uCoz website builder holds the first position in my top 10 rating, as it’s one of the most flexible web services of its kind, to my mind. uCoz was founded in 2005. As of July 2012, it had more than one million active websites. This SaaS platform is internationally recognized: Open Web Awards 2009 winner in the nomination Best Site for Publishers; Web Host Directory (September 2008) – Best for Ecommerce; Content Management Award Winners 2009 and other awards).
Surely, aside from the benefits, there are certain inconveniences in the system, and I’m going to touch upon both in this detailed review.
#1 Ease of Use
uCoz offers a quite user-friendly control panel. However, comparing with other site constructors, it could be simpler. It doesn’t offer pure WYSIWYG and drag-and-drop editing environment, yet this shouldn’t scare you away – millions of uCoz-powered websites’ owners have managed to build their websites on uCoz :). Speaking about ease of use it’s important to note that their Team is actively engaged in developing a brand new admin panel.
#2 Feature Set and Flexibility
Being a SaaS (software as a service) platform, uCoz runs the gamut from standard to the most advanced site building solutions. In fact, it gives you complete freedom of customization even within their absolutely free plan. The system is fully HTML5 and CSS3 compatible. This makes uCoz the best candidate for advanced users. Ever since the launch of the platform seven years ago, its users have written and shared thousands of handy widgets specially for uCoz – you are free to use them, too.
The system offers a list of modules that you can enable in order to build a multi-faceted or a narrowly specialized website. For instance, if you need an e-shop only, you have to enable the E-shop module. But if you want to extend it, nothing stops you from enabling other modules, such as Forum, Mini Chat, GuestBook, Polls, just to name a few. Another feature that is worth mentioning, is the ability to attach your own domain name for free.
There are three options in terms of designs on uCoz: you can either select a ready template (there are nearly 250 items), create your own theme using their Template Builder, or opt for one of the Premium templates available at their official templates store.
Update: uCoz now has free responsive templates.
#4 Customer Support
Technical support for the websites built with uCoz is performed in English, Russian, French, German, Romanian, Spanish, Ukrainian and Arabic languages. The system has 16 full-fledged language localizations.
Customer support is performed via emails and through their numerous Community Forum. There are also many video tutorials and step-by-step guides covering all the stages of website building with uCoz.
#5 Pricing Policy
uCoz has a free version and 5 paid packages. Free version doesn’t require entering your credit card data and it never expires (in case you update your website on a regular basis). Their free version offers a very rich toolset including the ability to use your own, previously bought domain name. However, when on their free plan you’re obliged to display the system copyright and a rather noticeable advertisement. In case you use uCoz to build a non-profit website (school website, website for a charity organization) you can remove the ad for free – just contact their support. To learn more pricing details, please visit their Pricing Page.
uCoz may seem to be a bit complicated for those who expect to get pure WYSIWYG and drag-and-drop editing environment. Another inconvenience is the ad in their free plan.
uCoz Review: Conclusion
uCoz website builder has both benefits and disadvantages, yet the former definitely outnumber the latter. What I like most of all about this particular web service is that it provides you with complete freedom of web development. This is to say that it offers everything to build an exceptional, multifunctional website. You may want to see active uCoz websites examples.