As a lover of both classic and modern rock, there’s nothing I like more than going to watch a band in my local area on a Friday evening.
I have my favorites and while I subscribe to their Facebook pages to stay up to date, you’d be surprised as to how few actually have their own website.
I actually find it a little frustrating…
I want to be able to browse their site, learn about their history, influences, about the musicians themselves and maybe even purchase their albums.
These are just a few advantages of having your own website. It’s a place to build your brand and somewhere to call (digital) home.
With that in mind, I rolled up my sleeves and spent hours testing various website builders and came up with what I believe to be the best platforms to help you achieve it as quickly, and as easily as possible.
Just before we take a look, I’ve also left you a list of tips and features to include on your new website to ensure it hits the right note (yeah, I said it) lol.
1. A Musicians Guide To Creating a Website
I took the liberty of leaving a list below of things that I’d personally expect to see when browsing a musicians website.
Think of it as an outline for your site that you can use to get up and running as quickly as possible.
I’m sure you’ve probably thought of most of these things anyway, but I just wanted to give you an outsider’s perspective.
These simple, yet crucial features can help take your website from a digital poster to a fully functional tool to help you promote your music.
This is your first chance to make a good impression.
Think of it as someone peering through the window into your home (not in a creepy way), what would you like them to see? Personally, I can’t think of anything better than a high-energy shot taken mid-performance.
If you’d rather, you could go that extra step and have a professional photo shoot and use those instead.
As well as an image, it’s important to give visitors a taste of the rest of your site. Think a sample of music, a brief description of your genre of music or maybe even a quote.
Your homepage is also the perfect place for a call-to-action to encourage people to visit your store, purchase gig tickets, or even sign up for your newsletter (we’ll look at each of these things in more detail below).
Your bio page will be one of your most visited pages on your site so it’s worth putting some effort in here.
A good place to start is you introduce yourself and/or the band. Tell people where you started out, your main influences, and your passions. Be sure to add plenty of images and keep the page updated as your career progresses.
The name says it all for this one. Why not dedicate a whole page to give fans somewhere they can come to listen to your music.
You could offer downloads either for free or set your own price, or give visitors a sneak preview of your new album to get their juices flowing.
One of the main things people are going to visit your website for is to find out dates and locations of your upcoming shows so give the people what they want!
You could even have a buy now button next to each date so people can purchase their tickets right there and then.
What better way to entice people to attend your future gigs than to show them what they’ve been missing right?
You could create a separate gallery for each gig to show off your best pics and even videos. You could even add a guestbook so anyone who attended can leave comments.
Add a store to your site so fans can purchase physical/digital music, tickets, and merch such as tickets and posters. Don’t worry, the website builders listed below make it this a very simple process.
Contact pages are more than a way for fans to get in touch, although that’s obviously one of the benefits. More than that, you can add a booking form so venues can get in touch if they wish to book you for a gig.
Don’t forget to add your social media profiles here so people can follow you over to your Youtube channel, Facebook, or wherever you’re most active.
An email newsletter is a fantastic way to connect with your fans over the long term. If they’re willing to trust you with their email address, the chances are they already love your music.
Email is more intimate than your website or social media and is great for building trust with your subscribers. You can keep subscribers up to date with band news, let them know of upcoming gigs, and promote your merch.
2. The 2 Best Band Website Builders (just the two?)
Yep, just the two. The last thing I want to do is to inundate you with options. If I did that, you’d be no better off than before you arrived here.
After creating test music related sites with various platforms, the two I’ve selected stand head and shoulders above the rest and are more than capable of creating a good looking, functional website to help you promote your music career.
With that in mind, let’s go take a look at them in a little more detail including the pros and cons to help you decide which is best for you.
Option 1) Bandzoogle
I reviewed Bandzoogle just before writing this article and I have to tell you, I was very impressed with their offering.
Bandzoogle was started back in 2003 by a member of an alternative rock band, it now has tens of thousands of customers spanning the globe.
There’s a lot to like about this platform and for me, it all starts with the eye-catching design templates.
They cover a wide of range categories including rock, jazz, classical, singer/songwriter plus more. They all come pre-loaded with pages and dummy content which you can then edit.
One of those pages is an “events” page all set up waiting for you add your own calendar.
Once you have, fans can scroll your dates and purchase their tickets which will then be emailed to them which can be printed off.
Speaking of selling stuff, in addition to tickets, Bandzoogle has a native eCommerce platform allowing you to sell physical products such as albums and merch, or you can make tracks available for download.
I’ve also personally spoken to the customer support team as well as Dave, a director of Bandzoogl and found them to be very approachable, not to mention helpful.
When reviewing any website builder, I really like to get stuck in and dig up some dirt as let’s face it, nothing’s perfect right?
In Bandzoogle’s case, I struggled to come up with cons and that really is unlike me!
The only things I really found were the fact that there isn’t a free website option so after your trial, you’ll need to upgrade to a paid plan.
Also, the blogging platform isn’t exactly the most feature rich but having said that, it was only ever meant as an integration for your site and not a standalone blog. With that in mind, it’s definitely fit for purpose.
Even though there isn’t a free plan, you do get a whole 30 days to test out the platform which is more than enough time to see if it’s a good fit.
Once the 30-days are up, you can choose from one of three premium plans which range from $8.29/month to $16.63/month when you sign up for an annual plan (monthly options also available).
Option 2) Wix For Musicians
Wix is more of a general website builder and while it doesn’t specialize in the music industry, it’s more than capable of handling such a site as you can see from my test site below;
Wix also happens to be the highest scoring general platform here on Website Builder Wars and also the most versatile.
But just like everything else in life, Wix also comes with its own set of pros and cons.
As I signed into Wix to begin creating my test site, I had visions of having to bend all of the tools to meet the needs of a musician.
I even mentioned this about Wix in my Bandzoogle review but it turns out, it’s not true.
Everything’s already there waiting to go!
Wix also has 60+ beautiful templates dedicated to music covering bands, solo artists, DJ’s, agents and plenty more.
Like Bandzoogle, the templates also come ready to go out of the box. You’ll just need to spend some time swapping out the sample text and images for your own.
You’ll have a lot more freedom with Wix when it comes to customizing your site as you can pretty much drag and drop elements around on the page wherever you like.
And it’s not just the attractive, customizable templates that lead to Wix making it onto this list…
The Wix Music app allows you to effortlessly upload your albums or individual tracks and display them directly on your music page.
Speaking of apps, add Wix Stores to your website with just a single click and you can instantly begin selling your music either physically or digitally, gig tickets, and merch.
In fact, Wix has one of the easiest to use eCommerce platforms amongst its peers for smaller shops.
Finally, one of the biggest advantages Wix has is that they offer a free website option.
Sounds great and it is, but you won’t have access to a lot of the premium features and you’ll have Wix ads on your site.
The biggest con I can think of for a musician such as yourself using Wix is that the customer support team doesn’t have intimate knowledge of the music industry like the guys over at Bandzoogle.
This may never be an issue, but it’s something I wanted to point out especially if you think you may need a lot of help along the way.
As I mentioned above, as Wix has more website building tools to help customize your site, it can seem a little daunting when you first step inside.
The good news is, all of the tools are clearly labeled so it shouldn’t take too long to find your way around.
You can use Wix for as long as you like for free, no credit card required.
The premium plans range from $5 – $25/month (annual plan). For a basic site, the $10/month plan will be more than adequate. If you intend to sell tickets or merch, you’ll need the eCommerce plan at $17/month.
To be honest, I’m not usually a huge fan of specialist website builders as they don’t often bring anything new to the table.
Bandzoogle is different and is my number 1 recommendation for musicians. If you have the budget that is.
If not, Wix comes comes in at a close second.
If you’ve already made up your mind, great! I’ve left the links below so you can get started right away.
If you’re still undecided, I highly recommend creating a free account with both and spending a little time with them.
After all, that’s the only way you’ll really know which one is best for you.