UPDATE: KickoffLabs team kindly gave me one month worth of their service as a token of appreciation for spreading the word about them, I don’t think this in any way affected my review.
KickoffLabs is a winner, in my humble opinion. I picked KickoffLabs for my Rapid Prototyping with JS book’s landing page because KickoffLabs offers more functionality than LaunchRock does. Although LaunchRock has better user interface interface and less clunky user experience.
If you’re still bulging your own landing pages for whatever you’re launching, e.g., books, startups, apps, stop right now! Yes, I know, it’s not a big deal to throw together some PHP or Ruby on Rails, hook up email sign-up form and Google Analytics, and maybe even tinker with the design a little bit. Landing pages are all trivial but could be very time consuming especially if you’re a product perfectionist like I am. Lean Startup teaches us not to spend 10–40 hours putting together a landing page if there are solutions like LaunchRock, KickoffLabs and Unbounce!
I’ve tried LaunchRock before they had a new design and multiple-site support, which is sadly unavailable for existing accounts, for CrowdSFX.
- easy step-by-step set-up and configuration;
- user friendly design with live preview;
- no hard selling.
- limited functionality and configuration;
- no multiple-site supports for existing users.
Because I couldn’t set up new landing page with the existing account and I didn’t want to mess up with Google App setting up a separate email account for Rapid Prototyping with JS book website, I decided to try out KickoffLabs. I’ve heard about KickoffLabs from my designer friend, and she said that it had more features than LaunchRock, that’s even better I thought!
Setting up a landing page on KickoffLabs has started all right, but soon I realized that in order to get anything decent out of KickoffLabs service I needed to upgrade to a paid account. I went with the basic paid account which is $29/mo and got Google Analytics support, custom domain, no branding and something else. Google Analytics and custom domains are provided for free at LaunchRock, so it was sad to discover that I have to pay for those features at KickoffLabs.
- more features than LaunchRock;
- easily customizable looks and feel;
- free themes;
- support multiple-sites.
- try to hard up-sell you on basic features like Google Analytics and custom domains (SRSLY?!);
- some themes rely heavily on Twitter Bootstrap look and feel;
- clunky user interface, easy to get lose in screens and menus.
In the end, I ended up using paid KickoffLabs account, for Rapid Prototyping with JS book with the unpaid old version of LaunchRock, for CrowdSFX project. Maybe I’ll try Unbounce next and write about it as well. No matter what service you choice to go with, just do NOT do your landing pages from scratch, or Gods of the Lean Startup movement will punish you! JK.
Follow up read on The Next Web — KickoffLabs beats LaunchRock out of the gate, throwing stones on the way.
PS: Scott Watermasysk, the founder of KickoffLabs, promised me a free month of service for this blog post. Let’s see if he keeps his promises :)