Before you can take the first steps to building your website, there are 2 things you will need.
- Domain Name
- Web Hosting
Web hosting is essentially the server space you “rent” to host your website files.
Your domain name (www.yourband.com) directs people to those files on the server.
The default address to your website is long, ugly, and difficult to remember. This should make it obvious why you need to register a domain name. (It’s key for marketing and branding.)
So where do I buy this stuff? How much am I in for?
Good question. There are many answers. Including companies such as Bandzoogle that provide platforms and features targeted specifically at bands.
Allow me to compare a few different services. Feel free to skip to our price comparison chart.
Bandzoogle has 3 levels of pricing.
They also allow you to try 3 months for free but you do not get a domain name. Your website address would be http://yourband.bandzoogle.com.
Here is the breakdown of their plans.
Lite – 9.95 / month – 119.40 / year
- Basic storage which includes – 10 pages, 20 tracks, 100 photos, 1GB storage for your press kit, 100 member fan list for e-mail and text message blasts, and your domain name.
Standard – 14.95 / month – 179.40 / year
- Advanced storage which includes – 20 pages, 50 tracks, 500 photos, 10GB storage for press kit, 1,000 member fan list, basic stats (up to the minute data about your website but NOT your e-mail blasts), and full design customization.
Pro – 19.95 / month – 239.40 / year
- Unlimited storage, 10,000 member fan list, advanced stats (website data and e-mail blast data), full design customization, and download codes.
Bandzoogle is a solid platform and can make things fairly easy for any DIY musician. They provide every thing you need to build a great website in a user-friendly interface.
One piece of advice though…do NOT use the auto play feature on the music player.
ReverbNation uses the same site building platform as Bandzoogle. So what’s the difference?
17.95 / month – 215.40 / year
On top of hosting, domain name, and use of their site builder – all of your ReverbNation content is synced with your website. You also are given full customization of the design.
When you upload a new song or add a new show in your ReverbNation profile, it automatically updates the site.
This streamlines the amount of work you need to do but you are limited to relying on ReverbNation for everything.
If you are a daily user then this scenario probably fits well into your workflow. Otherwise, I do not recommend moving your web presence to ReverbNation just so you can build your website.
HostBaby is CD Baby’s solution for band websites.
Unlike every other service I mention in this article, I have zero experience with this one. If you use it or ever have, please leave a comment.
20 / month – 199 / year (discounted price)
- 10 GB of storage
- Unlimited bandwidth (downloads/uploads), e-mail addresses, and mailing list members, and e-mail newsletter feature
- FTP/SFTP/SSH access, PHP/MySQL database
Host Gator is different from the services mentioned previously due to the fact they do not cater specifically to bands.
Their focus is strictly on web hosting, domain names, and everything that goes along with it.
There are 3 levels of pricing. All plans guarantee you unlimited disk space and bandwidth, free site building tools and templates, and 24/7/365 award winning technical support.
Hatchling – 3.96 / month – 47.52 / year
- single domain name
- unlimited storage and bandwidth
- shared SSL certificate (security)
Baby – 6.36 / month – 76.32 / year
- unlimited domains, storage, and bandwidth
- shared SSL certificate
Business – 10.36 / month – 124.32 / year
- unlimited domains, storage, and bandwidth
- free private SSL and IP (improved security and faster load times)
- free toll free number
Host Gator is a great service and I do not hesitate to recommend it for your hosting needs. They are WordPress friendly and it is simple to set up if you wish to use it.
If you have any issues their customer support is excellent and they will be there to help you work through any issues. Alternatively, feel free to contact us with questions.
Bluehost is the service we roll with and we are very pleased.
Similar to Host Gator, their focus is on personal and business hosting. Their customer support is excellent, the service is easy to use, and it is very WordPress friendly.
Bluehost is normally 6.95 per month but right now they are having a sale. Details below.
6.95 / month – 4.95 / month – 83.40 – 59.40 / year
- unlimited domains, hosting space, file transfers, and e-mail accounts
- free domain name
- free site builder with templates
- SSL, secure Shell, FTP
- CGI, Ruby on Rails, Perl, PHP, My SQL
- $100 Google Adwords coupon
- 24/7 support by phone, e-mail, or live chat