Finding a niche is a great way of differentiating your brand from hundreds of other web hosting companies. Some companies try to gain a competitive advantage by offering better technical specs, while other give their customers unbeatable support.
In this Bandzoogle review, I will be investigating an offer of a company that chose a slightly different approach – they’ve decided to target a narrow group of potential customers.
What Is Bandzoogle and Who Was It Created for?
Simply speaking, Bandzoogle is a website builder that allows its users to build stunning band websites using a convenient WYSIWYG editor that requires no coding skills.
It was officially launched in 2003 by Chris Vinson who, as a musician and a band member himself knew exactly what bands often struggled with when it comes to online presence.
Today, it’s artists and bands (both unknown and with an already established fanbase) who are their main target group. How much do they charge their users for access?
Bandzoogle – How Much Does It Cost?
It turns out that, despite having a very niche offer, the company doesn’t charge much for its services compared to a standard hosting service.
Their basic plan starts at as little as $8.29 per month for an annual contract ($9.95/mo. if month-to-month) and their pro plan goes up to $19.95 per month for a monthly commitment.
There are slight pricing differences depending on the length of the plan but they are not as high as some other companies use.
The savings between the monthly and annual contract vary between $19.92 for the Lite plan and $39.84 for the Pro plan. Not bad, considering we are talking about a company that targets a very narrow audience.
|Month-to-Month (1 year)||Annually||Savings (per year)|
A Quick Glance at Bandzoogle Services
How It Helps Musicians?
Naturally, branding is one thing. The real value is in the actual services offered by the company. After researching their offer for some time, I can honestly say that I’m impressed by what they’ve prepared for their customers.
I’m sure that if you are a musician, you probably don’t want to have anything to do with coding and just want to have a site where you can interact with your fans, present and sell your music, merchandise, and tickets. That’s exactly what Bandzoogle lets you do. And much more!
24/7 Live Support
eCommerce Platform Fees
Sell Music Downloads
Free Sitewide SSL & HTTPS
Another important element of their offer is a built-in email marketing system.
That’s an important promotion element which is often neglected by people who aren’t marketers themselves – simply because it requires a lot of work and the use of external tools. With Bandzoogle, you can manage both your site and emails at the same time! And setting up your site is far from hard.
The 3-Step Site Creation Process
The platform offers a 30-day free trial which means you can get everything ready before you even spend any money. And getting your site up and running is a piece of cake and can be done in three simple steps.
1. Choose a Theme
First, you will be asked to choose a theme. There are lots of different designs that you can choose from. As you could expect, they are categorized using different music genres. To pick it, simply scroll down to the one you like and confirm your choice.
Keep in mind that, should you need any help, you can contact support using a convenient chat at any stage of your web design journey.
2. Add Header Image
In the next step, you will be asked to add a header image to your theme.
This can be changed at a later date and, if you don’t have one yet, you can just choose to use the already included photo.
At first, you'll be provided with some stock image that you can change later if you like.
Of course, you will like to change it later, there's nothing cool about having a stock image as your header.
Just keep in mind that you should use a high resolution, an eye-grabbing image with some artsy elements.
Your header is much more than a cute picture, and in my honest opinion, it should be somehow related to your band...
Try giving your visitors some context!
3. Set the Site Title and Logo
The last step is to provide your site title and pick a logo.
Similarly, if you’re just giving the hosting a test ride, you can just input something like “test”, “my band” or "The Fallen Children of the Hellraiser".
Everything can be changed later.
Once that’s done, you will be taken to the actual control panel.
There, you can edit the content, redesign your site, manage eCommerce and mailing options, as well as view or analyze data.
Bandzoogle's Control Panel:
As Bandzoogle is a niche website builder, I didn’t expect it to excel when it comes to performance. But, I was happy to see the positive speed test result. While the response time is a bit behind industry leaders, the results are very decent.
When it comes to uptime, well, Bandzoogle has it covered. For the last couple of months, the seemed to be no genuine downtimes on the platform. And looking a bit deeper, it's easy to see why.
Bandzoogle data servers are managed with the Amazon S3 platform, which is not only very fast and suited for worldwide access, but also mighty reliable.
So, with decent speeds and great uptime, you won't have many issues with Bandzoogle.
What are their most prominent advantages? It’s time to start summing my Bandzoogle review up!
Focused on Data Critical for a Band
The primary reason why anyone from their target audience, be it a musician, a band member or even a band manager would want to sign up and host their site with Bandzoogle is the fact that they are entirely focused on making the life of musicians easier.
But not only that – all of their features and backend options are designed to help users grow their music fan base. Even their analytics is presented in a way that features data most important for someone who makes a living as a musician.
Easy Email Marketing
The second big advantage is the integrated email marketing. While it’s significantly limited in the first two tiers, once you sign up for the Pro plan you get access to unlimited email lists which makes staying in touch with your potential customers much, much easier.
The third great feature and a huge benefit of the platform is their commission-free eCommerce. To be honest, considering how niche they are I would expect them to charge hefty fees for the service. Not only they don’t do that, but they actually help bands sell all the most important products and services – from music files to merchandise and tickets.
Support Focused on Musicians
On top of all the things that I have listed so far, they offer the best support a musician can get. Their support team is made of people who focus exclusively on the needs of those who are making a living in the music industry.
Free for Non-Profit
The last point I think is worth noting in my Bandzoogle review is their policy towards non-profit organizations. If you are a charity, simply get in touch with them and host your site at no cost!
So far, I’m super enthusiastic about the platform. But, as usual, there are a few things that are not as good as the average user would expect them to be.
Extra Cost to Add a Custom Mailbox
While their email marketing offer is very good (especially considering that it’s already included in the price of the hosting), you will be charged $14.95 per year for an additional custom inbox.
That being said, while it's an additional expense, it's also considerably cheaper than, let's say, moving your emails to G Suite instead. There are also some features meant specifically for musicians, such as syncing the calendars for rehearsals and gigs.
So yes, you'll need to pay more - but it's pretty great the alternatives are more expensive as well. Is that really a con? Well, for some it might be, for some - not so much.
Basic Plans Are Quite Limited
Even though you could technically host your site for as little as $8.95 per month, both the Lite and the Standard plans are very limited – especially when it comes to eCommerce. That’s why I think that if you are serious about hosting your site with them, you will have to migrate to the top plan pretty soon.
Bandzoogle Review Summary
Simply put – if you’re a band, a solo musician, or for any other reason need a website in the music industry and don’t want to spend thousands on designers and web developers, don’t hesitate and give this platform a try.
There are plenty of musician-specific features, and for many artists, this platform could have pretty much everything they're looking for.
Their features are excellent and their 30-day trial gives you more than enough time to thoroughly review this website builder yourself!
- Easy Data Access
- Simple Email Marketing
- Commission-free eCommerce
- 24/7 Customer Support
- Limited Basic Plans
- Extra Cost to Add a Custom Mailbox