Carrd is a great platform for creating single-page sites, landing pages, and forms. It can be used to build any type of simple website, like portfolio and profile sites, but it also has its use in an eCommerce context.
It’s free to use, but yet at the same time, it’s not necessarily free. It doesn’t require a sign-up, yet in a way it does. I know this sounds confusing, but you’ll see shortly how a platform can be two opposite things at the same time, without being convoluted.
So, how should a person use Carrd? As a platform for building a stand-alone online solution? Or as a part of a group of different pieces of software that aim toward the same thing, say, a higher lead conversion? Can you run your online business relying entirely on the eCommerce capabilities of Carrd? What can you do and what can’t you do with Carrd?
Let’s explore Carrd together and answer these questions.
Is Carrd Really Free?
The answer is yes, it can be free, but if you want to use the full potential of Carrd, then I’d say it’s better to pay for it.
Carrd lets you choose one of its free templates, customize it, build a site, and even publish it. But without paying, you won’t be able to use a custom domain. Instead, your site will be published under a carrd.co URL and the Carrd branding will be all over your site. This is not recommended if you’re really serious about your site or page. A custom domain is a unique identifier that makes your site distinctive. Having one leaves a much better impression if you intend to do something important with your Carrd site or page... and it’s simply more professional.
Also, Carrd is highly affordable. The Pro plans, with which you can use a custom domain name, cost only $19/year (Pro Standard) or $49/year (Pro Plus). They’re more than a good value for the money. So, it would really be a shame to deny yourself the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of the Pro features.
Do I Need to Sign up to Use Carrd?
You don’t have to, but again, if you were to ask how to use Carrd best, I’d say it’s better to sign up.
Carrd allows you to play around with the templates, or even to build a site from scratch, and kick the tires of the platform without leaving any information and signing up. But, you can’t keep any changes you make to a template and you can’t save any of the sites or pages you build without creating an account. So, eventually, you’ll have to sign up.
Building Websites With Carrd
Carrd is great for building websites, but creating large multi-page, super-customizable, multipurpose websites is not really an option.
The platform was created as a solo project and from its inception, ease of use was the highest priority of its creator. It was meant to be practical, simple, intuitive, focused, and easy to use. So, if by “website” you imagine something that contains tons of pages with gazillions of options and numerous functionalities, that’s not Carrd. That’s Webflow. And Webflow is awesome, but complex. Carrd is simple. And this is not really a downside, but a conscious choice and orientation of the creator of Carrd. You can use this to your advantage rather than seeing it as a drawback.
However, if you’re into multiple-page sites, but you like Carrd nevertheless, you should know that there’s a workaround. Carrd provides templates and tools that enable users to create pages that simulate multiple-page sites.
Eight sectioned templates help you achieve this effect. Let’s have a look at one of them:
This particular template consists of four sections. Each of the buttons in the footer leads to one of them. The trick is that you get to see only one section at a time, depending on which button you click. The rest are hidden. This gives the impression of navigating between different pages on a website.
If you prefer not to use a template, you can build this type of site from scratch, which Carrd lets you do by employing the same method: use a link that refers to a specific section, give your button a label that’s the same as the name of that section, and that’s it.
Cool, isn’t it?
On the other hand, it doesn’t have to be the number of pages. Looking at what Carrd offers, some may think that you just can’t build nice and professional sites with Carrd.
First off, there’s ample practical evidence that this is not the case. I’ve seen some amazing, expensive-looking, professional-looking, and extremely beautiful websites created with Carrd. For instance, check out the site of Endeva Nutrition, and you’ll see for yourself.
Next, in certain situations, a tool is only as good as the one who uses it. Once, in Cologne (Germany), Keith Jarrett played and recorded a whole concert on a broken piano. Like, really broken. It turned out to be one of his best and most beloved albums and the best-selling solo recording in the history of jazz.
Back to the point, without too much effort, you can create a seriously good Carrd website. You’ve got enough tools, and with its templates, Carrd gives you a good head start.
eCommerce With Carrd
Carrd is far from being a complete one-stop eCommerce solution. But that’s okay since this is not what it was designed for. Yet, it sure does offer something for those who like the idea of a simple landing page - frankly, by their nature, landing pages can not be anything else but simple - or a page that revolves around a form.
Carrd offers 23 fully responsive and customizable landing page templates. They look really good and appealing, especially those that are available with a Pro subscription. This is just one example:
Additionally, there are 15-form page templates built for collecting emails, getting clients’ input, and selling. They’re only available with the Pro plans. For illustrative purposes, have a look at this one:
Carrd can be used in the context of an agency-based business model, as well as for creating landing pages for companies and even individual users. In my research, I came across reviews by Carrd users doing exactly that (some doing it very successfully).
For conducting any type of business online, you need data analytics tools. Unfortunately, Carrd doesn’t provide a native analytics tool, but it lets you add Google Analytics with the Pro plans. Nevertheless, this is not sufficient for running a full-fledged eCommerce business.
However, there is an eCommerce plugin for Carrd that you can test-drive for free available on POWR - a plugin platform. So, eCommerce-wise, if you’d like to use Carrd for something more than building Carrd landing pages and forms, maybe it’s best to search for and try out some of the existing Carrd integrations. And on that note...
Integrations and Blogging
Carrd is a relatively new and small platform, presumably, still run by one person, so it’s not very realistic to expect to find a specialized Carrd app store. But, as we already saw, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t any apps out there capable of being integrated with Carrd. The fact that you can add embed code with a Pro subscription shows that Carrd supports third-party integrations.
That’s exactly how blogging works with Carrd. There isn’t a built-in blogging tool nor any other blogging option that Carrd itself provides with the Pro plans. But fear not, my friends, for DropInBlog is here. It’s a modern blogging platform with a great design and built-in SEO analyzer. Thanks to Carrd allowing embed codes, you can create a blog on Carrd just by copying and pasting a few lines of code from DropInBlog onto your Carrd site. Convenient, isn’t it?
So, how to use Carrd?
It’s best to sign up, get a Pro subscription, study the platform a little bit, build a stand-alone website, or use your Carrd landing page/form alongside another eCommerce software. These are just recommendations, not rules set in stone. With the risk of sounding a bit cliche, everything depends on your real needs and your intentions. What’s suitable for you, might not be for me, and what’s best in one situation may not be the best in another.
So, explore your options and take your time. Carrd isn’t going anywhere any time soon.