A host of different services will now let you put a website online, quickly and easily, no coding skills required – but if you're looking for something to show off your talents as a musician then you need a more specific set of features.
Primarily, a way of uploading and sharing your tunes in a simple and secure way, even if it's just snippets of songs rather than whole tracks or indeed albums.
If you're a musician for hire then it can be useful to have some kind of booking system in place as well, or at least a contact form. On top of that, there are all the extras you might be interested in, like support for your own domain name or gallery pages to show just how many people came to your last gig.
Here are our picks for the best website builder for musicians to create a presence online.
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You won't find too many website builder services aimed specifically at musicians, but Bandzoogle gleefully jumps in to provide a bespoke service specifically for bands and artists. While it lacks some of the polish of the big names, because it focuses on the musician niche in particular, it has everything you should need.
That includes, of course, the ability to upload your own tracks and let visitors stream them from your website. You can get tracks organized into entire albums if you really want to go to town, or just share (or even sell) single tracks. And then, as well as that, you've got simple ways to post gig dates, blog updates, and so on.
Whether you need to build a contact form or a video diary, Bandzoogle makes it easy, no coding required – you can really make a site that's as simple or as complex as you like, and the end result is something that looks like you hired a specialist.
You've got over 100 themes to choose from (there is even one for crowdfunding), they're all straightforward to edit and tweak, and connecting up social accounts (including the likes of SoundCloud and Bandcamp) only takes a few clicks as well. As an added bonus, you can sell fan subscription, merchandise and tickets right through Bandzoogle as well.
Check out any list of website builders for any purpose and Wix is likely to feature on it, but not only does this service earn that high reputation, it also has some useful tools for musicians – not least the ability to upload your own tracks so visitors to your website can listen to them without any extra software or browser extensions.
Platforms that you're probably already using, like Bandsintown and Songkick, can plug directly into your Wix site: you can set up integrations like these in just a few clicks. What's more, you can add on an e-commerce portal to your site, for the purposes of shifting albums, T-shirts, or whatever else you need to sell.
Wix has a very solid selection of templates, with more than 500 to choose from, and if you delve into the music section you'll see there are options for solo artists, bands, DJs, producers, or anyone else connected to the industry. Have a click around these templates to see the kind of sites it's possible to create.
After that you've got all the features Wix has become known for: a site editor that's a breeze to use whether or not you know what CSS stands for, custom domain name support, easy blogging and simple social media support, and a free tier that lets you work out whether Wix is for you before you part with any cash.
Music Glue is a little different to the other website builder services we've featured here: it focuses first and foremost on the merchandise and ticketing aspects of the music business, and indeed powers the online stores for some of the biggest names in the industry. Its pricing system is unusual too, taking a 10% cut of whatever you sell rather than a flat fee.
That does at least mean you won't be out of pocket if your online marketplace doesn't attract much attention to begin with. There are no additional fees for payment processing, and customers can rock up with debit or credit cards, or PayPal.
Music Glue is less impressive on the website building side, although you do get the basics – a choice of themes for the site attached to your online shop, the option to bring over your own custom domain name, tools for tweaking the code and layout of your site, and so on. It's possible to plug in social media accounts and even set up a mailing list.
If your priority is the mechanics of selling music and tickets to your audience, then Music Glue is a good bet, and has some very famous clients on its books, as we mentioned. If you don't really have anything to sell right now and want to spend more time fiddling with a site design and layout, then maybe look elsewhere.
French site builder Difymusic isn't the most well-known service out there, and doesn't have the same breadth of tools and features as some of the big names – but where it really comes into its own is in getting your music online quickly and easily.
If you'd rather just get your stuff up quickly with a few pictures and links, rather than spend ages choosing a theme and editing HTML, Difymusic could be for you. It relies on plug-ins – like Spotify or SoundCloud for getting your music up, for example – but it supports an awful lot of them, so you're bound to find something that works.
If you want to sell merch and tickets, then you can pay to add that on your main site, with a one-time €9.99 setup fee (about £9 or $12) and then 5% commission based on sales, but the basics are free. Connect up your Facebook page and your YouTube channel and you're good to go in just a few minutes.
Admittedly the choice of templates and editing options aren't very strong, but the designs you can play around with are decent enough, and certainly won't put anyone off your music. Difymusic lets you get started quickly, and scale up as required.
Tumblr isn't a website builder in the conventional sense – it's more of a half blogging, half social media platform – but if you take a longer look at what Tumblr has to offer, it's actual very appealing for musicians. For one thing, it's completely free to use, plus it already attracts a busy community of creatives.
You can post up to one 10MB MP3 file every day, as well as links, text posts, videos, photos and more. Those MP3s appear as streamable files for visitors to your site – they can listen to the tunes in their browser, no plug-ins or extra software required, so it's a great way of showcasing your talents without paying anything.
If Tumblr was simply a blogging platform and that was it, we probably wouldn't recommend the service, but it also supports pages alongside your blog (for a gallery or a contact form), custom domain names (so you can pay extra for whatever URL name you like), and posting from mobile apps too.
On top of all that there are a host of themes to choose from, some of which cost money, but many are free, and a lot of them would suit a musician's portfolio. If the theme isn't exactly to your liking, you can tweak it with the integrated options or your own CSS, and switching between themes whenever you like is simple, too.
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Source: TechRadar - All the latest technology news
By: David Nield