When we talk about online site builders, typically we’re talking about the sort that sit somewhere just between a web hosting company and a professional designer—They give you the tools that you need to create your own website without any sort of technical knowledge, and then they provide you with a pricing tier that will get the thing hosted. However, not all site building technologies run on this platform: Some will give you all of this for free, allowing you to step foot onto the Web without any learning under your belt, and without any monetary concerns at all. Just such a website builder is uCoz.
uCoz has been alive and pumping since 2005. During that time, they’ve been making a real name for themselves as the premier sans price (yes, they’re completely free, minus domain name registration) website builders on the planet. They offer all of the same features that you’d want and expect out of a for-pay builder, only without the hassle of needing to worry about a budget. So if you’ve been waiting for just such an offering, step on up, Solider! We’ve got all the nitty gritty details listed out below, all of which are ripe and ready for your perusal!
We’re going to be honest with you on the upfront here, that way there are no misconceptions about what you’ll be getting with uCoz. You see, as a free platform that’s intended to help the common man get on the Web without any technical knowledge, you can’t expect a whole lot of fancy features, as you obviously would with something like SquareSpace. So what we’re talking about when we talk about the uCoz interface and experience is a simplified, very template-oriented approach to website creation that may not appeal to some of the more advanced users in our audience.
You’ll get your choice of several hundred different templates to build your site with. Don’t worry about finding one that meets your needs, as out of the quantity that uCoz is offering, we guarantee you’ll be able to find at least one that does the trick.
However, the templates themselves remind us a lot of some of the free WordPress offerings that are floating around the Web—they’re not bad in an empirical sense, but they simply won’t be winning awards anytime soon. If you’re somewhat skilled at website design—or have a basic knowledge of HTML, though— uCoz does allow you to peel back the hood and add your own customized designs via code. This is really cool, as we hardly see this level of customization in some of the heftier paid programs.
Aside from that, you’ll also miss out on a lot of the eCommerce options that you’ll see with the bigger boys on the block. You’ll also not get nearly as much support, though there are still lots of forums and journals that exist to help you along if you suddenly encounter some problems you simply cannot handle. That being said, it’s still sort of a gamble.
We’re going to go ahead and say it: As a free offering, you really can’t go wrong with uCoz. You’re not going to have a lot of trouble setting up your site, and once the thing is online, we hardly think you’ll find the features inadequate.
Still, if you plan to use your site as the sole means by which you make a living, we’d strongly encourage you to check out some of the other site builders we’ve reviewed recently. You’re going to want more support, thicker features, and eventually more space to host your site with. uCoz is a great way to dip your toe into the ocean, but if you plan to dive in and fill your pockets with ad revenue cash, you’re simply not going to get the same results with a free alternative. That being said, the interface is simple, the features powerful enough, and the results hefty. At the end of the day, though, you really do get what you pay for: And in this case, though uCoz is a value, it’s simply not the greatest.