Remember when Kickstarter first blew up?
Everyone was talking about it.
The most amazing part about Kickstarter is that it introduced an entirely new concept of commerce. There had never been anything like it.
Now that the dust has settled, internet users are familiar with the crowdfunding model and there is room for competitors to step up and capture part of the market.
Can you make a site like Kickstarter?
You’re probably well aware of this, but…
Creating a site like Kickstart is going to require a TON of functionality. You are essentially making a two-sided marketplace with both backers and creators. You need to handle payments, give creators tools to customize and launch campaigns, automatically close campaigns, etc.
Now for some good news.
There are already pre-made solutions you can use to make a site like this. You won’t need to hire expensive developers or try to write the code yourself. To be honest, I think you’ll be amazed by the tools I’m about to share.
So let’s get to it!
How much does it cost? Building a website like Kickstarter with the products recommended here will cost $119.40 with an annual cost of about $75/year after that.
The site you’ll create
If you follow the instructions here, you’ll use the Backnow WordPress theme to make a site that looks like this:
There aren’t that many options available for creating a crowdfunding website. While there are some alternatives available (which I’ll share later), none come close to the design quality and feature set available in Backnow. We’ll take a closer look at this theme in a bit, but for now, let’s cover the checklist you need to complete to create your website.
How to create a site like Kickstarter
The process of creating a site like Kickstarter from scratch can be covered in just six simple steps.
- Get a domain name
- Signup for web hosting
- Install WordPress
- Install Backnow
- Configure Backnow
- Launch your site
I’ll take you through each step and then leave it to you to decide exactly how to customize your site and launch it when you’re ready.
Things you need
There are just a handful of critical products you need to make your website.
You’ve probably heard of WordPress already.
You may not know that it’s the world’s most popular site builder or that it is well over a decade old.
As a tried and true solution for making sites, WordPress has a huge community around it. There are themes and plugins for creating any kind of site you want with any design or features you can imagine – even a site like Kickstarter!
Why use WordPress
As I hinted at already, WordPress’ biggest strength is the community around it. That’s why you can find awesome pre-built solutions for any type of site including crowdfunding websites.
WordPress is extremely stable and secure as a platform. Unpatched security exploits are extremely rare in WordPress and it is incredibly full-featured and supported by all major hosting companies.
And perhaps best of all, it’s free!
How to use WordPress
Creating a WordPress site from scratch is easier now than ever before. I’ve got a complete step-by-step guide you can follow along with:
That guide will help you register a domain name, signup for web hosting, and install WordPress. Starting with nothing, you’ll quickly find yourself with a functioning WordPress site online.
Once your WP site is live, it will be editable and viewable by anyone with an internet connection. However, it won’t look or function anything like Kickstarter yet.
That’s where the next tool comes in.
Backnow is going to transform your plain WordPress website into a fully functional crowdfunding website.
Backnow is an exceptional theme and there are two primary reasons why I give it my recommendation over other alternatives.
First of all, Backnow is a gorgeous theme.
The typography is crisp and modern, the layouts are spacious, and the small splashes of color really bring the template to life. Backnow achieves a minimalist aesthetic without looking plain or drab.
In addition, it’s clear that the style of this theme closely mimics Kickstarter.
I think this is an excellent choice because Kickstarter pioneered the crowdfunding model which means visitors have a very close association between this model and the Kickstarter design. They established a few conventions and it’s best to reuse those conventions on your site. This will help visitors understand how to use your site faster and result in better engagement.
While Backnow comes with a lot of features for customizing the styles, it gets the actual crowdfunding functionality from the free WP Crowdfunding plugin. Here’s the thing…
The developers who made Backnow, Themeum, are the same developers that make the WP Crowdfunding plugin. That’s why the integration is so thoughtful and precise. These two products work perfectly together.
In addition, by purchasing the Backnow theme, you also get a 30% discount on the premium version of WP Crowdfunding. While you could use this plugin with another theme, you’re unlikely to find such a successful integration or a design that fits crowdfunding so well.
How to use Backnow
Backnow can be installed quickly and easily just like any WordPress theme.
After your purchase, you’ll receive a zip file you can upload to your site. Themeforest has a short tutorial here you can follow along with to get Backnow activated.
Once you’ve got the theme installed, you can begin customizing your site. Themeum has a support center filled with tutorials for using both Backnow and the WP Crowdfunding plugin.
If that’s not enough, they also have a busy support forum where you can ask for help with any issues you have while customizing and prepping your site for launch.
There aren’t many themes designed to create crowdfunding websites, and some of them really under-deliver. In fact, there’s only one other theme I would recommend as an alternative to Backnow.
Born To Give
Born To Give has an emphasis on charity and donation crowdfunding websites. You could still repurpose it for another niche, but it’s a natural fit for donations.
The Born To Give WP theme powered by the WP Charitable plugin which has amazing reviews and works very well. However, you will also need to purchase the Ambassador extension for WP Charitable which is an additional $145.
Launch your own site like Kickstarter
I hope you feel empowered to create and launch your website like Kickstarter after following this guide.
It’s not going to happen quickly, you’ll need to invest quite a bit of time and energy into building this site. However, you’re not going to get stopped by any hugely technical or expensive barriers. There’s no step in the process you can’t overcome.
If you take it step by step through the instructions and tools shared here, you’ll be live with a beautiful crowdfunding site similar to Kickstarter before you know it.