My friend, producer and studio owner Mack Damon (Hollywood Studios), once said something to me that blew my mind. I’m going to paraphrase because the conversation took place a long time ago. But, it went something like this: There’s three things you want anything to be: fast, inexpensive and awesome. Pick two. 🙂
Think about it. You can make something awesome and inexpensive but, chances are it’s going to take you a while. You can have something fast and inexpensive but, I’m pretty sure it won’t be that awesome. And you can have something fast and awesome but it’s gonna cost you. I’ve found this to be true where almost anything is concerned. So, when it came to building my website, I knew I had to give this some thought.
There’s no doubt that I wanted an awesome website. That’s one. Resources that I could allocate for it’s construction were limited so, it had to be inexpensive. That’s two. So, I was prepared for the fact that it was going to take a while. I either had to wait until I raised more money to hire someone or get to work researching and slowly constructing the website of my dreams.
Here’s a phrase I rarely use: O M G!
Inexpensive? Why, yes. I compared to other website building platforms for musicians and it’s all that and the bag of gluten-free chips. We’re talking features that include email, stats, fan clubs…plenty of space for music, you can run your own store. It has just about everything. Features: http://bandzoogle.com/features.cfm
Fast? Um…the easiest tools ever mean you can put up a website in no time. Try it. For FREE! Put something basic up and you can expand it later.
Awesome? See what you think of my site. I did this in less than a week’s time. They have some beautiful templates but I wanted a custom design. So, with a set of professional pictures by my friend and photographer Kimberly Scott and a photo editor for cutting pics to fit my design and creating graphics (I use Photoshop), here she is: www.lauramariemusic.com
Did I have any complaints?
Well, the Reverbnation site builder is powered by Bandzoogle and I made the mistake of thinking both services would be identical. They aren’t. If you’re in love with their store feature, you have to sign up directly through Bandzoogle to get it. The site builder through Reverbnation only allows you to use RN’s store widget as your store. On the plus side, if the RN widgets will do for you, going through them will be a snap.
A complaint I heard from another user was that they wished they could set metatags for individual pages to better optimize the site for search engines. I have to agree with that one. That would be pretty slick.
So, here you go. They give you 30 days to try it out which, trust me, is plenty of time to see how easy it is. Click the button and
you get 60 days instead of 30 by using the referral code: m6bb6f
And, yes, now that I’m a customer, I also get a discount for referring you. But, spend some time using it and you’ll see why I am referring every indie musician who wants a website upgrade to this site.
If you can’t afford your own web designer, Bandszoogle looks like the best bet to me.
Here are my favorite things about using it:
1) Easy to integrate with my social networking sites and blogs
2) I LOVE the built in store feature.
3) I can go totally custom or I can use their templates and choose from a number of fonts.
4) Customer service is fantastic! They are on it!
Some custom things I added:
1) A share button: http://www.addtoany.com
2) HTML code to feature both my blog feeds with the help of https://feedburner.google.com/
3) An ArtistData calendar
4) An additional ReverbNation music player for the music page
5) Graphics and spacers (for my custom look)
All other features were provided by Bandzoogle. Woo-hoo!
If you need help adding any of the custom features I added, let me know. I’ll be happy to post a tutorial.
Let me know what you think? – LM