Website Tips

Why I Want Writers to Know About the Carrd.co Website Builder

I’m willing to bet you haven’t heard of the website platform Carrd.co. While its early users have become firm fans, this easy website builder is still not well-known compared to competitors like Wix, Weebly, and – the big one – WordPress.

And I’m on a mission to change that! It’s no understatement to say that the day I discovered Carrd, my life changed. If you’re a writer or author who has – or needs – a website, I think it could be a game changer for you, too.

Naturally, I’d love for you to hire me to custom-design your website using this platform. But more importantly, I just want you to know about the considerable benefits it offers.

Why Carrd is a great choice for your website

In case you’re wondering, this is not a sponsored post. I’m not an affiliate and I don’t make money from recommending Carrd: I’m shouting about this because it’s such a good resource.

Let me back up a little. Ever since I built my first website (19 years ago, believe it or not), I’ve been aware that my comfort level with technology is higher than average. But it wasn’t until I started publishing my fiction, and attending writers conferences and other author events, that I came to appreciate how daunted others can feel about “getting a website”. The two outcomes I saw were either they stayed stuck, too overwhelmed to know where to start, or they hired a web design service which charged them more than I paid for my first car.

This troubled me, and on more than one occasion, I wondered if I should offer help. But, even though I’ve used WordPress for my own website for years (you’re reading WordPress now), I never felt it was the ideal solution for technology-challenged folk who would much prefer to just write.

Carrd.co could be the easy website builder you’ve been looking for.

Before I expand on my WordPress doubts, let me highlight what I love about Carrd:

1. It encourages us to keep websites simple.

Most writers and authors have far too many “features” on our websites. We have pages we never update, sidebars which look dated, and blogs we feel guilty about not writing.

Sites made with the Carrd website builder are simple. You’ll have 5 or 6 pages at most, and no blog. (You can link to external articles at places like Medium or Goodreads.) By forcing you to choose which key things you want your site visitors to see, it’s natural then to focus on what key actions you want them to take.

And instead of your website project becoming a massive, drawn-out headache, the time you’ll spend deciding what goes on there is a breeze by comparison.

2. Your website will look great, right out of the gate.

How many author websites have you seen which look a little… well… amateur? My eye for design is keener than most, but it’s clear to all of us that it’s easy for a complex website to get overly cluttered, and to date fast.

Carrd helps you look professional, sleek, and up-to-date, while allowing for just the right amount of customization so that the brand, colors and fonts really represent you and your writing. The starting templates offered by Carrd all look wonderful, and with a little extra design consideration, your website will grab your reader’s attention for all the right reasons.

3. Carrd costs less than you dreamed of. How does $19 a year sound?

Carrd is a small company with an amazing product. It’s clear to me they’re not trying to lure us in with short-term deals followed by endless advertising and upselling: the impressiveness of the platform, I believe, will underpin their long term growth. Because your website is simple, I reckon their costs are probably lower too.

This means you’ll pay less than you’d imagine for a stylish, high-quality website.

If you hire me to design and build it for you, then yes, you’ll have some upfront costs. But after that, wow:

  • The free plan gets you a .carrd.co web address and one tiny site credit for them. That’s it. No annual fee. This is a perfectly reasonable option if you’re early in your writing career, and you can still feel proud of your website. See examples of websites like this, here.
  • The plan I like best, which allows you to use your own domain name, with no mention of the platform you used, and a few other benefits, is just $19 per year. Yes, per year.

I’ll pause for a moment. The equivalent annual cost with Wix: $156. Weebly: $60 – $144. To host your WordPress website, budget $60 – $100 once the cheap initial year expires. And that’s before you pay for a theme, plug-ins and so on. Squarespace, which is much-loved by the graphic design community, is even pricier at $144+ per year.

The drawbacks of WordPress

WordPress has a lot of moving parts. You need to understand hosting, a theme, plug-ins, widgets, and more. You should appreciate that it will need your ongoing care and attention. Because it’s developed by a whole community of programmers, it changes frequently, things break, and one small tweak can bring your site down (trust me on that one). Let’s not even begin to talk about what a popular target it is for security attacks (yep, trust me on that one, too).

Although I’m proud of my WordPress website, I complain about it frequently. With enough WordPress headaches of my own, there was no way I was going to embark on creating similar sites for other users. Even though it’s the default choice for many authorpreneur websites, I just can’t recommend it, and especially not to beginners.

And then I discovered Carrd.co. Here, for the first time, is an option which is simple, stylish, and affordable. Not only is it an appealing choice for me as a website developer, but I feel good about handing it over to my clients to keep up to date.

Before you decide on a website, you owe it to yourself to consider Carrd.co

If you’re ready for your first website, or to makeover your existing online presence, then of course I’d be happy to help.

But even if you want to go it alone, I warmly recommend Carrd.co. It stopped me in my tracks the first day I saw it, and I think it could be an ideal solution to your needs if you want an easy website builder. I want authors and writers to know you now have some wonderful choices in website technology, and you don’t have to stick with difficult, complex, or costly providers.

I’m happy to answer questions and, if you do decide to proceed with Carrd, I’d love to hear how you get on.


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2 Comment

  1. Reply
    Gwen
    August 31, 2019 at 10:47 pm

    “it wasn’t until I started publishing my fiction, and attending writers conferences and other author events, that I came to appreciate how daunted others can feel about “getting a website”.

    OMG, I’ve found this true along with anyone that is “of an age” in a nonprofit, which is pretty much all that have been round for two decades or more.

    And don’t even get me started on Social Media!

    Seriously though, we have a couple authors on our board whose sites look like train wrecks. One I will totally help with as he gets closer to his latest book in years, the other…wrong genre, we (okay, I, called her Voldemort) and she…no offense, hope she doesn’t read your blog, she didn’t do diddly, kept screwing up and only swaned in and out of events so she could say she was there.

    As long as their book is done, the new authors seem excited, it’s hard to start them before that, which the should, if any of you are reading! Also please, consider your target reader and use the Social Media channel that hits that best. Get used to it, play with it, make friends, connect to book lovers, libraries and specific librarians. They are a fountain of knowledge and support.

    If I’m going to fix a car that’s only a year or two old, I’m not grabbing the repair guide from the 70s’. Life moves fast and success in this field means staying up to date, not just typing away all day. Oh, and if you actually are still typing on a typewriter? That needs an upgrade too! 🙂

    Signed,
    The other female computer geek that was way ahead of her time.

    1. Reply
      Pauline
      September 1, 2019 at 10:12 am

      Typewriters look lovely on letterpress greetings cards… but for everyday life, I don’t think so!

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