The following review was generously submitted to us to share with you by CMS Critic reader, Kanat Bektemirov (website):
uCoz is a popular general purpose Software as a Service —includes hosting and CMS— that can be used for a variety of projects. One can create satisfying projects of all types from personal page to blogging, from guestbook to forums, and from news site to online shopping site.
- No installation
- Unlimited hosting (with initial hosting space of 400Mb and it increases every second (similar to Gmail)) and bandwidth
- 250 offered themes
- Variety of modules, tools, and features
- Easy to use interface
- Cheap plans
- All websites can be accessed from one account
- Forced ads in free version
- No personal use of PHP, Perl, ASP etc. scripts
- Not SEO friendly
- Not 100% open source
- Shared hosting
Nonexistent. Absolutely no installation is required - just register and start working on your project.
It takes 30 seconds to register and then you will have everything ready and available for use. In a few clicks you can set up any module, feature, and template you need.
There are 12 content modules to choose from:
- News - allows administrator and users to post news easily
- Forum - allows users to communicate in a variety of topics
- Publisher - gives an opportunity to create a set of structured information on any topic
- File Catalog - another content module; has its own goodies
- Site Catalog - collected sites are organized in an ordered manner
- Ad Board - another content module; has its own goodies
- Blog - allows administrator and/or users to share thoughts
- Photo Albums - good photo gallery module
- Online Games - 100s of games installed by default, new games can be added by users or administrator
- Guestbook - allows people to leave opinions on the website
- FAQ - easy access to most frequently asked questions
- E-shop - powerful tool for organizing sales on the website
These modules have titles, but are not limited to what their names are. There are a bunch of folks who have done unbelievable projects using the modules listed above. But most people use these modules for quickly creating and managing content on the website.
There are also additional modules that have fixed uses such as contact forms, web polls, tag board, banner rotator, informers, RSS import, tests, site statistics, site search, and auto sitemap file creation and updating.
Security, Speed, and Reliability
One of the most important factors when choosing a CMS is the website's security. uCoz provides nearly impossible to hack website security. The admin panel is well protected and one should have little or no fear of it being compromised. uCoz also allows one to set security levels based on IP address which decreases the likelihood that the admin panel will by accessed by others.
Backups of oneís projects can also be created and downloaded so that the projects can be easily restored if oneís work faces peril or transferred to another CMS if needed.
Localization and the Community
Websites and the admin panel can be displayed in seven different languages without any installation of a language pack.
The transition from the different languages can be done in one click. The uCoz community is pretty diverse and is available to help users on uCoz community forums.
From past experiences I found out that the official tech support —that can be reached through the admin panel— never responds, if ever, before 2-3 days if using the free version of the service.
I also found out that most tech supporters are not very intelligent. By that I mean they can't respond to anything other than simple questions that can be found on FAQs and docs. Besides being not intelligent, they sometimes respond with boorishness (if using free version).
They once told me to "grow up and start using my brain instead of contacting them". I don't mean no disrespect, but it is better not to contact the official technical support. I see uCoz is working hard on improving its technical support, so this situation might completely change in the near future.
Language and other settings
uCoz is suited for both newcomers and advanced webmasters. The interface is easy to use and understand while it also provides tools that more advanced users can take advantage of. The text editor can be switched back and forth between WySiWyG, BB Codes, and plain HTML.
Since uCoz is SaaS, webmasters do not have to worry about manual upgrading the CMS.
uCoz Server Side code samples
uCoz provides a free and easy to use service while catering to more advanced users who want more freedom in the creation of their projects.
This review was just a brief taste of what uCoz services look like; it is not possible to summ up everything in one article. I posted some screenshots and captions below to show some other features that uCoz services provide.
Easy entries management from admin panel
Action and Security Logs
Banner Rotator. Very useful tool.
At the bottom of each template, uCoz provides the descriptions of all codes that can be used within the template.
Very handy options while adding an entry
Online Shopping module settings
Alternative way (to RSS) of subscribing
Access to files manager through Admin panel and to FTP from anywhere
Informers. One of the best tools the developers have made.
Quick replacement. Change portions of your site's template in one click
Statistics. uCoz provides detailed reports about the traffic of one's site
Syntax highlighter. uCoz has a nice syntax highlighter
Design Templates. All parts of the website have separate templates
User permissions. Control which groups of users have what types of permissions.
Widgets and Gadgets. Has a lot of useful wigets and gadgets
Fair and Cheap plans