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I am not musically gifted. Even though I went to music school for about 5 years every other afternoon, I suck at it big time.
In the end, they (politely) kicked me out.
My sister, on the other hand, turned out to be pretty good at music. In fact, she became a fantastic professional violinist using all sorts of devices (e.g. electric violin) to create electronic music.
And one day, she asked me if I’d help her to build her website.
I said yes, and started researching the best website builders for musicians and what my little sister’s website needed to be a success.
In this article I’ll be sharing all these learnings with you, so you too will know how to create a website for your music or band.
What Are the Best Website Builders for Musicians?
There are dozens (perhaps even hundreds) of website builders out there where there are no coding skills required. But what are the best ones for musicians, solo artists, bands, DJs or even gig organizers? This is my short list:
- Wix – Best templates and music features
- Bandzoogle – Affordable musician website builder
- Squarespace – The one creatives love
- Format – Limited but cheap
- WordPress – The complicated powerhouse
- BandVista – The one for bands
- Weebly – Easy but limited
You’re likely going to spend much more time creating your website with Bandzoogle and Bandvista because their editors just aren’t that intuitive.
In this respect, Wix seems to strike the right balance between ease of use and music features, thanks to its app store. If you want to compare Wix against a more specialized website builder for musicians, I’d recommend trying out Bandzoogle.
Do I Even Need a Website?
If you are reading this guide, you probably already have a couple of reasons to launch your own website. But let me mention a few more in case you need a little more convincing:
- Create an image: Having your own website will let you create your own image and brand the way you want it. Sure, you can create Facebook and SoundCloud pages, but those will be limited to what these platforms allow.
- More exposure: Over 55% of the world’s population has internet access. Maybe not all of them will find your music because of your site, but having your own site certainly increases your chances of getting found.
- Promote your upcoming gigs: One of the easiest (and quickest) ways to let your fans know where are you going to play next.
- Book some gigs: Having a website is a great way for potential event organizers to contact you and get you to play for them.
- Build a community: You probably have social media profiles on different channels (Instagram, SoundCloud, etc.). Having your own website is a great tool to convert all these followers into a loyal audience.
- Generate extra cash: Sell t-shirts for your upcoming tour, mugs with the lyrics of your greatest hits, or even your music online. Even Nirvana and The Beatles continue to sell their merch online.
- Get started for free: there are a number of decent free website builders available. While relying on an ad-sponsored free website is not an ideal permanent solution, there is no reason not to get started today even if you’re cash-strapped.
Example… Create a band website like a rockstar: from U2 to U3
From picking a template to creating pages and adding media right through to going live. You also may want functionality like an event calendar or a polling widget on your site.
I am, of course, in no way encouraging you to knock off other people’s (or famous rock bands’) websites, but merely to practice recreating a website you admire. You can then replace the elements with your own ideas.
This has two benefits: just the act of ‘doing’ will get you thinking creatively, and it may also expose you to different ways of using elements in creating your own website.
Top 7 Site Builders for Musicians and Bands
You don’t need to be U2 to benefit from having a web presence for your band. It’s one of the most effective ways to make your music available to your current (and future) fans. But since your main occupation keeps you pretty busy, you’ll need a system that is quick and easy-to-update.
Wix Music – your band’s “all-in-one package”
Wix is, by far, the largest website builder on the market. It’s a true giant with 150 million users and almost 3,000 employees. Their approach to design is unique, as not many website builders come with such a flexible approach (as you can see in the previous video on U3).
The best thing for bands and musicians is that Wix Music allows you to promote and sell music effortlessly. Selling gig tickets and merch is possible too. It also has integration with many music stores and streaming services (e.g. Spotify, iTunes, etc.). Of course, you can also announce upcoming events on your site.
While they feature a completely free plan, you’ll have to pay around $16 per month for the Combo plan if you want an ad-free experience. Keep in mind that it only comes with 3GB of storage, which can quickly fill up if you are uploading lots of music files and images. Comparing it with the website builders that follow in this list, you’ll see that Wix charges a premium for their product.
To get more storage and video hours, the Unlimited plan is a better choice. It’ll cost you $29/month.
In order to sell merch and accept online payments, you’ll need to upgrade to the Business Basic plan at $34/month, which includes an online store.
Wix also includes a free domain name for 1 year. After that, you’ll pay around $15-20 per year.
Wix Pros for Musicians
- Large selection of templates (over 800). Here are some examples from other musicians.
- Special features like event planning, membership sites, audio players (e.g. Spotify) all available through the Wix App Market
- Convenient backup and restore feature (in case something goes wrong)
- No limits to your creative freedom as the editor is extremely flexible
- Integrated newsletter tool (Wix Email Marketing, which is free for up to 5,000 emails per month)
- Even though Wix automatically creates a smartphone-friendly version of your website, it may need some extra work to make it look flawless
- It’s not the cheapest website builder, so you need to use its features to get value from it.
Free trial at wix.com
Bandzoogle – The music expert
This website builder was founded in Canada in 2003. Today they have over 25 employees and host several thousand websites. What’s unique about them is that they are solely focused on website creation for bands and musicians.
It comes with modern-looking responsive designs – they’ll look good on any device – and although their range of features isn’t the largest, they have all the ones musicians, DJs and bands will need.
If you are comparing Bandzoogle with more general website builders such as Wix or Squarespace, you’ll notice that the editing experience isn’t quite the same. Bandzoogle feels a bit more rough around the edges, for example, from page to page the editing windows are sometimes inconsistent. All in all, it’ll take a bit longer to get to grips with Bandzoogle but it’s still way easier to use than a more complex content management system such as WordPress.
Unlike Wix or Weebly, they don’t offer a free plan, but you can try their system for free for 30 days – more than long enough to see if you like it.
Paid plans start at $8.29 / month with the Lite plan, which is limited to 10 pages but allows you to sell 10 music downloads (commission-free).
If you want to build a bigger website and also sell merch and subscriptions, you are looking at $12.46 /month for Bandzoogle’s Standard plan. It also includes 50 tracks that you can sell.
To get access to all features such as selling tickets, crowdfunding and a tip jar, the Pro plan is what you need. It’s $16.63 / month.
Bandzoogle Pros for Musicians and Bands
- A website builder fully focused on musicians: upload your tracks, sell your music online and even embed your Bandcamp player, Instagram feed or Bandsintown events.
- You can also sell tickets for events (e.g. concerts).
- A free custom domain name is included with all their plans.
- They don’t limit the traffic your site can get (bandwidth).
- Stylish themes
- Commission-free sales of music downloads, merchandise and subscriptions
- (Basic) mailing list tool
- Their editor isn’t the most flexible as it works with predefined layouts (e.g. 1 column, 2 columns, etc.).
- The backend is also not the most intuitive – there are some inconsistencies in the editing experience.
Free trial at bandzoogle.com
Squarespace – The one creatives love
Founded in 2003, this NY-based company employs around 1000 people and ‘Millions of websites’ have been launched using their platform. Like Wix, Squarespace are renowned for their bold and creative marketing campaigns (e.g. Super Bowl Commercials).
Similar to Bandzoogle and Wix, the Squarespace website builder has a built-in system to upload your songs and even sell them online. It’s also possible to sell tickets. Embedding Spotify playlists (and similar services) can be done using their embed block.
Just like Bandzoogle, Squarespace doesn’t have a free plan. The cheapest plan starts at $16/month and is called Personal, which includes unlimited storage. It also features a Bandsintown integration.
To sell merchandise, you need to opt for the Business plan at $16/month, but do keep in mind that Squarespace charges a transaction fee.
To avoid the Squarespace transaction fee, you can upgrade to the Basic Commerce plan ($27), which also adds several more ecommerce features.
Your own custom domain name is included for free for the first year.
Squarespace Pros for Musicians
- They feature visually impressive templates for musicians that are mobile-responsive too.
- All plans have unlimited storage and bandwidth.
- Comes with some handy features for musicians like an audio player, Bandsintown integration and a newsletter tool.
- There’s a great blogging feature that also allows you to upload and host a podcast.
- Squarespace also has its own email marketing tool
- Their system is, at times, a bit overcomplicated – for example, it lacks an auto-saving feature.
- Be aware that their designs rely on professionally-taken images, so make sure yours match the high standards to keep with the style.
- Prices are on the higher end (comparable to Wix’s) and some plans have transaction fees – i.e. they take a cut of your sales.
- Overall they don’t feature as many features for the music industry as Wix or Bandzoogle.
Free trial at squarespace.com
Format – Limited but cheap
Format.com is based in Toronto, and with ‘only’ 30 employees they are one of the smaller fish in the market. However, they’ve been able to find their niche, and are solely focused on online portfolio creation (including music portfolios).
Having a focus on artists and portfolio creation means it’s only normal that Format has cool-looking designs. Be aware that they are a good solution for creating a music portfolio, but this website builder doesn’t have advanced music-related features (e.g. iTunes integration or apps to organize events).
- Their modern-looking templates, which are also responsive, are an interesting plus for them.
- Their paid plans are some of the most affordable, starting at only $7 per month.
- Limited design flexibility – their building blocks have pre-set layouts.
- They also don’t have many elements; you are stuck with images, text, forms and just a few more.
- You won’t be able to upload your music directly into Format – you’ll need to embed your tracks from a 3rd-party service (e.g. SoundCloud).
Free trial: www.format.com (Get 10% off using voucher code START10)
WordPress – The geeky solution
WordPress first started as a blogging platform, but soon enough evolved into a multi-purpose CMS. For some, it has become the go-to solution for creating any type of website – it powers around 40% of all sites.
Please note: compared to the other platforms listed in this article, WordPress is a lot more complicated. I’ve added it to this list because it’s a very popular platform, and a great solution for the more tech-savvy.
When you first install WordPress, you won’t see any relevant feature for musicians. But there are thousands of templates (e.g. in Themeforest) and plugins that can convert your WordPress installation into a fully-armed site for your band or music.
WordPress.org is a bit different from the rest, you’ll need a hosting provider (e.g. SiteGround) for it to run. It’s also a bit more technical, so expect some house-keeping work more often than not (e.g. manual updates).
Check out this video to see how you install WordPress on your web host (SiteGround in this example):
WordPress Pros for musicians
- Extremely flexible website platform. You can create any kind of website you want.
- Hundreds of themes for musicians available
- Add music players, ecommerce options, photo galleries – there’s a WordPress plugin for everything.
- It’s pretty complicated! You’ll either need to spend a lot of time learning how to use it or hire a web designer to set it up for you.
- Unlike other website builders that have web hosting included, you will need to take care of that yourself (the advantage is that you can get pretty good WordPress hosting deals).
- You’ll need to install regular updates, otherwise you’ll risk having your website become unsafe and potentially getting hacked.
Note: I created my sister’s website using WordPress, as I already had a hosting provider and some WordPress knowledge. But every time she needs to update something, I get an upset call from her telling me it’s too difficult.
BandVista – Specialized website builder for bands
Similar to BandZoogle, Knoxville-based BandVista is a website builder specifically made for bands. It’s a pretty small brand, but it has already been around for several years.
Purely judging from the musician website builder’s technical performance, it’s hard to get too excited. It doesn’t feel very modern at all, as the whole look and feel of the editor feels like a 5-year old version of the more modern website builders. It does have a decent drag-and-drop editor, though, that reminded us a little bit of Weebly.
It does have some nice features, though, such as a music player that also lets your visitors purchase your tracks – commission-free!
Silver: $9.95 – includes 50 music tracks, 500 images and 5 email accounts
Gold: $10.85 – for less than a Dollar more you’ll get 100 music tracks, 1000 images and 10 email accounts
Platinum: $15.85 – 1000 music tracks, 5000 images and 50 email accounts. On top of that you can collect up to 25k newsletter subscribers.
- Affordable prices
- Commission-free sales of merch and music
- Mobile-friendly template designs
- Includes email accounts and a basic newsletter tool
- Editor isn’t that easy or fun to use
- Functionality of everything is very basic and feels dated
Weebly – Great ease of use
Founded in 2007 in San Francisco, Weebly has over 50 million users. They are one of the easiest site builders to use, thanks to its structured approach to website design.
Weebly is another good alternative for creating your band’s website. Their Pro plan ($12 per month) comes with a custom music player. Selling music and merch is easy with Weebly’s online store. Weebly’s designs are slick too, however, you won’t be able to copy U2’s site (or any others for that matter) with as much accuracy as in our video example.
- Their drag and drop builder is easy to use. In my opinion, no other site builder is as intuitive.
- They come with responsive templates that adapt to any device (e.g. smartphones).
- Most of their plans come with unlimited storage and bandwidth – upload as many songs as you wish.
- It’s also a relatively affordable website builder.
- Some plans will get a cut of your sales (3%) and limit the amount of products you can sell.
- It doesn’t have music or band-focused templates, and no special features for musicians (e.g. built-in integration with Spotify).
- Sadly, Weebly has mostly stopped adding new features to its website builder. For that reason, it’s probably not the safest bet for the future.
What Pages Will Your Music Site Need?
But, of course, you may be a bit lost with your site’s structure. What kind of sections will you need? What pages should you add?
Let me go over the most relevant pages that music and band websites include.
- Homepage: Every website has a homepage – band and musicians’ websites too. How you want to organize it is a bit personal – some have information about their next gigs, others have videos of past performances, etc. Your choice.
- Tour dates and events: Of course you want to feature your upcoming shows so your fans know where to see you next. Besides the location, time and date, it’s also important to include information on how to buy the tickets.
- Online store: I am sure some bands make tons of money selling merchandise online. An online store will also let you sell tunes online and even tickets to your upcoming shows.
- About / Bio: Every fan will want to know a bit more about you. So a friendly and fun section explaining how you got started and where are you heading, is a great plus.
- Gallery and videos: Some musicians and bands like to share images and videos of past performances so visitors can see what to expect from their live concerts.
- Songs and albums: Of course, you probably want to showcase your music. You could, for example, let your visitors listen to your last album by embedding Spotify’s player.
- Contact: If you don’t like the idea of having your email address published on your site, you could create a contact form so your site’s visitors have a way to reach you. One of them could be a record label.
Of course, there aren’t fixed rules on what pages you should include. The previous ones are the most popular site pages among musicians and bands. But, perhaps you’d like to share your thoughts with a blog or have a press section.
How to Get Traffic to Your Website?
Sure, having a website is a great start to getting your music out there. However, there are a couple of other techniques to promote your music online and get more listeners:
- Online contest: There are a bunch of online music contests that you can participate in. Most of the time they promote the bands that take part in them on their social media channels, website blog, or paid ads.
- Outreach: The concept is easy, find someone with a big following in your music niche (e.g. influencers, bloggers, playlist creators, etc.) and let them know about your music. The goal is that they share your music with their followers.
- Social media: Having (relevant) social media profiles is a handy way to engage with users and convert them into loyal listeners. On top of the big fish (e.g. Instagram, Twitter or Facebook), there are some other interesting channels. You could explore Reddit (/r/Music), Bandsintown or Last.fm, for example.
- Streaming services: There are some services that allow you to upload your music online, so others can enjoy it. These have millions of users, so you could potentially reach a broader audience soon. Some of these streaming services are Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play Music, YouTube, SoundCloud, Bandcamp or Pandora.
- Online paid ads: Most of the previously mentioned sites/platforms let you run ads. If you had the budget for it, paid ad campaigns are a quick way to find new listeners that like your music.
- SEO (search engine optimization): If you optimize your website to show in search results for relevant keywords (e.g. ’new age music artists’), you can have a steady flow of new listeners every week.
- Content marketing: Create pieces of content that complement your songs, so your audience is more likely to share them. For example, creating cool-looking music videos or animations. If you are a creative DIY person, you won’t necessarily need a budget for this.
- Mailing list: put a newsletter form on your website, so your fans can sign up to receive your updates. This way you’ll easily get their attention by sending out a newsletter (about some cool new track you’ve produced, new merch or even better, your latest tour announcement)
Keep in mind that to effectively track the success of your website, you should either use one of the built-in visitor tracking tools the website builders provide or set up a tool like Google Analytics.
Final Thoughts About the Best Website Builders for Musicians
As we’ve seen, there’s no shortage of solutions when it comes to creating band sites. Some of them are easier to use than others, but with a bit of work, you should be able to launch your music site in a couple of afternoons.
Let me recap and tell you when I would use each provider:
- If you are after ease of use, I would say that Wix and Weebly are the best choices.
- The best music-focused solutions (e.g. selling tickets) are provided by Wix, Bandzoogle and BandVista.
- Wix and Weebly also offer the most generous free plan.
- Personally, I find the Squarespace and Wix’s designs the coolest.
I hope you find this guide to music website creation useful. If you have any questions, leave a comment and I’ll do my best to help you.
We keep our content up to date
06 Sep 2022: BandVista added + general updates
08 Jun 2022: General update
11 Dec 2021: Checked for accuracy and other smaller updates
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