How to make a simple, one-page website using the Carrd site-building platform

  • You can make a one-page website on Carrd, the simple site-building platform.
  • Carrd is a site, like Squarespace or WordPress, that helps users to create their own website, even if they don't have a whole lot of technical knowledge.
  • Carrds can be useful for a number of different things, like personal promotion, surveys, and more, and they're very easy to customize.
  • Visit Business Insider's Tech Reference library for more stories.

In the past year or so, you may have heard people talking about Carrd on social media, posting things like: "I made a Carrd about this issue, please check it out," or "If you need more information on my charity, it can be found on this Carrd." But what is Carrd?

It's not as new a concept as it sounds — Carrd is simply a site-building engine, like Squarespace or WordPress. The difference? Carrds are, famously, one-page sites, and they're free to create.

If you've been looking for an easy way to link people to your work, to an issue you're passionate about, or even to a landing page for a service like MailChimp, but you don't want to create an entire website for it, Carrd is the perfect solution for you.

How to make a Carrd

Making a Carrd is simple, and the site offers a lot of variables and extra features to play around with. For now, though, let's walk through the basics.

1. Go to the Carrd website and click "Choose a starting point" to begin.

2. First, you'll want to choose a format that works for what you're trying to create. The available format categories include: Profile, Landing, Forms, Portfolio, and Sectioned. Read each description to see a helpful guide on what each of these formats works best for.

If you don't like any of these templates, you can also start from scratch with a blank one.

3. Once you pick a basic layout, you'll be taken to the site template, overlaid with helpful instructions on what each of the buttons in the toolbar does, including "Add element," "Undo," "Redo," "Mobile view," and "Menu."

Once you're sure you've got it, click "Okay, got it!" in the bottom right corner to get started.

4. To edit an element already on the page, just click on it. The relevant prompts to edit will appear on the left side of the screen. 

5. Choose your "Background" — this is the backdrop on which your whole site will be set. You can choose whether to make it an image, a gradient, or even a video or slideshow. 

For each setting, a different menu of customizations will appear. Play around with them until you get a background you like.

6. Once you're done with the background, it's time to edit the page itself — this is where all the elements can be added. Click on any blank spot that isn't the background to get to the menu for this.

Play around with the size, style, colors, margins, and other elements, until it's formatted in a way you like.

7. If you'd like to create columns to organize your content, you can do that by clicking the "Add element" button in the menu, selecting "Container," and changing the container setting to "Columns."

8. To give the impression of a full website, you can create sections that you can link to at the top of the page — click "Add element," then select "Control" from the bottom of the menu and choose a type.

9. You can also use this "Control" element to create headers, footers, and scroll points. You can link to these like they're different pages, so if users want, they can press a button at the top to be brought to this section of your Carrd.

10. To add a video or audio file, select the relevant button from the "Add element" menu, then paste the URL of the song or video into the box on the sidebar. 

You can also choose "Upload" and add a file directly from your computer.

11. The "Widget" element allows you to embed pre-made widgets from Stripe, Gumroad, Facebook, PayPal, and Typeform, if you desire. These are especially useful for businesses.

Note: Adding Widgets requires the paid version of Carrd. Adding custom codes, adding IFrames as embeds, and other advanced settings also require this.

12. If you want your Carrd to look good on mobile — and you probably should, as the majority of internet traffic these days is mobile traffic — you should make sure you switch to the mobile view and optimize your site for mobile.

To do this, click the button in the menu that looks like a phone.

When viewing the mobile version of your Carrd, it's easier to see and edit setups on a smartphone's browser, even if they do look good on desktop.

13. If you are making a Carrd with multiple sections, and you'd like to be able to see and edit those sections separately, use the "#" button in the menu to navigate between sections.

Note: This button will not appear until sections are created.

14. There are a ton of other elements to play around with, which you should do before you're certain you're done. Once you are, click the "Save" button on the menu to publish your Carrd and take it live!

Related coverage from Tech Reference:

  • What is Canva? A guide to the graphic design platform's features and capabilities

  • What is Google Sites? How to use the free website-building tool

  • How to edit a Google Site and customize your website's appearance

  • How to create a Google Site and easily publish your own custom website

  • What is alt text in WordPress? How to add image descriptions on your web page to improve accessibility and website ranking

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