Old 12-04-2018, 04:03 PM   #1
bd32
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Default Web page for musician. Best way to start?

I figure many musicians here so I thought I'd ask if people could recommend a service that lets someone who can't code etc set one up. One that gives bio, lets me sell some music , gig dates etc. The main thing that I'd like to do is keep the domain name if I decide to change services.It wouldn't be heavy traffic. Appreciate any recommendations.
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Old 12-04-2018, 04:14 PM   #2
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Firstly decide and secure your web domain name. There are so many great services now for simple to set up and professional looking web sites. Services like Wix, Square Space, Weebly to name just a few. Most have relatively affordable (or even free) usage and will host your site too. You always however get more features when you spend more. Generally the free level options will not let you use your own domain name.

Some musicians use social media sites as their main way of selling themselves but I’m of the generation that is pretty hopeless at social media. I do think things are great now though for creating simple and pro looking sites without knowing much if any code. Writing my first web site I had to try and learn some code and muddle my way through. I managed to create an ok sort of site but it wouldn’t have won any design awards. Nowadays it is so simple in comparison with these services available.
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Old 12-04-2018, 05:14 PM   #3
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Just to stick my oar in.. I've had a few websites over the years - I've now not got any because they were not cost effective and they hardly got any traffic. They all completely pale compared to what I've achieved using facebook. I get almost all my work through facebook..
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Old 12-05-2018, 01:34 AM   #4
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Soundclick.com is pretty good

See the link in my signature below.
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Old 12-05-2018, 02:38 AM   #5
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Agree on facebook.
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Old 12-05-2018, 04:58 AM   #6
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Another good site to look at especially for selling music is Bandcamp
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Old 12-06-2018, 06:55 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bd32 View Post
One (website) that gives bio, lets me sell some music , gig dates etc.
My recommendation:

1. You need a domain-provider (which costs a little).

2. You need a hoster (which normally is free).

That's all! If you have (1) and (2) you just need very little
Know-How about HTML - only 5 HTML-commands - and you can do
all you want!

The 5 HTML-commands are: <head>, <body>, <p>, <a href="...">, <img>
Just look for these and you have it all!
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Last edited by enroe; 12-08-2018 at 12:27 PM. Reason: <link> substituted by <a href="...">
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Old 12-06-2018, 08:27 AM   #8
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Default Bandzoogle

Strong recommendation for Bandzoogle, most especially if you're new to it all or are just too busy to mess with website maintenance like I am. They have templates, drag and drop editing, good customer support and you can outsource your music sales and credit card processing stuff to them.

If you'd like to see what they look like in practice, my website is TexasMusicForge.com - I use that website to support music sales, licensing, podcast publishing and touring in the US and abroad. It took me a couple of hours to set up, tweak and load content into. Worth mentioning - in light of some comments on this thread - that it's really easy to load a new song onto the site, make it available for sale, then generate a link for a good looking mp3 player which loads well on Facebook without actually loading your music onto Facebook's servers.

There are cheaper alternatives and a lot of people swear by bandcamp and other services. Bandzoogle has worked for what I need my website to do without having to invest time in learning WordPress or work around the shortcomings of some other sites' approach to building a website. Your mileage may vary.
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Old 12-07-2018, 01:13 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by TexasMusicForge View Post
Strong recommendation for Bandzoogle, most especially if you're new to it all or are just too busy to mess with website maintenance like I am. They have templates, drag and drop editing, good customer support and you can outsource your music sales and credit card processing stuff to them.

If you'd like to see what they look like in practice, my website is TexasMusicForge.com - I use that website to support music sales, licensing, podcast publishing and touring in the US and abroad. It took me a couple of hours to set up, tweak and load content into. Worth mentioning - in light of some comments on this thread - that it's really easy to load a new song onto the site, make it available for sale, then generate a link for a good looking mp3 player which loads well on Facebook without actually loading your music onto Facebook's servers.

There are cheaper alternatives and a lot of people swear by bandcamp and other services. Bandzoogle has worked for what I need my website to do without having to invest time in learning WordPress or work around the shortcomings of some other sites' approach to building a website. Your mileage may vary.


+ if you wan't it to be simple and easy and look pretty good. It couldn't be easier. Also their tech support is very good from my experience.
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Old 12-06-2018, 10:12 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enroe View Post
My recommendation:

1. You need a domain-provider (which costs a little).

2. You need a hoster (which normally is free).

That's all! If you have (1) and (2) you just need very little
Know-How about HTML - only 5 HTML-commands - and you can do
all you want!

The 5 HTML-commands are: <head>, <body>, <p>, <link>, <img>
Just look for these and you have it all!
Well this is GROSSLY oversimplified to say the least. And perhaps a bit misleading.

1. getting a domain name is easy enough (although there are alot of domain name scams out there so beware). Make sure you actually own it and can point it to wherever you decide to host without limitation.

2. Hosting, especially if you want to stream music from your website, is not at all an equal or level playing field. Although there are a ton of free or cheap 'hosting' sites, again you need to be careful and read all the fine print. You generally get what you pay for. Can you backup your website easily to your own equipment? Are you using templates?

Stay away from templates if you can. You generally CANNOT back these up properly nor can you move them to another hosting provider later. You will be stuck starting from scratch. This is because the 'template' approach means you are depending on the hosting service to construct your pages on the fly. The resulting HTML has dependencies which are specific to the hoster and not accessible to you. You can't simply save the page to your hard disk and put it up somewhere else.

3. If you want to stream your music you are going to need a host that permits and supports it. And you are going to need more than those simple HTML markups to make anything worth looking at. If you want to get ranked in Google eventually you will need a much better understanding of SEO, CSS, mobile multi-platform, etc. Again, there are templates out there that can help you with that but you will be tied to the hoster. Any attempt to move later will mean starting over.

Your analogy is like telling someone they can type:

print('hello world');

and now they are a computer programmer.
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Old 12-06-2018, 07:33 PM   #11
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Stay away from templates if you can. You generally CANNOT back these up properly nor can you move them to another hosting provider later.
No, there are thousands of templates just in HTML.
You need to download them - on your PC - modify them
with ANY editor - and there you are.

Nothing is more easy - the backup is on your PC.
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Old 12-07-2018, 01:10 PM   #12
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No, there are thousands of templates just in HTML.
You need to download them - on your PC - modify them
with ANY editor - and there you are.

Nothing is more easy - the backup is on your PC.
I'm not talking about that type of template. There are hundreds of sites that let you create web pages using their on-line editors/templates. These sites depend on their own servers creating the web pages for you. In other words, there are back server scripts that read your database of input and publish the pages. You will NOT be able to transfer these sites properly.

Downloading HTML is a whole other thing. Still requires the end user to be a competent coder. Also, most of these 'free' pages are less than optimum.
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Old 12-08-2018, 01:35 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enroe
No, there are thousands of templates just in HTML.
You need to download them - on your PC - modify them
with ANY editor - and there you are.

Nothing is more easy - the backup is on your PC.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steviebone View Post
I'm not talking about that type of template.
Yeah, but I was talking about that type of template. And:
That type of template was part of my recommendation, which
you are refering at!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steviebone View Post
Downloading HTML is .... Still requires the end user to be a competent coder.
Yes, but up to what "competence"?

I believe that learning only a few html-commands is easier and carries
you wider than struggling on sites with so called "pre-configured
template-provider".

It is better to get a little bit of competence in HTML - and do
your own small HTML-sites than always depending on others with their
utterly cluttered and overly advertised preconfigured site-templates.
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Old 12-07-2018, 01:33 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Steviebone View Post
Stay away from templates if you can. You generally CANNOT back these up properly nor can you move them to another hosting provider later.

You will be stuck starting from scratch. This is because the 'template' approach means you are depending on the hosting service to construct your pages on the fly. The resulting HTML has dependencies which are specific to the hoster and not accessible to you. You can't simply save the page to your hard disk and put it up somewhere else.
Why wouldn't you be able to back up a template? I do that quite often when moving sites.

There IS a reason to be careful when choosing templates. Some are not so good and might introduce security problems. That's especially true in the case of Wordpress and Joomla.

Quote:
3. If you want to stream your music you are going to need a host that permits and supports it. And you are going to need more than those simple HTML markups to make anything worth looking at. If you want to get ranked in Google eventually you will need a much better understanding of SEO, CSS, mobile multi-platform, etc. Again, there are templates out there that can help you with that but you will be tied to the hoster. Any attempt to move later will mean starting over.

Your analogy is like telling someone they can type:

print('hello world');

and now they are a computer programmer.
That's basically true. But I can't think of a host that doesn't "permit" streaming. In it's simplest form, it's just downloading. And the only barrier is file size limits. A song is several MB, some hosts limit file size to 1 MB or so...

Still, you can always host your songs on one of the streaming hosts, like Soundcloud and link to them.

@Karbo

Why are you in denial? We all know the words "own your music" aren't exact. FB gets the right to use your stuff for free, without limits, even including selling it. And that has happened, IIRC. They made a publicity video with pics from FB users, without asking or even telling them. That's OK, maybe, but they also made it seem like these users had a fake profile, because their names were fake in the vid.

The same goes for Godaddy's business practices. OK, they manage millions of domains, being the biggest in the business. So you probably won't get to experience the same scams.

But I personally know of three cases. One in the domains I used to manage and two of quite famous security researchers. The latter two lost their domain because GD all of a sudden decided the content of their sites wasn't "appropriate", despite the content wasn't hosted with GD, nor the DNS. That's not only crazy, business wise, it's also clear censorship...
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Old 12-07-2018, 07:34 AM   #15
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@Karbo
without limits, even including selling it.
When ^that happens to you or someone you know by any quantifiable measure, post back here with the details of FB selling their music, along with links of how and where FB is selling it. Watered-down exceptions or half-baked horror stories found on the net not acceptable (which many of you seem to be terribly gullible of and falling for).

What do you think is going to happen, you miss your chance at being a worldwide musical sensation, and end up in ruins because FB made millions off some song you shared - in a world where your chances of more than 50 people even seeing it (much less caring) is miniscule at best? Sorry to break any hearts but FB doesn't give a shit about yours or my music.

Thusly, you guys are taking it further than sensible reality and perpetuating fear which is what I do care about - that, is in reality the much, much bigger issue. I find it odd that you don't understand that it is, or 'why' it is the bigger issue.

Ha, I just realized there is an FB post in my sig, I didn't post it on FB, our marketing company did, but guess how worried I am... not one bit, because there is nothing to worry about.
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Old 12-08-2018, 01:27 AM   #16
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When ^that happens to you ...

What do you think ...

Thusly, you guys are taking it further than sensible reality and perpetuating fear which is what I do care about - that, is in reality the much, much bigger issue. I find it odd that you don't understand that it is, or 'why' it is the bigger issue.
Karbo, you are interfusing two things:

1. With your account on Facebook you hand over nearly all your rights
over to Facebook. That is a fact.

2. Without an account on Facebook you likely won't reach a bigger public.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

And yeah, everyone has to balance between these two poles, (1) and (2),
and make his very own decision. But it is not honest if you trivialize
fact (1)!
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Old 12-07-2018, 10:13 AM   #17
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But I personally know of three cases. One in the domains I used to manage and two of quite famous security researchers. The latter two lost their domain because GD all of a sudden decided the content of their sites wasn't "appropriate", despite the content wasn't hosted with GD, nor the DNS. That's not only crazy, business wise, it's also clear censorship...
There is no way that is even remotely related to increasing danger of a musician buying a domain in any real sense, it's just more fear spreading, not to mention it sounds fishy in every way. I could easily parrot stories for ANY registrar because shit happens and the devil is always in the omitted details - It's not that mistakes or bad decisions aren't made, it is the out-of-proportion weight and demonization you are applying - again, exceptions are a called exceptions for a reason. You are more likely to get hit by a bus.

To be clear, it's the "Chicken Little" behavior I'm arguing here, not the companies involved.
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Old 12-07-2018, 01:23 PM   #18
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Why wouldn't you be able to back up a template? I do that quite often when moving sites.

There IS a reason to be careful when choosing templates. Some are not so good and might introduce security problems. That's especially true in the case of Wordpress and Joomla.
Wordpress is crap. As is Joomla. Proprietary junk that's marketed with a high profile.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cyrano View Post

That's basically true. But I can't think of a host that doesn't "permit" streaming. In it's simplest form, it's just downloading. And the only barrier is file size limits. A song is several MB, some hosts limit file size to 1 MB or so...
no not downloading... streaming, two very different things

Quote:
Originally Posted by cyrano View Post

Still, you can always host your songs on one of the streaming hosts, like Soundcloud and link to them.
like I said...


Quote:
Originally Posted by cyrano View Post

@Karbo

Why are you in denial? We all know the words "own your music" aren't exact. FB gets the right to use your stuff for free, without limits, even including selling it. And that has happened, IIRC. They made a publicity video with pics from FB users, without asking or even telling them. That's OK, maybe, but they also made it seem like these users had a fake profile, because their names were fake in the vid.
There is NO good reason to post anything of value on FB. They can't be trusted. Giving someone license to do whatever the f*k they want with your music without notice is dumb. ESPECIALLY a crap company like fakebook.

Yes, you retain your copyright. So what? How many musicians have been screwed out of their property by signing over "exclusive distribution, publishing or marketing" rights? Yep, still got your copyright but it's basically worthless at that point cause you can't do anything with your own property.

How would you like it if you found out Fakebook was using your original music for all their TV ads without attribution or compensation? Or maybe some third party in South America that specializes in kiddie porn?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cyrano View Post

The same goes for Godaddy's business practices. OK, they manage millions of domains, being the biggest in the business. So you probably won't get to experience the same scams.

But I personally know of three cases. One in the domains I used to manage and two of quite famous security researchers. The latter two lost their domain because GD all of a sudden decided the content of their sites wasn't "appropriate", despite the content wasn't hosted with GD, nor the DNS. That's not only crazy, business wise, it's also clear censorship...
I have used gkg.net for 25 years. Never had an issue. I've had more than a few clients that have been screwed by godaddy tho. Your mileage may vary. Their ad campaigns should tell you all you need to know about who their target customer is.
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Old 12-07-2018, 11:17 PM   #19
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For most of us, all this IP and copyright talk is wishful thinking, as in, I wish somebody liked this enough to want to steal it.

Just getting anybody to notice it at all in the first place is 98% of the work of promoting. There are roughly 36000 new songs released on the internet every day, so it's not what you'd call a 'sellers market'. Basic economics: scarcity increases value. But there's no scarcity any more...
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Old 12-06-2018, 01:45 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by enroe View Post
My recommendation:

1. You need a domain-provider (which costs a little).
Don't use the cheapest one. Try to find a reliable one. These usually cost a tiny bit more. A reliable one will register the domain name with you as registrant. Some cheap ones register your domain under their own name. That will cost you dearly when you decide to transfer, give away, or sell your domain. Cheap ones are around 10$ a year for a .com. Reliable ones are about double that.

Quote:
2. You need a hoster (which normally is free).
A free host is nice to play around with. It will hurt your Google ranking. An affordable reliable one is hard to find, because there are so many out there. Ask around. Also, support is important if you're wetting your feet. The free ones only have paying support, or no support at all.

Quote:
That's all! If you have (1) and (2) you just need very little
Know-How about HTML - only 5 HTML-commands - and you can do
all you want!
You really don't want to write your own HTML etc. There's plenty of CMS packages around. Even Wordpress can be pretty good now they have auto updates, if you stay away from some plugins. Ask your host. They'll usually have a shortlist of CMS packages they support and these days, a serious host will have an auto install for these. That gets you up and running in an hour or so.

Quote:
The 5 HTML-commands are: <head>, <body>, <p>, <link>, <img>
Just look for these and you have it all!
I'd like to see your pages...

I run several sites of my own. The oldest one is nearly 20 years in existence, has about 50.000 visitors monthly and is about food. Sorry, only in Dutch and link only via pm. It started as a research project into search engines. That's why I don't want to post a link here. Would disturb my measurements, as this forum is very big. Another one is over ten years old and about audio, but also only in Dutch. Besides those, I manage a few dozens of company sites.

It's not impossible to score well with a personal site without social media. But it takes patience and a lot of hard work. You need lots of text, as Google can't index pictures, music, or video.

If you don't want to invest in hard work, a FB page would be better. You can always put links on there to your music on a reliable host that doesn't steal your content. But even a FB page requires work. You need to keep it alive and that requires regular "news". It also requires you to search FB for people with similar interests.
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Old 12-06-2018, 07:39 PM   #21
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@cyrano: Good advices here from you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by cyrano View Post
You really don't want to write your own HTML etc. There's plenty of CMS packages around. Even Wordpress can be pretty good now they have auto updates, if you stay away from some plugins. Ask your host. They'll usually have a shortlist of CMS packages they support and these days, a serious host will have an auto install for these. That gets you up and running in an hour or so.
Of course you can take one of the CMS packages. And there's
plenty of them.

But you also can write your own HTML very easy. I'd like
to encourage everyone to write his own HTML. And for a
first result it is rather easy (--> see next post).

The advantage is: You always have full control over your
own HTML-site. And slowly but steadily you might improve
your site - and still understand every code on your side.
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Old 12-06-2018, 07:52 PM   #22
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The 5 HTML-commands are: <head>, <body>, <p>, <link>, <img>
Just look for these and you have it all!
Quote:
Originally Posted by cyrano View Post
I'd like to see your pages...
Haa yeah, you're very invited to visit my pages (--> see this footer)!

I'd like to encourage everyone to make his own page. And really: As
a start you just need a good "web-picture" - put it in via <img> and
voila: Your first website looks as good as this webpic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cyrano View Post
I run several sites of my own. The oldest one is nearly 20 years in existence, has about 50.000 visitors monthly and is about food. Sorry, only in Dutch and link only via pm. It started as a research project into search engines. That's why I don't want to post a link here. Would disturb my measurements, as this forum is very big. Another one is over ten years old and about audio, but also only in Dutch. Besides those, I manage a few dozens of company sites.

It's not impossible to score well with a personal site without social media. But it takes patience and a lot of hard work. You need lots of text, as Google can't index pictures, music, or video.

If you don't want to invest in hard work, a FB page would be better. You can always put links on there to your music on a reliable host that doesn't steal your content. But even a FB page requires work. You need to keep it alive and that requires regular "news". It also requires you to search FB for people with similar interests.
All true, yes.

Nevertheless it is a difference if you have your own site. You also do
your own music, don't you?

In all cases - if you use a CMS or wordpress or build up a FB-page -
it is an amount of work you have to invest. Why not invest this amount
of work into your own page where you always have full control? And
from where you can build it up in an evolutionary step-by-step way?

There are many ways, but I plead for the last mentioned way.
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Old 12-16-2018, 11:57 AM   #23
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Don't use the cheapest one. Try to find a reliable one. These usually cost a tiny bit more. A reliable one will register the domain name with you as registrant. Some cheap ones register your domain under their own name. That will cost you dearly when you decide to transfer, give away, or sell your domain. Cheap ones are around 10$ a year for a .com. Reliable ones are about double that.



A free host is nice to play around with. It will hurt your Google ranking. An affordable reliable one is hard to find, because there are so many out there. Ask around. Also, support is important if you're wetting your feet. The free ones only have paying support, or no support at all.



You really don't want to write your own HTML etc. There's plenty of CMS packages around. Even Wordpress can be pretty good now they have auto updates, if you stay away from some plugins. Ask your host. They'll usually have a shortlist of CMS packages they support and these days, a serious host will have an auto install for these. That gets you up and running in an hour or so.



I'd like to see your pages...

I run several sites of my own. The oldest one is nearly 20 years in existence, has about 50.000 visitors monthly and is about food. Sorry, only in Dutch and link only via pm. It started as a research project into search engines. That's why I don't want to post a link here. Would disturb my measurements, as this forum is very big. Another one is over ten years old and about audio, but also only in Dutch. Besides those, I manage a few dozens of company sites.

It's not impossible to score well with a personal site without social media. But it takes patience and a lot of hard work. You need lots of text, as Google can't index pictures, music, or video.

If you don't want to invest in hard work, a FB page would be better. You can always put links on there to your music on a reliable host that doesn't steal your content. But even a FB page requires work. You need to keep it alive and that requires regular "news". It also requires you to search FB for people with similar interests.
Thanks for your input. My plans are to keep the Band Facebook page I have (which is super basic...just listing upcoming gigs) and lately I tend to have large blocks of doing other things outside music (but plan on becoming much more active) and so nothing goes on the FB page except people occasionally writing in. So I'd keep the FB page and start my own for people who can't or don't want to interact with Facebook.
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Old 12-17-2018, 03:31 AM   #24
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Sounds like a good plan!
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Old 12-18-2018, 10:43 PM   #25
joelsampson
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I use GoDaddy to host and as a registrar. I have been happy with them.

Finding a name is not always easy. You will be shocked at which is taken, and usually not used.

I handcode HTML. It's not programming and fairly easy to use.

A modern web site must be responsive -- meaning it renders on a desktop and a cell phone / tablet. Mine are not, but I'm working on it.
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Old 12-20-2018, 04:57 AM   #26
TheProbe
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Hello,

I'm looking at YouTube at the moment. I wouldn't consider a website - social media (Facebook, Instagram) seems the best way engage at the moment.

Currently I'm sticking things on SoundCloud but getting people to listen to it is not easy, but I can make all my mistakes.

FWIW My own listening habits are if I want something new I use YouTube and follow the suggestions so I thinks that what I'm going to use.

Good Luck!
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Old 12-20-2018, 10:50 AM   #27
Steviebone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joelsampson View Post
I use GoDaddy to host and as a registrar. I have been happy with them.

Finding a name is not always easy. You will be shocked at which is taken, and usually not used.

I handcode HTML. It's not programming and fairly easy to use.

A modern web site must be responsive -- meaning it renders on a desktop and a cell phone / tablet. Mine are not, but I'm working on it.
Anyone can write a little HTML. Writing GOOD HTML is a whole other thing. And writing responsive HTML another level or two removed. At that point it really IS a form of programming.

As for Fakebook, one needs only to look at yesterdays news to know you don't want your proprietary creative product anywhere near them. Use social media to DRIVE listeners to your website. Never use Facebook in lieu of. That's what I would consider my fairly informed opinion.

I've coded a few websites in my day. The last one I did for music was coded entirely in javascript. I did that as an exercise in programming. But it doesn't play well with Google or on all mobile devices for that matter.

As for Soundcloud, while I still have an account there I found many features totally worthless. The fact that you can't control the order of submissions after the fact made it kind of useless for me.

If you can find a host that provides/allows proper streaming of your content then that's the way to go. Coding for it is another matter. HTML5 is making things a little easier tho.
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Old 02-11-2019, 09:31 PM   #28
bd32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steviebone View Post
Anyone can write a little HTML. Writing GOOD HTML is a whole other thing. And writing responsive HTML another level or two removed. At that point it really IS a form of programming.

As for Fakebook, one needs only to look at yesterdays news to know you don't want your proprietary creative product anywhere near them. Use social media to DRIVE listeners to your website. Never use Facebook in lieu of. That's what I would consider my fairly informed opinion.

I've coded a few websites in my day. The last one I did for music was coded entirely in javascript. I did that as an exercise in programming. But it doesn't play well with Google or on all mobile devices for that matter.

As for Soundcloud, while I still have an account there I found many features totally worthless. The fact that you can't control the order of submissions after the fact made it kind of useless for me.

If you can find a host that provides/allows proper streaming of your content then that's the way to go. Coding for it is another matter. HTML5 is making things a little easier tho.
Seems like some good points. I definitely wouldn't be up to coding (whatever that even is!). That shows my web building skills! I take your point on getting too far into giving Facebook control of creative content. Thanks
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