Carrd is a simple and affordable one-page website builder. But if when hearing “website” you imagine a massive multi-page website, then you won't consider Carrd your typical site builder. There are workarounds that can help you create something along the lines of a multi-page website, but it won’t be what you expected. Carrd was simply not designed for that. It was created for building responsive single-page sites - great for creating a portfolio page or small profile sites - and landing pages. It works best, I’d say, exclusively for small businesses.
Carrd is relatively new on the market and it has a very interesting story. It was founded in 2016. The platform originated as a solo project of a developer/designer based in Nashville, Tennessee, who goes by the name AJ (yep, that’s it), and who wrote a very amusing and long article depicting the whole journey of the platform: from idea to realization and beyond. If you want to find out more about the history of Carrd, check out this piece. For our Carrd review, read on.
The platform was originally conceived as a simple single-page profile site builder, but it ended up being much more than that. To the great surprise of its creator, not long after it was launched, Carrd became very popular. According to the stats from SimilarWeb, there were 15.79 million total visits to the official Carrd website in April 2021. Pretty impressive, isn’t it? So, obviously, today Carrd is a force to be reckoned with, and you may want to consider trying it out.
Is Carrd a good choice for your site or business? What are its strong suits and downsides? Is it cost-effective and worthwhile? Sit back, relax, and buckle up: we’ll try to find the answers to these questions together.
Pricing is one of the biggest pros of Carrd.
Carrd is very cheap for a site/landing page builder. All the pricing plans are billed on an annual basis and the prices are just amazing. For a full-year subscription with Carrd you pay the price equivalent of a one-month fee of almost any other site builder.
Carrd offers three pricing plans:
- Pro Lite: $9/year;
- Pro Standard: $19/year;
- Pro Plus: $49/year.
There’s also a free plan, but be aware that it comes with big limitations. For instance, there’s no option to use a custom domain for your site.
There’s also a 7-day free trial and one of the best things about it is that Carrd doesn’t ask for your credit card information. As a matter of fact, it doesn’t require any type of information for test-driving the platform. I don’t know about you, but I really don’t like leaving any type of personal information for no good reason, so to me, this is a super-cool feature.
Let me temporarily digress from the subject of pricing plans, but the digression is related to the content of the previous paragraph. Believe it or not, Carrd doesn’t require you to even sign up to be able to experiment with the platform. You can kick the tires of Carrd by simply choosing one of the templates and starting to play around with it - just like that, without even leaving your email address. This is for sure one of the coolest and most appealing sides of the platform.
How is this different from the 7-day trial? Well, the trial period is for testing out specific features - the top Pro features, as Carrd says. During those seven days, you get access to premium features that are not an option if you don’t opt for either one of the Pro plans.
Now let’s have a look at the core features included in all three plans:
- Multiple sites;
- Removed Carrd branding;
- High quality images, large images, and large videos;
- Professional templates;
- Video hosting;
- Animated slideshows;
- Custom images when sharing your site on social media;
- Transfer site ownership to another Carrd customer. For instance, if for some reason, you don’t want to maintain your site anymore, there’s a “Manage Site” option that lets you enter the email address of an already existing Carrd user and transfer ownership to them. The only prerequisite is that you are both subscribed to the same level of plan. So, from that point on, they’ll be the one who receives all the emails related to the site and they’ll be fully in charge of it;
- Shared access to your site. This is similar to the previous feature, the only difference being that instead of transferring ownership, you add new users giving them a different level of access.
This is a decent list, but the good stuff really starts with the Pro Standard plan. This plan lets you use a custom domain (but it doesn’t provide it for you), forms, widgets, custom meta tags, code embedding, and Google Analytics. Now, this last one can be a bummer. Carrd doesn’t offer a built-in analytics functionality that will help you follow stats about your audience. However, it allows you to connect to Google Analytics, but the gotcha is that you have to do the set-up yourself.
Another noteworthy feature of the Pro Standard package is that it lets you build more than the usual 10 sites that are included in the plan out of the box. If you want to stick to the same plan, but you need more sites or landing pages, then you can opt for 25, 50, 100, 250, or 500 sites. Of course, this affects the price, so as the number of sites goes up, the price increases in this order: $39, $69, $119, $219, and $339.
The unique features of the most advanced Pro Plus plan are more advanced forms, custom templates, URL redirection (important for SEO functionality), password protection, site update frequency for better performance, advanced customization (for example, custom CSS or JS code), and a possibility to download the HTML, CSS, and JS code of the sites/landing pages you build as well as your uploaded images.
The Pro Plus plan allows you to build a maximum of 25 sites, but the same roadblock that we saw at the Pro Standard plan applies here too. Namely, if you want or need more than that, you can have it, but the price of the package will go up proportionally to the number of sites.
Obviously, Carrd is highly affordable, even for users with a limited budget. The Carrd pricing system is well-balanced and cost-effective. All things considered, the general users’ consensus is that Carrd is an excellent value for money.
Design and Customization
There are over 90 responsive and customizable templates on Carrd. The overall impression by the reviewers and users is that they’re very well-designed, minimalistic yet beautiful, and I absolutely agree.
This is a sneak peek of what Carrd offers in terms of templates:
The templates are divided into five categories according to their purpose: profile, landing, form, portfolio, and sectioned. The landing page and form templates are well suited for lead conversion, collecting emails, and eCommerce in general, but don’t expect wonders with the latter since Carrd is not a specialized eCommerce platform.
When you pick a template, Carrd gives you very straightforward instructions on how to use the user interface, which I find very convenient:
Besides pre-designed templates, you can also pick a blank canvas and build a site from scratch. You can customize the templates or create your page from zero in the Carrd editor.
The Carrd Editor
It’s a simple drag-and-drop editor that allows you to do all the usual stuff. But it also leaves room for some extra tweaking too, which is commonly not available with this type of editor.
The fact that it’s simple and easy to use makes it great for beginners, non-tech-savvy users, as well as busy users. You may even find it overly simplistic, but according to the opinion of virtually all of the users who had left a review, this is a good thing and a huge advantage.
Like with most editors of this type, the elements are locked inside sections, so you can’t place them literally wherever you want. Although, of course, you can move them from one section to another.
Carrd allows you to add buttons, images, widgets, audio and video files, social media links, animations, and more. Besides adding things, you can also remove parts of the pre-designed templates. You can modify colors and fonts, adjust the width, padding, and margin of the elements, change the default layout, and play with text.
But the most interesting thing about the Carrd editor is that it enables you to modify aspects of your page not usually available for customization, like line height and letter spacing. On top of this, you can do some more advanced stuff, like using custom gradients and gradient overlays.
After you’re done editing, you can preview how the page looks on different devices.
One potential drawback of the Carrd editor may be the following: when you’re changing fonts, you can’t preview how your text will look without selecting a specific font. In other words, you can only see the changes on the page afterward, and not during the customization process.
Ease of Use
This is a topic tightly related to the previous.
Without a doubt, Carrd is one of the easiest to use, according to some users the easiest, page builders on the market. Everything about it, from the setup process, through the customization, and the running of your website is simplicity itself. You can literally create a single-page site within ten minutes. No need to watch tutorials and instructional videos.
From the very beginning, it was conceived as a platform that’s all about simplicity and saving time, and its creator has remained truthful to this fundamental principle until today.
The only thing that’s not quite the easiest to do is that users have to set up DNS for their sites themselves. This requires at least some technical knowledge of the domain name system and DNS configuration, and it can be confusing for many users.
Carrd doesn’t provide a blogging functionality nor can you find any templates specially designed with a blog in mind. As blogging is one of the best ways to bolster your SEO ratings, drive traffic to your website, and promote your brand, it’s very unfortunate that this is a missing option.
However, there’s an easy fix for it. Carrd integrates seamlessly with DropInBlog, a state-of-the-art blogging software. It just takes copying a few lines of code and adding them to your Carrd site to enjoy the benefits of a full-featured, modern, and elegant blogging tool.
The documentation page contains articles, divided into six sections, on different topics related to the platform. This is how it looks:
The reviews on the Carrd customer service are mixed. Some users have had a great experience and gave it high marks, saying that they were surprised by how fast and responsive the staff was. Others are not quite as satisfied, saying that the platform needs more active and quicker support. And, of course, there are also those in the middle.
Since it’s still a relatively new site builder, it’s kind of normal to expect to see a few areas that need improvement. Customer service is definitely one of them.
The whole concept of Carrd is very interesting. It’s an extremely simple platform for building extremely simple sites and pages. It puts a lot of emphasis on minimalist aesthetics. It provides its users with many customization options and is highly affordable. It needs improvements in the customer service department and some additional tweaking for an even better user experience. It can be used in an eCommerce context, but it’s not suited for building an eCommerce store or as a complete online business solution.
And, one of its best qualities, it doesn’t seem to collect your private information.
All in all, I’d say, it’s definitely worth it. So, why not try it?