June 26, 2024
0
min read

How to start with Carrd: tutorial, templates, tips

Tetiana Kondratieva
Head of Marketing at Natively

Have you ever needed a website for tomorrow or even yesterday? My advice for such cases is a simple, intuitive builder Carrd, that allows you to present your idea literally the next day.

I've used many builders for different purposes, from Google for a university site to Webflow for all Sommo products.

Carrd stands out from its competitors with its amazing simplicity and intuitiveness, extensive mobile responsiveness, and integration capabilities. You'll find plenty of videos on YouTube showing users creating a website on Carrd in just 10 minutes. But let's discuss everything in order.

Like video content? Check our video tutorial on Carrd.

What is Carrd

Carrd is a versatile and user-friendly platform for building one-page websites, launched in 2016 by AJ, a web developer from Nashville. 

Carrd is a free service for building fully responsive one-page sites for pretty much anything. It began life as a small side project by AJ (@ajlkn) but after launching on Twitter and Product Hunt it has since grown into something much bigger – well, bigger than a side project at least :)

Source: Carrd website 

AJ initially created Carrd to address the gap in the market for easy-to-use tools that allowed users to build straightforward, single-page websites. 

Carrd is a platform for creating simple, responsive, one-page websites. 

Carrd became especially well-known in 2020 when the Black Lives Matter movement used Carrd to create the widely shared website blacklivesmatter.carrd.co, which significantly boosted its visibility​​.

Carrd is popular among creatives, freelancers, and small businesses for its simplicity and affordability. It is also widely used by fan communities, especially in the K-pop fandom, to create dedicated fan pages​​.

Key Features of Carrd

  1. Ease of Use: Carrd allows you to create websites without any coding knowledge. You can start with a template or a blank page and use a drag-and-drop interface to add elements like text, images, videos, forms, and more​​.
  2. Templates: There are numerous free and paid templates categorized for various purposes, such as personal profiles, landing pages, and fan sites. This makes it quick and easy to start building your site​​.
  3. Customization: You can customize elements extensively, including text styles, images, and layout. Carrd also supports embedding third-party widgets and custom code, which allows for more complex functionalities​​.
  4. Responsive Design: All Carrd sites are responsive, meaning they look good on any device, from desktops to mobile phones​.
  5. Free and Pro Plans: The free plan allows you to create up to three sites with core features. The Pro plan, starting at $19 per year, includes additional features such as custom domains, more sites, forms integration, Google Analytics, and removing Carrd branding​.
  6. SEO and Analytics: Pro users can add SEO parameters like alt text and meta tags, as well as integrate Google Analytics to track site performance​​.

Cases when I recommend Carrd 

Carrd is especially popular for its ease of use, making it ideal for personal profiles, landing pages, and other basic web pages.

  • Personal Profiles: Many users create personal profile pages to showcase their work, hobbies, or personal information. For example, the "Songs and Sorcery" site highlights a digital artist's portfolio and commissions​.
  • Fan Pages: Carrd is popular among fan communities, especially K-pop fans, for creating dedicated fan pages with flexible designs​​.
  • Small Business and Marketing: It's also used for landing pages and simple business sites, providing an affordable and quick solution for entrepreneurs and marketers​.

Pricing

Carrd offers a generous free plan that allows users to create up to three sites. For more advanced features and the ability to use custom domains, users can opt for Pro plans, which start at $19 per year​. I recommend at least Pro Standard to activate features like Forms (for conversions), Widgets (e.g., chatbots), Google Analytics (to track user statistics), Meta Tags (for SEO), and Local Fonts (for brand representation and promotion).

Carrd Templates

When starting your journey with Carrd, especially if it's your first website, I strongly recommend using templates. Carrd offers a comprehensive library divided into categories.

There are also many websites showcasing the best examples of Carrd sites. For inspiration, I recommend visiting:

Additionally, you can publish your site as a template, which will hopefully lead to a growth in the number of available templates you can contribute to.

Carrd Tutorial

The Carrd site is very simple and straightforward. There are two ways to start: click "Choose a starting point" or “Log in” if you already have an account. 

I'll show you how to proceed if you don't have an account and it's your first time on Carrd.

Click "Choose a Starting Point," and the Template library opens, where you can choose paid or free templates by category. I'll choose to create a site from scratch. Next, a guide for creating my site opens. 

For example, the first element I want to add is text. I can edit content, choose a heading or content style, or add my own style and parameters. I can set the text color, font, size, and other parameters. I can also add animation to the text, such as making it appear smoothly or tilt. If I'm satisfied, I click "Done." If I want to delete this element, I can click the trash can icon. 

The next element I want to add is an image. First, I choose the image itself, upload it from my computer, and select its size. I can immediately edit it in the Carrd editor. After that, I can set the image width, height, and positioning (e.g., left, right, or center). I can also choose to make the image square or round, add a border, and set margins. The mobile version can be configured automatically or manually. 

One of my favorite features is adding SEO parameters, such as alt text or embedding links in the image. 

Similarly, by clicking the plus icon, you can add elements like video, audio, gallery, list, buttons, links, icons, tables, etc. 

The most interesting part is that you can place all these elements in a container and configure it by adding multiple columns, setting the container’s width, height, margins, background color, and even adding patterns to the background. 

Again, remember that each of these elements can be animated and previewed. 

Embed on Carrd

As you create the core elements of your website, use embedding capabilities that make Carrd a flexible platform for creating rich, interactive, and functional websites.

With Carrd, you can embed a wide variety of elements to enhance your website's functionality and interactivity:

  1. Custom Code: You can embed HTML, CSS, and JavaScript code to add custom features or third-party widgets not natively supported by Carrd. This includes custom styling, interactive elements, and more​​.
  2. Videos: Carrd supports embedding videos from platforms like YouTube, Vimeo, Twitch, TikTok, and others. You can also upload videos directly if you have a Pro Lite or higher plan​​.
  3. Audio: Embed audio tracks from services such as SoundCloud and Bandcamp, allowing you to add music or podcasts to your site​​.
  4. IFRAMEs: You can use IFRAMEs to embed content from other websites. This is useful for integrating forms, external pages, and various web services into your Carrd site​​.
  5. Third-Party Widgets: Carrd supports embedding widgets from services like Stripe (for payments), PayPal, Gumroad, Typeform, and more. These integrations can help you add forms, payment options, and other interactive elements​​.

Build a mobile app with Carrd

After launching your site on Carrd, I recommend considering converting it into a mobile app.

Using Natively, this process will be quick and simple. Besides the ability to publish your product on the App Store/Google Play, you can activate native mobile features such as push notifications, in-app purchases (e.g., blog subscriptions), camera access, and many others. These features significantly enhance user engagement and retention.

FAQ about Carrd

Why is Carrd so popular?

Carrd's popularity stems from its simplicity, affordability, and versatility. It's user-friendly, making it accessible even to those without coding skills. With a wide variety of templates and responsive design, users can quickly create professional-looking one-page websites. Carrd's affordability, with a generous free plan and low-cost Pro options, adds to its appeal. Additionally, the platform supports custom code, third-party integrations, and features like forms and animations, making it suitable for a range of uses from personal profiles to business landing pages.

Is Carrd free to use? 

Yes, Carrd offers a free plan allowing you to create up to three sites with core features. For additional features, there are Pro plans starting at $9 per year.

Can I use my own domain with Carrd? 

Yes, with a Pro plan, you can use custom domains for your Carrd sites.

Is it possible to run main domain on Carrd, and subdomain hosted elsewhere? 

Yes, it is possible to run the main domain on Carrd and have a subdomain hosted elsewhere. To achieve this, you can point the main domain's DNS to Carrd and configure the subdomain's DNS to point to a different hosting provider. This setup allows you to manage different parts of your website on different platforms while maintaining a unified domain structure. For specific instructions, consult the documentation of both Carrd and your subdomain's hosting provider.

Can I embed custom code in Carrd? 

Yes, Carrd allows you to embed custom HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, enabling advanced customization and third-party integrations.

Does Carrd support e-commerce? 

Carrd supports basic e-commerce functionalities like embedding payment forms from services like Stripe and PayPal.

Is Carrd mobile-friendly? 

Yes, all Carrd sites are designed to be fully responsive, ensuring they look great on all devices.

How can I integrate forms into my Carrd site? 

Carrd allows you to add forms for collecting emails, customer feedback, and more. Integration with email marketing services like Mailchimp and ConvertKit is also supported.

Can I add animations to my Carrd site? 

Yes, Carrd offers options to add animations to various elements, enhancing the visual appeal of your site.

How do I publish my Carrd site? 

Once your site is ready, you can publish it directly through the Carrd platform. If you’re on a Pro plan, you can also publish it to a custom domain.

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