Social media is great for promotion, but between ads and limiting algorithms you can get lost in the shuffle. That’s where a website presence comes in. A website is essential for musicians and bands. It allows you to have a place on the internet where the focus is on you. To get people to your website you’ll need a website address, otherwise known as a domain name.
What is a domain?
A domain name is simply your website name. This is the name a person will type into their search or address bar to get to your website. Think of your domain as your address. If you were to tell someone to come over to your house, you would give them your address. The same applies if you want someone to visit your website. You will give them your website address, which is the domain name.
Why is having a domain important?
A domain name is important because it identifies your music website as being yours. Unlike social media, the website address will be one that you choose, and own. It will not include the name of the supporting companies.
For example: facebook.com/yourband or blogger.yourband.com. These are used by every other member of those services so you really don’t stand out. Your own website domain will be something like yourband.com.
Where can I get a domain?
You can get a domain name through many different online services. There are companies who primarily focus on domain registration, but you will need to pay to renew the domain with them each year.
With Bandzoogle we provide one domain FREE with your paid account. This is included in all of our plans. The best part is that we also take care of the renewal and associated fees for you each year. You don’t have to do anything on your end!
Is a website domain the same as website hosting?
Sometimes domain registrars will bundle products. They may include website hosting, domain privacy, or other tools with the domain. Because of this many people think domains and website hosting are the same. They are not!
A domain is the name that identifies your website. Website hosting is the technology that stores your website online. This is done through computers called servers. When someone types your website address (domain) into their browser’s address bar, the server connects them to your website.
How much does it cost to register a domain?
Domains can range from $1 to thousands of dollars depending on the name. The domains starting at a low price are typically under promotion pricing. Companies will entice you with a low registration rate for the first year, but then subsequent years will be higher.
For most domains the average cost is between $10-$15 per year. If a domain registrar wants to charge a substantially higher amount (and it’s not a premium domain) you should move on to a different company.
With Bandzoogle, we cover the cost of both the registration and renewal each year. Domain privacy and all your website building tools are included in your paid plan as long as you are a member with us.
Build a professional website in just a few clicks, register a free domain, and sell your music and merch commission-free! Sign up free with Bandzoogle now.
Choosing your domain name
Hopefully yourbandname.com is available at the time of registration. In terms of domain extensions, .com is still the standard for domain names. If your ideal domain isn’t available, you can consider yourbandnamemusic.com or yourbandnameband.com, or something similar.
If you’re a solo artist and your ideal name is already taken, you can also use a name like yournameofficial.com or yournamegenre.com. Adding your genre to the end of the domain will help identify you and your music as well.
Other domain name extensions
We cannot stress enough that .com is the best option for domains. When people search for things online they enter the domain plus .com out of habit. If you are using a different extension they may end up on the wrong page.
That said, sometimes it’s just not possible to use a .com. In that case the next best options would be .net, .org, .biz and .us (if you are in the USA). You can also use .info and .name as well. Bandzoogle offers all these options so you’re covered.
If you are in a different country you can also use the country extensions such as .ca, .it and .uk. Your domain registrar may require proof of residency when you register.
In the past few years we’ve seen .band & .rocks extensions popping up. These can be fun, but again if fans type .com to find you these extensions defeat the purpose. Also, these extensions are more expensive to register and renew.
Remember to renew your domain
There’s nothing worse than finding out that your domain expired and someone else swiped it! It can take a lot of time and money to try to get it back, if you’re able to at all. For this reason you’ll want to make sure to renew your domain on time.
If your domain is registered through Bandzoogle, we automatically take care of it for you. You don’t have to remember anything. It’s an automated process so it will renew on time each year.
If the domain is registered elsewhere, you can set it up for auto-renewal or pay for several years in advance. Just make sure to set a reminder to check if it actually renewed.
What if my domain expires?
The good news is that most domain registrars will allow you a 30-day grace period to renew the domain. After 30 days the domain goes into a holdover period of 60 days (or more). The domain is locked so it cannot be renewed or transferred.
Some registrars will allow you to access it but the cost is generally between $80-$250 to take it out of holdover. If you choose to wait it out, the domain will be released back to the public after the holdover period where someone else can register it.
How can I use an existing domain with my website?
To get your domain to load your website there are two main options. The first is to go into the domain settings and change the nameservers to point to your website host. This is fairly easy to do and your website host can provide instructions. Once you point the nameservers, the domain should load your website within 24 hours (usually within an hour.)
The second option is to transfer the registration to your website host. This is easy to do, but requires a few more steps. It also can take up to 10 days to do a domain transfer. Once complete, your website host will be in charge of the domain and can renew it for you.
Bandzoogle provides both domain pointing and domain transfers at no additional charge. And don’t worry, even if your band breaks up we’ll transfer the domain back to you to take with you (also no charge.)
A domain name is not something you think about until you need it. It’s vital to have a custom domain name for your website. Since we’re in the business of websites we’re happy to take this burden off your hands. We’ll register, privacy protect, and renew your domain so you can focus on what you do best, making music!
Also check out: How to make a website for your music
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