Ideas and Validation August 13, 2020

Building a Gumroad clone, should I go with code or no-code frameworks?


Hi everyone!

This is my first post on IndieHackers community.

I am looking to build a web app where people can buy and sell digital products for a specific market.

Please suggest any best practices.
Also help me choose between code or no-code approach.


  1. 7

    Before you start building, how are you planning to be different and offer more value when compared with Gumroad?

    1. 4

      Does it matter? I believe they can get a couple of customers without being different

      1. 3

        If he want a option for extra then i think adding landing page with it can give him a good success as gumroad lacks landing pages

      2. 2

        If a couple of customers is the goal, then fine. Since @mehmood168 mentioned he is trying to do a clone for a specific market was curious to know why would customers choose his product over one of the industry leaders, feature-rich and robust product.

        1. 2

          I'll be offering local payment options available in that market. Most of the people do not have credit card or PayPal in that market so I'll be providing them local payment options.

          1. 2

            Great to know that solving a real pain point for your target market. This is exactly I was asking.
            All the best!
            From the code/no-code approach, just go ahead with what takes you the least amount of time to get up and running. Once you are in the game, you can iterate.

    2. 2

      @aminmemon I am not competing with Gumroad, I am just providing a similar portal for a specific market.

  2. 3

    Probably not a bad idea to go with a no-code tool to get something working quickly and experiment with, but if you are doing this for the long term then I would avoid those tools and start coding.

    I would guess that since this is an established market, you need to differentiate yourself somehow, and having complete control over your system/product probably gives you more options.

    1. 2

      Good point. I am making this for a specific market, so it would have different local payment options.

      I have got the estimates for development of a custom app. Just want to have an idea about the server costs, to upload the content of creators.

      1. 1

        I think dev time will probably cost a lot more than the hosting, but of course that depends a lot on how the system is built, and on what platforms. In the long term, storage and bandwidth will most likely be your biggest costs, so you might want to look closely at those prices on the various cloud platforms out there.

        Also if you invest more in dev time, you might save a lot on hosting ( for instance in your case, since the content is uploaded once but downloaded many times, a good optimization might be to look into cutting edge compression algorithms, ex. brotli or zstd ). Good luck !

  3. 3

    I was looking into marketplace software recently and found seems like a good place to start without code and then you have the option to code custom features with your own dev team or hire Share Tribe

    I haven't tried it myself but it looked pretty decent from my research.

    1. 1

      Thanks for sharing, looks nice!

      1. 1

        There are many different types of online marketplaces but Sharetribe is designed for mainly physical product rentals/sales and booking services/events, not for selling digital products or file downloads, etc. When I played around with the system a year or two back, there was nothing that indicated support for selling digital file downloads.

  4. 2

    To be honest there will be always some road block in No-Code approach. If you want to scale it as big as Gumroad then at some point of time you will have to code. For me you can start building small scale project with no code then if people accepts it then you can properly develop it later.

  5. 2

    A whitelabel "Gumroad" isn't such a bad idea. If one existed you could just use that.

    1. 1

      Maybe it does, I don't know.

  6. 2

    You could use something like this

  7. 2

    I don't think one approach is better than the other but without a doubt, obviously, a no-code approach will get your business started faster. Learning how to develop custom software is probably about the same level of difficulty between Wordpress, Bubble, Webflow, etc. But if your goal isn't to learn software development and you just want to start a business, then Wordpress is the better short term solution because of the proven commercial strength solutions available in the form of Plugins/Themes.

    One proven and well supported option would be to use the Dokan multivendor plugin with any WooCommerce compatible theme like any of these.

    Wordpress with Dokan runs the Official Bootstrap Theme Marketplace

    1. 1

      I just wanted to get started without spending much time.
      Thanks for suggesting Dokan, I'll check it out.

  8. 1

    Why do you want to make a Gumroad clone?

    1. 2

      He doesn't want to make a Gumroad clone. He simply wants to sell something and enable others to do the same.

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