uKit – is an indispensible solution for users willing to launch a stunning business website on their own. This website builder will work great for all the representatives of small and medium businesses, who lack web design experience and don’t wish to pay enormous sums of money to web studios.
You don’t have to master programming basics to work with uKit – the system is simple and flexible and it completes around 70% of work on its own. There are no layout design, style charts, Photoshop and other daily issues most web developers encounter here. Frequent updates make the service more convenient and functional.
Based on one of the best samples of visual editors, uKit provides a user with an opportunity to design an appealing website from scratch without any preparation stages in 1-2 hours only. This is the major benefit of the website builder: any person can avail decent result when working with it. This can be compared to the work of a professional web designer.
1. Ease of Use
The builder is meant for those of us, who aren’t technical. It’s easy-to-navigate, fun, and modern. uKit has a sleek drag-and-drop editor that allows you to easily customize your template of choice.
Whether you’re adding a widget to the page, creating a new blog post or attaching a custom domain, everything is as easy as possible. uKit is logically divided into two areas: the Dashboard and Builder. The latter has four working areas: Site Pages, Builder,Design and Adaptive Site View.
The builder comes with a preview option, which lets you see all your changes in action immediately. Additionally, you can preview your work any time by clicking the Preview button. When previewing your website, you can switch between different devices: desktop, tablet, and mobile. This will give you realistic impression of what your site will look like across different devices.
The Dashboard lets you manage your sites’ main settings: connect analytics, view visitor statistics, get advice on promotion, enable ‘under construction’ mode, upload a favicon, view notifications, get help and more.
2. Feature Set and Flexibility
uKit website builder comes with intuitive and modern interface. It is devoid of unnecessary functions and stages that slow down the web design process. This makes the service highly effective.
Right after the registration and template choice, you can create a temporary domain name or generate it randomly. Then, you’ll be offered to complete 2-4 simple steps, such as filling out website name, entering contact data, adding links to the social network accounts… That’s it!
As soon as you are done with that, you’ll see an editor and can start clicking the blocks, experimenting with images, colours, adding new elements. It takes a couple of minutes only to explore and master the editor.
The editor lets you choose between four website editing options, namely “Design”, “Builder”, “Pages” and “Adaptive Site View”. Let’s review the features of each of them in details:
Note: the Adaptive Site View is reviewwed in the Design section.
- “Design” Mode. It lets you change your website design by choosing the color scheme and the background of a website. You can use a simple color palette, an uploaded image and even Google maps as a background.
Additionally, it makes sense to mention an opportunity to activate parallax effect for each image. It can notably boost user impression of website pages and their content. It’s also possible to change a template to any other theme available here.
- “Builder” Mode. WYSIWYG editor and drag-and-drop website builder are used as the major website editing methods here. Combinability of these methods allows users to complete the major actions with website elements and blocks by adding, removing, changing or repositioning them in a few clicks only. The results of your actions are immediately displayed in the online mode.
You’ll have to work with widgets – functional elements that are added to website pages by simple dragging. There are many of them here, including product cards, audio player, Google search, live chat, social bar with popular services, callback order, slider, price list, news informer (which is actually a blog) and more. You can also use ready made block combinations required to complete a certain function, such as header/footer, specifications, products, contacts, portfolio, reviews etc.
- “Pages” Mode. Due to this mode, a user can complete various actions with website pages: add new pages, remove the existing ones, change the order of pages in the menu, edit web page content, duplicate, fill out meta tags.
All the elements you add to the web pages can be additionally set up: you can change inner block composition, choose visual design options, the number and format of displayed elements, background etc.
Apart from business websites, uKit allows creating blogs and landing pages with maximum efficacy. The first option is realized here by adding a “News Informer” widget to the website. You just set up the news display format in several clicks (it’s also possible to make a blog page a home page, of course). Right after that, all the posts from the “News” section will be published here in the set up format.
All uKit templates work great for landing pages: they are wide-screen, divided into blocks and visually-appealing. There is an opportunity to activate the anchor menu here (menu links will refer to the selected web page blocks). What’s more, it is possible to fix the menu position to make it static, when scrolling the page. Obviously, the “Up” button is available here as well just like the timer widget a one-page website is unthinkable without. Timer set up doesn’t take much effort and time as well.
Scheduled news publication is another interesting option. You can prepare the news, schedule the publications and go on a vacation, for example. The materials will be automatically added to the website according to the schedule, while you are away. Blog owners will certainly see the true value of this feature.
It is also possible to duplicate widgets and blocks in uKit. This will help speed up the process of filling similar web pages. All the content is preserved, when copying the pages. Then you’ll just have to replace the photos, text etc. with those you need and get a block/widget of the same format, which comes with another content.
You can also set up the design and positions of elements within any block (spaces between the containers and screen dimensions, the background), add an overlay based on one of four colours that harmoniously match with the general color scheme of a template. You can notably boost the readability of the text against the background by using an overlay. Such customization allows diversifying content presentation and adding contrast between the chosen blocks within one or several pages.
What’s more, you can set a Google map with specified pointers as a block background. This will match well with “Contacts” block, for example. To make this background seamless, you can add an overlay to it (opacity degree based on the shade chosen). By the way, all the pointers will be found in the visible part of a map – users will clearly see business geography as it is without the need to zoom and drag the map.
Apart from the rest of features, don’t forget about an opportunity to create web stores in uKit by using the integrated Ecwid Shop functionality. To apply it, you’ll have to register on the module’s website. The show windows look explicit and neat here.
You won’t manage to launch a large supermarket, though. This is not quite convenient as you’ll need to create a new web page for each category, set up its design etc. If you have time and desire, of course, you can avail decent result.
However, you won’t face problems, when launching a cute mini Internet store. There is an opportunity to add a call back order button, price lists, ad banners, “Add This” panel that allows users to share the links to the required web pages through multiple social networks.
Apart from the Ecwid plugin, uKit has the integrated tool for web store creation. It is provided out-of-the-box and it will certainly appeal to many users. This is the “Product” widget. You can add the unlimited number of products for sale or services with descriptions and quality photos. The web store is comprised of three parts, namely a shopping cart and products, pop-up windows used to register an order and settings of product card design in the dashboard. This is how it looks: a tab with a product photo, description and order button.
You can also add 3 options with the unlimited number of values for each product. It’s possible to assign your own retail margin in percentage or a fixed sum for each option. If you put a «-» sign before the retail margin value, then the cost will be cut by the percent or the specified sum in comparison to the basic rate. This feature can be found in the settings of each separate product, namely in the “Add Option” section.
You can choose the currency (all the required currencies are available here), online order form builder (the set of fields and their volumes), shipping and payment options in the shopping cart settings. The design of a shopping cart can be customized as well (colours, default captions, shades). Notifications about new orders will be delivered to the specified email. From now on, there is no need to invest much money into online store creation to start selling on the web.
The system offers a very useful “Online Calculator” widget based on uCalc functionality. Having added an online calculator to define the cost of a service at your website, you will get an effective tool for order collection. Users generally like such things: a person can customize an order and find out its eventual cost at a time. This encourages users to make a purchase.
uKit offers an advanced PRO Tables widget, which is much more functional than its standard alternative and makes it possible to create and fine-tune the tables by showing/hiding borders/headers, merging/copying cells, choosing custom colors for table elements, adjusting field sizes etc. What’s more, you can also select the preferred cell type – either normal or styles text button. It’s up to you now to configure the major button parameters and set up its view by adjusting the design, size and other available configurations.
Whether you need to add and modify tables, set up preview images for social networks or popular messengers, the advanced table widget will help you do that with ease. It will also speed up the entire uKit performance. Working with the widget is as easy and quick as using ordinary Google or Excel spreadsheets. If you’ve done that before, you will master the process in a few minutes.
uKit editor allows setting up font pairs for a website and cropping the uploaded images. A user can manually select 2 fonts (for a heading and the rest of the text) and set their display options in details (interline spacing, size, font type, spacing between letters). These settings are available in the “Design” section.
Why is it allowed to use 2 fonts only? It’s not a secret that a mixture of differently designed letters spoils the entire impression of a website. So, this restriction will contribute to a decent result – whatever you choose, it will look nice. Just don’t overuse the settings slider dragging it to the end positions. With such a tool, you will be able to enhance website design in a few clicks – the fonts have notable impact upon the impression the pages create.
Images and Video
An opportunity to crop images when adding them to a gallery or a slider, for example, allows displaying the required element, avoiding watermarks and other unneeded details. This is a minor yet quite useful feature. Your website graphics will become more impressive with it.
Integrated “Video” widget appeals to many users as well. By using it, you will be able to add a video link, set the auto display mode, the display of similar videos in the end, presentation of a video title and player control panel. These features can be activated/deactivated in a few clicks only by using sliders in the widget settings.
With uKit, you can set up video background for any of the available blocks. No installation of third-party scripts or complicated code integration is needed to do that – everyone can cope with the task in a matter of minutes. A few clicks will be enough to make your web page more entertaining, interactive and dynamic. The video background will be vividly displayed behind information blocks, thus attracting user attention to the required content.
To set up the video background, you just need to access the Background tab available in the block settings, add a link from the video source you use (either YouTube or Vimeo) and configure the major display parameters (overlay, intensity, alignment, zoom, video playback speed, effects etc.).
“Timeline” and “Steps” are the best samples of interesting specific uKit widgets. They help display information about any sequence of actions in the most favorable light, be it an event schedule, steps needed to reach a certain result, event poster etc.
The difference between the widgets is in the content orientation, which can be either vertical or horizontal. The settings make it possible to select icon design to mark the steps, dividers, signatures etc. Such elements look quite natural on business websites, which matters a lot, because most people value quality infographics.
The unlimited file storage space and automatic optimization of user photos are a notable advantages of the service. There are no many newbies, who understand the importance of compression of images, which will be used at the website. All 6 MB photos from the mirror server will just destroy the performance of web pages they will be posted on.
Website loading speed is a notable ranking factor for the search engines. This means that websites, which load slowly, have worse search engine results as compared to those that load faster, even if the rest of characteristics remain the same. Images, however, are the bulkiest web page elements and comprise the major web page megabite volume.
When it comes to uKit, the system makes several copies of photos right after they are uploaded by using Progressive JPEG and Progressive PNG algorithms. The copies are of different sizes to match Bootstrap columns to be downloaded in various dimensions and on diverse devices. This means that the system automatically optimizes the images, which can notably boost web page loading. This is how one of the most widespread problems newbies face nowadays is solved. A website will work fast, irrespective of your camera power.
uKit website promotion options are realized in the interesting way. By launching the dashboard, you can review the system recommendations on effective project search engine optimization. Newbies will value such assistance.
SEO is great here: you can fill out meta tags for each web page. Google Analytics synchronization will help track the statistics and manage the promotion strategy effectively. An option allowing to add your organization to Google maps will also contribute to search engine promotion and user attitude.
An opportunity to activate a website version for visually-impaired people in one click is another highlight of the service. You can find this option in the “Design” section. It will work well for those users, who need to create an educational website (school, university etc.) or a project for any other governmental institution. There are specific legal requirements for these types of websites: they are bound to offer special versions for visually-impaired users. uKit allows doing that with ease: your website visitors will be able to select a font, a color scheme and image display options in the panel found under the website header.
There are also other uKit features you’ll be impressed with. For example, you will be able to create your own interesting and appealing 404 web page design (“Pages”/”Services”), activate block animation when scrolling (the major content display while scrolling) or install many map marks (up to 10), if your company has branches in other locations. It will be easier to speed up the design of similar blocks on various website pages by copying and adding them to the “Favourite” section to get quick access to them. This is how it works: you just choose a block, click the arrow on its parameters icon and then select a web page, where it should be placed. That’s it!
There is another useful feature uKit offers: this is an opportunity to set up the way the pop-up windows will show up. You should access the “Pages” menu and select the “Pop-Up Window” point. Pop-up windows may show up right after you click the button, by timer schedule, when scrolling (right after 75% of scrolling is completed) or when closing a page. You can add special offers, ads or other elements to pop-up window content.
uKit also boasts AmoCRM integration, which can be found in the core level of dashboard options. AmoCRM is a simple and intuitive system of accounting potential clients and deals, which will help control and boost your sales. To launch data synchronization, you will need the account, which will be registered at the official website of the service. CRM set up will help hold more effective promo campaigns.
The system will collect the data about each client (name, address, email, telephone), sending notifications about new events to your email. This is synchronized with the forms in pop-up windows, callback forms and web store widget. You can review the statistics via the email or right in the AmoCRM dashboard. The option will especially be useful for the owners of online stores built with uKit.
Corporate clients will value an opportunity to attach a business email right in the dashboard. You just need to connect a domain to the website. Right after that, you’ll have an opportunity to register an email that looks like «name@your domain». This is quite nice and simple.
Let’s speak about domains a bit. A free subdomain like youwebsite.ukit[dot]me will be initially assigned to your newly-registered website. It works well for a trial period, when you explore/test the system. It goes without saying that you’ll have to change it afterwards, if you decide to keep using uKit and design a website with it.
Right after you subscribe to the “Premium” Plan, you’ll be able to connect any domain you wish or buy a new one via the interface of a website builder (in any zone you prefer). This will require a few clicks in the “Dashboard”. The domain will change in around 15 minutes after your submit an order.
You can also connect SSL Certificate to your domain for free. To connect HTTPS, you just need to access the dashboard, select the corresponding widget and domain name from the list. In around half an hour, you will get a notification about successful process completion. Generally, you click 2 buttons and your website works on the secured HTTPS protocol without any extra money investment!
SSL is initially a must for websites, which accept online payments. Google, for example, already marks websites without this certificate as insecure. The availability of secured HTTPS protocol also affects website search engine ranking as well as the rate of customer trust. Anyway, using the certificate is better than running a website without it. What’s more, it is free – there is nothing to think about here. Just use it!
Temporary Website Management Access
uKit makes it possible to grant temporary access to your website to everyone, who might be involved in its management. By using the feature, a rights holder will be able to edit/update website design, add/remove pages and widgets, access Google Analytics to browse the website statistics, configure its SEO parameters. Such rights as viewing billing history and payment management won’t be accessible to a person you’ve shared temporary website access with.
What’s important, the system automatically creates the back up copy of a website as soon as you grant temporary access. A third-party user won’t be able to delete it. If something happens during website management process, an owner will be able to restore the initial website version. It is also possible to cancel access rights any time. The maximum temporary access duration lasts for 999 days.
uKit feature set will really allow inexperienced users to launch effective websites (and this is not a promo slogan). There is nothing to doubt here at all.
|Number of Themes:||400|
|Professional Templates:||✔ YES|
|Free Themes:||✔ YES|
|Responsive Design:||✔ YES|
|Sort by Industry:||✔ YES|
|CSS Code Editing:||✘ NO|
Template quality and versatility is what users notice first, when exploring uKit. All templates are subdivided into 40 topics and niches, which contain over 400 responsive themes to meet any taste. The design of each theme is not final. You can rearrange, create and delete ready made blocks, change slider images, colors of any elements, fonts, menu sequence etc. If needed, you will be able to change the selected template to any other.
uKit provides users with flexible and quality material. Having worked with it, you can eventually get a stunning website with all the required features. To simplify the web design process, it is desirable to select a niche template. This can be photography, construction, law, goods transportation, tourism, finance, education (this is a recently added template category) and more. This is a surefire way to get a suitable website structure and demo content. By editing the content, you will be able to design half of a website in less than 20 minutes, adjusting the background, colour and, maybe, the default position of blocks and widgets.
If you wish, you can change the template during the web design process. It doesn’t matter what category a new template will refer to, it will come with the demo-content of the initially chosen sample. This is convenient as you won’t be able to spoil anything in your website topic, even if you apply a construction template for a photography website. This is also an extra reason to select the design from your category.
Template responsiveness is another highlight of the system – themes are flexible and can automatically adjust to any smartphone, tablet or lapbook screen. “Sandwich” menus look great on any screens, while blocks flexibly change their sizes.
Adaptive Site View
To enhance the mobile browsing experience of users, uKit makes it possible to fine-tune the mobile and tablet website look. You will be able to hide the blocks you won’t wish to be displayed in the mobile mode, change the number of widget columns and block backgrounds. It’s also possible to configure the widget positions to make them divided into 2 columns, when viewed on tablets.
Mind that the mobile website version is automatically synchronized with the initial desktop site look. However, the block background desktop settings will lose synchronization with the mobile version as soon as you enable the features specific for mobile browsing only.
When it comes to promoting uKit websites, there is no secret here: SEO principles are the same as those in other platforms. Obviously, unique SEO optimized texts are a priority for business websites.
- Do not forget about the headings (H1, H2 etc.) as well as about filling out meta tags for each web page (title, description, keywords). These settings can be found in “Pages” menu by clicking the gear wheel next to the required page and selecting the “SEO” section. Don’t ignore this nuance.
- Fill out the meta tags with regard to the web page content and keywords used. This is a surefire way to get successful search engine results. This is also the place, where you can disable any web page indexing, except for the homepage. This may be required, while working on its development. You don’t wish the half-ready website sections to get to the index, do you? Enable the indexation option as soon as the work is completed.
- Apart from that, you can access the “Promotion” section available in the dashboard. This is the highlight of the system. You will be shown current SEO statistics, including the percentage of unique texts and the features your website lacks to improve search engine results. Experienced users don’t need these recommendations, while newbies will value them to the advantage.
- Go ahead to use the advanced statistics collection system – connect Google Analytics. It’s a bit complicated to use it at first, but you’ll eventually get used to it. It will become the major source of understanding your website status and management of its further development strategies. You can connect Google Analytics in the “Statistics” section.
- It makes sense to highlight the importance of social network integration and innerlinking organization. Add and connect as many accounts as possible, fill out the contact data. You can also add internal links to other website pages in your posts. This will be helpful as well, but don’t go over the top: mind the context and don’t add too many links.
There is also one notable nuance, which affects the promotion success of all uKit websites – system code optimization and its load speed improvement. It’s possible to notice the addition of new features (widgets, options etc.), while the work on the internal system development is often left unnoticed. The average web page load speed in uKit constitutes less than 3 seconds, which is ranked 80 points and more in Google Page Speed – these data are great and they will help bring your website to the TOP positions much simpler than you could expect.
What does it offer? Briefly, this ensures favorable attitude of the search engines and users to your website. This concerns multiple parameters – the improvement of behavioral factors (web pages load faster, users don’t wait and don’t leave), higher search engine results when compared to those in other systems. uKit is out-of-the-box SEO-friendly website builder.
It is important to use the entire spectrum of uKit features. If you select the right approach, you’ll be satisfied with the result. If you overlook something or underestimate the importance of the process, well… that’s your fault. Don’t expect decent results then. It’s very simple: TOP search engine results are a reward for patient and diligent users.
5. Customer Support
Should you face any issues, you can initially access powerful uKit knowledge base. This is the top notch destination for all users, who encounter web design or website management problems, when working with the system. uKit offers dozens of the most widespread questions and answers that are divided into topics to simplify user search. This is also the place, where you can read informative articles that cover the most frequent issues users are interested in.
Did you fail to find the answers to your questions in the knowledge base of the service? Don’t fall into despair and contact one of uKit experts via Skype or email using a feedback form on the official website. You may also check out the official uKit blog.
6. Pricing Policy
When it comes to the pricing policy, the system has much to offer you – paid plans are very affordable here. When paying for 3, 6 months or 1-2 years at a time, you will additionally be offered a nice discount – -5%, -10%, -20% и -30% correspondingly. Currently, uKit has 4 paid plans:
- “Premium” (5$/mo or 48$/year), which offers all the required features of the website builder without ads, the unlimited amount of web pages, disk storage space and traffic, the unlimited connection of domains like site.com. This is the best choice for your business!
- “Premium+” (10$/mo or 96$/year), which provides the extended statistics and unlimited access to Premium templates
- “eCommerce” (12$/mo or 115$/year), which allows creating a web store with all the required settings – shipping, shopping cart, currency choice, acception of online payments (PayPal, Wallet One etc.). You can activate the 14-day free trial, if needed.
- “Pro” (15$/mo or 144$/year), which offers extra creative options and html code integration. This is a benefit for professionals. eCommerce functionality is available here as well.
Apart from that, uKit has an offer, which covers the current urge of any business to have a website. If you need a more professional business website, but you don’t have time or desire to work on its development on your own, you can order the turn-key ready project for $100 from the system developers. This is a very attempting offer for people, who are busy completing their business tasks and making profit.
7. Pros and Cons
To start with, we liked uKit a lot and, thus, we recommend it to everyone! It is simple, convenient and, what matters most, it can live up to your expectations. The system offers everything it promises. There is no fraud here.
- Do you need the abundance of appealing templates? – uKit offers plenty of them.
- Are you looking for a convenient dashboard, which is easy to master? – The system has it.
- Are you interested in regular feature set updates? – That’s also not a problem.
- Do you hope to launch a website in 20 minutes? – With uKit, you can complete this task as well!
All the elements you will use are of high quality. Affordable pricing policy is an extra bonus.
As to the disadvantages, we can’t find them here, considering clear task specification uKit works great for. Yes, you won’t manage to create full-featured mega portals or forums with it. Business websites, landing pages, portfolios, small online stores – these are the major uKit niches. And the system copes with these tasks on the top notch level, completing the major work for a user.
You are offered a website structure, demo content, tips, assistance in correcting severe mistakes and you don’t see a line of coding, when working with the system. uKit easily covers all your web building needs and provides step-by-step support. And you get such an amazing spectrum of features and tools at reasonable cost, considering current niche rates. Is there anything you can doubt here? We haven’t found any drawbacks as well.
When using uKit, you can even create appealing web stores. This is especially true, if you use the system “Products” widget. It’s easy to launch and customize them here. You will hardly be able to build a large hypermarket like “Walmart”, but it’s more than real to upload 100-200 products. Shopping at uKit websites is quite pleasant and convenient from the point of view of users. A shopping cart and online payments are certainly available here. Enrich this feature set with free SSL and you will get an ideal online store.
uKit is a perfect business website builder. It is cheap, convenient and cool. Considering its cost, it has many advantages over Wix, although, the systems still differ. Anyway, there is no desire to look for any faults here, especially if we take into account the fact that the feature set of the system becomes more extensive. We may assume that, with such quality and growth tendency, uKit will soon prevail over the rest of the services in this niche (DIY business website creation by newbies).
9. Comparison with Competitors
When it comes to the convenience of building simple websites, uKit doesn’t seem to have any rivals at all. The only serious niche competitor of the service is Wix, which feature set of the system is more versatile. This, however, gives the service more complicated look for users, who explore it for the first time. To find out the major distinctions between the website builders, have a look at uKit comparison:
uKit is undoubtedly the top website builder for small business. The system comes with the feature set required to create business websites, personal promo sites, portfolios, small online stores or appealing landing pages. The service has won the trust of lot of fans, the major part of which are young entrepreneurs and experienced business owners willing to expand their business online presence. We can come across uKit websites more often now and there are many decent samples out there.
Considering the major business focus of the website builder and its conveniently organized feature set, uKit is definitely worth the money. The system frequently provides beneficial discounts up to 50%. The developers offer them on almost all the holidays. As a result, you can use the platform at minimum cost.
Ongoing development, implementation of new technologies, integration with useful services are the strong points of the project. As of today, it actively keeps expanding the new feature set. Just take a look at the opportunity of converting Facebook pages into uKit websites. If you start working with the service, you will avail even more impressive options in about a year. Such attention of the system developers to the project is a serious benefit for the clients. Your website will keep developing. And so will your business.