UENI Website Builder Review | Tech Radar

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UENI offers a website builder and web hosting service that promises to “grow your small business”.

Plans previously started with a free option called “Starter”, but with the free option discontinued, the service offers three packages called “Basic”, “Plus”, and “Reputation”.

Basic (not available if you pay monthly), includes SSL certificate, 2 email addresses, access to premium website design service, unlimited bookings and up to $500 in sales. You can also get VIP priority support. It will cost you $129 per year.

The Plus plan gives you unlimited bookings, sales, and images. It comes with full access to premium website designs, $10 ad spend, and access to a one-on-one call with a website expert and a call to help you grow your business. All for $39 per month or $349 per year.

Finally, we have reputation ($499 per year or $59 per month) which unlocks all other features, including reputation manager and review request services.

Company details

Give UENI information about you and your business so its AI has something to do (Image credit: UENI)

Begin

The choice of this plan allows us to enter directly into the creative process. You create an account and answer a series of questions so that UENI better understands your business. A limitation is when you are asked what you want to do with your site – for example you cannot choose ‘blog’ and ‘sell online’, or any other option: you can only select one, which seems very limited.

Wait

We waited 5 days before our site was ready to be edited… (Image credit: UENI)

And after answering all of their questions and providing all of the images, links to a video, maybe some text about your business, you’re good to go!…in “three days”.

Wait what?

This is because your site is designed by a human being, not an automatic computer-driven model, but it is very unusual nonetheless. Ueni builds and hosts the website for you, combining technical and human operations to deliver websites to businesses that don’t have the time or knowledge to use a DIY website builder.

On the plus side, an advertised three-day wait is only a paragraph away for you, dear reader…

Interlude

The last time we checked UENI, it took just over 24 hours for our site to be ready. This time it was almost a five day wait, although to be honest it included a weekend. In an online world accustomed to instant gratification, that’s a really long wait.

Let’s see the results…

Ready

After a lesson in waiting, your site is finally ready… to personalize (Image credit: UENI)

Themes

Once your site is ready, you are redirected to your hub on the UENI website. You can use it to go to your website or, more importantly to us, to click “Edit Website” and start tinkering.

At least that’s what we hoped.

Personalization

Except that your customization options are extremely limited. Four themes, limited color combos, and a handful of fonts, almost all of which are limited to paid plans. (Image credit: UENI)

There are several themes to choose from and the option to change the color scheme once you have decided on the model that suits you best. These dual color options are different for each theme.

As for the fonts, just like the colors, they come in combinations of two, and there are 30 pairs to choose from, but only one of those pairs is free. All others are premium.

OK, so our theme’s customization is extremely limited, how’s it going with editing your page content?

Divisions

Your page is divided into sections. Each is accessed by a navigation bar at the top. It doesn’t take you to a new page, but it’s a faster way to get to that section rather than scrolling down a very long page.

Your options are quite limited here too, and not very intuitive. You can edit the description and add new photos, which is great because most of the current text is AI-generated. There’s nothing wrong with the wording per se, but it doesn’t look unique, and you may think a little tweaking is needed to make it more you. All of this can be done via the sidebar on the left.

Editing

Text editing is done via the sidebar, which looks as far from modern as it gets (Image credit: UENI)

Basic formatting such as bold, italic, underline and bulleted or numbered lists are available, but if you want to add a hyperlink, sorry, it’s extra and the service will immediately prompt you to update. level.

Pictures

Add images from your computer or via a URL. There’s no link to stock footage, or image editing tools – not even cropping (Image credit: UENI)

What was a bit confusing for us were the photos that UENI chose to use. We chose to create a site for an IT department and had uploaded several snapshots during the initial process. But strangely, once the site is done, none of the photos that we had put online are presented to us. Instead, stock footage was used. Fortunately, changing that is easy. You find the plan in one of the sections, click on Update and choose another one.

There is no link to an online royalty-free library, so there was still no explanation of where these mysterious photos came from. Your only options are to upload them from your computer or paste the URL if the photo is already available online.

There are no image editing options, nor can you select which section of the image to crop – this is done automatically for you.

The inability to edit directly on the page, when so many competing services allow you to, is frustrating, and a constant reminder that you can do your customization work faster and better elsewhere.

Services

You can set up services, describe them, set your prices, etc. (Image credit: UENI)

Services

When it comes to building an e-commerce store, we liked the ability to book a session which is super easy to toggle.

Blogs and support

Support

At least there’s a help center, with good info on what you can do and where you can get it (Image credit: UENI)

So we jumped to the Help Center where we found information: blogs are available with the “Classic” theme, if you choose one of Ueni’s paid plans.

final verdict

This service is supposed to make it easy to set up an online presence, but we found it extremely slow to get started, difficult and even restrictive to modify, and incredibly limiting in its options. Despite its apparent simplicity, it does require some level of computer experience to get what you want out of it, which seems like a contradiction.

Ueni mentioned that his product as a whole is intentionally different from a traditional DIY website builder where the client does everything for himself from scratch.

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