Bandzoogle – is a specialized website builder, which focuses on the development of websites for musicians. Launched in 2003 by the music expert, who has further gathered a team of co-thinkers with web design background, the system has gained popularity with everyone, who intends to create a full-featured and unique website to showcase music talent and present it to the audience.
The motto of the system sounds like: “From Musicians for Musicians” and this is all you need to know about the system’s implication and its major niche specialization.
Let’s face the truth: the number of specialized website builders used to create musicians’ websites is close to zero. It’s always pleasant to see a decent niche solution. Bandzoogle is a service, which ideally meets the needs of the musicians’ audience. It comes with music-related info, niche functionality and suitable stylistic presentation.
The service obviously takes risks, when it focuses on the niche target audience only. If it isn’t able to offer something special in the process of testing that will make it stand out from the crowd as compared to other musical websites, then its use won’t make any sense at all.
So, what is Bandzoogle? What makes it stand out from the crowd and what differs the system from the rest of quality services used to build business websites? Is it worth practical application or there are other similar alternatives among other standard systems? Let’s find that out now!
1. Pros and Cons
Bandzoogle is a feature-rich specialized website builder, which will certainly come up to the needs of musicians willing to set up quality websites to showcase their talent. Just like any other service, however, it comes with a list of merits and demerits that may have a notable impact upon users’ choice. It’s high time to find out the pros and cons of the system right now.
| ✔ Strong music focus;|
✔ A broad range of services, tools, and features;
✔ Ease of use and WYSIWYG editing;
✔ Nice selection of quality responsive templates;
✔ Decent customer support;
✔ Code editing allowed;
✔ Integrated eCommerce functionality.
| ✘ Inability to create other types of websites;|
✘ Expensive Plans.
2. What Is It Good for?
Bandzoogle is a niche-specific website builder created by musicians for musicians. Launched by composer and music producer Chris Vinson in 2003, it was initially developed for personal needs to serve Chris and his rock band. However, later it got available for the public and quickly gained recognition among other creative minds.
The platform comes as an all-in-one solution, which means all needed instruments included in the pack along with hosting, free templates, editor, and other features that make it possible for different bands to increase their fans’ awareness through multiple channels including Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Besides, the system has some integrated eCommerce features letting site owners and musicians sell tracks, merch, promote tracks, or notify followers about the new shows and tours directly.
3. Ease of Use
The website builder was launched to meet the needs of non-technicians and newbies who never dealt with creating sites from scratch. You will only need to select a template, add photos and content, and eventually go live with your fully-featured one or multi-age website. To start building a new project, you need to sign in.
Although the platform does not offer a free plan, it has a 30-day free trial period without the need to provide billing details. It is a good chance to test some of the features and decide if the tool meets your goals.
The registration process consists of four simple stages. First of all, you need to indicate the band name. Then, the system will ask you to provide a valid email and password.
Finally, users will be introduced to a range of pre-designed templates. They are divided into different categories with a chance to preview them and change the styling. Select the layout you like and decide on whether to customize a pre-set mockup by adding different elements and blocks or start editing from the blank.
By the moment you get access to the editor, the website will be a bit customized already to create a personalized impression. You will be initially shown an introductory video concerning the system opportunities. Then you can start working with the system on your own.
The control panel includes the links redirecting you to the videos with the samples of using the current editor section. Generally, it’s pleasant and quite easy to master Bandzoogle, without any exaggeration. All the options are intuitively presented in the system. If something goes wrong for some reason, there is an educational video, Community and Help sections as well as the FAQ regarding the topic you are interested in. The interface matters a lot here as well. It looks just like a musician expects it to be. It is concise and comes with a conveniently chosen color scheme, fonts, and logically positioned options/settings. You can use it without any special preparation at all.
Simple elements like images or texts can be edited directly on the page by using the unobtrusive editor. If you face the need to make more complex edits, you’ll have to access the full-screen interface, which makes the main website blocks invisible yet allows making more complicated edits, if needed.
This, however, does not pose problems to Bandzoogle users, even to those, who browse the system for the first time. As far as the website builder is initially created for inexperienced musicians, it definitely deserves to be considered an easy-to-use and intuitive service.
4. Features & Flexibility
Bandzoogle makes it possible to create musicians’ websites, which combine the features of a business website, blog, poster, online store to sell music tracks etc. All the functional features are properly realized and it is easy to adjust them to your own needs. You get access to the synchronization tools with a rich set of social media services, an opportunity to publish pages and content with closed access. It’s also worth mentioning that all the websites created with the system look appealing on mobile devices.
Bandzoogle Control panel consists of two major sections to set up the structure, functionality and design of your website, namely the “Edit Content” and “Edit Theme”. The parameters of mailouts, user accounts and reviews formed by the system nuances (traffic amount, page views, sales, fans etc.) as well as Google Analytics (you need to manually set up your Google account to use this option) are available in the control panel as well. There is also the community forum system and “Help” section containing the detailed text descriptions of all the options of the service.
The “Edit Content” section makes it possible to add new pages and features (widgets) to your website. You can combine website menu points and create 2nd level submenu any time you need. When adding a new page to your website, you can change its type: Blank, Home, Music, Electronic Press Kit, Shows, Store, Blog, Contact, External Link, Intro, Photos, About Page. Web page names clearly reflect the essence of the content and functionality, which will be available there. It’s also possible to adjust visibility settings here.
When creating this or that type of a web page, you will be offered a layout to meet your particular needs. The web page will come with blocks of the required widgets, which have to be further filled with photos, texts, music tracks, albums, events etc. This is a reasonable approach, which will appeal to everyone. You get a template, which will serve as a sample for newbies instead of facing the necessity to add the widgets to the new page manually. This is convenient and practical from any point of view.
It goes without saying that you will be able to manage the blocks as you need by changing their positions, removing or adding them. By clicking any of these blocks, you will get access to the list of settings depending upon the type chosen. For example, the “Events” block allows choosing the format displaying shows, meetings with fans etc. You will also be able to set up the ticket sales process online here. To do that, your will need to provide your PayPal info and the cost of tickets to your shows.
A block with music tracks allows choosing the content type (album, track list, music player), fill out general release data (year, description, cover, title), grant or restrict access to the download feature (paid, preliminary purchase or free) and add bonus files for clients. This is what concerns the album display settings. The number of settings for the track list is even more impressive and includes discount codes, quality and length of demo samples, the display list, user mailouts etc.
When adding content to the page, the feature (which is also called “widgets” in other systems) creates an adjustable block, the samples of which have been described above. Let’s enlist all the available Bandzoogle features. All of them fall into the following categories:
- Basic Features – title, text, image with/without text, quote, video, events, photo gallery, blog, my sites (list of icons with links to your other websites), call-to-action header, HTML code;
- Site Wide – my sites and site wide player (global site player);
- Community – guestbook and forum;
- E-Commerce – store, music, donation;
- Feedback Tools – custom form, poll, mailing list signup form;
- External – Instagram gallery, Twitter, Bandcamp Player, Topspin Store, Bandsintown, GigSalad Quote Form, GigSalad Review and Airbit;
- Other – file list, flash (to insert flash videos to your website) and hit counter.
These widgets (features) are more than enough to cover the entire spectrum of musicians’ web design needs. The list of widgets obviously points out the options of the service. Basically, this is the list of the system functionality features. There are also general website settings as well as SEO, web page and design settings. The content will include all the above mentioned features. The enlisted web page types differ with regard to the set of widgets and their positions at the website.
It’s also worth mentioning that there is an opportunity of free section creation and their subdivision into the required number of columns, which gives a possibility to place several features on one horizontal surface. You can change the positions of elements (player, form, tab etc.) inside the section with regard to your liking, thus creating unique template structure.
Let’s describe all the available Bandzoogle design customization options now. They depend upon the settings found in the “Edit Theme” section. You will see the signs of different mobile screen versions of your website in the right upper corner of it. You can always have a look at how your current website version will be displayed at your smartphone, tablet or desktop computer. It’s also possible to change the template any time in case of necessity.
Design editor offers global settings for the entire website, which are also subdivided into several sections:
- Header allows adjusting the header dimensions for the homepage and internal website pages, image filter, parallax effect and image display during the loading process;
- Title/Logo makes it possible to choose the logo type (text, logo, none), as well as fonts and colors for website title;
- Menu allows setting up general menu fonts (submenu), its color and menu fonts for desktop pages and mobile devices;
- Call-to-Action Header enables you to change header colors, dimensions, backgrounds and buttons. Settings of alignment, positions and font elements are also available here.
- Content gives you the freedom of choice, when it comes to selecting content fonts and H1/H2 titles;
- Section Style ½ allows setting up the colors of all elements (headers, buttons, links, background, content) in the sections of web pages;
- Buttons makes it possible to set up design of all buttons at the website (shape and style).
- Site-Wide Music Player lets you apply custom colors, select background and text colors;
- Site-Wide My Sites allows settings up button sizes, colors, hover color, alignment.
You can also add your own CSS code to the website. Generally, design settings are quite easy to understand and it’s simple to apply them. They are standard for this type of service, even though, they are provided in a convenient format with appealing interface. This is standard functionality needed to set up a website.
Finally, it’s important to mention an opportunity to enable/disable of each page, access settings (via the password, after the registration or available for everyone), SEO (title, description) and 301 redirect path.
Another section available in the dashboard is the Mailing List Section. This is the place, where you can set up and manage email campaigns, choosing between several email template options. It is also possible to schedule the newsletters in advance and track their efficacy in the following “Reports” section. This is how you can effectively get in touch with the target audience, keeping them aware of all the events and news happening in your life and career.
Analytics and Reports
Speaking about the Reports Section, it lets you track your website performance and analyse the most important nuances like traffic sources, number of visitors and locations they mostly come from, number of regular and unique visitors, page views and other suchlike statistics parameters. In the “Plays” subcategory, you can add and manage new tracks, while in the “Sales” field you can set up payment details.
It is possible to make up your own fans list by adding and managing new members and/or campaigns. You can track website statistics for the specified time interval to be able to compare the results. This is also quite convenient and easy to do. To get the advanced website statistics, it’s possible to connect Google Analytics to your website account.
One of the undeniable Bandzoogle highlights is an opportunity to set up and manage a full-featured and, what’s important for most musicians, free storefronts. This is done with a few clicks only. As of today, the platform is responsible for holding financial deals that exceed $32 millions in sales without taking any transaction or commission fees. Depending upon the terms of your plan, it’s possible to sell a variety of products, namely songs, albums, tickets, download codes, videos, physical merchandise and other files you are ready to offer to your fans at your own rates.
What’s important, you can choose between 25 currency types, connect your web store to the available PayPal account to make deals. If you have an intention to integrate with popular external distribution platforms, you can embed third-party widgets of your choice. Flexible Bandzoogle eCommerce options provide several pricing options. Thus, you can choose to offer your music for free, let fans assign their prices or charge a certain amount. That’s a convenient feature as well.
To sum it all up, Bandzoogle comes with functionality that is standard for the majority of WYSIWYG systems, but it also encompasses a number of niche options (music tracks online store, player, synchronization with music services etc.). Interface design is the major distinction of the system from its competitors. Nonetheless, these features are conveniently gathered in one place and they are easy to use. An opportunity to create a forum and a blog will certainly appeal to the majority of clients. As a result, a musician gets all the required tools to create an effective website.
5. Design & Templates
Another Bandzoogle distinction is its impressive library of music templates. All in all, there are over 100 themes here. All of them are responsive and look impressive (depending upon your choice). It’s difficult to imagine a musician, who won’t be able to find a decent design in this versatility of choice. That’s why, the service really deserves recognition, when it comes to this aspect.
An impressive variety of structures, designs, colors and themes creates a pretty nice impression. Considering the niche specialization of the website builder, the amount and quality of templates available here is pretty surprising. The themes are as follows: rock, folk/country, jazz/blues, singer/songwriter, classical, urban/hip hop, world, EDM/DJ/Producer, business/other, beats.
There is a preview option that makes it possible to explore all the details of the theme you are interested in. even if there is something you are not satisfied with, however, the system offers an opportunity to switch the templates during the web design process without losing the submitted content. Apart from the ready-made templates, there is a chance to pick the blank theme to customize it independently. This will give your website unique look in the long run.
An opportunity to store your own designs in the library is worth separate attention here. Thus, you can create several design variants for your website by editing the available templates or/and CSS coding to be further able to change it depending upon the situation in one click only. This obvious aspect makes the use of Bandzoogle pretty impressive. This may seem strange, but such an opportunity is quite rare (we don’t mention a standard design change to the stock variant here).
Generally, we are satisfied with Bandzoogle design aspect. Yes, all the templates are subdivided into categories based on their principles and structure. This is a standard practice for other systems. The thing that impressed us a lot is how meticulously this is done. On the one hand, all the ready made templates can be called nice here, there is nothing technically advanced in them. However, they are created with high quality in mind (this concerns the general atmosphere, demo content, versatility) and the choice is actually stunning.
6. Customer Support
Bandzoogle comes with a standard set of customer support options, including live chat, email support, FAQ, community forum. As soon as you register with the system or select a template, you’ll be offered a video guide on how to customize your website and work with the platform. The quality of tech support is decent here as well. Everything functions well, the forum is live, the FAQ section is quality. There are no obvious drawbacks here.
Apart from a comprehensive knowledge base and video tutorials, users may seek support from professional and more experienced users in the Bandzoogle community. It is a forum where users may ask questions, create new threads or search for already existing ones with their issues described in detail.
7. Plans & Pricing
Bandzoogle stands out from the crowd due to the duration of the trial period, which lasts for 30 days. It’s possible to learn all the features of the system by heart during this time, not to mention standard exploration of the service. The system offers 3 paid plans, one of which should be chosen after the end of the trial or you will just need to refuse from using the service at all. A free version is not available here. Let’s have a look at the monthly cost of the paid plans, granted that you make a one-time yearly payment (the monthly payment option will be around 12% more expensive). So, the paid plans are as follows:
- Standard costs $12.46 per month with 20 pages, 50 tracks, and up to 500 photos.
- Pro costs $16.63 per month offering unlimited pages, photos, and tracks along with custom fonts and video headers.
- Lite costs $8.29 per month having 10 tracks, 10 pages, and 100 photos in the pack.
It’s worth mentioning that more expensive plans include all the features of the cheaper plans plus new ones. You have obviously noticed the benefits of the functionality list available in terms of the PRO Plan. This is the only plan that can help you get the most out of Bandzoogle functionality. By reading the list of services it offers, you realize what you are deprived of, if you choose one of the cheaper plans. That’s pretty bad as the difference is too notable here.
The developers of the service encourage the potential clients to opt for a PRO Plan, the cost of which constitutes $204 per year. Considering the fact that the website builder combines the features of a blog, eCommerce platform, forum, and a standard business website, this cost is worth the functionality of the system.
The system ensures a money-back guarantee to those users, who are not satisfied with its functionality for some reason. It additionally offers free never-expiring domain names, unlimited disk space, and integrated hosting options.
It’s quite difficult to compare Bandzoogle with renowned niche competitors due to its strong music focus. The thing is that there are no many systems, which can offer the same functionality and feature set. The only worthy competitors in this respect are Wix and Squarespace. These all-in-one website builders have worldwide popularity and offers a powerful feature set needed to create a decent website for musicians.
Both systems come with WYSIWYG website editors, multiple mobile-ready templates, integrated blogging and eCommerce features. They also offer rich choice of design customization tools that let you create outstanding designs to attract user attention. Wix and Squarespace plans are somewhat cheaper as compared to those offered by Bandzoogle. This, however, is not a problem, when it comes to the development of quality websites for musicians. Thus, there is no distinct leader in this comparison – both Wix, Squarespace and Bandzoogle are worth testing!
9. Website Examples
To see what the website builder can do with your own eyes, we have conducted a list with several examples featuring sites built using Bandzoogle.
Emily Kinney – country singer
Ships Have Sailed – indie band
Mariko – ethnic and pop singer
Miss Tahloulah May – electronic music producer
Thunderpussy – rock band
Z by Z – songwriter, singer, and composer
Bandzoogle is a nice service to create musicians’ websites. If you analyze its components, you will notice that all its options can be powerfully realized on a decent level, but they are not unique at all. The major benefit of the service is that all the required features needed to realize the main task of the system are found all in one place. There is a great collection of thematic templates and designs that effectively contribute to the creation of the right atmosphere. If you are a musician, then you will apparently like the system due to its interface and convenience.
It goes without saying that you can also successfully create musicians’ websites in lots of other WYSIWYG website builders without using Bandzoogle at all. What matters most here is the availability of the eCommerce component and a blog. The rest is not uncommon. But… Other systems lack the specific atmosphere, music templates and you will have to look for the required functionality somewhere out there by making use of external services and plugins.
All the essential elements are gathered all in one place in Bandzoogle and you don’t have to look for any extra elements. The website builder is not revolutionary, but it definitely deserves the attention due to its individual functionality presentation and convenience. The cost is moderate. There are pretty nice alternatives to this system available out there.
Do we recommend using it? Yes. Why not – the service is decent in its niche, although, it doesn’t have any unique technical features. It is definitely worth testing. If you like it, then go ahead to make the payment. There are no pitfalls here and it’s up to you to make the choice.