You’ve got your sound, you’ve got your look – but if you’re a musician in today’s ultra-digital world, that’s only half the story. Nailing your live performance is crucial, but nailing your online presence is just as critical, and having a website you’re proud of is a huge part of that.
After all, let’s not forget how many huge artists have been discovered online – 5 Seconds of Summer, Carly Rae Jepsen and Justin Beiber, to name a few. It pays to get this stuff right, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend a fortune in the process.
Website builders let you create stunning websites for little money, in a very short amount of time, without compromising on features. But not all website builders were created equal – and that’s where we come in.
This article will help you sort the legends from the one hit wonders, and find the platform that’ll work for you. We’ll take you through the seven best website builders to get you noticed, or take you to the next level.
The 7 Best website builders for musicians are:
- Wix – Best all-around website builder.
- Shopify – Best for sites with high sales.
- Squarespace – Best for ultra-cool designs.
- Weebly – Best for event musicians.
- Bandzoogle – Best music-specific website builder.
- Music Glue – Best free music website builder.
- BandVista – Easiest music-specific website builder to use.
Wix came out top in our research; its total flexibility makes it a great option for industries of all types. Shopify is the most powerful ecommerce platform around, so is ideal if you plan to sell a lot of merch. Squarespace, meanwhile, delivers award-winning templates.
But we’ve featured each of these seven for a reason, so let’s jump straight in to their individual reviews.
Here at Website Builder Expert, we’re committed to finding you the best way to get online. That’s why we carry out extensive research into the best website builders on the market; scrutinising features, comparing plans, and undertaking a huge amount of user testing with the help of people just like you.
These are the seven website builders offering the best experience for both budding and established musicians. This table gives an overview of how their features compare – to see the full reviews, read on.
That was a quick overview of how the seven builders stack up – now, let’s take a look at each one in more detail.
Best all-around website builder
Just take a look at how well Wix performed in our research:
Wix is, quite simply, the best website builder on the market today.
It came out top in our user testing, and the drag-and-drop functionality is easy for complete novices to get to grips with.
But ease of use certainly doesn’t come at the expense of features or design – Wix’s extensive app collection means you can get it your site looking and working just how you want it. Integrate your social media, add galleries, and set up a mailing list – all with a single click.
If you want to sell merchandise or albums directly through your site, that’s easy enough, too. Just opt for the Wix eCommerce plan, which costs $20/month (when billed annually).
Wix may be the best website builder overall, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t fine-tuned it’s offering for musicians. A quick search of ‘band’ in the templates section pulls through a whole load of templates designed specifically with music artists in mind.
But all this must cost a fair bit, right? Wrong!
Wix’s size allows it to keep its prices really low. It operates on a ‘freemium’ model, so you can get a site off the ground without spending a cent – you’ll just need to upgrade to a paid plan to get rid of the Wix advertising, and the automated ‘wixsite’ in your domain name.
Wix’s cheapest paid plan, the Combo plan, costs just $11/month when billed annually. Set your site up for free, then upgrade when you’re sure you’re satisfied.
As you can see, there’s a lot of reasons to shout about Wix. We think it’s a great all-round platform for musicians looking to launch their website. But don’t just take our word for it. We spoke to Ella, one half of acoustic indie-folk duo Naz & Ella, to find out about her experience of using Wix to create her band website.
USER REVIEW: NAZ & ELLA
Ella’s Wix website allows her to manage gig bookings and share her music with the world.
Ella plays guitar and sings backing vocals in her indie-folk band, Naz & Ella. The duo perform gigs in and around London, including functions at pubs and bars, as well as corporate events. Ella wanted a place online where she could promote her music, and decided to make a website herself as she simply didn’t have the money to hire a web designer.
Q&A with Ella
Why did you want to build a website?
“We wanted to build a website in order to have a central place to showcase our music, videos, gig dates, press, and blog. Before we built a website, it was a pain having to send over so many separate social links, but now we just simply send over our website!”
Why did you choose Wix to build you website?
“We chose Wix to build our website as we had heard from other musicians in a similar position to us that it’s a good, easy-to-use platform for building a website. We also looked at reviews and Wix sounded right for what we were looking for.”
How easy was it to build your website?
“We found Wix very easy to build our website. It’s really simple and does a lot of the legwork for you such as providing pre-made templates and color schemes. Also, it’s quite intuitive so it doesn’t take long to work out how to use it.”
“What I like most about Wix is the ease and speed at which you can create an attractive, professional-looking website. We’ve also used their blog and email marketing functions, which have really helped spread the word about us.”
Was there anything you found challenging?
“For the most part, Wix is straightforward to use, but the huge range of editing options can sometimes feel overwhelming. For example, it took me ages to work out how to make edits on the toolbar and get to the right edit function.”
How has having a website benefited your band?
“Having a website has made us look a lot more professional when emailing people to book gigs and has given us a platform to share our content and grow awareness of our music. We’ve also had people get in touch who have found our site naturally through Google searches.”
Do you think Wix is good value for money?
“Wix is good value for money as it’s fairly low cost, and we were offered a deal in the first year which further compelled us to want to use it.”
Best for sites with high sales
Not to be confused with music streaming platform ‘Spotify’, Shopify is an ecommerce platform rather than a website builder, but it works in a similar way. Take a look at how it performed against other ecommerce platforms:
If you anticipate selling a lot of merchandise and albums through your site, we recommend you think ecommerce first. And if you’re thinking ecommerce first, Shopify is the best in the business.
No, it’s not as easy to get to grips with initially as Wix – but Shopify is ultimately designed to make selling online as simple as possible. It’s a powerful ecommerce platform, equipped with lots of ecommerce-specific features to maximize sales and minimize your admin time.
Shopify’s standout ecommerce features include:
- Multi-channel integration – sell on Amazon or through other channels, and manage all your stock through Shopify.
- Abandoned cart recovery – automatically send follow-up emails to customers who leave your website without buying the items in their cart.
- 100+ payment gateways – so your customers can check out however they prefer.
There’s no free plan on offer with Shopify, but it does offer a 14-day free trial, so you can dip your toe in its ecommerce-y waters before fully committing.
Shopify is built for scaling; Shopify Basic costs just $29/month, but this can ramp up to $299/month for the busiest online stores.
The downside to using Shopify? You pay a small transaction fee for each sale – unless you use its own payment gateway, Shopify Payments. The fee is 2% with a ‘Basic’ plan, and drops to just 0.5% with the most expensive ‘Advanced’ plan.
Best for ultra-cool designs
Squarespace is like the cool kid at school – a popular, talented all-rounder with the latest sneakers:
Squarespace Pros and Cons
Squarespace was made for creatives. Designers, artists and musicians all sing its praises.
It doesn’t have the ease of use of Wix, nor the ecommerce power of Shopify. It does, however, have a curated selection of templates that are undeniably sleek.
Squarespace flags four of these templates as being perfect for those in the music business. Between them, they cover everything from Soundcloud integration to ecommerce functionality for selling albums and merchandise. Basically, no matter what stage of your music career you’re at, Squarespace has you covered.
So, what’s the catch? Squarespace isn’t quite as intuitive as other drag-and-drop websites, such as Wix. But stick with it, and you’re sure to be pleased with what you create.
And if you aren’t, there’s no need to worry; Squarespace offers all customers a 14-day free trial, no credit card required. If you choose not to opt for a paid plan at this stage, your website is simply taken offline.
Squarespace’s plans are pretty affordable, but definitely not the lowest around. The cheapest is the Personal plan, which is just $12/month when billed annually, or $16 month to month.
If you do want ecommerce functionality as part of your Squarespace site, you’re looking at $26/month for the Basic ecommerce plan, or $40/month for the Advanced plan. You can sell unlimited products with both – you just get extra features with the Advanced plan.
Best for event musicians
As you can see, Weebly scores fairly well across the board. Read on to see why we think it’s best for bands and artists that play events:
Weebly is a decent all-around website builder, but we think it makes a particularly good choice for bands and musicians that play events, such as weddings and parties.
Why’s that, you ask? Well, it all comes down to a little thing called Search Engine Optimization (SEO). This is basically how well your site is ‘optimized’ to be read and categorized – or ‘crawled’ – by search engines.
If you play events, you’ll know the value of word of mouth. But don’t underestimate the value of Google, too.
The fact of the matter is, if you’re a wedding band in Sacramento, you want people to be able to find you by googling ‘wedding bands in Sacramento’.
A strong website with strong SEO stands the best chance of featuring on page one of Google’s search results – which means more eyes on your site, more ears on your music, and more bookings in your calendar.
So aside from great SEO, what’s Weebly bringing to the table? Quite a lot, actually. It has the highest number of available apps of any website builder we tested, and while it may fall down a little in ease of use, it offers great design flexibility and decent value for money. There’s also a free plan on offer, so you can easily ‘try before you buy’.
There are three paid plans in total, ranging from $6 to $26 per month (billed annually). Although the cheapest plan may be tempting, the best plan for musicians is actually the $12 per month Professional plan. The clue is in the name – this is the best plan for creating a branded, professional website to promote a business, service, (or band!) online.
The Professional plan is the cheapest plan to remove Weebly adverts from your site, which is one of the main reasons we recommend it. However, it also comes with a free domain, unlimited storage – perfect for uploading videos, photos, and sound clips – as well as a shipping calculator to make selling through your site even easier.
If you’re selling a lot of merch and want to make money through your website, then the Performance plan is your best option. This comes with advanced ecommerce features, such as abandoned cart emails and shipping discounts, to help grow your sales and support your store’s growth. It costs $26 per month, but it’s worth it if you’re serious about selling online.
Best band-specific website builder
Bandzoogle’s mission to ‘empower musicians to build effective websites for their music’ may be inspiring, but let’s get down to brass tacks: how does Bandzoogle compare to the more established website builders on the market?
Bandzoogle Pros and Cons
Bandzoogle is a website builder built by musicians, for musicians. Its journey began in the late 90s, when founder and musician Chris Vinson built his own website. Fast forward 20 years, and Bandzoogle is now considered the best music-specific builder on the market.
Bandzoogle is a drag-and-drop website builder, meaning all its templates are customizable, without the need to code anything yourself. It may not be quite as polished as the big names like Wix and Squarespace, but it has some handy features:
- 100+ music templates – Over 100 mobile responsive templates, all designed with musicians in mind.
- Social media integration – Easily integrate YouTube, SoundCloud, and other social media. Fans can stream songs or entire albums straight from your site.
- Commission-free ecommerce – Sell music, tickets and merchandise through your site with 0% commission fees.
- Find your fan base – Advanced analytics let you find your biggest fans. Detailed music data shows you exactly what they’re listening to, and for how long.
So, how much will all this set you back? The cheapest Bandzoogle plan is the Lite plan, which costs just $8.29/month (billed annually). This plan includes all the key features, including ecommerce, but you’re capped at 10 pages and 10 tracks.
The Pro plan is the most expensive, coming in at a very reasonable $16.63/month for unlimited pages and tracks, and unlimited subscribers to your mailing list. All plans come with a very generous 30-day free trial, so you can give it a good go before committing.
Best free music website builder
Music Glue is the only website builder on this list that will let you create a website with no advertising, as well as your own custom domain name, completely free of charge.
Music Glue Pros and Cons
But, as the old saying (sort of) goes, there’s no such thing as a free music website builder – so what’s the catch?
Music Glue lets you set up your website completely free, but takes a 10% commission of everything you sell. So if you don’t make any money, neither do they – but as soon as you do, they start making a lot.
Music Glue comes with some handy features, including advanced data tools, and the ability to set up pre-orders. Any music streamed or sold via your site also counts towards both the digital and physical charts, which is a great benefit.
A lot of big names use Music Glue: Iron Maiden, Cypress Hill, and Goldfrapp, to name a few. Don’t get us wrong, their websites look great – but we can’t help feeling they might be regretting their initial choice of builder now they’ve been hit with the hefty commission fees.
Easiest music-specific website builder to use
Bandvista is great value, but it’s a bit dated.
BandVista Pros and Cons
BandVista has all the same tools as other music-specific sites, such as Bandzoogle, and even offers better value: its cheapest plan, Silver, costs just over a dollar more than Bandzoogle’s Lite plan– at $9.95/month – and for that, you get five times the number of tracks, plus ten times the number of newsletter subscribers.
Users are quick to praise BandVista’s ease of use, and you can certainly get a website up and running very quickly. The problem lies in the template selection; the designs are old-fashioned, a bit cluttered, and all fairly similar.
If you like the vibe of its templates, go right ahead. But for us, visually speaking, any of the other six builders on this list do a better job. First impressions count, and that’s why this builder comes in last – despite its positives.
So there you have it: a whistle-stop tour of the best website builders for musicians on the market today. Whether you’re price-conscious, design-driven. or sales-focused, we hope you found the right one for you.
At the very least, we hope this article has proven that you don’t need to involve a web designer to make a website you’re proud of: if website builders are good enough for Iron Maiden, they’re good enough for us.
7 Best Website Builders for Musicians: Recap
Here’s a quick recap of the website builders we’ve covered, and their top selling points:
- Wix – Best all-around website builder
- Shopify – Best for sites with high sales
- Squarespace – Best for ultra-cool designs
- Weebly – Best for event musicians
- Bandzoogle – Best music-specific website builder
- Music Glue – Best free music website builder
- BandVista – Easiest music-specific website builder to use
The music-specific platforms we’ve covered have some cool features. That said, we still think our top three offer the best deal for musicians; Wix gives you total flexibility to let your creativity shine through, Shopify has everything you need to scale up your online selling, and Squarespace has the sleekest templates around.
And if you still can’t make your mind up, don’t worry! All of the website builders featured on this list either offer a free plan, or a free trial. Give one a go, and switch if it doesn’t feel right.
Have you already tried one of these website builders? Got a question we haven’t answered? Let us know in the comments!
What about WordPress?
WordPress is a super powerful content management system. If you have the time, and some coding experience, it’s a solid way to build your website. But frankly, website builders are so advanced these days, that there’s no real advantage to using WordPress in terms of features. If you want the freedom to customize, go with Wix; there’s nothing you can’t drag and drop, and you can even add your own code if that floats your boat.
Which website builder is easiest to use?
Wix actually came out on top in our user testing for ease of use – see, we told you it was the best all-rounder! Its whole message is that anyone can build a website, and in our experience, it fully delivers on this promise.
Find out more:
Website Builder Expert aims to provide you with honest data. That’s why we conduct our own research and obtain direct, personal insight. Click here for further information.
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