written by: Bryan
Where to Host Your Band’s Website
So maybe your indie band has recently played a few local gigs that were surprisingly well received. People other than the close friends you bamboozled into showing up are actually coming up to you and complimenting your music. Someone actually bought a CD-R you burnt! And a local college radio station has picked up one of your tracks for light rotation.
Now, inevitably you’ll be at a party where your band just played an amazing set and you’re talking to what can only be described as a “future groupie” (or important indie label guy). What does she/he ask you but, “That was a rad set, dude. So what’s your band’s website so I can check out more?” To which you sheepishly reply, “Uh, http colon slash slash w, w, w dot joeblowsplumbingsupply dot com slash unimportant slash band slash …”
That’s because you currently have your “website” in a directory on your uncle’s plumbing company’s host. Come on, man. You can’t get groupies that way!
Seriously, most people are a little smarter than that. But if you don’t have the skills or know how it can be difficult to figure out how to host your band’s own website. All isn’t lost however. Here are a few tips about where and how you might want to host your band’s website.
Getting that Domain
Before you actually think about hosting, let’s talk about domains. First, remember that a domain is different than a webhost. A lot of people think that if you register a domain, you are also actually signing up for the space and location where your web files will be stored and served.
In some cases, this can be true. The company that you register your domain from will sometimes offer you a package deal for hosting where you will receive storage space to actually host your file. Some will even give you a little bit of space completely free, or allow you to “park” your domain (create a coming soon page for the time being) or “forward” your domain (redirect your domain to an existing webpage).
Domains are also cheap nowadays. A good example of a site that sells domain names cheaply is www.GoDaddy.com . This is one of the cheapest places around and their $3.99* Domain Names are difficult to beat. (They also offer GoDaddy.com Hosting from $3.95/mo. which is pretty cut rate.)
Whether or not you host your own site, it can be a good idea to actually get your own domain. Why? Because even if you decide to keep your band’s site on a free site, such as Blogger or Geocities you can foward your domain to your free site. So when someone types in “www.mycrazyguitarband.com” they will STILL get your free site.
The most obvious reason why this is good is that if you ever move your website to a new host (more common than you’d think), people who type in your domain will still get your band’s site! It lets you give out an address that people can ALWAYS use to get to your band’s web page, no matter how many times you change hosts and locations.
This also works with email addresses; if you have your own domain, you can set up an email address that involves your band’s name such as “email@example.com” and that email address can be valid whether or not you move hosts. Of course some people like to have freebee throwaway “anonymous” email box using a service like Gmail or Yahoo Mail, but remember that you can ALSO forward your email addresses to those freebee accounts!