No business is complete without a website these days. With that being said, if you’re starting a business, you’ll undoubtedly want to have at least a landing page. And, naturally, if you are to build a website, and you’re not well-versed in web development, you might consider hiring a web development agency. But what if we told you that you know a bit more about web development than you think?
Starting off our Ucraft review, we’d like to note this is the perfect website builder for beginners. With an intuitive design and plenty of user-friendly features, creating a website has never been easier. But be warned, this is not a builder for large enterprises, but smaller, more concise business ventures.
Ease of Use
It goes without saying that a “beginner’s website builder” should be easy to use. Luckily, Ucraft is exceptionally easy to operate, thus fulfilling its purpose and leaving you with a neatly built website. However, to access their services, you’ll have to create an account. Fortunately, the Ucraft signin process is straightforward, as it only takes about three minutes to complete it. Not only that, but if you’ve got a Google account, you can use that to sign in, and you’re ready to go.
We already touched on the intuitiveness of the website, but let’s expand upon that idea. Ucraft website builder is clearly for beginners, as it openly lays out the plan for the person using it. Immediately after signing up, you can select a preset template (right after choosing your payment plan) that will suit your business model the best. They offer preset templates for eCommerce, blogs, portfolios, photography, sports, art, design, and a couple more business models.
After you’ve picked your template, you can jump right into it. The website is created upon you selecting a name for your site, and you can start editing right away. Also, a video will pop up, which you can choose to watch or not, offering further insight into how most of the tools work.
Drag and Drop
One of the joys of writing a Ucraft website builder review is describing their intuitive drag-and-drop/point-and-click system. If you like, you can move the elements around or add new ones by dragging them from the menu on the left and then dropping them onto the workpiece. If you wish to add images, you can do it the same way we described above. Adding text is a piece of cake, too—drag the paragraph element from the menu, and you can start writing.
Basically, you almost don’t even need to have elementary knowledge about web development and website builders. Everything in the builder is drag and drop or point and click, and it only takes a little bit of creativity, and a little bit of determination, and your Ucraft site will be ready in no time.
Image editing at Ucraft is effortless. Almost everything can be done on the site itself. You click on the image, then mend it or crop it as you please. You can even send your pictures to the background or put them foreground. The images are mainly edited in the Media Tool, where you can do all kinds of stuff—from simple resizing and adding effects and stickers to changing lighting, sharpness, and focus to red-eye reduction, whitening, and adding frames and overlays. They even have a meme generator built in, for all you Millennials reading this Ucraft review.
What’s more, your images will only be as large the block allows. If you’re using a free version, you won’t be able to resize the images directly in the block or resize the element as a whole. We feel that the creators of the builder could have allowed free users to resize as they please, but the paid plan isn’t that expensive in the first place and includes a discount if you’re paying yearly. You’ll know what we’re talking about when you see the Ucraft pricing plans.
Editing the text is no more difficult than it is in Word. If you’ve got rudimentary knowledge of the Microsoft Office program, you’ll be able to make your text into anything you want. You can adjust letter spacing, select paragraph and title styles, put in links, create bullet lists, and a few other things. You can even code in the text, which is a neat little addition not that often seen. However, you can’t create tables, which kind of dampens the idea of Ucraft being one of the best website builders in Australia.
Creating a functional site is undoubtedly your primary concern, but an ugly website isn’t going to draw in many visitors. Therefore, you need to pay a great deal of attention to how your site is designed. Luckily, developing a site with the Ucraft website builder is very easy, as they’ve got a decent number of themes to offer you.
Number of Themes
Surprisingly, Ucraft has a good amount of themes to offer even the non-paying users. They’ve got around 20 themes at the ready, for the trial version(s), and about 70 if you choose a paid plan. In the pre-existing themes, you can add or remove blocks, rearrange images, and write your text. The only thing you cannot do is resize any elements if you’re using a trial version, but we explained that above. After all, Ucraft is a free website builder, but it’s not exactly free real estate, and you can’t do everything before paying for their services first.
Are the Themes Responsive?
All the themes on Ucraft are perfectly responsive and mobile friendly. You can even preview your site in mobile or tablet mode to see how your images and text will look on a device with a smaller screen than that of a PC. Overall, the builder doesn’t have the most impressive theme selection, but it’s satisfying enough. And if you’re thinking of Ucraft vs Squarespace regarding themes and design, it’s quite a close tie.
The themes are good and all that, but what about the features? These will be your tools for building a proper website. Using these tools will render you able to create new pages, enter new domains, create blogs, adjust SEO, manage your media, inject HTML, and do a myriad of other things.
All the features are stored under the Dashboard button on the Tools strip on the left-hand side. If you can’t locate it, the introductory video that pops up when you finish your Ucraft sign-in, and create your site for the first time, explains where it is.
Perhaps your most essential tool is Pages. Pages lets you delete or add pages to your website. You can create article pages, anchor pages, external pages, blank pages, and heading pages, plus you can create or turn pages into secondary pages or make secondary pages become primary ones.
Besides that, you can edit every page to open in a new tab, adjust its visibility, or publish and unpublish it with a press of a button. Also, the order of the pages can be set to your liking, and you can add multiple layers of subpages to any existing sub- or main pages. You also have three system pages—the 404 page, offline page, and password-protected page. The page diversity is maybe the best trait we would like to emphasize in this Ucraft review.
If you’re in need of a blog, Ucraft has a neat little tool called Articles for you. Here you can write all your blog posts, edit them, add images, schedule the publication, allow or disallow commenting and sharing, and set up tags and categories. You also have a basic SEO tool built in which will enable you to create a meta description and an alias.
Website Building Tools
This website builder has an SEO tool for your Ucraft site as well. Using this simple tool, you can set up metas, images, and anti-crawler robots. You can also choose to enable or disable the sitemap. You are also able to set up redirections, using types 301 and 302.
This is your set of nifty design tools to make your site look prettier. This feature will enable you to readjust your site’s layout, user interface, and typography. It used to be a paid add-on (costing around $3) but is now completely free and at your disposal right from the start.
The Media Tool is your media library. Here are stored all your images, as well as where they can be adjusted, as we’ve described above. Not only that, but the Ucraft website builder is integrated with Unsplash, so you can add a series of stock images into your website wherever they’re needed.
Here you can connect the site’s domain to an existing domain, or purchase a new one. It’s an excellent little tool if you want to remove Ucraft’s domain brand.
Using this feature, you can create your own team and manage their privileges. You may grant your team members editorship, make them out to be a designer, an admin, or a marketer, and you can even make them the new owner of your site. The members are invited by email.
A basic logo creation tool. You can add simple shapes, text and icons, and then modify them. It’s nothing to write home about, but it’s a neat little thing to mess around with—a creative mind might even make something neat and recognisable. This feature is not something you would expect from a free website builder.
A pretty self-explanatory tool. Using it, you may adjust your site’s settings, place it offline or online, or change the name, time zone, and logo. You can also change the small logo showing in the tab. You may also turn on the SSL encryption (256-bit, by Cloudfire) if you want to protect your site and your visitors. The site tool also allows for code injection. You can place the code before <head> or after </head> and the same for <body> and </body>.
Ucraft features 15 integrations that you can use on your site, which can be comparable to nearly any other best website builder in Australia. Among these are Disqus, Hello Bar, Hotjar, Zandesk chat, Intercom, Algolia, Facebook Messenger, Google Analytics, and Yandex Metrica.
Google Analytics, Disqus, and Algolia will, perhaps, be the most essential add-ons for your site, as they will allow you to track various data—including a comment section on your posts—and use a search element, respectively. However, the critical thing to remember is that using just the Ucraft landing page plan (more on that later) will disable you from using add-ons. They can typically be used in the trial version.
Language and Font Tools
A simple tool used for setting up languages and translations. To add a language, you have to select it first and then enter a display name and a URL shortcode. As for translation, you can translate individual elements on your website. Ultimately, it’s a simple tool used for setting up and editing fonts.
Ucraft eCommerce Functionality
This company also offers their users the option of opening an online store. That’s why they have an eCommerce feature that will prove the most useful tool to those who’d like to get their online store up and running. This tool enables you to set up your products, account creation, discounts and coupons, catalogues, selling of products on Facebook, eBay, and Amazon, and even shipping and pickup. The tool also comes with a nifty mobile app, allowing you to modify your online shop on the fly.
Ucraft Website Performance
So, how does a Ucraft-made website perform? Since we checked the Ucraft official website first, we expected a lot. Well, we did some checking specifically for our Ucraft review, and the sites perform rather well. Their desktop optimisation hovers around 90%, while mobile optimisation is around 10% lower. The website takes about 0.65 seconds to respond, which isn’t great, but it’s not that terrible either. Still, with a little bit of optimization and tinkering, you could probably get the site to respond twice as fast, if not more. And if you don’t know how to do it, then you’ll be just fine leaving it as it is. Here are two examples of how the Ucraft sites with fewer and more images load.
Performance report for a website with fewer images
Performance report for a website with more images
How SEO Friendly Is the Site?
Every Ucraft site you create will be quite SEO friendly. Already in the SEO Tool section, as we described, you can write short metas and turn on robots. You may also connect your website to another domain, and change your URL from .ucraft.me to whatever you like. Ucraft also lets you buy a domain using the Domain tool.
As for traffic evaluation and data analysis, you’ve got your standard Google Analytics add-on. However, if you want a second opinion, the builder also features a Yandex Metrica add-on, as well as Hotjar, so data gathering and analysis is relatively simple, reliable, and intuitive.
After all this, it’s time to talk about what will probably entice you to use this website builder, or prompt you to look elsewhere—the pricing. Their pricing includes several payment plans, and we’re quite confident there is something for almost everyone here. Ucraft has two central plans and a special eCommerce plan consisting of three other plans. Sounds confusing? Don’t worry; we’ll take you slowly through all of them.
Finally, one of the most important parts of this Ucraft website builder review—the plans they offer! The first plan is the free plan. Choosing this plan, you’re allowed to use almost all their services for free, but you can only make a landing page. There’s not much you can do with the plan, but it’s an excellent way to introduce your website to your future visitors and announce a coming website.
However, this free plan extends to eCommerce and regular sites, sort of, and you can use a two-week free trial on any of their services. Be that as it may, you still won’t be able to use all the features in the trial version (again, we’ll touch on the resizing of the elements—it’s quite vexing), and you’ll need to upgrade your version. Using a free plan or a trial brands your website with the Ucraft watermark.
Although the Ucraft landing page sounds tempting, this is probably the best plan they have. Secondly, this is the basic website plan. It will cost you $8 a month, but if you decide to pay a year in advance, you’ll only be charged $6 a month. It’s a great value, especially for smaller enterprises, as you’ll have saved a lot of money over time.
With this plan, you’re entitled to one website with unlimited pages, 15+ integrations, team building, the SEO app, and a bunch more stuff. Choosing a paying plan removes the Ucraft watermark. Your site is also hosted for free.
Ucraft eCommerce Plan
Lastly, there is the eCommerce plan. Like we said, this is three plans in one. The basic eCommerce option will let you post 50 products online, with a size no larger than 100MB, and enable over 70 payment and shipping methods, plus real-time tracking. The plan costs $16 a month, but that can be brought down to $13 a month if you’re paying for the Ucraft website builder yearly.
The Pro eCommerce option costs $39/month ($31/month yearly) and bumps up your product count to 1000, with 1GB product size. You will also be able to edit invoices, enable tax exemption, and offer discounts and coupons. And finally, there’s the Unlimited eCommerce plan.
This will cost you some $76/month ($60/month yearly), and comes with unlimited products, 10GB max product size, enabling of wishlists and favorites, and a store management app for both iOS and Android. Now, regarding value for the money, which is what this Ucraft review is all about, how valuable are these eCommerce plans?
Well, consider that their cheapest plan is only $5 less expensive than the same option offered by Weebly, whilst Weebly’s option doesn’t have limited products. However, their most expensive plan is also much cheaper than Shopify’s best options and offers similar features, so the scale tips in Ucraft’s favour a bit. All in all, Ucraft might not be the most significant option for eCommerce, but it’s more than good enough for regular websites.
Payment Options and Billing
Paying for your plans on Ucraft is quick and easy, and you can pay with Visa, Mastercard, and Discover, as well as PayPal. So is uCraft free? Well, yes and no. They’ve certainly got a free plan and free trials, but the real fun begins once you fork over some cash.
No matter if you’re working on your site with a paying or a free plan, you can always contact Ucraft customer service for support. They have a live-chat feature at the ready, but there have been some reports of them responding slowly and not giving satisfactory answers.
If you think you can handle stuff yourself, you can always take a look at Ucraft’s blog—there you should be able to find news and quick guides that will offer some insight into what you’re doing.
And that’s pretty much it for our little Ucraft review. Now that we’ve reviewed the builder, it’s probably time to give our opinion on this matter, our very own verdict. Like we said in the beginning, Ucraft is mostly a website for smaller businesses and can’t bear the brunt of a large-scale enterprise.
It’s a fun little website builder, but it cannot stand up to the excellence that is Weebly, for example. Even so, investing your time and a little bit of money is worthwhile, and with a little bit of creativity, and a clear idea in mind, you’ll be able to create an elegant, good-looking website in just a few hours.