buttons to your Ucraft website by simply dragging and dropping the Social sharing and Follow Us elements where you want these icons to appear.

Integrations

Next, let’s see which services you can integrate with your Ucraft website. The website building platform supports various free integration options. Below I’ve included a list of Ucraft integrations:

  • Zendesk Chat, Intercom (customer messaging systems)
  • Hotjar, Google Analytics, Yandex Metrica (web analytics services)
  • Hello Bar (conversion rate booster)
  • Algolia (search functionality)
  • Disqus, Messenger (blog commenting and messaging app)
  • Typeform (form building)
  • SoundCloud, iTunes (audio player)
  • Eventbrite (promoting events)
  • PayPal (payment methods)
  • Twitter feed, Instagram
  • Calendly (meeting scheduling)

ECommerce Functionality

Even though the Ucraft website builder offers several eCommerce elements on website plans, you can’t use either of them unless you upgrade your plan to the basic eCommerce plan. With the eCommerce plan, you get everything you’d get with a website plan plus eCommerce elements.

 

Ucraft Review - Ecommerce

 

With Ucraft’s eCommerce plan, you unlock a powerful, yet simple online store builder. The platform allows you to add products and categorise them by simply pointing and clicking. Using Ucraft’s eCommerce solution, you can also sell your products on multiple channels including Amazon and Facebook.

Another neat feature of Ucraft stores allows users to add SEO tags to their products to optimise them for search engines. Ucraft also supports more than 70 payment and shipping methods, which is quite impressive.

Logo Maker

Another thing I liked a lot and had to emphasise in my Ucraft review is that they offer the option of creating a logo for your site. Having a logo helps sites distinguish themselves from their competition, so this is a really neat feature. Ucraft’s Logo maker is straightforward, and you can create a logo for your site in a couple of minutes.

Website Performance

In order to see how well Ucraft sites perform, I tested Ucraft’s homepage. Based on the results, the Ucraft site performance is solid, and it takes less than four seconds for a page to fully load. I was surprised to see that the mobile version of the Ucraft website is better optimised than the desktop version.

Desktop leading speed (Average/Good; 91/100)

 

Ucraft Review - Desktop performance

 

Mobile loading speed (Fast/Good; 98/100)

 

Ucraft Review - Mobile speed

SEO Performance

When building a Ucraft site, you can optimise it to show in search engine results by using the SEO app. You can add a title and description for each page on your website, as well as tell search engines whether to index a web page or not. You can also decide if you want to include all pages in the sitemap that Ucraft automatically generates for you.

When adding content using the Articles app, you can modify the URL structure and type in the desired URL name separated by hyphens. It’s quite simple, actually.

Evaluating traffic on your website is something you can do using the following Ucraft integrations: Google Analytics and Yandex Metrica. Additionally, if you want to track your visitors’ behaviour or create heatmaps to get full insight into your visitors’ activity, you can enable Hotjar on your site.

Ucraft Pricing

Ucraft offers three main plans – Landing Page, Website, and eCommerce plans. Additionally, there are three pricing plans for eCommerce sites. Here’s an overview of all Ucraft plans and pricing details:

 

Ucraft Review - Pricing

Ucraft Landing Page

This plan allows you to create a single page for free. There aren’t many changes you can make with the landing page plan. You can replace the dummy content and add your own, but making style changes is off limits. With this plan, you can use the SEO app, connect your domain, and invite team members to collaborate with you on your website-building projects. Your site is hosted on Google Cloud. Overall, the Ucraft Landing Page package is quite restrictive, since you can’t add new elements, blocks, or pages.

The Website Plan

The Website plan gives you far more freedom than the Landing page plan. For starters, the Website plan allows you to create an unlimited number of pages. You also get access to Ucraft integrations and add-ons, as well as to the Drag-and-Drop editor, since the Website plan lets you you actually add and edit your site’s content. Ucraft pricing for this plan is rather symbolic – from $8 per month.

The ECommerce Plan

This is the basic plan for online stores, and it comes with unlimited storage, SEO for products, and no fee on store transactions. You can have a maximum of 50 products, and the product size cannot be larger than 100MB. The real-time tracking feature is available with this plan too, and you can choose between more than 70 shipping and payment options. Pricing: from $16 per month.

The Pro Plan

The Pro plan includes all the things in the eCommerce plan, but there are some differences. Instead of 50 products, with the Pro plan, your online store can feature up to 1000 products, and the maximum product size is significantly larger, i.e., 1GB. Apart from that, you can also add coupons, discounts, and wishlists to your store.

Other features that come with this plan include the Store Management App, editing invoices, reverse-charging VAT, and tax exemption enablement. Pricing: from $39 per month. As you’ll notice in Ucraft.com review comments, many people opt for this plan since it gives them the whole package at a reasonable price.

The Unlimited Plan

This plan is a Pro plan with the option of selling on eBay in the US. Pricing: from $76 per month.

Domain Name

 

 

Ucraft Review - Domain manager

 

Your site will get a Ucraft.com subdomain name extension by default. If you want to change the default domain name, you can do so by using the Domain App. The app will allow you to connect your existing domain name for free, which is something even the best website builders are not likely to offer. You can also purchase a new domain and choose the desired extension. Domain prices vary based on the extension you choose. The cheapest domain extension is .in.net ($11), whereas the priciest is the .tv domain extension ($38).

Hidden Costs, Billing Practices, and Payment Options

Ucraft doesn’t have any hidden costs. If your current plan doesn’t support a specific feature, Ucraft will automatically prompt you to upgrade your plan. However, before you choose a plan, you can see a detailed overview of all features included in each plan.

As far as billing practices go, the Ucraft website builder offers monthly and yearly subscriptions. With an annual subscription, you can make some savings. For example, the website plan with a monthly subscription is $8 per month, but if you opt for a yearly subscription, you’ll pay $6 per month.

The more expensive the plan is, the bigger the savings are. With a yearly subscription on the Unlimited plan, you can save nearly $200 on an annual basis compared to a monthly subscription. Ultimately, Ucraft accepts PayPal, as well as Visa, MasterCard, and Discover credit cards.

Customer Support

To get in touch with the Ucraft support team, you can send them an email or send them a message using their live chat facility. The site builder also has an extensive knowledge base, where you can find a lot of useful information. The option of contacting the support team via live chat is the most convenient one, as well as the most efficient.

While I was writing this Ucraft website builder review, I reached out to the live chat agents several times. They were always very polite and patient. I received all the answers in several minutes, but keep in mind that I reached out to them during the day when I could see the agents were online.

Final Verdict

Ucraft is a solid choice for creative people who want to showcase their work in a simple manner. I don’t like the fact that the free plan is so restrictive and that you have to switch to a paid plan to get the basic website-building tools that other website builders offer for free.

Ucraft’s selection of templates is not mind-blowing either, but they do offer some cool eCommerce features for online store owners, and they have a nice set of tools for your site’s SEO optimization. To sum up my Ucraft review – Ucraft plans are affordable, the features are more than satisfactory, and you won’t be making a mistake by building your website at Ucraft.

Conclusion

Rating
9.1

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