Buying your band’s domain name is very important, even if you’re not going to use it for a website right away. It is also the easiest step. There are a few different domain registration companies you can buy through. Honestly there’s very little difference. It’s really a personal preference.
Before buying anything, make sure to read this whole post. You might decide to buy the domain through the hosting company instead of through a domain registrar as a package deal if you are ready to build the site.
I prefer to buy my domains (ya, I buy a few) separate from my hosting company. The cost is usually in the $7.99 – $12.99 range a year to own your domain on its own. The hosting companies often run deals for using their services that include a free domain registration in a package deal. These are better options when you are ready to build your site, otherwise it’s best to use just a registrar for now to secure your domain name for later use.
Here are a few things you need to know before buying:
Here are the domain (registrar) companies we suggest based on our personal use and history. Remember these are places to buy the domain names; we discuss hosting options a little later.
NameSilo is the site i use the most. I have about 40-50 registered domains with them. Super simple registration and never had any issues. I like their search function (which just about everyone does this). As you do a search for domains it keeps your previous searches on the same page and shows you other options on domains if the extension you want to buy is taken.
Namecheap is another great company that a lot of marketing and internet savvy guys use. They also suggest other domain extensions if the domain you’re looking for is taken but they don’t keep track of your searches on the same page. Like I said, it’s really a preference thing.
Honestly I’d stick to these two. There are plenty of other services you could use but we only use these two companies and can speak to their prices and service.
Here’s where things might look a bit complicated but don’t get caught up in all the tech terms. I’ll break those down by what you will use the site for, and what you really need to look at.
You want a place to have a band biography. Some info on the band, band members and your history is always good. Also your website will be what we call an authority site, meaning once you have your bio/history up on the site, and it’s obviously the official site, any of your fans that create or update (like Wiki’s) they will link back to your site as proof and links to your site like that are really good (also called backlinks).
You want a spot to have up to date concert calendars other than Facebook. Facebook’s great! But relying on Facebook and other social media only is not.
You’ll be able to collect emails easier. Read this post about how important your email list is and start building it now!
Links to where to buy and stream your music. That’s a given.
You have the option for a blog to keep your fans informed and up to date. Yes, I hear you; you are posting updates on Facebook, Instagram or other social media sites so why do you need it here? Because there’s so much going on Facebook, so much gets lost after a few posts. Sure there’s a spot to add your bio on social media accounts as well, but what about band, new album, or general updates?
When you post and share stuff on Facebook, you're pushing down the previous posts right? Then you have people posting on your page and you’re sharing other bands stuff and sooner or later whatever you said about recording the new album or that badass truck stop on tour gets so buried that no one will find it after the posting date. With a website blog it’s there, very easy to find and read again and again. Maybe you get a new fan that loves your 1st album, with a blog he can read all about the making of. When he friends you on Facebook, that post was 2 years ago.. Never to be seen again.
It’s so much easier for your fans to have the ability to go back and read your tour diary or how you wrote and recorded your first album in an easy to search static timeline.
You also can add sections for video and pictures, links to merch or art or… you get the idea right?
What I’m trying to explain is you will have fans coming to your website and fans clicking off your site to buy or stream your music. You’re not really using the site to hold, host big files or taking up operating speeds, so you don’t need a lot of space or memory to keep it up. Even if you have videos on your page, you’re really linking to YouTube or Vimeo.
We overly suggest Webflow for both the site builder and hosting. Their service is what our current website; ossiamarketing.com is built on and hosted with. We found it to be a very easy program to build sites on, not get overly confused with plugins which could slow your sites speed down, resulting in low SEO rankings. Their different pricing levels means you only need to pay what you’re using and can easily increase your hosting plan as needed with them.
If you use our website building service, this is the platform we use to build sites on.
One more thing I’d like to point out before you purchase anything is paying for yearly vs. monthly hosting plans. When you order pretty much any subscription based online service, they usually offer a monthly rate and a yearly rate (sometimes even 2-5 years at a time). The yearly rates are always cheaper than monthly and I suggest to always at least buy the 1 year plan. It will save you money in the long run and your building and operating a website, not testing out a monthly shaving club. You want stability, if for whatever reason you’re not happy with the first year, you can switch services after.
All of the below hosting services also offer an SSl certificate for your domain for free. This is good as it improves your SEO a bit and is slowly becoming a requirement for websites. Just something to keep in mind if you look at other hosting services we don’t mention here.
Liquid Web is all around one of the best solutions. First off they are hands down the best customer service in the game.
The cheapest option is usually the best if you’re just starting out, which is the Managed WordPress Hosting offer. There’s no point in spending more than you need to begin with and if you need more space or speed, it’s usually very easy to talk with one of their customer service reps to get your site moved over. No programmer needed.
When it is time to move your service plan up, we suggest moving to the VPS Hosting. It will actually be the cheaper option and there a benefit that goes along with it. WordPress hosting offer only allows for 1 domain to be hosted under the same hosting plan. You never know what the future holds, and even as a band you might want to build multiple sites, or maybe you are in two bands and you want to split the cost between the two but run both under the same plan.
Start off on the cheapest plan. If you end up getting just millions of hits on your site after its built and it loads slow/crashes any of the hosting companies you go with can move you up to the next package as needed and quickly.
Liquid Web usually runs a 25% to 50% sale if you’re a brand new customer. The coupon code is normally at the top. Make sure to also check if they offer a annual purchase instead of monthly. Paying annually will usually be discounted by the cost of a month or two.
Namehero is one of the better starter hosting/domain providers. It’s really cheap to start out. You can see the amount of monthly visits, which is kind of your mark to look at. The cheapest tier plan is 10,000 visits a month. This might seem a lot but think if you have 3000 fans and let’s say you shoot an email out weekly and all 3000 go to your site from a link in your email. That’s already 12k visits in one month. If you chose Namehero, you will hopefully be moving up the tiers pretty quick. Just remember you can pretty easily move up your plan after your sites built and live.
The one thing you should notice is that you get a free domain with the purchase of a hosting plan. This will save you a little when setting up, a whole $7.99 – $12.99ish depending but saving’s still saving. The free domain is only good for some domain extensions though.
Lastly is BlueHost which is by no means worse than any others. Our site is currently hosted with them and I have a few other websites I built hosted with them. We do the Shared Web Plus hosting which at the time of this post works well for us. It includes everything we need, multiple domains, SSLs and easily upgraded if our site starts to slow down due to the amount of traffic.
We partner with some of the services we discuss and possibly make some money referring you to them. please see our terms for more info.