Resource Gems:
Elevate Your Online Presence with DIY Website Design

Timothy Stephenson

MTNA Business Digest, Volume 3, Issue 2

January 2024

You do not need to be a web design expert to expand your internet presence with a studio website or online portfolio. There are plenty of resources that make building your own website easy! Read more. Nowadays, it is becoming more important than ever to maintain an online presence to market and grow a studio. Sometimes, studio marketing can be as simple as advertising through a social media page; however, one of the best ways to bolster your studio is to create a website.

The following website resources are just a few of many options that are available to small business owners looking to grow their online presence. There are hundreds of options for creating your own website and publishing/hosting it; however, here are a few resources to get you started, followed by a comparison table at the end.


Dubbed the “hub for the performing arts,” Stagetime was founded in 2019 as a professional online networking tool specifically for the classical music industry. Stagetime offers some networking tools that will be familiar to anyone who has used social media sites such as LinkedIn, including a news feed, personal inbox, job postings, and more. Users have the option to upgrade to Stagetime Pro for $12/month and transform their profile into a basic website hosted on Stagetime. Limited design and layout customization makes website design very simple and the platform’s networking features essentially guarantee that your site will have visitors.


WordPress is an affordable platform that allows users to build a website for free, but also offers hosting features on a sliding scale up to $40/month. WordPress is not a website builder, like the other platforms mentioned here, but is instead a content management system (CMS) that powers a good portion of the websites that exist on the internet. WordPress websites are self-hosted, which is a double-edged sword, meaning that the builder has control over every aspect of the site, including the code, database, visibility, and security, but that all those aspects need to be managed by the user. With hundreds of pre-made and professionally designed templates, the website design features of WordPress are as easy as selecting the features that you want. While customization is available, WordPress’s website builds focus on simplicity and accessibility.


One of the most popular website builders, Wix is a great option for getting a website up and running quickly, with services starting at $16/month. With a wide range of templates and themes, Wix’s website builder allows users to customize nearly every aspect of their site and is the most flexible platform on this list. Wix’s website builder and hosting come in a package—hosting includes a free domain for one year, fully managed security, SEO tools to help internet users find the website, analytics to track website visits, and storage.


Squarespace is a resource very similar to Wix, which also offers plans starting at $16/month. The primary difference between the two platforms lies in the website builder: while Wix is quite flexible, Squarespace works on a blocking system, so the website design is in a grid-like structure. This is the preferred design method for professional website builders and Squarespace’s templates are designed by professionals. Squarespace hosting includes the same management features as Wix, with nominal variations.


Out of all these platforms, GoDaddy offers the widest range of products and services, essentially acting as a one-stop-shop for online business development. GoDaddy has a website builder like Wix and Squarespace, but also offers web hosting, domain registration, website design, logo design, email managements, and a lot more. GoDaddy boasts an early adaptation of AI in its services, including website design, so users can answer a few questions and let AI build their website for them! Unlike Wix and Squarespace, if you design your own website using tools such as WordPress, you can utilize the hosting features of GoDaddy to publish your website online starting at $11/month.

These are just a few of the many platforms that are available to small business owners! No matter which platform you use to create your studio website, it is important to think about how to create a dynamic online experience for your customers. For some tips and tricks on design principles, check out the following articles from the April 2022 Business Resources Digest: “Web Design with Your User in Mind,” by Jennifer Stadler and “Top Five Must-Haves for Creating a Dynamic Website,” by Yelena Wells.

Looking for a good read?

Heather Smith, NCTM

The Independent Piano Teacher’s Studio Handbook, by Beth Gigante Klingenstein

book cover;

The Independent Piano Teacher’s Studio Handbook, by Beth Gigante Klingenstein, is a comprehensive book that explores the multifaceted realm of running a successful teaching studio. Klingenstein navigates through the complexities of studio administration, encompassing finances, zoning regulations, time management and much more. Read more. She breaks down the key components of a successful music studio business, from crafting a compelling brand identity to creating and implementing effective marketing strategies. This handbook is a roadmap for teachers just starting their careers as well as veteran teachers looking to professionalize their studios. It has been a well-referenced book in my studio for years!

Klingenstein combines pedagogical expertise with practical skills, illuminating a path for those who seek not only to teach the art of music but also to run a successful teaching studio. While the opening focus is on the business aspect of teaching, this handbook offers a wealth of insight into pedagogical topics such as: skills that students need to play proficiently and musically; how to create a comprehensive curriculum; and professional development for the independent music teacher.

Klingenstein’s writing style is approachable and relatable with 50 chapters presenting practical tools in a clear and concise manner. The appendices include valuable resources such as sample studio documents, including policy letters, press releases and practice surveys.

The Independent Piano Teacher’s Studio Handbook offers an abundance of information for music educators who recognize the dual role they play as teaching artists and as entrepreneurs. While the title suggests that this book is specifically for piano teachers, all music instructors irrespective of their instrument or genre, will benefit from and find value as this book navigates the intricacies of running an independent teaching practice.


Tim Stephenson


Tim Stephenson is a pianist, teacher and administrator on staff at the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and on faculty at Pacific Piano School. Tim is currently a doctoral candidate at IU’s Jacobs School of Music.



Heather Smith


Heather Smith, NCTM, maintains a multi-faceted career as a music educator, administrator, and community arts advocate. She is an examiner for the RCM Certificate Program and has degrees in both music and business.


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