If you’ve arrived at this review, you’re probably already aware that Bandzoogle is dedicated purely to helping bands and musicians create a presence online.
In my experience, these “niche” specific website builders are quite often thin, flimsy products and the company behind them doesn’t really understand the needs of the audience they’re targeting.
I’m pleased to say, Bandzoogle is the polar opposite of such platforms.
Started by musician Chris Vinson way back in 2003 when do-it-yourself builders were still in their infancy, Bandzoogle has now grown into a one-stop shop that helps you create a digital stage for your music and connect with your fans.
I have to admit, I’m not a musician myself but I’m very impressed with what Bandzoogle has to offer and I’ll be walking you through those things today.
Bandzoogle Overview (Inc. Pros & Cons)
Full Review Breakdown
1. Templates – There’s Something For Everyone
Once you’ve created a free account, Bandzoogle will prompt you to choose a template for your new website.
There are over 60 themes to choose from covering a multitude of genres such as rock, folk/country, jazz/blues, singer/songwriter, classical, urban hip-hop, world, DJ, producers, and business.
If you fall outside of those categories or none of them take your fancy, you could always opt for a blank template and start from scratch. Personally, I’m not a fan of this option as I prefer a bit of guidance but I know plenty of people who do.
All of the designs come complete with dummy pages, images, and sample text which you can then edit. In addition, you’re in control when it comes to site colors and fonts so you make any template your own.
2. Ease of Use – Should’ve Watched The Demo Video!
My first impressions of the website editor were how neat, tidy, and well laid it is as you can see in the image below;
You just click on the existing text to make changes and click on the images to replace them with your own from your computer or Dropbox.
That was all easy enough, but I don’t mind admitting I started to get a little frustrated when I tried to add additional text and images from the features section.
I couldn’t for the life of me work out how to do it.
After almost 10 minutes I figured it out. It really shouldn’t have taken me that long as it works in a similar way to Duda which I reviewed just the other day.
It turns out that you first need to hover over your page and add a new “section” which is clearly explained in the demo video, but oh no, I didn’t need to watch that *blushes*.
Once you have a new blank section, you can then add any of the features onto your page.
Then if you like, you can get fancy and add columns inside a particular section. This allows you add features side by side such as a paragraph of text with a video next to it.
3. Mobile – Your Site Will Automatically Rock Phones & Tablets
Sometimes I think I’m the only person who still uses a laptop as more people are ditching them along with PC’s in favor of their mobile devices.
Rest assured, your Bandzoogle website will shrink down to look good and function correctly on these smaller screens. And the best part is, no extra effort is required on your part!
4. Tools & Features – Everything’s Here Waiting For You
Bandzoogle has done a great job here of removing the fluff and providing you with the essentials you’ll need as an artist.
I’ve listed some of the standout features below;
Contact form: You’ll have access to a flexible form builder that allows you to add as many fields as you wish, ask multiple choice questions, and offer checkboxes. I created a form for my test site that sits on my contact page allowing people to book my fictional band for functions.
Social media: It goes without saying that if you’re already active on sites like Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram then you’ll want to connect them to your new site for a seamless integration. It took me ages to find these social icons, and just so you know, they’re under the “My Sites” feature. The icons are customizable too!
Music streaming: Let your visitors listen to tracks while they’re on your site. You can add a music player on a sitewide basis or limit it to certain pages. You’re in full control as to whether they listen to the full track or just a short snippet. You’ll also have the option of making it downloadable for free or at a price of your choosing.
Sell Tickets To Your Gigs: I follow a local band in my hometown and every time they perform, I have to travel to the venue to purchase my tickets in advance in case they run out on the door and damn, it’s annoying! Whether you’re a local cover band or an international artist, you can easily create an events page on your site and allow fans to purchase tickets directly and track how many have sold. The tickets will be sent via email so they can be printed off.
Keep in touch with a newsletter: Create an opt-in form on your site using the form builder and let people subscribe to your newsletter to stay informed of news, tour dates, and special offers. You’ll be able to mail every subscriber at once or by city/location. You could even offer a free download as an incentive to join.
Guestbook: Adding a guestbook page to your site allows visitors to leave comments. You could even add a forum so fans can interact with you as well as each other.
Blogging: I wasn’t exactly overwhelmed with the blogging platform but when you think about it, if you’re going to blog then it’s only going to be an addition to your site and not a standalone blog. With this in mind, it’ll get the job done. You can categorize your posts and allow users to comment on your posts.
Sell Your Music & Merch: Add a store to your site and it can become a haven for your fans to indulge in your music and merch. As well as tickets, you can also sell physical products such as t-shirts and physical albums, as well as making your music available for download. Have an album due for release soon? No problem, add a pre-order button and accept payments through PayPal or credit cards (via Stripe payment processor). Bandzoogle doesn’t take a commision on your sales (just the standard payment processor fees).
5. Customer Support – Plenty of Ways To Get Help
If you’re in need of help, you can get support through email, live chat, a community forum, or browse through the tutorials in the knowledge base. I also found a plethora of helpful tips for creating a site on their blog.
I contact live chat late one Sunday evening and Julia from the customer support team quickly solved my issue.
The only thing that’s missing is a contact phone number but personally, as long as I have at least one way to talk to someone in real time then I’m happy.
6. What Do Others Think?
You may be sick of hearing my thoughts on Bandzoogle at this point so let’s take a quick timeout and see what others have to say, shall we?
Professional reviewer Comparakeet scores Bandzoogle 8/10 which is very respectable. They go on to say…
It’s a must try
I scoured the web for real user reviews and found 243 located on TrustPilot. I have to tell you they were overwhelmingly positive which is quite rare.
Customers appear to like just about everything from the ease of use, to the templates, and of course the features. I saw people there saying they have been Bandzoogle customers for many years.
I could only find a small percentage of poor reviews. One ex-user mentioned he experienced problems with his clients’ site processing payments to which Chris (the founder) responded to personally. Another member said that they found it found it difficult to make changes in the website editor.
I also managed to find users left wanting a free version, a subscription option, and a phone number so they could speak to the team directly.
Note: Reviews correct 16/04/2018
7. Pricing – Which Plan Meets Your Needs?
I touched upon a couple of times throughout this review that there isn’t a free plan and while some other platforms do give you this option, be aware there are always restrictions on features and you have to put up with company branding on your website.
That’s the bad news. The good news is that you’ll get a 30-day free trial to test things out to see if it’s a good fit. Let’s break down the premium plans;
Plan 1) Lite – Best for small sites (10 pages or less), no eCommerce.
- $8.29/month (annual plan, billed upfront)
- $9.95/month (month-to-month)
Plan 2) Standard – for larger sites (up to 20 pages) with the ability to sell physical products.
- $12.46/month (annual plan, billed upfront)
- $14.95/month (month-to-month)
Plan 3) Pro – You’ll need this plan if you want to sell tickets, albums, merch, accept pre-orders.
- 16.63/month (annual plan, billed upfront)
- 19.95/month (month-to-month)
For those who just want a simple yet professional presence, the Lite plan may be all you need.
If you want to unlock all of the goodies that Bandzoogle has to offer, you’ll need the Pro plan.
8. Final Verdict
To summarize, I’d like to point out that you could quite easily create a website for your musical career with plenty of other platforms such as Wix. Heck, they even let you get started for free.