If you’re a musician, having a website is non-negotiable. While a Facebook page or Instagram profile is nice, you technically don’t own them. So if any of these social media networks close down, so does your online presence. But a website that belongs to you becomes the perfect platform for sharing your music, updating fans about events, and even selling merchandise — on your own terms.
With this in mind, Squarespace and Bandzoogle are two platforms worth considering. Squarespace is more of an all-in-one website builder that allows anyone, not just musicians, to create their own site. Meanwhile, Bandzoogle is a dedicated platform for bands and artists. Which offers better features for building a music website? Keep reading this review to find out.
Squarespace vs Bandzoogle Comparison Chart
|Price||View Squarespace Plans Here||View Bandzoogle Plans Here|
|Custom Domain||Supported; free for 1 year||Supported; free for as long as you are subscribed to a plan|
|Mobile Responsive Templates||Yes||Yes|
|Transaction Fees||3% for Squarespace Business Plan||None|
|Customer Support||24/7 email support and live chat, help center, community answers||Live chat, email, help center, musician advice blog|
Squarespace’s interface feels more natural to use than Bandzoogle’s.
The great thing about Squarespace is that you don’t need to write a single line of code to publish a high-quality website. Signing up on the platform is easy, too. Just answer a few questions and the site builder automatically recommends a template you can use. Once that’s in place, you can start adding content or customizing your page.
Squarespace’s website editor is one of the more sophisticated-looking in the industry. On the left side, you’ll find a minimalist panel where you can navigate between features and functions. Meanwhile, the bulk of the page contains the main editing page. This feature is also expandable to fullscreen, so you can readily apply and see changes.
Signing up on Bandzoogle is even easier. Users only need to register via email and then choose a theme. There are no questions asked. Add a header image and set a title or logo and you’re off to edit your site.
The platform’s dashboard is pretty straightforward. On top, you can click on the site builder’s main menu. Within the editing function, on the other hand, all the tools are similarly placed on a left-side panel. The interface isn’t as seamless as Squarespace’s but accessing most of the features and tools is hardly problematic.
Where Squarespace does have an advantage is in how easy it is to add and customize content. The platform’s section-based approach is intuitive and feels snappier. Bandzoogle, on the other hand, loads a little longer and requires more actions to get things done.
Templates and Customization
Both Squarespace and Bandzoogle offer an impressive selection of website templates.
Squarespace’s biggest draw has always been its templates. They’re stunning, customizable, and mobile-friendly. Even if you just stick to one without customizing it, you’ll get a site that looks professional. All the available content blocks and page elements also integrate with the minimalist aesthetic of the platform.
Interestingly, Bandzoogle’s catalog of themes offers a wider selection compared to Squarespace. And while other site builders seem to go for quantity over quality, Bandzoogle’s selection is surprisingly good. Moreover, there’s enough variety between the designs so you’re not left to opt for only one good-looking template amidst a sea of mediocre choices.
Like Squarespace, Bandzoogle also categorizes themes. But instead of organizing them according to industry, product, or service, you get to choose a design based on your music genre. This makes for some really interesting conversations on how musical genres are interpreted visually.
As expected, both platforms allow for your standard customization. Font type, section style, color themes — all these can be modified. Users also have the ability to customize the layout and style of various page elements. Using the website editor alone, Squarespace will give you more customization options compared to Bandzoogle. But if you want to truly personalize a page, you can always access the platforms’ respective CSS editors.
While Squarespace has plenty of features, Bandzoogle’s tools are specifically-made for music websites.
Because Squarespace markets itself as an all-in-one solution, its features are broader in scope. This helps it cover all bases — whether you’re starting a blog, selling records, or marketing beauty products. Bandzoogle’s features, on the other hand, are more specific for a music website. For instance, its SEO tools are designed to improve the discoverability of certain content, like an artist’s event calendar or music store.
Bandzoogle’s reporting feature is also specialized. Aside from site traffic, users can monitor how many times a track has been played and see how fans interact with the page. The platform also enjoys integrations with popular apps and networks for musicians, including YouTube, Soundcloud, Spotify, Tidal, and iTunes.
With Squarespace, you can also embed music playlists from Soundcloud and Spotify, among others. Since it supports selling digital products, you can similarly have audio files for download. Its standout feature for music, however, is its native audio player. Simply drag and drop your music files and let the elegant Squarespace Audio Collection do the rest.
Despite these differences, both platforms share and support many of the same features. Squarespace and Bandzoogle allow users to add tour schedules and embed live video streams. In addition, artists can sell tickets, merchandise, and subscriptions on top of regular music or album downloads.
Bandzoogle plans are less expensive than Squarespace’s while also offering more advanced core features across the board.
Currently, Squarespace has four plans to choose from: Personal ($16/month), Business ($26/month), Basic Commerce ($30/month), and Advanced Commerce ($46/month). You do get discounts on the plans when billed annually.
To date, the platform’s Business Plan remains its most popular, although it’s also the only subscription that comes with a 3% transaction fee. In addition, most of the advanced e-commerce features — including the ability to sell subscriptions — are only available with the Commerce plans.
Bandzoogle, on the other hand, offers three plans: Lite ($9.95/month), Standard ($14.95/month), and Pro ($19.95/month). Similar to Squarespace, you save more money if you opt for the yearly payment scheme. Unlike Squarespace, however, you can sell music downloads and subscriptions across all three plans.
Both platforms don’t offer free plans. But you can try out the site builders before committing to a paid subscription. Squarespace lets users try its website builder for free for 14 days. Meanwhile, Bandzoogle gives users a risk-free 30-day trial period.
Although Squarespace makes it easier to start a website, Bandzoogle offers more music website-specific features.
Although Squarespace allows you to sell music online, the platform feels more like a solution that you can recommend to anyone who wants to build a website, not just musicians. For one, its interface is easy to use. The templates are stunning, too, and editing them isn’t as intimidating as one might expect. For artists and bands, Squarespace represents an efficient way of creating and managing an online presence.
But if you need a more dedicated service, consider Bandzoogle. Aside from getting a free custom domain for as long as you’re a subscriber, its features have musicians in mind. Soundscan reporting, sale pricing, press kits — it’s a powerful platform that puts the music at the forefront, instead of the website. While it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles like Squarespace, you have more than enough tools to manage, promote, and sell your work.
Yes, Squarespace only allows users to upload and sell digital products with a max file size of 300 MB.
Artists can use their existing domains registered elsewhere for their Bandzoogle website. Keep in mind, however, you’ll need to be in a paid plan to do this.
No. Squarespace does not put a limit on the amount of products you can sell.
Album pre-orders are an exclusive feature of Bandzoogle’s Pro plan.