Kickstarter is a crowdfunding service that helps businesses get started online.
Project owners can get funding for new products and services by offering rewards to those who contribute. For example, a contributor may receive a special edition of a product by helping a company fund the launch of the product.
A number of other crowdfunding services can be found online, such as Indiegogo and YouCaring. I believe there is still a lot of room left in the market for other crowdfunding services; particularly if you can focus on a particular niche.
One of the best ways to launch your own crowdfunding service is to use a Kickstarter clone script. You could use one of these scripts indefinitely or use it as a way to launch your website and then have a custom script developed once your website is profitable.
Let's take a quick look at what Kickstarter clones that are available online.
1. Crowdfunding Pledge – $1,000
Agriya are known for producing a lot of clone scripts. Their PHP powered Kickstarter clone is called Crowdfunding Pledge.
It can be used in four different ways. It can work with pledging (like Kickstarter), donations, equity, or borrowing and lending.
At a cost of $1,000, Crowdfunding Pledge is far from being an impulse purchase; however, the script does give you many ways to make money from your service. It allows you to make money through membership fees, listing fees, commissions from pledges, and banner advertisements. You can also earn a little extra cash whenever someone completes the Ad-Captcha form.
Crowdfunding Pledge has a lot of great features such as support for multiple payment gateways, a template management system, and integration options for services such as CloudFlare and Amazon S3.
I have not used the script myself on a live website, though I did spend some time viewing the product demo.
Unfortunately, there are some obvious design errors in the demo. Take a look at the product page below, for example. The design of the page looks professional, however the design is all messed up near the top of the page. I was unable to login either so could not view the admin area.
Mistakes like this should not be in the finished product; particularly when that product costs a whopping $1,000.
The script is provided with three months of support and one year of updates. Considering the price of the Crowdfunding Pledge, I think think is pretty poor. They should at least provide one year of support.
With errors in the design and a price tag of $1,000, it's difficult to recommend CrowdFunding Pledge.
2. FundNation – $300+
FundNation is developed by the clone script company UniProgy. It is a responsive solution that comes with 100% un-encrypted code.
The script has a clean design that is easy to navigate. When a user clicks on a different category, the featured project is changed and a link appears to view all projects from that category.
The pledge page looks very similar to pledges on Kickstarter. The pledge, current number of backers, and when the project ends, is displayed prominently at the top right-hand side of the page.
The admin area is simple, yet functional. From here you can control general settings, your website design, users, subscriptions, categories, projects, and more.
Three modules are available for FundNation.
The social module lets users login to your website using their Facebook, Twitter, Google, Yahoo, or LinkedIn account. The cloud module helps you ease hosting costs by hosting images and videos on external locations such as Dropbox and Amazon S3. The MailChimp module helps you outsource mailing from FundNation to MailChimp.
A license for FundNation costs $300. The social module and cloud module cost $50 more each and the MailChimp module costs $35. This comes to a total of $435, however you can purchase them altogether for $410. Granted, this is not a huge saving, but I am sure it is welcomed if you are planning on purchasing all modules anyway.
Sadly, for us Europeans 21% is added to the cost of FundNation to cover VAT. That increases the cost of FundNation to $363 and the bundle price up to $496.10. I believe that is a lot of money for a script such as this.
3. Fund Raising Script – $1,000+
Fund Raising Script is a professional solution that can be used to reward-based, donation based, equity based, real estate based, and lending based crowdfunding websites.
It has a responsive design that looks great on desktops, tablets, and smartphones. It also features social media integration, a built-in newsletter system, featured projects, a knowledge base, and more. Multiple payment gateways are supported too.
I really love the design of Fund Raising Script. It is clean, looks professional, and presents information in a practical way.
The admin area of Fund Raising Script is impressive. It is a colourful admin area that is easy to navigate.
Fund Raising Script is arguably the most complete Kickstarter Clone I have found so far, however it comes at a cost. The basic version of the script retails at $1,000. This version comes with encrypted code and can only be used on one domain. Support is only provided for a measly 15 days. Yes you read that right. A product that costs $1,000 only provides 15 days of free support.
The most practical option is the open source version. Not only does this version let you view the source code, it also lets you use the script on three domains and provides support for one year. Unfortunately, this version retails at a whopping $4,999.
If you are willing to pay five grand for a crowdfunding script, then you will find Fund Raising Script to be a good solution. However, in my opinion, that kind of money would be better invested in creating a custom solution from start or modifying a cheaper solution to do what you need.
4. Kickstarter Clone – $30
Kickstarter Clone is a cheap crowdfunding solution that has a responsive design. The script uses a custom framework and accepts new projects through frontend forms. Payments can be accepted via PayPal.
The home page displays a large slider with the latest campaigns/projects shown underneath.
The “Discover” and “New This Week” pages help users find projects. A navigation bar is displayed underneath the main menu that helps filter results by category.
The project page has everything you need, but the overall design of the page is awful. It looks extremely outdated.
Kickstarter Clone is a simple solution that lacks a lot of functionality that alternatives provide. However it only retails at $30 so you may want to consider it if you are on a budget.
5. Fundingpress – $59
Fundingpress is a premium WordPress theme that can be used to create crowdfunding websites. It boasts a lot of cool features such as PayPal and WePay payment integration, a built-in page builder for styling content, and a built-in ratings system.
The premium WordPress plugin LayerSlider (worth $18) is included with Fundingpress. The theme also has native support for the WordPress Multilingual Plugin and comes with a set of 370 Font Awesome icons.
Users can add new projects using stylish frontend forms. In the admin area, you can choose between collecting funds yourself or enabling users to do so.
Project pages have everything you need. The current status of the project is displayed at the top right-hand side of the page with funding options displayed underneath. In the main content area users can add images, text, videos, and more.
Fundingress is available for $59 from ThemeForest. Future updates are provided free of charge and six months of support is provided by default. An additional twelve months of support can be added for $17.70.
6. Backer – $54
Backer has a responsive retina-ready design that looks great on any device. It has native support for the WordPress theme customizer. This allows you to modify colours and other theme settings and see the changes in real-time.
The premium slider plugin Slider Revolution (worth $19) is included with Backer and there is support for the WordPress Multilingual Plugin.
The project page has a clean design. I love the way social media is integrated and the fact information tabs loads quickly.
IgnitionDeck boasts many great features. It supports multiple contribution levels, stretch goals, and fixed and flexible funding. Standard and adaptive PayPal payments can be used.
Backer is available for $54 from ThemeForest. Like Fundingpress, future updates are provided free of charge and six months of support is provided upon purchase. An additional twelve months of support can be added for $16.20.
7. Theme 500 – Free
IgnitionDeck provide a WordPress theme to help users use their plugin and it is 100% free to download.
The design does not look as professional as the two premium WordPress themes mentioned above and in some ways is a little rough around the edges, however it is a good option if you want to keep costs down.
The project page lets you display an image or video at the top and description of the project underneath. Additional tabs can be displayed for pages such as updates, frequently asked questions etc. The current status of the project and the pledging options are displayed on the right-hand side of the page.
Since Theme 500 is powered by IgnitionDeck, it has all the functionality you need. If you choose to use the free version of IgnitionDeck, you can launch your crowdfunding website without spending any money. This makes Theme 500 a good choice for anyone does not have the budget to purchase a premium solution.
I hope you have enjoyed this look at Kickstarter Clones.
My own preference would be to use a WordPress theme to launch a crowdfunding service. The cost is significantly cheaper and you have the guarantee of using an established secure platform. A platform that can be extended to do almost anything through the use of WordPress plugins.
I would be reluctant to recommend Crowdfunding Pledge if it cost $50; but it retails at a mind boggling $1,000 and only comes with three months of support. Fund Raising Script is a good solution, but it just too damn expensive.
FundNation seems like a great script, but the total of the bundle will cost you $410 if you are outside Europe and nearly $500 if you are inside Europe. The premium WordPress themes available from ThemeForest offer great functionality at a fraction of the cost, which is why WordPress themes make more sense financially.
Know of any other good Kickstarter clone scripts or themes? If so, please let us know in the comment area.