Having a website is the most important thing for an independent hip-hop artist. Yes, if you don’t know, now you know.

There are more than 3 billion people now using the internet, this number has increased from 738 million in 2000 to 3.2 billion in 2015. All these people are potential fans waiting online to make awesome discoveries – what are you waiting for?

Having your website means you can:

There’s simply no excuse for not having a website these days. It’s just way too easy for someone with a laptop and internet connection to spend a couple hours and less than $100 to have their own website up and running.

There are dozens of easy to use platforms available to artists who don’t know how to code or design a website from scratch, including Squarespace, which we’re going to talk about.

But before we get into how an independent artist can use Squarespace to set up their own website, let’s make sure you have the basics down first:

Now, back to business. For people who don’t know, Squarespace is a content management system (CMS), similar to WordPress, that was founded in 2004 by Anthony Casalena who launched the company after his dislike for other web platforms.

Since Squarespace’s launch in 2004, the company has grown to have over 500 employees in 190 countries, with millions of people using the platform for their website and about 1,000 new customers signing up every day.

Casalena started Squarespace with the vision of creating an all-in-one web publishing solution. In addition to providing a CMS platform, Squarespace also includes a website builder, blogging platform and hosting service.

As of October 2014, the platform had a major redesign, adding Cover Pages, Getty Images integration, Google Apps integration, 15 new template variants, updated Android apps, and more features, making it a very viable and affordable option for independent rappers or producers looking to start up their own website.

How to set up a website using Squarespace

One of the biggest benefits of using Squarespace for setting up your website is the ease of use. As busy as independent artists are with creating, distributing and promoting their music, the last thing they want to do is spend hours of their time learning how to start a website.

With Squarespace’s user-friendly drag-and-drop interface, artists with varying levels of web design experience can create a professional looking website relatively easy.

To get started, users just need to pick a plan that suits their budget and objectives:

Personal – $12 per month billed annually or $16 monthly

  • 20 Pages, galleries, and blogs with unlimited bandwidth and storage, and 2 contributors
  • Mobile-optimized website
  • Powerful website metrics
  • Free custom domain (with annual purchase)
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Fully integrated e-commerce
  • Sell unlimited products & accept donations
  • 3% sales transaction fee

Business – $18 per month billed annually or $26 monthly

  • Unlimited pages, galleries, and blogs, with unlimited storage, bandwidth, and contributors
  • Mobile-optimized website
  • Powerful website metrics
  • Free custom domain (with annual purchase)
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Fully integrated e-commerce
  • Sell unlimited products & accept donations
  • 2% sales transaction fee
  • Professional email from Google
  • $100 Google AdWords credit

Squarespace also offers e-commerce specific plans for users who are looking to sell products online via their website:

Basic – $26 per month billed annually or $30 monthly

  • Sell unlimited products
  • No transaction fees
  • Squarespace website with integrated galleries and blogs
  • Mobile-optimized website and checkout
  • Free custom domain (with annual purchase)
  • 24/7 support
  • Powerful commerce metrics
  • Professional email from Google
  • $100 Adwords credit
  • Unlimited storage, bandwidth, and contributors
  • Inventory, orders, tax, discounts
  • Label printing via ShipStation
  • Integrated accounting via Xero

Advanced – $49 per month billed annually or $59 monthly

  • Sell unlimited products
  • No transaction fees
  • Squarespace website with integrated galleries and blogs
  • Mobile-optimized website and checkout
  • Free custom domain (with annual purchase)
  • 24/7 support
  • Powerful commerce metrics
  • Professional email from Google
  • $100 Adwords credit
  • Unlimited storage, bandwidth, and contributors
  • Inventory, orders, tax, discounts
  • Label printing via ShipStation
  • Integrated accounting via Xero
  • Abandoned checkout autorecovery
  • Real time carrier shipping

Once you’ve decided on your plan, you just need to pick a template for your website – e.g. businesses, portfolio, blogs, musicians, restaurants, personal – and start populating it with content.

For tips on website content, make sure you check out these articles:

After you have the basics pages of the website done, you can start thinking about the next level: things like creating a consistent brand across the website, catering to what your target audience is looking for, the type of content you’re going to be posting regularly and more.

Check out our promo packages for independent hip-hop artists!

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Written by Hao Nguyen
Stop The Breaks is an independent music marketing company focused on showcasing independent hip-hop artists. Our goal is to help motivate, inspire and educate independent artists grinding around the world. We provide branding, content marketing, social media, SEO and music promotion services.