Hand drawn design on white paper. Represents website design. Free vs paid hosting for musician websites. (photo by Photo by Hal Gatewood on Unsplash unsplash.com/@halacious

Creating a search friendly musician website that generates return visits is best done with a paid hosting plan.

Should you go with free vs. paid hosting for your musician website, and what’s the difference? The second in a multi-part series on musician websites.

Hear the first in the series here: Why Do I Need A Musician Website? (Ep 237)

There’s not much upside in free website hosting for your musician website. As the saying goes, nothing in life is free, you always pay in the end. This is certainly true for free website hosting. Let’s go down the list of drawbacks. But first, a quick shout out to Quora contributor Harry-Jones-740 who provided source and reference matter for this episode.

Ads

Ads are a huge drawback with free web hosting plans. Hosting companies spends money on the resources and the technology required for hosting. Since they don’t recoup that money in fees from free hosting plans, they use ads to generate revenue. You get nothing from this ad generated revenue. I understand and appreciate this business model, but these ads aren’t likely to align with your brand and image.

Shared branding

Many free website providers use your website as a way to promote their brand, which could mean including their logo somewhere on your website. They’re also likely to include their name in your URL, meaning that your website address will look something like youraddress.theiraddress.com.

This type of website URL won’t be memorable to your site visitors, nor will it help your brand or discoverability. If they can’t remember your site URL, site visitors are unlikely to ever return to your website.

Lack of customer support

If the free website hosting company isn’t getting any revenue from you, they’re unlikely to provide quality support. Chances are in fact about 0% that you’ll receive quality support with a free website plan. But if they do provide support, it will be minimal and won’t involve access to real people.

Limited pages and features

You’ll need to provide a considerable amount of good content to create a quality musician website. Free web hosting plans typically limit the number of pages per website, which can be a hindrance to your site content and design.

Additional features typically required paid upgrades. What’s free about that?

Limited bandwidth

Free website hosting also typically often comes with a big limit on bandwidth. That means your site will likely be slow to load, which will be a turnoff to your site visitors.

No backups

This is really bad. Continuity and uptime depend on backups. Say you accidentally break your website or that it’s broken by malware. A backup may be your only chance of restoring the website. Otherwise you could find your self rebuilding from scratch after several hours or days of downtime.

Free websites sites always use shared servers

This means your website is sharing a server with several others, which can create security and/or performance issues. If another website on your shared server introduces malware, guess what? Your site is at risk of suffering.

Shared servers aren’t all bad, but having the option to be on a private server or a VPS (virtual private server) is a definite plus for security and performance (i.e. faster loading web pages).

In summary

Free hosting exists so that companies can promote their brand and generate revenue with content created by you. If you want to promote your music business and brand seriously, you should stay away from free web hosting.

Although I recommend you simply wait until you can go the paid route, there are paths to go from free to paid hosting. So if I haven’t convinced to start with a paid website hosting plan, it would behoove you to go with a reputable host, like Wix or WordPress.com (the for-profit implementation of the open-source software found at WordPress.org).

Having a website is part of the long game that is the business of your music. Don’t be discouraged if you’re not getting thousands of visitors per day in the first 2 months. It’s unlikely to happen. There is a lot to creating a great website and building strong visitor traffic, a topic for another episode in this series.

Thanks for tuning in!

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Mentioned in this Episode

Quora contributor Harry-Jones-740

Why Do I Need A Musician Website? (Ep 237)

New Gods Part 2 by Robonzo (music video)

Alan Cross has seen the future of music and says it’s all about ‘Web3’ and the metaverse

Lucky Beats Good Sometimes – Chris Raspante Rewind (Ep 235)

Guitarist and Studio Engineer In Demand–Chris Raspante (Ep 186)

A Musician with Over 800 Tracks on Kompoz–Peter Rand (Ep 177)

New Gods Part 2 Co-Writer Peter Rand (Ep 205)

Related Episodes

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This episode is powered by Podcast Startup, the learning platform for creators with a voice.

Podcast Startup covers tech, production, editing, marketing and more. I know what it feels like to be slowed down by challenges revolving around fear, procrastination and tech, yet I’ve recorded and published over 260 podcast episodes.

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This episode was powered by Music Marketing Method, a program for independent musicians looking to grow their music career.

Music Marketing Method was created by my good friend Lynz Crichton. I’m in the program and I’m learning tons! I’m growing my fan base and learning about many ways that I’ll be earning money in the new year. It’s also helping me grow this podcast. How cool is that?

To lean more and find out if Music Marketing Method can help your music career, visit UnstarvingMusician.com/MusicMarketing.

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Resources

The Unstarving Musician’s Guide to Getting Paid Gigs, by Robonzo

Music Marketing Method – The program that helps musicians find fans, grow an audience and make consistent income

Podcast Startup – The podcast learning platform for creative voices

Bandzoogle – The all-in-one platform that makes it easy to build a beautiful website for your music

More Resources for musicians

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