uKit

uKit is an easy-to-use drag-and-drop website builder from Moscow-based Ucoz Media, the company behind the more developer-oriented uCoz CMS.

The service delivers all the core features you'd expect from a WYSIWYG website builder, including responsive templates, drag-and-drop content sections and page elements, a blogging system, web store and integration with a scattering of web apps and services (Ecwid, MailChimp, LiveChat, LiveAgent, SlideShare and more.)

The service delivers all the core features you'd expect from a WYSIWYG website builder, including responsive templates, drag-and-drop content sections and page elements, a blogging system, web store and integration with a scattering of web apps and services (Ecwid, MailChimp, LiveChat, LiveAgent, SlideShare and more.)

These features don't always have the power you'll see elsewhere, and for instance the blog and web store are more suitable for novices and home users than demanding businesses. But ukit website builder recognizes this in its low prices, which offer some real value.

uKit's Premium plan, for instance (forget the name, it's the most basic in the range), gives you unlimited pages, disk space and bandwidth, and allows building multiple websites. It doesn't have uKit branding or any other major catches, yet costs from just $3.50 (£2.69) a month on a two-year plan, $4 if you pay annually.

The Premium+ plan adds live chat support, access to a commercial library of Premium templates and support for Goals in Google Analytics, and is priced from $7.00 (£3.08) a month.

The eCommerce plan adds uKit's web store, with prices starting at a very low $8.40 (£6.46) a month.

uKit's top-of-the-range Pro product includes the ability to design your own color schemes, and use custom HTML, a more basic feature which ideally we'd like to see included in all plans. Still, as it's priced from $10.50 (£8.08) a month, many users may want to skip the more basic plans and sign up for Pro right away.

Getting started

We're a little tired of web hosts asking for our name, address, phone number and who-knows-what-else just for the privilege of signing up to their service, so it's good to see uKit taking a more relaxed approach. Enter your email address, password, and the website immediately logs you in and kicks off the setup process. It couldn't be much easier.

Website building starts by choosing a template. At first glance it seems there's a lot to choose from, but then you realize many of them are near identical layouts with different background photos. Still, there's enough to get by, including a selection of simple one-page sites, and we were able to preview and choose a good-looking example within a couple of minutes. If you change your mind, later, you can switch to another template without losing your content.

The setup wizard continued by prompting us for our business name, address, email, phone number, Skype name and social media links. This is used to automatically populate the various Contact fields on each template, but you can skip the step if you're not interested.