In this Ucraft review, I’m going to write down the experience of using this website builder for months while testing its features, ease of use, and performance. Can it compete with the industry’s giants?
Ucraft claims to offer an easy to use drag-and-drop website building while having affordable pricing for its features. This promise isn’t exactly groundbreaking as many site builders tend to advertise the same thing.
So what does Ucraft offer that seems to be different from other website builders? A less limited free plan than the competition offers.
Yes, usually, it’s “you get what you pay for” mentality engraved into our brain when looking for a website builder. Especially, since free website building plans usually don’t let you connect a custom domain and are full of platform’s ads. However, Ucraft offers something out of the ordinary.
And it’s a possibility to connect your custom domain with its free plan.
Not only that, but this website builder also manages to do so without asking your credit card information. The only thing that might stop you from using a free plan (that is if you want a professional-looking website) is that upgrading a plan removes Ucraft’s branding from your site.
So, right here, we have a decent looking website builder with modern templates and drag-and-drop editor, that breaks the stereotype of free plans so limited, that they become unusable.
Everything looks so attractive at first that it makes me wonder – won’t Ucraft’s chest of surprises turn out to be a big hoax? (Spoiler alert!) No, not really.
But there are a few catches, such as – no ability to downgrade a plan, lack of specific content elements, or a lack of an option to build your website from scratch.
Considering the lack of downgrading a plan – that’s not something major, however, it requires extra attention while choosing a plan – so be sure to know what kind of website you’re aiming for.
Put your lab coats on, everyone, since things might get dirty in here. We’re about to dissect every little bit of this website builder and see if Ucraft can stand its ground against the popular site-building giants in the industry.
Ucraft is really easy to get started with. Not only the starting point but also nearly every aspect of the website building in its editor is fairly easy compared to other website builders I used.
Everything looks clean, modern and there’s a very beginner-friendly dashboard provided, that makes all the editing required to build a modern website, even less stressful.
Getting started with this platform couldn’t be much simpler. You choose a template to your liking and continue from there. Basically, the process is the same as most website builders.
Some website builders, of course, tend to offer an AI (Artificial Intelligence) pre-built websites according to your choices, however, Ucraft doesn’t provide this. So, for people who don’t care enough about the details of a site and prefer having it online in a few minutes – Ucraft doesn’t offer this luxury.
Although, it’s debatable whether having flexible design tools is less luxurious than having an AI built website that you are limited to edit afterward.
However, let’s go back to the site editing. So, after I was done picking my website’s template, I was taken to the drag-and-drop page editor. Not like I was anxious before, but seeing that Ucraft’s site editor is a pleasant and easy to understand interface – made my experience even more relaxing.
To be honest, after reviewing and reviewing website builders, sometimes you get tired of them and find yourself looking for a way to nag about minor faults that they tend to have. Yet Ucraft is the website builder that managed to make me fall in love with website building all over again.
The menu you get is simple and self-explanatory. Even better, a “Progress” menu provides you a checklist of steps that you have already gone through and what else you can follow to finish up your website. So you never feel at loss for where to get started.
Another thing I and other Ucraft reviews appreciated about Ucraft is the platform’s dashboard. It’s simple in a way that other website builders often don’t achieve.
You can easily go into the dashboard and find options to view all your pages, start a blog post, change site settings, or handle eCommerce.
One major thing that I found confusing while writing this Ucraft review, is how Ucraft separates its design elements into ‘Blocks’ and ‘Elements.’
Blocks are large sections of content that come pre-populated with elements. Elements, on the other hand, are individual pieces of content. These include images, galleries, text, buttons, and eCommerce content items.
Let’s start off talking about elements since they’re more familiar if you’ve used any kind of website builder in the past. Ucraft’s element offerings are relatively limited – there is no calendar element or complex elements that combine text and images.
When it comes to editing elements that you’ve placed on the page, each one of them has a different menu. This can be a little confusing, but I found it makes editing the elements easier since you get options that are specific to how that element functions. Thankfully, you can also edit text directly on the page and a complete formatting menu pops up for you to use.
What makes blocks in Ucraft somewhat confusing at first is that they’re simply a mix of elements. In reality, you could design your entire website without ever touching blocks. But, I actually came to appreciate this feature the more I used Ucraft.
The appeal of blocks is that they save time. Even if there’s not a block that perfectly matches what you want, placing a block that’s filled with formatted elements saves time aligning individual elements just so. All of Ucraft’s blocks are sortable according to when you would use them, so it’s easy to find one that fits the bill.
Another nice thing about this feature in Ucraft is that you can save your own composition of elements as a block. If you modify an existing block or place a series of elements on a page, you can choose to save that for future use. Your saved blocks are readily accessible in the menu, next to original Ucraft’s block examples.
The Designer Tools item in the Ucraft dashboard is where you’ll find options to change site-wide styles. Beware, when using Designer Tools that these settings won’t be saved if you decide to change templates later on.
The primary thing that most website designers will modify using this interface is site-wide fonts. You have complete freedom to customize all of the fonts used by your site.
This is particularly helpful with headers since you can’t edit the formatting of header text, as you can for paragraph text in Ucraft.
The Designer Tools interface also allows you to modify some basic elements, like buttons and forms. You have the option to change the layout of your site as well, although this may be better accomplished by switching templates.
Ucraft takes a unique approach to laying out pages within your website. Instead of nesting pages in a tree structure, your pages are categorized into ‘Main Pages,’ ‘Secondary Pages,’ and ‘System Pages.’
This structure is useful if you have a variety of sub-pages for different topics, products, or services. Essentially, any sections that you want to appear in your site’s menus should go under ‘Main Pages,’ while the other two categories are primarily there for your own organization.
Ucraft offers over 80 clean, modern templates to get your website off the ground. Templates are categorized into a variety of different industries to fit every website designer’s needs.
However, if it’s not your first time encountering Ucraft, I must inform you that – this platform doesn’t have the choice of starting building your website from scratch, as it used to before.
So you’re left working with the themes that are provided on hand. It’s not a big deal since every template can be customized unrecognizably, and you can make it feel like your own.
Ucraft doesn’t have hundreds of templates like many website builder giants tend to have, however, the provided number is more than enough to satisfy most designers’ needs. There are enough categories provided to cover the most popular niches, such as – restaurants, blogs, education, event websites, etc.
All of these templates are also minimalistic and have clutter-free homepages, so even with the minimal editing effort, you can be still left off with an amazing, professional-looking result.
As you’d expect from a modern website builder, all of Ucraft’s templates are fully responsive for mobile devices and tablets.
You can even customize how your template and elements will appear on different devices, which is something that most other website builders don’t offer.
People who used Ucraft before, or at least heard about it, I have some news for you. This platform recently widened its variety of solutions for online businesses – it started offering its own eCommerce site-building.
Before this platform used to have Ecwid integration as their eCommerce building option, but right now it finally decided to become independent.
So, all I can tell you is that Ucraft is doing a pretty good job with this decision. It’s interesting to see how this will be exploited in the future. Still, enough of speculating and let’s go back to what Ucraft offers today.
Alongside being already feature-rich for online entrepreneurs before with its SEO Tools, a possibility to sell on different platforms, and a logo maker, right now, Ucraft has created its own eCommerce solution, lets you sell digital products, and started offering an abandoned cart recovery.
Ucraft offers 3 eCommerce plans on its platform. In short, every paid plan on Ucraft actually has eCommerce related features, some are just more limited than others. So if you’re just starting with building an online store I would offer to start with the cheapest plan since this platform doesn’t let you downgrade your subscription, and there is always a possibility to upgrade later on.
Ucraft has a lot of features that are focused on stress-free online store building, however, it’s still more targeted towards small to medium-sized businesses cause it lacks some specific features that you can find on other website building platforms.
For example, you won’t find a booking calendar, if you want to build a website related to physical service that you provide.
However, it does have a few nice features to offer for selling online. With its cheapest plan, $10 per month, you can add up to 15 products, that can later be upgraded to 1000 which is quite a jump.
Upgrading a plan also introduces you to over 50 payment options for your online store visitors, possibility to sell on Amazon or eBay, and lets you advertise your business on social media such as Facebook or Instagram.
Now, let’s dive deeper into the eCommerce creating process with this platform.
Ucraft has 27 templates targeted for eCommerce building and all of them look minimalistic and attractive. After I chose my template, I clicked on the dashboard, where I could find eCommerce building tools.
Ucraft’s product designer is rather easy to get by and even a beginner wouldn’t have much trouble working with it.
You can add pictures of your product, name it, assign categories, work with its SEO, and input tax and shipping rates.
Ucraft also lets you add a section of related products so you can offer extra purchases on top for your customers and improve your sales with this feature. There’s also an abandoned cart recovery – a powerful tool to recover lost sales while sending an email to your customers that didn’t check out yet, but have items in their basket.
Ucraft also offers a possibility to sell digital goods and the limited weight of your e-product relies on the plan you choose. Just like many other features with Ucraft.
Talking about physical and digital goods – I found out one thing while writing this Ucraft review. This platform even provides a point of sale. So, for people who have a physical location where they would like so sell their items – you can do that, however, it comes with the most expensive plan. And that’s an eye-watering cost of $69 a month.
So, in the end, Ucraft has a ton of great options to sell goods online, whether physical or digital. Has a beginner-friendly product manager with tons of settings that you can play around with to get the best results for your online store.
Ucraft gives you a significant amount of control over your site’s SEO. Within the Ucraft dashboard, there’s an SEO menu item that takes you to an interface where you can edit the metadata for any of your website’s pages.
Filling out SEO attributes for all of your pages can take time, but having this level of control allows you to manage what keywords you want to place on different pages.
That’s especially helpful if you have a diverse website where a few site-wide keywords don’t grasp the complexity of what you offer.
On top of that, you can fill in SEO for products in your online store. This is primarily drawn from the product’s description, but Ucraft allows you to also add in a meta description to capture specific keywords.
Having so much control over your keywords, meta descriptions, meta titles, and sitemap can boost your online presence.
Ucraft doesn’t have a built-in email client, unlike some other website builders. But, the platform still offers some decent tools for marketing, especially if you use an external email newsletter service.
Since Ucraft keeps track of all your customers, you can quickly and easily export a contact list of customers from your store to an external email client.
Helpfully, Ucraft also allows you to ask customers whether they would like to opt-in to emails from your company during the checkout process.
This website builder has an option to integrate with Mailchimp, so combining Ucraft’s options for email marketing with Mailchimp’s features can lead you to a great increase in sales, especially when done correctly.
Overall, this isn’t much when it comes to marketing. But, it’s better than nothing and gives you the basic support you need to conduct marketing through a third-party service.
Ucraft also offers a possibility to advertise your business on Google and Facebook with its premium plans. It’s a great way to collect higher amounts of traffic to your online store.
In the end, Ucraft has some decent features to market your production and get seen on the internet. Considering the fact that it has created its own eCommerce solution for online entrepreneurs, we might as well get an in-house solution for email marketing in the future.
Speculations and good wishes aside, connecting a third-party email marketing service is a great way to improve reach your customers since Ucraft collects your visitors’ emails and you can use that to your own advantage.
One of the more unusual features included with Ucraft is a logo designer. If you have an established business with a logo already in use, this won’t seem like much of a value add. But, if you are just starting out, Ucraft’s logo designer can save you money on a graphic designer.
The logo maker is relatively simple and allows you to combine basic premade icons with text. There are over one million icons available in Ucraft’s searchable database, so the possibilities are virtually endless.
Of course, you can customize the color of any icon and the font of your text to achieve a logo that’s unique to your business.
On the whole, the logo maker won’t replace a graphic designer. But, if you’re just getting your business off the ground, it’s a good place to start for developing a logo on your own.
Basic Ucraft websites are completely free with a possibility to connect your own domain name. Ucraft also offers a 14 days free trial without credit card input required, however it’s limited up to two websites at a time.
So if you’re thinking about testing this platform with multiple sites, unfortunately, you will have to skip this option.
A free plan has also three major drawbacks for many users:
The other downside to the free plan with Ucraft is that you only get basic content blocks, which aren’t particularly versatile. In addition, a free plan doesn’t support multiple user accounts or allow you to password protect pages on your site.
However, such things as SEO Tools, custom domain connection and unlimited bandwidth and storage are still there for you with its free solution. It’s pretty generous of Ucraft, anyhow, all generosity aside, let’s take a closer look at what premium plans can offer.
For eCommerce sites, plans start at $10 per month for up to 15 products. You can upgrade to 1,000 products for $21 per month, as well as integrate with Amazon, eBay, and Yandex.
If you need an eCommerce store, the Ucraft ‘Pro Website’ plan for $10 per month is an incredibly attractive deal.
You get to sell up to 15 products and don’t have to pay a commission. Plus, you get access to all of Ucraft’s content block styles, remove the Ucraft branding from your site, and get tons of advanced settings to control your website.
The ‘Pro Shop’ plan for $21 per month adds more functionality over the ‘Pro Website’ plan. The biggest difference is that you can sell up to 1,000 products and accept discount coupons in your checkout. The Store Management App is also nice, as this allows you to sell directly from your smartphone.
Upgrading to this plan also gives you an abandoned cart recovery feature, 50+ payment methods, and a whole lot of data management features, such as – product variations, order editor, discount features, and even an ability to sell digital products.
Finally, Ucraft offers the “Unlimited” plan for $69 per month. With this plan, you can sell an unlimited number of products as well as get a point-of-sale integration that is available in the UK, USA, Canada, Japan, and Australia.
It also expands the limits of selling your digital goods, as you can sell digital files that weight up to 10GB per product.
Unfortunately, Ucraft websites are not known for their performance. Images in Ucraft templates are not scaled, which can dramatically reduce page loading speeds.
However, Ucraft sites responded well in all other aspects of performance, suggesting that changing out and compressing images could improve loading speeds.
A test Ucraft website scored an abysmal 15% on a PageSpeed test and 87% on a YSlow test using GTMetrix. Much of the poor page loading was due to unscaled images, all of which came with a Ucraft template. Worse, the images are served directly from Shutterstock, which means they are derived from various URLs.
So using your own pictures and compressing them is a clever thing to do to avoid your website loading slowly due to the weight of your visual content.
The same website performed relatively well in a load test with LoadImpact. Response times never exceeded 70 milliseconds, even with more than 20 virtual users making requests to Ucraft’s servers.
If you were still to encounter some kind of performance-related issues, you can always contact Ucraft’s live chat support that works 24/7 to assist you with every possible issue that you may run into.
There’s not a bad thing I could say about this platform’s customer service. Not only, that it works 24/7 to assist its users, it also happens to reply under a few minutes. The agents are also really friendly and provide great help without rushing you to state your own problem.
Having a few conversations in the live chat made me realize that great customer support is one of the important features that a website builder needs to have. After all, no one can be guaranteed that they won’t run into something that they might need help with.
Here’s how our conversation went:
As you can see, an agent was informative on the issue, didn’t pressure me into buying or upgrading my subscription. She answered all my queries quite fast and kept a smile on my face.
In this Ucraft review, I realized that this builder is one of the most user-friendly platforms available for creating a small to medium-sized business website. Setting up your site is quick with blocks. Plus, Ucraft allows you to fine-tune your site’s SEO and its brand new in-house eCommerce solution has a lot to offer for your online store.
Still, there are a few drawbacks to Ucraft. The elements used to create your site aren’t all that imaginative, which can make it hard for your site to stand out. The option to create your website from scratch is also out of the picture.
Considering the pricing, Ucraft manages to offer affordable options compared to the industry standards, however, it doesn’t let you downgrade your subscription, so you should pick your plan carefully.
If you have a larger online store, the price becomes more similar to other, more established website builders. At that price point, Ucraft’s design limitations can start to catch up to the platform. However, with its advanced eCommerce capabilities, this platform still stands a big chance against most of the website building industry giants.
out of 10
Overall, Ucraft is an ideal choice if you can take advantage of the builder’s inexpensive ‘Pro Website’ plan. You can build a blog, a small eCommerce store, or a personal project using that plan’s features, and still have full control over things like SEO settings, that are important for your site’s online presence.
Weebly, Wix, and Squarespace are all good alternatives that can match Ucraft in terms of design and eCommerce features. While Ucraft is cheaper for small online stores, you may get greater design flexibility out of these website builders.
Weebly competes with Ucraft directly on price and number of templates. The page editor works similarly but offers slightly more flexibility and a wider range of content elements.
Weebly also gives you excellent eCommerce features, although it’s a toss-up as to whether Weebly or Ucraft’s online store options are more fit for your idea of an online shop.
Wix takes the drag-and-drop editor to a level far beyond what’s available in Ucraft. With Wix, you can actually drop content items anywhere on the page, including on top of one another.
There are basically no limitations when we talk about design editing in Wix. That is a double-edged sword, however, since it makes it harder to create a consistent look for your site if you lack attention in detail, as you can not edit the overall look on all of your website’s pages with Wix.
Squarespace is a lot like Ucraft, but with a greater diversity of templates and a wider range of content elements. But, Squarespace plans, particularly for eCommerce, are more expensive than Ucraft plans. Squarespace’s product design and customer management can also feel lacking compared to what’s available through Ucraft’s eCommerce solution.
While Ucraft has a lot to offer, it’s worth taking a look into these three competitors if you feel limited by the platform’s content elements. Weebly, in particular, offers a very similar platform to Ucraft, with a more versatile page editor and a similarly excellent range of eCommerce features.