Music Think Tank

Your Website Should Not Be Your Blog

Bandzoogle affordable websites for musicians

Many DIY artists don’t want to spend too much on creating a website or many feel that it can be intimidating. Bandzoogle is a platform for musicians to build their own featrue filled without web design skills.  On Music Think Tank, Kelland Drumgoole interviews Bandzoogle’s CEO, David Dufresne about the company, blogging, and mobile.

“Blogs and websites are different, and I always felt, that your website should have a blog, but that your website should NOT be a blog (ie. the home page that scrolls down forever…)”

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  1. Well, obviously Bandzoogle doesn’t want your website to be a blog. But I’d certainly disagree that a blog can’t be a suitable homepage for an artist. Tumblr serves as a really great homepage platform for bands like Megafaun, and to say that X isn’t good for anyone and Y is good for everyone is really downplaying the unique needs of each band and its audience.

  2. Heh. The full quote is “your website should have a blog, but your website should NOT be a blog”.
    I love that you used Megafaun as an example of a great use of Tumblr. Perfect. I love that band, but I find many things wrong about their website Here’s a quick list of why I think it’s a bad example of a band’s website.
    (quick disclaimer, I’ve seen good band websites done on Tumblr, using the right themes and a handful of plug-ins and widgets it’s feasible, so yes I’m very biased, but no you don’t need Bandzoogle to build a good website).
    Their site’s home page might work for fans-they-already-have that wanna check out their latest smartphone pics and vids and are willing to scroll down for them. But that’s all it works for.
    If I’m a potential fan, or a blogger/promoter/booker looking for a good song to check out, a bio, a high res pic of the band, I’m out of luck.
    There’s no call-to-action. Do they want me to check out the latest album ? The next gigs ? Sign up for the newsletter ? “Like” them on Facebook ? It’s not clear. Unless the band’s priority is to showcase their Portuguese Instagram skills from 2 weeks ago, there’s a missed opportunity to grab my attention and keep me on the site.
    Then when I’m done scrolling down and clicking “next” a few times, and I notice there’s a menu on the left column, here’s what I’m in for…
    I’ve got the name of the band members. Useful, but no bio, no context, no one-liner. No idea where they’re from. Or what genre they play. No band picture.
    A link telling me that the “new” album came out in September of last year, sending me to Vimeo. No way to embed a Vimeo video on your Tumble home page ? Pretty sure there is. And put it above the fold if that’s your main thing now. Your goal should be to keep me on your site, not on Vimeo’s.
    Shows: Not bad, but past February dates are irrelevant, so why are they listed first. And again, to get info on each gig I need to leave the site. Only way to navigate back to home is to click “back” in my browser.
    Twitter: sweet, they tweet. But again I’m kicked out of the website. Many ways you can import your latest tweets into your site, and even gets folks to “follow” you from there.
    Facebook: see above. (and btw, isn’t exactly providing what the website is missing).
    Contact: a nice list of “mailto” links, close to useless for folks that use web-based e-mail (gmail, hotmail) and an almost guaranteed way to get spammed to hell. Contact form would be better. A mailing list sign-up tool should be part of their strategy.
    Merch Table: Not terrible. But forces me to either go to iTunes, or the label’s site. Can’t buy directly from the band, and I have to leave the website. Lost opportunity to keep a higher % of sales, to sell me bundles, and to add me to your mailing list.
    But the worst part is, there’s no “music” page. I’ll assume that some of the scrolling leads me to actual videos with actual music in them, but I’d have to work real hard to find music on this “band website”.
    I’ll stop here and restate that I love Megafaun’s music. Check them out if you don’t know them. On Youtube or something.
    And those SXSW-bound, check out the Website Demolition Derby:

  3. I agree with some of the comments here. Nothing against Bandzoogle, but artists can do just fine with using other services like WordPress. I myself have a website and blog on my site, and people seem to enjoy it, as do I. The cost of domain registration, hosting, etc was really not that expensive at all…and no where NEAR the cost of a typical Bandzoogle site.

  4. Edgar,
    I’m copy-pasting a comment I made on the MTT post:
    To estimate in the total cost of owning your website, few things you need to factor in:
    How much of your time do you need to spend, researching, learning, building, etc. (and what’s your hourly rate ? and cost of opportunity vs. practicing, songwriting, etc.).
    Do you need to hire a designer, or developer ?
    Do you need to buy a theme ?
    Do you need to buy a domain ?
    Do you need to pay for hosting ? How much ?
    Do you need to host your media (music, videos) somewhere else ? Do they provide embeddable players ? Are they free ?
    Do you need to sign up for a mailing list service ? Is it free ?
    Do you need to sign-up for a different service to commerce-enable your website ? Is it free ? Commission-based ?
    Do those different services you signed up for provide support ? At what cost ?
    Can you update and modify your website yourself, at no expense ?
    I’m probably missing a few elements … great idea for a blog post if someone want to do the work and guesstimate the dollar numbers 😉
    I’m not saying you can’t build an excellent band website using free or mostly free tools, but you do need to look at the Total Cost of Ownership before you make a decision, and probably spend more time and/or money than you’d think.

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