uCoz Site Builder: A Good Starting Point for Smaller Blogs
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Are you looking for a robust, free site builder?
Then, you might want to continue your search since the uCoz Site Builder limits quite a bit with its free plan.
However, you might find it useful if you start paying for one of the premium plans.
No, the uCoz free solution isn’t terrible, but you have far better options that don’t serve up ads or take down your site due to inactivity. The main reason we recommend checking out uCoz is that you can test out the features on their free plan to see if the templates fit your brand and some of the tools are easy enough for when you upgrade.
The a href=”/recommend/ucoz/” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>uCoz site builder is marketed as a free solution but you should think of it as more of a free trial that you’ll eventually want to upgrade.
What Does uCoz Provide?
The uCoz site builder does have some impressive upsides. Not only does it support custom domains but it provides a sleek site builder that doesn’t require any knowledge of HTML or CSS. a href=”/recommend/ucoz/” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>uCoz has features for building online stores if you’re thinking about dipping your toe into that market, and the automated backups are sure to make you feel more confident about protecting your website.
When you sign up for uCoz the main product you’re receiving is the site builder. It also sells templates, or you might get them for free depending on the pricing plan you decide on.
uCoz Main Features and Affordability
The uCoz pricing setup is a little tricky because you do have the option to go with a free website, but you get stuck with several ads on your site from uCoz. That’s not a huge deal if you’re building a hobby blog or a journal of some sort, but most businesses have no interest in random ads showing up, especially if you’re not going to profit from them.
The good news is that custom domains can be connected to all uCoz plans, even if you’re only working with the free plan. In addition, they give you FTP access, a social media publisher, and some other interesting tools that might be helpful if you’re not willing to pay for your website.
Since I figure the free website crowd will be completely different than those who are going to pay for a uCoz site, we’ll break down the features for both.
This should give you an idea of what you receive with the free uCoz plan:
- An ad-supported website where you have no control over the advertisements that come up on the site.
- At least 400 MB of storage.
- A basic PDA for the mobile version of your site.
- Support for a custom domain to make your website presence look a little more professional.
- The option to purchase a premium template through uCoz.
- A social media publisher that pulls from a blog or news site.
- A 10 post limit for this social media publisher.
- FTP access for handling your site files and potentially self-hosting.
- A max file size of 15 MB for FTP uploading.
As you can see, the free uCoz site builder solution is rather limited. You don’t get some of the premium features like no ads, automated backups, and actual mobile templates. What’s strange is that uCoz offers an inexpensive package right above the free plan, but that’s still not that great.
We would assume that the majority of legitimate businesses would choose a mid-range plan that’s still pretty affordable and has far more features. But it’s nice to at least have access to the free option in case you want to play around with uCoz.
All of the plans vary in the features you receive, but we can cover the primary features in order to give you an idea of what to expect:
- Many of the premium plans have ad-free interfaces.
- Online shop tools in some of the plans.
- Up to 20 GB of storage.
- An SEO module in some plans for improving how often people see your website in Google.
- An automated backup that saves your site files in case you need to restore anything.
- Basic and premium antivirus options depending on the plan you go with.
- Basic PDAs for some plans along with actual mobile templates for the better ones.
- Free premium templates when you’re paying for a certain number of months with uCoz.
- Free custom domains for some of the plans.
- Support for up to 25 posts per day with the social media publisher.
- PHP tools with some of the premium plans.
- An HTTPS connection in a few of the pricing plans.
- A max file size of 135 MB for FTP uploading.
- The ability to attach files to email forms. Therefore, your customers can submit claims if they’re having problems with your products or services. Or maybe your clients need to share documents for a project.
- View your site’s local user database.
- Image watermarking whenever you upload a file.
An unusual part of the a href=”/recommend/ucoz/” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>uCoz system is that the free pricing packages can be removed for inactivity. That’s not the case for when you’re paying a monthly fee, but you just have to keep an eye on your activity to ensure that your blog or business site isn’t randomly taken down because you didn’t keep updating it.
Another aspect of uCoz you have to take into consideration involves a statistics counter. You may have seen this on older blogging platforms where it tells all of the visitors how many people have stopped by your site in the past few months or so. Well, that sats counter is shown on the uCoz plan, so you’ll need to fork over some money to get rid of it.
Overall, the free uCoz package isn’t as intriguing as it might seem from the start. You have far better options to choose from that aren’t going to bog you down with things like ads and stat counters. However, a few of the premium plans have powerful tools for image watermarking, attaching files to contact forms and accessing more advanced elements for PHP and FTP.
Upsells from uCoz
Other than the site builder, uCoz upsells you on site templates. Some of the plans offer them for free but you should factor this into your costs before pulling the trigger on a href=”/recommend/ucoz/” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>uCoz.
What Makes uCoz Truly Special?
I wouldn’t say the free pricing plan makes uCoz stand out. It’s rather watered down.
However, the uCoz site builder includes a few features you can’t find anywhere else. For example, you can take advantage of image watermarking tools if you’re a photographer. Some of the pricing plans also have file uploading in the contact forms. We like this for companies working on big projects with clients, like a web designer that needs guideline submissions from new clients.
We also like the PHP and FTP support.
uCoz Customer Support
The uCoz support comes in multiple forms. The majority of your support requires you to complete your own research by taking a look at the forum or FAQ. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing considering you get to chat with people who are currently using the uCoz system. They cover all sorts of topics like design customization and the first steps you have to take with uCoz.
The FAQ is fine but some people obviously want a way to speak with an actual person. This type of customer support is only available through email. Therefore, you have to send in an email and wait for them to respond. The responses usually come back within 24 hours.
Other than that, uCoz support is fairly barebones. They don’t provide live chat support or a phone line for you to call in and speak to an actual person. There’s also not a knowledge base so your main source of information comes from the forum, which isn’t always the first choice for some people.
a href=”/recommend/ucoz/” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>uCoz also has social profiles on Facebook and Twitter but those are typically only good for getting platform updates or maybe some random articles that might help you out.
All in all, uCoz could make changes to improve its support area. I wouldn’t expect much from a free site builder but once you start paying for a monthly plan you’d think they’d at least give you access to a knowledge base.
Should You Consider uCoz?
Here’s our opinion on the matter:
Consider uCoz If:
- You’d like a free site builder for launching your hobby blog or startup business website.
- You want to use a custom domain with a free website builder.
- The interesting features like social sharing and automated backups are enough for you to pay for uCoz.
Skip uCoz If:
- You want a free site builder with no ads.
- You want a free site builder that isn’t going to be taken down due to inactivity.
- You’re more interested in a self-hosted solution.
- You’re looking for better online store solution. uCoz has the support you need for a smaller shop but a platform like Volusion or Shopify is far more powerful without the need to pay tons of money.
uCoz isn’t all that feature-rich but it’ll serve as a good starting point for smaller sites.