As a musician with a background in web design, I've always been torn between building my own website from scratch or using a website platform. For the majority of my music career, I've chosen to develop my own website. In fact, I used to develop sites for other artists and companies.
I realize that in many business and commercial situations a custom site may be the best route to take. However, as a musician I've been feeling the pull lately to spend more time on my music and less time on the technical aspects of building and maintaining my website. I appreciate finding answers online when I'm evaluating options and making a decision, so I've decided to use this blog for sharing my experiences and recommendations along the way.
This is not a full technical review of web platforms. There are a lot of powerful systems available today and it's not my intention to create a comparison grid of every feature they may or may not have. I've used or experimented with several platforms including GoDaddy's GoCentral website builder, Squarespace, Bandzoogle, HostBaby by CD Baby, and Wix. I've even worked professionally with Magento and Shopify. But for now at least, it's Weebly that caught my attention as the platform to best fit my needs.
I was actually reluctant to try Weebly. An acquaintance mentioned Weebly in a discussion about e-commerce store platforms and I had to admit I hadn't ever considered their platform before. I went on a long tangent about how they would be much better off choosing Shopify. But then I decided to try Weebly and give it a fair chance. I discovered a platform that seemed to fit the combination of flexibility and simplicity I was looking for. I made a trial site and decided to launch it as my actual artist website. The interface is simple to work with, and the themes provide a decent starting point for a nice looking mobile friendly site. The big selling point for me is the mobile app for editing content. I really like it. To my knowledge, Shopify and Weebly are the platforms that have viable apps for editing your website content. I really like Shopify by the way, but for different reasons specific to operating an e-commerce store. For artist sites or lighter e-commerce needs, I think Weebly is a better fit.
Why Not Weebly?
So far the only frustration I've had with Weebly is that it requires the .html extension for every web page other than the blogging section. I'd rather have directory based URLs without an extension, but I decided I can live with the .html extension given all of the other conveniences.
So there you have it, my opinion about web platforms and how they fit my needs as an artist/musician. Feel free to share your thoughts and advice in the comments. There's more to learn I'm sure!
Here's my Weebly referral link if you'd like to check it out and give me the benefit of your referral :-)