With the advent of social media and the smartphone, you may be wondering if there’s still a reason to build a website for your band. Everyone these days just uses Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Reddit. No one is going to come to my band’s website, right? Wrong.
Your website is absolutely essential to the success of your band. Think of your website as your hub for all things related to your band. It will contain links to social media accounts, your YouTube channel, photos, music videos, places to stream your songs, an email list signup form, and upcoming tour dates.
You most certainly can get away with using social accounts exclusively for a little while. However, if something were to happen to one of them as if Facebook disabled the Pages feature, you’d lose all your fans on that particular platform. I tend to not trust big companies the way they often like to change things, so I’d rather have all the control I need with our own website.
Best Website Builders and Hosting for Bands
|Name||Term||Free||Custom Domain||Hosting||Price||Free Trial|
|Wix.com||Monthly||Yes||No||Yes||$5/m||14 Days||More Info|
|Bandzoogle||Monthly or Annually||No||Yes||Yes||$12.46/m (a)*||30-Day Free Trial||More Info|
|Weebly||Monthly or Annually||Yes||Yes||Yes||$8/m (a)||N/A||More Info|
|IndieMade||Monthly||No||No||Yes||$4.95/m||30-Day Free Trial||More Info|
|SnapPages||Monthly||No||No||Yes||$10/m||14-Day Free Trial||More Info|
|WP Engine||Monthly or Annually||No||Yes||Yes||$35/m||Risk-Free for 60 Days||More Info|
|Squarespace||Monthly or Annually||No||Yes||Yes||$12/m (a)||Free Trial||More Info|
*a denotes an annual payment is required for that price.
But I’ve never created a website before. I have no idea where to start!
Fortunately, it’s all too easy these days. If you’ve stumbled upon this article, you probably have some idea of what a website builder is. We don’t need to know much code to create beautiful and responsive websites for our bands anymore. We’ll be exploring the best website builders and web hosting for both bands and musicians.
1. Wix.com: Templates for Musicians, Artists, and DJs
Wix.com is the original website builder, dating back more than ten years now. They were founded in 2006 and just three short years later had over one million users. There’s a reason why this company is so popular.
Personally, I haven’t used Wix.com on any recent projects, but have used them plenty of times in the past. They just keep getting better and better.
Features of Wix
- Create websites from your mobile device
- Automatic GDPR compliance
- E-commerce functionality
- Commission-free music store
- Spotify and Soundcloud player
- Social media feed integration
- Beautiful artist and musician templates
Wix is free to try out, but you’ll be limited to 500MB storage and a Wix.com domain address. Premium plans are available and range from $5 a month up to $25 a month. Most of the premium plans also include a free domain name, so you won’t have to purchase one separately.
2. Bandzoogle: Easy, Beautiful Band Websites
Bandzoogle has been around for quite some time, as well, dating back to 1999. Their premise is a little different from that of Wix, since they target directly at musicians and bands. Their motto “the website builder created by musicians for musicians” speaks that nicely.
With Bandzoogle, you get an easy-to-create website, a mailing list, merch and ticket store, fan data, and much more. They offer over 100 mobile ready themes, all designed with the musician or artist in mind (the themes don’t resemble that of a magazine or corporate company).
Bandzoogle supports uploading music, video, and photos, as well as direct embedding of streamable content from other platforms like Spotify, YouTube, and Soundcloud.
Features of Bandzoogle
- Affordable for most bands
- Catered directly to musicians
- All-in-one website for all parts of your business
- 0% Commission fees
Pricing for the service is around $20 a month. This is the best value package in my opinion, as you’ll get unlimited pages, your own SSL domain, custom fonts, video headers, the ability to sell tickets, inventory tracking, download codes, album pre-orders, discount codes, SoundScan reporting, and much more.
There is a 30-day free trial included with Bandzoogle.
3. Weebly: An Affordable Website Builder
Another entry on our list is Weebly. While this builder isn’t directly targeted at musicians like Bandzoogle, if affordability is your thing, you’ll find it here. Weebly can create standalone websites or ones with built-in e-commerce. For those who are on a really tight budget when starting out, you may want to choose the free website option.
For no money out of pocket, you can create your own band website that includes the drag and drop builder, 500MB of storage, SSL security, search engine optimization, and lead capture functionality.
Features of Weebly
- Free option for those starting out
- Drag and drop builder
- SSL security
- Unlimited storage (paid)
- Connect your own domain
For selling your own merch and music, I can’t personally recommend Weebly at all. If you purchase the paid version with your custom domain name, you’ll still have to pay Weebly a percentage of your e-commerce sales and can only host up to ten products on your website. It’s really not the greatest deal in the world, despite being able to create a free website in the beginning.
You also won’t be getting a free domain name when you order. This may be okay if you already own your band’s .com address, but if you need to get it still, you’ll have to go through GoDaddy or another domain provider and connect it separately.
For the long-term, it might be a better idea to pick either Wix or Bandzoogle for your band’s online presence. While you can start out for free here, it will be a pain when you decide to upgrade and switch platforms.
4. IndieMade: A Builder Targeted At Artists
IndieMade is another website builder that caught the attention of my eyes. Now, this builder is targeted at actual artist artists, though I do see a possibility that you could use it for your band’s website. With this platform, you do get a 30-day free trial.
While IndieMade is more affordable than some, I do see some fatal flaws with the service. For starters, the templates feel a bit dated (almost handmade in a way, which could be a good thing). For example, take a minute and peruse the examples page on their website. This may not be a big deal for some, especially if budget is a concern, but I don’t totally like the experience.
Features of IndieMade
- Handmade feel of themes
- Web store included
- Custom domain
- Google Analytics integrated
- Free templates
- Free SSL certificate
Pricing seems to be right on par with every other service we’ve listed thus far, ranging from $5 a month to $20 a month.
5. SnapPages: The Simple Drag and Drop Builder
SnapPages is like Wix in that the builder is very modern and responsive. Featured in big outlets like Mashable and Fox Business, there is something to be said about this page builder. The biggest advantage? SnapPages gives you pre-built page sections in the builder, making it very easy to create beautiful looking sections of your website.
Their builder is very intuitive, especially with responsiveness to mobile and tablet versions of your website. In a nutshell, it means your website will automatically resize itself based on what type of device is using it. This is a must in today’s world.
Features of SnapPages
- Customizable themes
- Drag and drop editor
- 10GB of storage with a paid plan
- Unlimited pages
- Custom domains
- Easy integrations with YouTube, PayPal, Soundcloud, and more
If we were ranking these builders, I would definitely have SnapPages in the top three.
6. WP Engine: Ultimate WordPress Host For Musicians
Now we’ve made it to the point on the list where I’m going to begin talking about what is known as a CMS. A CMS, known as a content management system, is a type of “website builder” that is a little more customizable than your standard Squarespace or Wix website. WP Engine is a host for WordPress websites. WordPress is a content management system (the software itself is free) and offers by far the greatest flexibility for a band website.
In a normal environment, there are four things that need to happen for you to get a WordPress website up and running:
- Buy a domain name from a provider
- Buy hosting from either the same company or another
- Point the nameservers from your domain provider to your web host
- Install WordPress
With WP Engine, you don’t have to worry about any of those steps as they are all taken care of for you. Now WordPress does take a little getting used to, but there’s a reason that it powers 25% of all sites across the web.
Features of WP Engine
- CDN and SSL included
- Enterprise-grade security
- 24/7 chat support
- 50GB bandwidth per month
- Up to 25K visitors per month
As far as I am concerned, WP Engine is the most professional choice we have on our list. While it isn’t for everyone, it definitely boasts a lot of features that not a lot of companies can come close to.