What Makes a Great Band & Musician Website Builder?
Website builder services are a dime a dozen. Yes, it does matter which one you pick! Think of a band and musician website as a stage to showcase your unique sound and image to thousands of fans with a few clicks.
Your choice in a website should mimic your goals as a musician - share music tracks, concert schedule calendar, sell merchandise and tickets, set up mailing lists, social media, etc. The best band and musician website builder should create an entertaining site for your fans to interact with you.
Most bands and musicians don’t have the resources like Beyonce or Bruno Mars to hire a webmaster to create and maintain a music website. We rely on our college friend who’s a programmer or hire a freelancer on Upwork. Well, now you have more options - free and paid!
Read on to check out our reviews of music-centric website builders as well as some of the most popular website builders with a music category.
Strong visual graphics are attention-grabbing. Yeah, we’re here for the music but why not make it look good at the same time. Some websites offer basic templates that you just drop in information. Meh. Others let you run with your imagination with the ability to customize everything from the landing page to ordering tickets.
Music is an interactive medium and there are no artistic limitations. Ditto for creating a website that reflects your music. Here are some design concepts to consider:
- Keep it clean and void of clutter
- Make sure information is clearly laid out with good interface design
- Choose your color palette carefully - vibrant or muted colors to suit your musical style
- Decide which typography or font size and style is both legible and interesting
- Look for a customizable layout that can be changed easily
- Aim for a professional looking website;
- Spend time designing the landing or home page - this is where you make a visitor a fan!
Music and Merchandise
Okay, you have fans. How do you keep them? The obvious answer is to put out new music. Make it easy for them to download tracks. Keep the buzz going and interest your fans to check out your website for the latest update to your concert schedule. And don’t forget that some of the best PR for musicians and bands is merchandise - here are some examples:
- Music downloading - Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music and more
- Accessories like hats, baseball caps, and more. Check out Foo Fighters and Ringo Starr for their cool merchandise offerings!
- Clothing - T-shirts (duh), sweatshirts and even collectible T-shirts from past concerts
- Other stuff - posters, patches, bobbleheads, beer glasses, autographs, rubber bracelets, etc.
- CD’s and Vinyl - yes, they still exist! Who buys them? It’s not who you think!
Website builders give you the tools to get your music into streaming services like iTunes, Spotify, as well as selling merchandise - at a cost. Prepare to pay for an e-commerce feature but it’ll be worth it in the end. And it you’re already selling on sites like eBay or Etsy, some websites can integrate these with your website. Plus, no commissions taken out on your sales!
Increase Your Fan Base
The best band and musician website builders will help you create a digital space to entertain your fans. You need to work at keeping these devout fans as well as increasing your base. Here is a handy checklist for keeping your music website fresh and interesting:
- Social media - it should be a no brainer to maintain Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, YouTube, and TikTok (formerly Musical.ly) accounts
- Links to music distribution platforms like SoundCloud and Bandcamp
- Live chats
- Live broadcasts
- Newsletters - a cool tool is Wix’s Shout-out, which helps you keep track of who signed up for your newsletter and adds them automatically to your mailing list
- Regularly publish and maintain concert schedule
- Post engaging photos of musicians, both in the studio and on tour
- Biographical Information about the musician and/or band members
- Smartphone mobility for iPhone and Android users
Set your calendar to update your website regularly. Stagnant and stale equals boring. Don’t forget that word of mouth is key into increasing your fan base. Turn visitors into fans!
Sharing Is Caring - How to Market to Your Fans
Anything new happening on the music front? Working on new tracks? Social media as part of a musician and band’s website is the best way to communicate with your fans. Make sure your website builder has tools to work them in! Here’s some tips for the most popular social media outlets to promote your music:
- Twitter - 140 characters pack a punch and work them # hashtags! Follow influencers in the field and retweet relevant content
- Facebook - 2.3 billion active users in the second quarter of 2018 is staggering! Create a page if you haven’t already and post stuff. Now!
- Instagram - post photos and videos (don’t forget your hashtags); get in the habit of posting photo or video sequences in Instagram Stories to create a buzz before it disappears after 24 hours
- Snapchat - preview a 10 second clip of your new music track or share a story on the concert tour
- YouTube - create your own channel and promote your brand, whether it be a concert or backstage interview
- Periscope - create a live video and audio broadcast from your mobile device (FYI, Twitter bought them so expect some cross promotional marketing)
- TikTok (joined forces with Musical.ly) - so what if there’s a lotta lip-syncing going on or remixing of a popular tune? For the music world, this is an app to watch!
Adoring fans aside, a well-designed website and an active, entertaining social media presence can also attract the hottest music industry professionals - potential managers, artist representation, music journalists, and booking agents. Hello Justin Bieber and The Weeknd - they got their start on social media!
User-Friendliness - from Creation to Maintenance
True or false - do you need to know coding in order to build a website? Nope, them days are long gone. Most musicians are too busy composing, performing and hustling for their next gig to deal with creating a website. If you are good at both, pat yourself on the back - share some tips in Comparakeet’s comment section to lend a helping hand!
For the rest of the music world, a great website builder can help you make a cool site that looks professional and is easy to maintain. Here are some factors to consider:
- “Trying to make a splash with Flash is trash” - this is my feeble attempt at a jingle, sorry! Rule of thumb nowadays is to avoid flash unless absolutely necessary - causes pages to load slowly, not displayable on mobile devices
- Artificial Intelligence - Huh? Yes, Wix’s ADI (Artificial Design Intelligence) feature can create websites on-demand!
- Drag and drop feature - easily swap font style, change layout, embed videos, etc.
- Cross-posting content from your website to a social media page (Facebook)
- Integrate calendars, gig schedules, blogs through widgets
- Free domains and hosting - do you want your website builder to register your domain name and deal with server management? Upside is that you have more time to update your website and grow your fan base - downside is that the website builder “owns” your website which means you can’t move it to another platform
SEO and Advertising
You’ve probably heard of SEO - Search Engine Optimization. This buzzword or acronym is basically how to get your website ranked higher in the search engine hierarchy. In other words, how can I get my name in the top 10 Google searches for “most popular band”? Yeah, right. Well, we can always dream.
Some website builders will build a campaign to boost your ranking by assigning you keywords associated by your name, the band’s name and song titles. Wix has a handy 10 question Q & A posted on their blog that explains in a Wix-centric way about SEO. Though it’s a tad technical, it’s informative and lets me off the hook about giving you the 411 on SEO.
Advertising has negative connotations. We all fast forward through paid ads on television and cable (if they allow it!). Advertisers want their product sold. You as a musician or band member want your music sold. You still have bills to pay even though it looks like you’re having way too much fun “working.”
So how can a website build and help an ad campaign? Most of the answers are contained in this article - social media, direct ticket buying, merchandising sales,etc. Here is a simple outline that can help you along your way to record-sales!
- Identify your audience - hard-core rockers, electronic music ravers or mellow jazz listeners?
- How do you reach them - use your established fan base to spread the word, get your music reviewed, post on music-sharing sites, social media
- How do they hear about you - word-of mouth, club scene, blog posts, concerts, social media, research groups similar to yours and see how they advertise
- Build your community - use mailing lists, newsletters, social media
- Generate buzz - best through social media
- Distribute music - free and paid download
- Make money - paid download, merchandise sales and concert tickets
- Customer Service - be available to answer questions or address comments; fans like to be heard!
Music is meant to be shared. With a few clicks and swipes, the internet has opened up the world to songs and beats performed in hallowed concert halls, videogames, and garages. Gone are the days where radio was the only way to listen to the latest Stones’ release or Aretha’s Chain of Fools (RIP, Queen of Soul).
The best band and musician website builders are tools for you create your brand around your music. The technology is there for the taking - so use it! Don’t forget to share your thoughts and experiences in our comments section.
A parting thought …
One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.