The $30 no-code tech stack to launch your side project in the creator economy

Hugh Dawkins
4 replies
We recently launched Product HQ on Product Hunt with a no-code tech stack that costs us $30. This includes website hosting, landing page, CMS, graphics, email, CRM, automation, analytics and a payment gateway. Would love to hear any suggestions for alternative platforms from the IH community below πŸ‘‡

Product

Notion (free plan). Our Product - Product HQ - is built and hosted on Notion. Notion is an absolute beast of a platform for anyone who hasn't used it before. It can literally do everything. In terms of Product HQ it offers a nice user interface, databases, templates and sharing capabilities. Gumroad (free but they take a commission). We use Gumroad as the marketplace to sell our product on. It's perfect for IH's operating in the creator economy. It offers all the functionality you need to sell a digital product (optimised page, coupon codes, code to embed on your site...). On top of that Gumroad stores your audiences in lists and allows you to market to them automated email workflows (we currently use a different platform though). Finally, it handles all your payments by offering a payment gateway (you can also integrate Paypal). β€” Side note, if you wanted to be supperr lean you can literally stop here and launch with a tech stack comprising of Notion and Gumroad. If you're just launching an MVP this is a great place to start.

Brand and Marketing

Carrd ($19/year). Our first paid component. We actually got a discount code which brought the price down slightly to $14 but for completeness, I've listed the current price of $19/year. Carrd is a boss platform for launching one-page sites. It offers clean and functional UI/UX. It's super simple to use. The perfect no code landing page package. There is a cheaper option at $9/year but we needed some of the additional features like widgets and embeds that are included in the Pro Standard package. GoDaddy ($11/year). Our second paid component. We purchased our domain name from GoDaddy. There are probably cheaper options out there but this worked for us at the time. Mailerlite (free plan). We use Mailerlite for all our email marketing. There are a TON of email marketing platforms out there and they all do an awesome job. We went with Mailerlite as it offers free automations (up till a certain subscriber count) so it's perfect if you want to test your email marketing before committing to a platform. Mailerlite offers standard functionality of grouping subscribers, creating campaigns and templates to help you design your emails. Canva (free plan). Canva is a machine. Shout out Aussie startups! We use Canva to create all our graphics. It's so simple and easy to use you can't fault it. Medium (free). We post blog-style content on medium. It probably makes more sense to host this on our website but this is the current move as of now. You can check out our latest guide to import a product here.

Customer Service

Crisp (free plan). Crisp is a chatbox that we integrate onto our site. The features on the free package are unreal! We use this to interact live with users who visit us. See it in action in the bottom corner of the page here. HubSpot CRM (free plan). We haven't fully setup our CRM yet but using it as the single source of truth for all interactions with our customers. We have free integrations setup to sync contacts coming from Crisp or Mailerlite. The paid plans for HubSpot are definitely not targeted at Indie Hackers (priceyyy) but the free plan offers some solid base functionality.

Analytics

Google Analytics (free). A standard integration to track website visitors and attributions. Tons of advanced features that we have yet to explore. Databox (free plan). We love data dashboards! Databox is the winner when it comes to marketing dashboards. We linked our Google Analytics up to a dashboard and it looks boss. We review it in our weekly meets to assess the number of unique visitors, where they come from and the conversion paths.

Operations

Google Drive (free). A classic but still so useful for any IH. Especially if you're working in a team. We share the email for Product HQ and use the drive to store all our documents. Notion (free plan). Back again! Not only do we use Notion to host our product but we also use Notion to plan everything around our business. We break down our workflow into weekly sprints that we document and review inside of Notion. It has been such an efficient process and allowed us to launch Product HQ in a few months whilst we both worked remotely. Happy to share this if people are interested? Zapier (free plan). We have a few zaps set up to shuffle around some data from Gumroad to other platforms. It works like magic. Highly recommend setting up a few zaps so you can automate those frustrating manual tasks and spend more time building and shipping your product. That's it! At a total price of $30 this is our tech stack that we used to launch our product. Not one bit of coding is required. You could even do it for free by skipping on building your own custom website and domain (this is not always required). A side note on running an affordable tech stack β€” it's not about doing it as cheap as possible! We launched Product HQ as an MVP and as such wanted to minimise our upfront costs. But as we grow and expand we absolutely expect to consolidate and optimise our tech stack which will certainly increase costs as we take on some paid plans. The goal should be to run a tech stack that optimises your workflow and allows you to provide the best outcome for your users. If you can do it at an affordable cost then great. That being said, if you're an IH looking to validate your product then utilise this tech stack before you commit any of your hard-earned capital to expensive platforms! Did we miss anything here? Please let us know below! Would love to hear what no-code tech stack you use. Good luck building and shipping!

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Paula Friesborg
Builder!
Great resources. Thanks for sharing.
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Hugh Dawkins
Notion ambassadorπŸ§‘πŸ½β€πŸ’»
Eudald Camprubi
CEO at Nuclia.com
Thanks so much!
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Hugh Dawkins
Notion ambassadorπŸ§‘πŸ½β€πŸ’»
@eudald_camprubi very welcome!
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