What tools do you need to build a quick website?

At the end of January 2021 Indie Hackers (@Indiehackers) tweeted –

Now with 145 responses from their nearly 60,000 followers this is a piece of research you can get behind.

Other aspects that make sense in building a quick website is that they include hosting, custom domain support, a variety of themes and integration support so if these aspects are important to you double check with the tool that these are supported features.

If we exclude the ‘techie” responses you would expect from a Indie Hackers post then we are left with the following applications that got the thumbs up roughly in order of the amount of mentions they got –

Carrd

Carrd seems to be developing a significant following by the indie and content creators of this world due to its simplicity and cost structures. It is a hosted solution so there are no hidden costs for the plan you sign up for.

Webflow

A more sophisticated SaaS website building tool that has been getting a lot of attention recently. A lot of this attention comes from the fact that they raised $140million recently giving it valuation of $2.1billion.

There is genuine affection for this tool from designers because if its flexible design potential, but it’s probably not where you want to focus your attention of you need a quick site / landing page..

WordPress + Elementor

No website building article can be complete without mentioning WordPress (WP), which powers well over half of all websites in existence. But WP is not an easy tool to master especially if you want to host it yourself. It does make sense if you want to develop your quick site into something more functional. The WP ecosystem can add a tremendous amount of functionality, so going down this route may work for you.

Notion + Super

Not an obvious choice here, but Notion has developed a reputation as being a ‘Swiss Army Knife’ kind of tool. Not something you would immediately think of as a website development tool though, so maybe easier to really think through your requirements before you try this one out.

Ghost

Ghost has firmly set its stall out for what they want their CMS to be used for. As they say on their site “Use memberships and subscriptions to develop a direct relationship with your audience and generate predictable, recurring revenue to support your work.”

So if you are thinking about using Substack to manage your (paid) newsletter business, definitely take a look at Ghost as you will get a lot more functionality.

Designmodo

To “Save time and money making websites and emails, so you can focus on your business” is certainly what a lot of what people need from a simple website and email marketing tool. This tool (although, we have not trialed it) seems to marry both these areas well in an easy drag and drop interface.

Dorik

With a website promo strap line that says – “Design & Host Beautiful Websites Without Code!” this tool certainly know the ;nocode’ market it is going for. Boasting great integration capabilities, this is a tool we will certainly be returning too.

Unbounce

Traditionally associated with being a landing page builder, it makes perfect sense that you can use this tool for building a quick website. It has been in the market for a long time but traditionally seen as a conversion rate optimisation or A/B testing tool. So for the purpose of building a quick website the cost does seem a little high.

Unicorn Platform

There is certainly an influx of SaaS tools that aim to fill the simple landing page requirements of many people. Unicorn Platform is another we have yet to experience.

Summary

A lot of the main website building tools such as Wix, Weebly or Squarespace are not mentioned on the list, so we are going to put that down to the ‘tech savvy’ nature of the responders that follow Indie Hackers, so please do plenty of research on the tools you select to they match your needs.


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