uKit

It seems like every high-volume Web development firm is coming out with a DIY online website-building service. I've tested more than a dozen, and there are easily a score more waiting to be reviewed. Moscow-based uCoz's targets Web developers rather than average Joes who don't know an anchor tag from a type declaration. For us mere mortals, the company offers uKit, a drag-and-drop site builder for non-developers, and the product I'll focus on here. ukit is a good-looking modern builder of fully responsive sites, but it's one of the more restrictive when it comes to positioning page objects. Also, mobile site customization options and integrated statistics reporting are missing here.

Getting Started

On the uCoz.com home page, the Personal choice takes you to the developer-targeted uCoz builder I mentioned earlier, which caused me considerable confused when I started this review. You can avoid this by pointing your browser to ukit.com rather than uCoz.com. Pricing for uKit is quite reasonable: For $4 per month, the Premium plan gives you unlimited pages and sites, no uCoz ads, support, and a mobile-friendly site. The Premium Plus level, for $8 per month, adds live chat support and premium designs. The Pro level ($12 per month) lets you add custom HTML code to your site. Those prices are well below what you pay for most services, such as Squarespace$12.00 at Squarespace Personal Plan($12–$40 per month) or WebStarts ($9.78–$39.98).

To start with uKit, you answer a short questionnaire, choosing a site type (online store, education, personal, entertainment, or portfolio), your computer knowledge level, and how much you want to spend, from free to "as much as it takes."

When you get to the uKit page to start building your site, you have a template choice that looks a lot like those you see with Wix$4.08 at Wix and other DIY site builders. There are 37 categories to choose from, including some very specific options like Nail Design and Tattoo Artist. You can filter themes by primary color or by lightness and darkness of the design. The template previews also show you how the sample site looks on a smartphone screen. Note that the uCoz developer-level service offers fewer templates, and less modern-looking ones, at that.