I want to be able to provide a simple way for users to install a Drupal website that contains a certain set of content, contributed modules and custom content types. I also want to keep the process of developing this scenario as simple as possible for the developer.
I know that the standard way to do this would be to create a Distribution such as those that are listed at https://www.drupal.org/project/project_distribution. Another example is the Umami content available in a standard Drupal distribution. However, building a distribution seems to be quite a bit of work and should require a commitment to maintain that distribution if it is listed on the Drupal website. So, my question is whether there is a simpler way to allow users to install a website with some given content without my having to make the effort of building a distribution, since whatever I build will not be listed on the Drupal website.
The thought that there may be an easier way was prompted by my experience with some theme vendors. With some theme vendors, the process of installation involves only creating a database from an included SQL script and then starting the installation wizard and only having to input the database credentials. No other answers need to be answered in the installation wizard. It is almost as easy for the user as installing a distribution, and I am wondering if it may be easier for me as a developer to implement.
When I examine some of these theme installations that use this approach (e.g., News+ lite at https://www.drupal.org/project/newsplus_lite) there is no code in the docroot/profile sub-directory, so this approach cannot be using a standard install profile or distribution because that is where extra content or code would be stored for an install profile or distribution. From my investigations so far about creating Distributions or Installation Profiles, I have not yet read how such an approach would work or be implemented. So, I am asking if anyone knows how such an approach (as utilized in the News+ Lite and other similar installations) works and how I might duplicate it.