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.
Making a Music Website: 5 Tips to Follow
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.
2. Use simple, attractive design
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.
Keep your design simple too. You want your fans to be able to immediately find what they’re looking for within seconds of arriving on your site, whether that’s music, tour dates etc. which leads us perfectly on to the next important point.
3. Put essential content on 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. Here’s what you need to feature front and centre.
<p style="padding: 20px; color: #000000; background-color: #ffffff; border: 8px solid #000000; text-align: center;"><strong>- Press shots
</strong><br><br><strong>- Music player
& links</strong><br><br><strong>- Tour dates
</strong><br><br><strong>- Mailing list sign up
</strong><br><br><strong>- Social media links
</strong><br><br><strong>- A short bio
We’ll dig into a couple of these features in a bit more detail in a moment.
You can, of course, include a top navigation bar to other areas of your site with more details about your music, shows, history, inspirations etc. However, putting all the essential content in one place makes it much easier for any visitors landing on your site.
4. Include a mailing list sign up form
Email is still one the best marketing tools in a musician’s arsenal. Your social media post often won’t reach all your followers, but if you have a fan’s email, you have a direct line to them to plug your new music and upcoming tour.
Have a prominently place mailing list sign up form on your homepage. You could encourage people to offer up their email addresses by offering some sort of incentive, for example, a free track download, priority gig tickets or merchandise discounts. Whatever you think will appeal to your listeners at the time.
If you’re not sure how to set this up, check out this article on email marketing for musicians, which explains how to set up and embed a sign-up form on your website, and start emailing you fans with updates.
5. Feature links your socials
A big social following isn’t everything, but it does help when It comes to getting new fans and industry tastemakers to give your music a chance. So, it’s important to direct people to follow and engage with you on your social media page.
You could simply include links to your social pages at the top of your homepage, but if there are other, more innovative ways to boost your following.
Like offering incentives for signing up to your mailing list, you could also use a Social Locker plugin for WordPress to help boost your following. Tools like Social Locker require a visitor to like your social media pages to unlock a piece of information - perhaps a discount code for your music or merch. It's an easy and effective way to boost your follower numbers.
What do you prioritise when creating a website to showcase your music? Do you have any suggestions for artists looking to get started building one? Let us know in the comments below.