uKit entered the website development market four years ago. However, the builder’s parent company, the uKit Group, has been around since 2005. Its first product was uCoz, which is a developer-friendly website builder.
In 2015, the uKit Group decided to take a different approach to website creation and create a code-free website builder, i.e., uKit. We decided to take it for a test ride and explore its ins and outs in this comprehensive uKit review.
Our standard procedure includes creating multiple websites on a website building platform, and then, based on our experience, writing a detailed review. We’ve taken the same steps to provide you with an in-depth analysis of uKit.
Read on to find out more about uKit features, e-commerce options, pricing plans, customer support, and much more.
Ease of Use
Our first steps on the website building journey were choosing a template and a domain name for our website. After that, we started exploring the uKit website editor, which, at first sight, appeared to be a coherent website building tool.
The uKit site editor left a positive impression on us. Becoming fluent with the system was a simple task. Getting a full grasp of the editor’s main components didn’t take more than 15 to 20 minutes.
All the tools you need to customise a website to your liking are tucked on the left side of the page. From here, you can easily add and manage web pages, add essential site elements, and modify a template’s design.
The Adaptive tab is a neat feature too, as it allows users to check how their website looks on different screens.
Drag and Drop
The uKit website builder allows users to interact with its website creation tools via drag-and-drop functionality. Apart from a myriad of widgets, users can add and edit pre-made uKit blocks, such as headline, content, and blank blocks.
The drag-and-drop functionality works flawlessly without any glitches. Working with the uKit editor is an enjoyable experience thanks to the convenience and simplicity it offers. It is beginner-friendly and can compete with some of the best website builders on the market.
The uKit image editor doesn’t offer a lot of options when it comes to manipulating website imagery. There are no advanced cropping tools. Users get to work without predetermined aspect ratios and can freely crop images.
Apart from the cropping tool, the editor supports resizing images via the zoom in/out feature, as well as adding image captions and alt attributes.
uKit’s media library features several free images, while a more extensive collection of images contains stock photography from DepositPhotos. Additionally, users can upload their own images or import them from social media accounts.
Based on uKit reviews from the builder’s users, the platform supports easy-to-use content editing tools. Different text formatting, colour, and style options are all available.
Moreover, the builder features different types of content widgets that can help users further enhance their website content. Apart from adding text and heading widgets, users can implement price list, table, user review widgets, etc., into their website structure.
As far as its website themes go, the website builder features 311 templates. What’s even better is that only six of them are paid, while the rest are free.
The Minimal plan users can purchase any of the premium designs for $20, while Basic, E-commerce, and Pro plan users can use these designs for free.
The builder’s template library has 39 categories, including Business & Finance, Games, Food, Software & Apps, etc. Users can also sort the templates based on predominant colours and popularity. Next, the New category displays the latest additions to the uKit themes library.
The builder also separates single and multi-page website designs. With that in mind, if you plan on creating a portfolio or event website, the One Pager category displays single-page site designs.
Lastly, you can filter the templates to show uKit Premium themes only.
All uKit themes are compatible with different devices. While building your website, you can edit its appearance on desktop, tablet, and mobile devices from the Adaptive View tab. To ensure optimal website performance, you can hide/show specific elements on different versions of a website.
uKit recommends using only one floating widget (e.g. LiveChat, Social Share) to ensure it works properly on mobile devices. The builder also suggests disabling block images for better loading times on tablet and mobile devices.
uKit Website Features
Creating and managing a blog on uKit is incredibly simple. After adding a News page (blog), you can edit general blog settings.
The number of posts per page you want to display on your main blog page, whether you want to enable or disable post images, publication date, and Read More button are some of the many blog settings options.
When creating a new blog post, you can determine which widgets you want to include in your post. By default, blog posts consist of the title and text widgets. However, you can add H1 heading, image, and author widgets to your posts as well. Moreover, uKit allows you to import posts from your Facebook page.
That’s not all, though. The simplicity behind making your blog search engine-friendly is one of the builder’s highlights worth mentioning in this uKit review. With this in mind, you can add an SEO-friendly title to your blog, as well as title, description, image, and keyword meta tags.
uKit doesn’t have a built-in commenting system, so users should connect their Disqus account to enable comments.
To ensure all websites built with uKit are secure, the builder automatically enables an SSL certificate for all websites built on this platform. The only requirement for activating an SSL certificate and enabling an HTTPS connection is a custom domain. So if you’re using uKit’s technical domain (e.g. examplesite.ukit.me), this option will not be available to you.
With a custom domain, you can create a domain-based email. However, at the time of writing this uKit review, the builder doesn’t offer email hosting services. This means that, although you can create a personalised email with your uKit domain, you have to set up your email account with an email hosting provider.
The platform recommends using Yandex and Google, but you can use any email service provider.
Building forms with uKit is incredibly easy. The form builder widget comes with an abundance of customisation options. The default form fields include name, email, phone, subject, and message, but you can add new custom fields too.
Additionally, you can customise the message that displays after your site visitors submit a form. The form data is then sent to the email address you’ve provided.
The website builder also supports integrating uKit-powered websites with a robust customer relationship management tool – AmoCRM. Plus, creating goals is available via Google Analytics.
At the time being, uKit doesn’t support creating membership websites. In the Wix vs uKit battle, these two platforms are nearly tied when it comes to user-friendliness. However, Wix allows its users to create Members Only pages, which gives the builder a slight advantage over uKit.
So if you want to create a membership site, unfortunately, uKit won’t meet your demands – at least for now. Its team might add this feature to their offering, but there are no indications to when that could happen.
uKit recognises the importance of real-time customer support. The builder allows users to add live chat functionality via LiveChat and Jivochat widgets. If you don’t have an account with either of these live chat platforms, you can create one within the uKit editor. If you’ve already created an account on LiveChat or Jivochat, simply connect your account with the builder.
As far as website navigation goes, uKit users can only add a top left bar menu to their websites. However, there are several options that can slightly modify the existing menu structure. For instance, each webpage, excluding the Homepage, can be nested under another page. This way, users can add submenus to the main website navigation.
Additionally, the option of fixing the menu to the top is available too. When a user scrolls a page, the menu stays glued on the top of the page.
The next section of our review focuses on integrations. Unfortunately, the builder doesn’t have an app market. Instead, available site integrations are scattered throughout the Widgets section.
uKit’s selection of integrations includes external integrations — Ecwid, Cost Calculator, and AddThis sidebar. Next, the media widgets users can add to their site are SoundCloud and SlideShare.
Three more integrations are tucked under the Contact widgets (Google Maps, Yandex Maps, and MailChimp). Lastly, uKit supports adding social media buttons, as well as displaying Pinterest boards, and Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter feed.
uKit E-commerce Functionality
There are two ways to add an online store to your uKit-powered website. The first option is to implement the builder’s in-house e-commerce solution. The second option is to connect your site with Ecwid.
The first option is far more flexible than the other, but it is available to E-commerce and Pro plan users only. On the bright side, uKit allows users to try out its online store widget for free, and explore all e-commerce options it offers.
It’s also essential to mention that there are no uKit transaction fees for selling online via this platform.
Adding an online store via the uKit e-commerce platform allows users to add an unlimited number of products to their online shop. The builder automatically creates two pages – Order Success and Checkout.
After adding the Product widget to a website, a little shopping cart appears in the uKit editor. The cart icon takes users to the store settings page. From there, they can manage payment methods, as well as set up their store currency and shipping settings.
All in all, uKit offers a simple way to create an online store. However, the builder lacks advanced e-commerce options. If you need more than a basic online store, you can check out other website builders with e-commerce functionality, such as Wix or Weebly.
uKit White Label Solution
If you’ve been wondering if uKit offers a full-fledged white label solution, the answer is, “Yes.” The tricky part is that you won’t be able to find any information on this topic on its website. We found out about its white label from the builder’s customer support.
They’ve also explained to us that they are working on the mini version of the white label, and promised to give us more information once it is out.
An essential part of all our reviews is testing desktop and mobile loading speed of website creation tools we’re evaluating. uKit isn’t an exception to this rule. We tested its homepage using GTmetrix and Google PageSpeed Insights.
According to Google’s results, uKit is one of the fastest website builders out there. It got a record page speed score of 93! The mobile version didn’t fall behind either, scoring 63 out of 100, which is also one of the highest scores we’ve seen so far.
uKit’s mobile site score falls into the average speed score. This is still good news, as most website builders get the score of 30 to 40 for the mobile version of the site.
GTmetrix also confirmed that uKit’s homepage has fast loading times. The builder received above the average score (B, 82%), with the average fully load time of just 4.7 seconds.
Desktop Loading Speed (93/100)
Mobile Loading Speed (63/100)
Apart from exceptional performance, SEO tools are another area we wanted to emphasise in our review. The builder invested a lot of effort in making its websites SEO-friendly. Now, let’s see what SEO tools uKit offers.
Users can add and edit meta tags for each page of their site. The option of replacing default URLs with SEO-friendly URLs is available too. The builder uses canonical tags to help avoid duplicate content. Additionally, users can adjust image quality to enhance their website speed.
What we also like about uKit is the Promotion tool. It analyses different website aspects to check if users should submit it to search engines.
Firstly, the Promotion tool scans website text to check if it’s unique. Secondly, it reminds users to replace default images with their own imagery. With this tool, users can also see if all the widgets on their website are filled out correctly.
Thirdly, uKit also shows website meta tags. More precisely, it shows which pages are missing title, keyword, or description tags. If you get stuck at any point, you can visit the uKit help section, where you’ll find a detailed guide on how to add meta tags to your site.
Lastly, the Promotion tool checks if a website has a technical domain under the ukit.me extension, or a custom domain.
Adding Your Site to Search Engines
Once a website passes the Promotion tool test, users can add it to search engines. uKit allows users to add their website to Google’s Search Console and Yandex Webmaster Tools through the dashboard interface. Moreover, users don’t have to worry about generating a sitemap for their site, as uKit does that automatically.
For traffic evaluation, uKit allows users to connect their Google Analytics account to their website.
uKit has four pricing plans – Minimal, Basic, E-commerce, and Pro. Let’s see what users get with each of the premium plans, so you can make up your mind easier.
The Minimal Plan provides uKit users with the option to create an unlimited number of pages, connect a custom domain, as well as add unlimited domains. Furthermore, all uKit templates, hosting, and website backups (up to 10) are included in this plan. Plus, users can contact the support team 24/7.
The Basic Plan includes everything from the Minimal plan. Among other features, the Basic plan includes live chat support, which is not available with the Minimal Plan. Basic plan users can also use premium templates, while Minimal plan users have to pay $20 for using these templates. Additionally, the Basic plan supports Google Analytics integration.
uKit allows users to add e-commerce functionality to their site with the E-commerce plan. Minimal and Basic plan users can try this feature for free, but once the trial period is over, they have to upgrade to either E-commerce or Pro if they want to continue using uKit e-commerce features.
The option to add e-commerce functionality to uKit sites is the only difference between the Basic and E-commerce plans.
With the Pro plan, users unlock all uKit features. This includes the option of adding custom colour schemes and custom code.
As you can see, there’s very little difference between uKit’s plans in terms of website features. However, a free plan is not available with this website builder. Taking this into account, if you want to create a website for free, you should look for an alternative to uKit.
uKit users can purchase a domain name from the uKit dashboard or connect the existing one. The domain prices vary based on domain extensions. The most expensive extensions are .tv ($39.35/year) and .me ($28.4/year). The most common domain extensions (com, net, org) range from $12.85 to $14.85 a year.
Another thing we wanted to share with you is that unlike most website builders, uKit doesn’t include a free domain for a year in any of its plans.
The website builder is quite transparent when it comes to pricing, so there shouldn’t be any hidden costs. The only thing you should check is whether the third-party apps you can use with your uKit website are free or paid.
When it comes to billing practices, uKit offers five subscription types. Users can opt for a monthly, three-month, and six-month subscriptions. Plus, the builder offers yearly and two-year subscriptions.
uKit offers different discounts for all of the subscriptions, excluding monthly subscription. A three-month subscription decreases the price by 5% compared to the monthly subscription. With a two-year subscription, users can get any plan with a 30% discount (compared to any of the monthly prices).
Users can purchase uKit plans using a bank card (Visa, JCB, and MasterCard), or PayPal.
uKit Customer Service
The builder provides customer support via email, feedback form, and live chat functionality. Minimal plan users can only get in touch with the support team through the feedback form and email. Alternatively, they can look for answers in the builder’s knowledge base. Basic, E-commerce, and Pro plan users can also contact uKit’s live chat representatives.
The website builder doesn’t mention the option of contacting the support team via phone. While exploring uKit features, we found that the customer support team is available at all times and that real-time support is available for all plans except the Minimal plan.
There was no mention of the uKit phone number anywhere. We reached out to the customer support team and found out that uKit doesn’t offer phone support at this time.
Phone support aside, we were pleasantly surprised with uKit’s email support team. We got in touch with them on multiple occasions. Even though their response times varied from several minutes to several hours, we always got accurate, precise answers.
After carefully examining every uKit feature, we’ve come to the conclusion that there are very few downsides to building a website with uKit. The website editor is incredibly intuitive and easy to use.
uKit also has a rich library of stunning website templates, and it allows users to add an online store to their website via its in-house e-commerce solution or Ecwid.
Moreover, uKit-powered websites have excellent loading times, and, apart from offering advice on how to optimise websites for search engines, the builder has an extensive collection of SEO tools. On top of it all, uKit plans are quite affordable.
This leads us to a question — are there any reasons not to use uKit for creating a website? Taking into account all the features we’ve analysed in this uKit review, we wouldn’t recommend the builder to anyone who wants to create a website for free.
Additionally, the lack of a membership system, app market, and limited image editing options downgrade the overall user experience. Still, you can always try uKit for free, and based on your experience with it, decide if it is the right solution for you.