Playing with a Full Deck: Meet Cardsetter

October 2020 | by rebecca stewart

On a wintry day in December of 2018, I first met Jessica Baldwin and Josh Toenyes. I was subsequently introduced to their new website platform, Cardsetter, which offers “the ease of use of a website builder, with the power of a robust content management system.” I remember going into that meeting, not sure what to expect. Just that our magazine's executive director and co-founder, Jenny Barriger felt that in creating this new platform, it was as if Jessica and Josh had somehow tapped into to all of her brain’s hopes of what a website's functionality could, would, and should be – and then some. As Simply Local’s web editor, I got to come along for the ride sooner rather than later.  

To put this into perspective, perhaps you’ve heard of platforms like Squarespace or Wix or WordPress, well Cardsetter is an innovative local startup that is here to make it easy for you to build (and update) a website unique to your needs, without being confined to a restrictive template. And, as Cardsetter has grown to understand the customer, it has expanded to power many different types of websites. Small businesses, event-holders, and content creators are finding value in the platform’s features. Recently, they hit their 100-customer mark, with customers from all over the country. Cardsetter is on its way to continued growth in 2020.  

As one of Cardsetter’s first customers, we’ve witnessed the building and growth of this exciting new platform. In our early days with Josh and Jessica, there was a lot of what I call floating thought bubbles their way. Every time I pondered, “Is this possible?" I would find it was already in the works and soon on its way. Jessica reminds us that “it takes years to build a software product like [those aforementioned platforms], and Cardsetter has come a long way in that process.” However, I would posit that it’s their extraordinary response time and outstanding customer service that truly makes them stand apart from other web platforms. There’s something to be said about knowing who you are talking to and having them immediately and calmly tackle any situation that arises (you know, like after accidentally replacing/obliterating your homepage).  

The Back Story  

The development of Cardsetter ultimately evolved out of a solution to a very specific problem, Josh explains. In fact, it all began when Jessica, who owned (now leased to Callie Keck and Kayla Wolfe and is under their operation), wanted a more mobile-friendly option that allowed for an ease of contextually grouping content that wasn’t bogged down by a non-user-friendly slider.  

This led to Jessica and Josh asking themselves… 

  • How do we address Billings365’s specific challenges? 
  • What are the “big guys” doing right?  
  • Is there already a platform that's affordable and will do what we need/want it to? 

In the end, they determined they would need to build their own solution. They discovered that their solution could benefit far beyond their singular website. It could be the answer to so many other content managers. Funnily enough, it was while discussing the features needed to shift to a mobile-first approach that produced the misunderstanding that is now Cardsetter

As Jessica tried to explain how she wanted to be able to group and display content on the website, she was thinking in terms of the old website infrastructure, but Josh interpreted as "I want to place any piece of content anywhere." Meaning, he was going to make it so that any group of "cards" could be placed into a horizontal scrolling "deck." Those cards could link to ANY piece of content on the website, grouped in whatever way the user wants. In turn, Jessica said, "that's not what I meant, but that's significantly better!"   

Furthermore, as a user of Cardsetter, utilizing the “feeds” feature allows you to easily congregate similarly themed content in one space, then create a “card” that holds all of that content and can be placed anywhere on the website, giving visitors access to a wider range of relevant content at the single click of a button. It was truly a magical day when feeds officially came into play.   

Why Choose Cardsetter? 

Aside from the obvious pluses of being able to support a local business and the irreplaceable human element of their exceptional customer service, Jessica shares that “Customers appreciate what they’re able to do with their website in a fast and easy way compared to other platforms out there.”  

  • Affordable (design and setup included) 
  • Easy to use   
  • Easy to get started 

Every step along the way, Josh and Jessica have taken to heart the oft given advice in software development, “Listen to your customers, talk to your customers, you don’t know anything until you talk to them.” Following those words of wisdom has only served to help them better understand the problem they’re solving, ultimately creating a platform that will continue to grow in its functionality, meeting its customers’ needs at every click of the button. | 406.201.3389 

Originally printed in the October 2020 issue of Simply Local Magazine

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