In the world of website builders, uCoz is quite unique. It doesn’t share the Web 2.0 crispness of your Weebly or Yola, but it’s not as stingy with its features as other sites like Jimdo. Just looking at uCoz’s site (and reading their ridiculous tagline – “YOU CAUSE us to be better.” uCoz! Get it?) is enough to make you think twice about signing up for a website builder that can’t even build its own site into something as professional or attractive as its competition.
But that’s a small gripe. A quick glance at the features and capabilities over at uCoz will COZ U to give it a second look. And, yes, they already have me marching in step with their tagline. There must be something to this mysterious and intriguing website builder. This calls for a comprehensive uCoz review. U with me?
A Million Things to Like
Believe it or not, uCoz’s features – which they’ll tell you about right away – are quite advanced as far as free website builders go. Some of the most memorable ones include:
Free hosting and unlimited disk space. How many times will you run into a Jimdo – a site that gives you just a pittance of disk space and hosting in its free plan only to give you just a little more in their pay-us plans? uCoz avoids these hoops entirely and gives you the goods with their free website builder, meaning you’ll have a lot of space to explore your sitebuilding techniques in and it won’t cost you a thing. Always a plus in my book.
Free domain hosting. In other words, you can use uCoz to create a site that you host at www.yoursite.com. This should be a basic function at just about any website builder but, sadly, it’s not.
Free support. Are you noticing a theme here? Just about all the good features at uCoz are available for free, including customer support and access to a community of fellow uCozzers. This means you don’t have to worry about being ripped off by customer support once you commit your credit card to your cause. After all, nothing costs anything here.
If you’re a careful consumer, however, there should be one alarm bell ringing in your head. If everything is free, it must not be such a great service, right? Well, there are a few ways to evaluate the overall quality of a sitebuilders like uCoz. Let’s take a look at each of them and see what kind of dirt we can dig up.
Delving into the Template and Design Quality
The truth is that the uCoz designs are not the greatest you’ll find out there. They’re better suited for personal and pleasure sites than a true-blue professional web presence. Heck, isn’t that the case with most of the free website builders you’ll find these days? A quick browsing of some of the better-designed websites at uCoz doesn’t yield the most amazing designs in the history of web design, but they’re up to a certain standard and certainly seem to serve their individual purpose. uCoz isn’t a great website builder for anyone with a ton of ambition for their web presence, sure, but that’s not what you really care about if you’re looking for a free website service to begin with.
If some of the web sites you post as shining examples of how good your website builder works, then they should all look clean – and they should all work. uCoz’s portfolio doesn’t always live up to this simple standard, which makes me wonder about the end result of the websites you plan on building.
What About Function and Use-ability?
Part of me wants to be more than superficial here, but uCoz’s web site is pretty ugly. The registration form seems like an HTML student just created it and while the “create a website” button is nice and big, it doesn’t guarantee an easy website building experience. I much prefer the in-your-face drop-and-drag simplicity of a website like Weebly because it’s the kind of website I can recommend to someone who’s looking to build something quickly. uCoz’s own interface leaves a lot to be desired.
That’s not to say that uCoz’s sitebuilding process is a complete failure. It’s just not quite as satisfying as some of the other big-button sites. And since we’re really talking about setting up a simple site here, I want as much simplicity as I can get.
Let’s be honest: Function or Fun?
If there’s one thing uCoz excels at, it’s the overall functions it serves. For free, no less. We’ve detailed the features earlier on, but it’s important to remember that these features should be considered crucial to discerning which website builder really delivers the goods. uCoz is eager to give away some of these features when it could easily charge you $10/month for them and no one would bat an eye. That’s an excellent sales pitch right off the bat, and certainly reason enough you should poke your foot in the door and give their site a try.
But uCoz doesn’t have the “fun” factor you’d expect from a sitebuilder in its class. The site isn’t fun to explore and use, for one thing. If you want a great website, you’d kind of expect your sitebuilder to host its own great website too, no? You can’t really trust a web designer of any sort if their own web page looks like they created it from scratch and never bothered to polish it. That’s exactly the vibe uCoz puts off.
Even so, you can’t deny the attractiveness of the features and pricing at uCoz. It’s worth a good look if you’re really dead-set against paying anything to set up your own website. Unlike other website builders, uCoz isn’t going to raise the price on you after thirty days and say your first free month was a “trial.” Instead, it’s just going to give you everything it has – without the style or panache, perhaps, but some people have no need for such things. If you’re interested in creating a site for free, uCoz should be considered a must-visit.