As a musician, you might be able to capture the hearts of your fans, but can you keep your profile or band growing by developing an attractive site for these very fans? Finding the right hosting for musicians is crucial just like for every other profession. That’s where HostBaby comes into the fold, offering one stop hosting and domain registration specifically tailored for artists.
HostBaby is owned and operated by CD Baby, a highly popular Internet music store that appeals specifically to indie artists. By offering hosting for musicians, HostBaby combines the experience and popularity of CD Baby into a powerful launching pad for budding musicians.
So, could HostBaby be the right hosting for you or your band? Keep reading our HostBaby review to find out!
- Handy Site Builder
- Unlimited email accounts
- Free CD Baby submissions
- High prices
- Lack of advanced options
HostBaby Pricing & Plans
When it comes to pricing and plans, HostBaby takes a straightforward approach that eliminates the potential for confusion by offering two plans for $20 a month each. While this is slightly higher when compared to other shared hosting providers, you are paying extra for the simplicity and usability of HostBaby.
The Site Builder plan is intended for those looking to simply get a site up and running, while the Web Developer plan gives you increased access and control over the technical details of your site. Both plans come with unlimited bandwidth but only 10 GB of storage space, although HostBaby claims to give additional space if requested.
We were happy to see the absence of setup and signup fees, while HostBaby also provides affordable domain registration as well. They also offer various discounts depending on the term of your contract, with the potential for up to $240 in savings if you pay for 5 years in advance.
One of the main features that musicians or bands should look for when considering a hosting provider is e-mail. Lots of providers skimp when it comes to email storage and usage, something that is necessary when you want to keep your followers up to date with newsletters and other information.
HostBaby also offers a nice tool in ListBaby, their own newsletter management tool which makes it easy to design and manage newsletters, along with the unlimited e-mail accounts.
Another big selling point for musicians is that you also get five free annual album signups with CD Baby with a HostBaby plan, allowing you the opportunity to further distribute and advertise your music.
HostBaby offers a free 30 day trial to all new signups (still have to signup with a credit card), after which a prorated money back guarantee is in effect, giving you a refund for your prior billed month in addition to any remaining prepaid months.
HostBaby Hosting for Musicians Video Review
Take a look at HostBaby’s video on how to create a band website in just a couple minutes using their service.
HostBaby Speed and Reliability
When it comes to hardware, HostBaby doesn’t advertise their server’s technical details, although it is hard to imagine that they would skimp on server components when it comes to hosting sites for popular musicians.
HostBaby’s data center in Portland is protected by 24/7 site security in addition to live server monitoring and redundant power supplies in case any issues arise.
HostBaby doesn’t provide an up time guarantee, which is worrying, but certainly not conclusive. According to independent server monitoring website WebHostingStuff, HostBaby has provided 99.99% up time since October 2010, meaning they do seem to be quite reliable when it comes to server up time.
HostBaby Interface & Security
HostBaby has a member area where you can handle billing as well as other administrative elements of your hosting plan. We liked that there is a simple domain registration/management section of this area, which gives you the ability to easily register and manage domains on your HostBaby account.
Signing up for HostBaby’s Site Builder plan means you have access to dozens of site templates along with the ability to customize specific features and tools via a widget system. While the drag and drop functionality will prove to be a welcome feature for those lacking web developer skills, the clear lack of options and flexibility is enough to turn away any semi-experienced web developer.
The need for musicians to have an e-commerce platform where fans can purchase music and merchandise is important and luckily HostBaby realizes this as well. You can either take advantage of an optional built-in store that runs through CD Baby, or create a product page through the site builder.
Should you have concerns about data loss if your site goes down, you can also take comfort in knowing that HostBaby conducts daily site backups.
HostBaby Customer Service
HostBaby offers customer service in the form of telephone and ticket-based e-mail support, along with an extensive knowledge base. While neither option is available 24/7 as we’ve come to expect with most hosting providers, they claim a 24 hour response time for e-mails along with having their telephone support available during regular PST business hours (with the exception of Sundays).
To get a better idea of HostBaby’s response time, we submitted a ticket asking a few technical questions prior to signing up. Unfortunately, we didn’t receive a reply at all, which was quite disappointing to say the least!
To get a better idea of HostBaby’s customer service, we took a look social media to see if there were any people with similar complaints to ours. With HostBaby we were surprised to find not a single negative mention on Twitter regarding their customer service, instead finding quite the opposite! It seems we were the only ones left out to dry without an answer.
Payment methods accepted by HostBaby include credit card, check, money order, and Paypal. As we mentioned previously, HostBaby gives you the opportunity to try out their service for 30 days before paying to see if they are right for you. After this 30 day period expires you can still cancel your account and claim a prorated refund.
HostBaby Review Conclusion
- 30 day free trial
- Unlimited e-mail accounts
- ListBaby newsletter management tool
I wasn’t so sure about
- Only 10 GB of disk space
- No live chat
- Telephone support only during business hours
So, how does HostBaby rate as a hosting provider for musicians? We think they are a potentially great choice when you factor in some of the additional features such as free CD Baby distribution and their ListBaby newsletter management tool. Additionally, their Site Builder plan is specifically meant for musicians or bands who may not be skilled web developers.
If you aren’t a musician however, we do recommend checking out other providers such as Site5 or FastComet, as these hosts will give you much greater flexibility and options. HostBaby does fall short in certain aspects (customer support, interface), although this is understandable considering their targeted market.
So, ready to start a website for your new band? Give HostBaby a try today and let us know how it went!