Hosting a professional website is not just limited to small businesses. Musicians can also leverage the features and functionality that websites have to offer. Sure you can have a powerful Facebook page and Instagram stories might be giving you a lot of visibility, but your website is where people will get a clear understanding of who you are and what exactly you do.
Moreover, a musician’s life doesn’t revolve around writing songs and giving them a voice only. The job of a musician moves beyond music into promoting them as well and building a loyal fan base for themselves.
Now if you think about a hosting platform that is designed exclusively for musicians, songwriters, music producers, you can imagine the kind of creativity and tools it would require. That’s what we are going to look into today. We are all set to explore, analyze and review the top website builders available free for musicians.
Bandzoogle Website Builder Review
Built by a musician himself, Bandzoogle is one of the most feature-rich, easy to use and intuitive website builders for musicians. It is quite popular amongst a lot of musicians and to-date houses around 30,000 individual musicians and bands that use it to build their own brand.
For starters, Bandzoogle provides a range of tools that allow you to integrate your social media profiles such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, SoundCloud, and Band camp for more reach and visibility of your music.
Bandzoogle also features a built-in store allowing you to directly sell music to your fans, a mailing list that keeps you in touch with them and keeps them engaged. It also comes with a range of different templates that you can customize your website without any coding skills required.
Pros of Bandzoogle
Here are some pros of the site:
Ready For Sale
The most basic plan of Bandzoogle provides you with all the necessary features that are needed for a musician to grow. Bandzoogle comes with a built-in E-commerce store feature where you can publish your music for downloading and make a sale out of it.
Since Bandzoogle is hosted on a cloud infrastructure and not on a loaded server, it offers high performance no matter how heavy your website is made, in terms of graphics, videos, and content. High performance results in quick loading of videos and graphics.
Easy To Use
This goes without saying that Bandzoogle is extremely feature-rich and creating your website on this host is a cakewalk. All you need to do is drag and drop the elements that you would like to have on your website. With hundreds of modern design templates, you can personalize your website according to your heart’s desires.
Built-In Mailing List
As mentioned earlier, Bandzoogle comes with a 100 fan subscriber mailing list limit on the basic plan. You can use this feature to send professional emails, schedule your emails and also analyze your email’s performance with email reporting feature. It’s an easy way to stay connected with your fans.
Album Pre-Order, Tour Calendar, SEO & More
Other notable highlights include a tour calendar that you can keep to publish your schedule and keep your fans updated.
Built-in SEO tools optimize your website for Google and make sure you rank high on the search engines and more and more people discover you. This is not something that other web hosting tools provide.
Website Designing Tools
If you don’t like how something looks on your website, Bandzoogle comes with built-in designing tools that contain features like:
- Managing which image goes where and editing of images.
- Integration to your Instagram profiles.
- Change in font shape and sizes from a dedicated font library.
Cons of Bandzoogle
Overall, Bandzoogle is a feature-rich platform that’s near to perfect. And since it claims to be a dedicated hosting platform meant for musicians, that’s what their USP is, they really take care of a musician’s needs. But here are a few things that Bandzoogle could improve upon:
Lack of Security
When you build a website that deals with any kind of eCommerce and sales, you got to ensure top-notch security over it and Bandzoogle lacks a tiny bit there. Apart from in-built SSL on every plan, Bandzoogle does not offer any exceptional security features that could be something they should look into.
Apart from the built-in email, if you want to use a custom email box, Bandzoogle has a separate price for email hosting.
ReverbNation Website Builder Review
When you toggle through ReverbNation’s official website, they claim they have put right in the front is:
“Artists launch careers here”.
That’s exactly what it does. With only a few clicks, you can showcase all your songs, photos and show information on your own customized website that will be put in front of the fans and the whole of the music industry.
Without coding skills and website developers, ReverbNation provides you with a customized website along with a custom domain name of your choice.
Pros of ReverbNation
- Free custom domain.
- Mobile and tablet friendly website.
- Unlimited photos, videos, and music.
Customization tools and templates
- Access to the download store.
Cons of ReverbNation
- Need to compulsory have a fully-developed ReverbNation profile.
- Cannot add your own HTML codes or any sort of customization.
- Absence of call or chat support.
- Only 3 customization templates available.
- Integration of social sites will lead to auto-posting on your personal profiles.
- No built-in analytics to track how your music performs.
- Requires credit card details to sign up for a free trial.
Bandzoogle Vs ReverbNation
While they are both free, I tend to think that Bamzoogle is a notch better at customization and options offered.
It’s a good start and you can move on to a better platform (like WordPress) when your brand starts seeing some traction!
Since their inception around 15 years back, Bandzoogle has witnessed thousands of musicians being launched on its platform. From thousands of those, we have hand-picked a few to inspire your next:
Country Singer-Songwriter – Chelsea Cunningham
Once Chelsea’s website loads, you will be welcomed with stunning portrait pictures of Chelsea that looks straight out of a glossy magazine. She uses the five header image feature to lend her website with a welcoming appeal.
Her website presents a great example of simplicity combined with functionality. Its simplistic design exuberates professionalism and her clear positioning of what she does through her impactful content.
Atlanta-Based Singer-Songwriter – Carlena Prophet
As a musician, it’s always a great idea to allow your website to match the tone of the music you play. Just like how Carlena shows us here. Her website is bright and lively matching the upbeat tone of her music. The consistency in the shades of yellow and blue makes her website looks more put together and cohesive.
Indie Rock Band – Reed Four
As a brand, it’s important to maintain consistency across all your channels, no matter what industry you operate in. Reed Four nails this by repeating the same images on their website and social media platforms. Moreover, their website features attractive artwork that makes it a pleasure to navigate through their site.
Here’s everything you needed to know in order to build, manage and promote your music website. So go ahead and set your creativity on fire and create a beautiful website that’ll grow your personal brand as an established musician.
I hope this brings more light and you get a slightly better idea of what you need to be looking for in a free musician website builder!