How to make a band website that works + Top qualities of a band website

MAKE A BAND WEBSITE that works

A lot of musicians find the idea of building a website daunting. It sounds difficult and expensive, is it really necessary?

In a word, yes. While a huge amount of business and growth takes place on social media, if you don’t have a nice website to point to, you’re going to have a hard time impressing the big cheeses (bloggers, managers, A&R reps, etc.)

 

While you’ll want your band to have a presence on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube, you really need to have your own website with your band’s name (or some version of it) in the URL. This gives you more control over the content and design and allows you to monetize the site (or not) however you choose. That might include a shopping cart to allow fans to purchase your music or digital ads. If nothing else, having your own website will give your band a home on the Internet, and demonstrate that you’re serious about the business side of your music.

 

A common complaint among independent musicians is that building a customized website is very expensive. Well, that could be true back when it was all new but now it’s not. It is really easy and efficient to create an effective website at a reasonable price. There is a global marketplace of fabulous platforms and talented designers who can help you build a beautiful site for a few hundred dollars. Or, if you are willing to do some of the work using a templated design, an effective website can be created for less than $20/month with no upfront costs!

 

A lot of artists drive themselves crazy building websites because they forget that simplicity is key. Your website exists to do two things:

Number one: Help you engage with and make new fans.

Number two: Make you money.

That’s it.

 

An attractive, easy-to-navigate website is an essential part of any musician’s online presence. It’s a place to showcase yourself, sell tickets and plug your music to new and existing fans.

But what makes a good band website? We’ve compiled what we think are the essential ingredients to make sure your site is living up to its potential.

Here’s how to set yourself on the right path…

 

Making a Band/Artist Website:

 

Step 1: Get the right domain name

Acquiring an appropriate domain name should be a top priority as it will make your site much easier for fans to find.

Ideally, you should attempt to secure yourbandname dot com (.com) without any dashes or underscores. If possible, avoid obscure or regional TLDs (top level domains) and try to get a domain name in the same (or very similar) format to your social media profiles for continuity’s sake.

There are several domain registrars and web hosting providers out there, but it’s a good idea to go through a well-known, reputable company like 1&1 or Go Daddy.

 

Step 2: Buy hosting for your domain name

Now if you are thinking that when you’ve already bought domain name then why do you need to buy hosting and what is it anyways. So take it as this; you have the license to use that name but to make use of the same you need to buy hosting. Many people buy hosting and domain from different platforms. It’s totally up to you if you wanna buy both from the same provider or not.

You can buy hosting from below site; it could be a little expensive than other hosting providers but you don’t want your website’s servers to be down at all. So, here are they:

  • HostGator Web Hosting
  • 1&1 Web Hosting
  • InMotion Web Hosting
  • DreamHost Web Hosting
  • Liquid Web Hosting
  • GoDaddy Web Hosting
  • Hostwinds Web Hosting
  • A2 Web Hosting

 

Step 3: Using a Content Management System

Once you’ve purchased your domain (URL) and signed up for hosting, you’ll need to populate your website with content. If you’re not going the professional developer/designer route, you can do the next best thing by using a content management system (CMS) like WordPress or Squarespace.

Your site needs to represent you and your music, so make sure it looks sleek and professional.

When it comes to designing your site, you can use a do-it-yourself music website builder, WordPress CMS and themes or even work with a web designer. There are plenty of straightforward, low-cost options out there for web design, so shop around, browse various themes and options and find the perfect site for you.

These services have long been used by bloggers, but are increasingly popular as options for people who want a professional-looking website without a lot of hand-coding. Using WordPress or Squarespace allows you to choose from a variety of themes, which are coded with cascading style sheets (CSS) so that your website’s color scheme, style, and fonts look the same on each of its separate pages.

 

Step 4: Build your homepage

Make your front page as informative and engaging as possible. Your fan, bloggers or journalists don’t want to spend time navigating a complicated website to get the info they need right now. This does not mean that you have to put everything on the front page. Just Put essential content on your homepage and links to other stuff. Here’s what you need to feature front and centre.

  • Press shots
  • Music player & links
  • Tour dates
  • Mailing list sign up
  • Social media links
  • A short bio

Remember – your site needs to support your brand! The colors you choose, your logo, the pictures you use… these things are all incredibly important, and help tell your story. Figure out what story you want to tell, and then keep your brand consistent. Try to make your socials match your site colors and style as well.

Don’t forget to link to your social media! Most of the site builders featured above will help you do this. Your website should be a focal point, where a new fan can find everything you’re doing in cyberspace. A Spotify follow button is also a good addition to a homepage.

 

Step 4: What other sections (qualities) to put up on your site

  1. Bio/ press kit

For your press kits use Sonicbids, Reverbnation, or Presskit.to.

Make sure your photos really capture who you are, and give clear instructions on how they can be downloaded.

  1. Buy music

Make sure people can find where to buy your music (iTunes, Amazon, etc.). Building your own storefront is always a good idea. But we don’t recommend putting this on your homepage. People are so used to streaming nowadays, and if your homepage doesn’t have a readily available Soundcloud or Spotify link, they may lose interest. An embedded Bandcamp link is a good compromise for this (people can stream it, but there’s still an option to buy).

  1. Your tour shows or performances

We recommend using Bandsintown for this. This allows you to link your shows across different platforms.

  1. Your Blog

Blogging is a great way to connect with your fans and build your brand. Here’s a great blog post about how to get started in blogging.

  1. Media/Press

Embed your best videos, put up your best press quotes, link to an interview you did with a music blog… Basically, talk yourself up. The more legit you look, the more legit people will think you are.

  1. Your Contact Info

Make sure that you have your contact information with an e-mail address or a contact form so people can contact you for online publicity, booking, or just to tell you they like your music. Don’t make it hard for anyone to connect with you online.

After your site is done, make sure to keep your social media sites updated!  That means daily.  This way your whole site remains interesting and dynamic and fully updated.

Note: Don’t forget to create your T&C page and Sitemap. Provide links to these pages in the footer.

 

Step 5: Search Engine Optimization

There is no doubt is saying that your website must be completed by now. Well, that’s true but it does not mean that your website can be found on google easily. To make that possible, you need to optimize your website. In other words, you can either hire people to do this stuff for you or you can do it yourself.

If you want your website to be found whenever someone searches some term other than your band’s name or domain name, I suggest you should hire someone to do the SEO for you. But if you want to use your website just to provide your portfolio or showcase your stuff on specified and particular platforms, then I guess it’s just a little bit of work and you’re good to go. Just read and follow the article below to make your website search engine optimized.

Optimizing your Band Website for SEO

Well, you’ve a lot for the day. And if you think what you know now is beneficial for you, then go start working on it.

 

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