How to Create a Music Website That Looks Professional
A website should be a hub for your promotional strategies as a musician - it’s like a HQ for everything fans need to know, a direct, up-to-date and reliable source of information about new music updates, upcoming events or shows, merch & product lines - all of that good stuff.
Plus, it puts you in full control of how people perceive your brand online.
Ready to get started? Here's how to create a website for musicians:
Why create a website for your music?
Creating and having your own website as a musician comes with some clear benefits that you can’t get from using social media alone.
Not only does a website create a great first impression when fans look you up online (and they will) but it also shows promoters, booking agents, press and media scouts that you’re an artist who’s serious about their music.
Increase your potential earnings
Websites are the optimal place to sell your merch and give fans the opportunity to support you via crowdfunding and/or membership subscription services.
Create a customisable experience for your fans
The website design, navigation and content is all down to you - YOU choose how your fans experience your music, with no interruptions from ads or other unrelated content as with social media.
Build a strong mailing list
A sign up form on your website means fans can subscribe to your regular newsletters. Email is an invaluable form of direct communication for music promo campaign.
Get insights into your audience
Website analytics and data tracking tools allow you to find out who your visitors are, helping you to better understand your target market and act accordingly. So it’s pretty clear WHY a website is a great thing to get on board with if you’re really serious about doing music long-term.
But now the question is HOW do we build one?
How to make a website for musicians & bands
1. Choose a website builder platform
Unless you’re highly skilled in the craft of HTML, CMS, CSS or any other similarly scary website programming acronyms, chances are you’re going to want to opt for a ready-to-use website builder tool.
And the good news is you’ll be spoilt for choice!
Which one you choose is very much down to your budget & what you want your website to achieve or do for your music i.e. if you want to sell merch, post tour dates, etc.
So with a tonne of options out there, we’ve compiled a (very) brief summary of a few of the best ones currently on the market for musicians.
Recommended website builders:
1. Wix - a popular choice among musicians and bands due to its custom-built music website templates & the ability to sell and promote your music commission free. Features include: personalised text & images, 'follow' links to your social media & streaming profiles, a merch store & more. Price: from $12 p/m
2. SquareSpace - most known for its bespoke website designs and aesthetics, as well as a high level of usability & functionality. Features include: e-marketing, e-commerce, website analytics, integrations, mobile-optimised version. Price: $18 p/m (business plan)
3. WordPress - easy to use and flexible enough to make different kinds of websites. Check out our full musician's guide to Wordpress here. Features include: collect email signups, sell music and merch, total control & flexibility, more functionality & integrations with other platforms. Price: $50 p/m (e-commerce plan)
But don’t worry if you’re on a budget, we’ve got a whole list of free band website builders out there too!
2. Choose a theme
Probably the most exciting thing about creating your website is customising the design and appearance of it to exactly how you want it!
Most website builder platforms will come with a range of pre-sets & templates that you can use to get started, but feel free to make changes to the layout, colour-scheme, fonts & more to make the design feel like your own. You can look at these templates as a sort of springboard rather than a fixed entity.
Now like I said, the appearance of your website is down to you. But you’ll want to make sure it visually reflects you & your sound. Consider things like..
Fonts: Is the font readable, in terms of size & style? Is it consistent with your brand?
Colour scheme: If you’re a heavy metal band, is a baby pink colour scheme really going to give off the impression that you want people to perceive? Perhaps a black or a deep red would work better.
Also try and limit your colours to around 2 or 3 - you should ideally have a primary “brand” colour, a secondary colour and maybe a third accent colour.
Heavy metal band Black Sabbath stick to a black & greyscale colour scheme with pops of purple in the presence of their band logo, reflective of the band’s longstanding history & contribution to the genre despite their eventual breakup.
Whilst Taylor Swift’s primary and secondary colours & overall theme is influenced by an image of her album artwork.
3. Upload a header image
The header image you upload is really important - it’s going to be at the top of your website’s homepage, meaning it’s probably the first thing visitors eyes will be drawn to when they click on your site.
Your header image could be a recent press picture of you or your band, your album artwork...
You should make sure that like your theme, your header image aesthetically communicates your music brand.
It should also be high in quality & look professionally shot (even if it wasn’t!).
Like we said at the beginning, first impressions count. And you really want to blow people away with an EPIC opening header image rather than a cropped, out of focus image that creates a poor reflection of either you or your band.
And if you’re unsure about how to take great press shots, find out how!
4. Add awesome content
Your website should be a one-stop-shop for all of the most relevant and up-to-date info on you as an artist, including all of the most obvious things that fans would look for (such as links to play your music & tickets to your show), but also things that can’t be found anywhere else (such as an email sign up & your press kit).
What you include content-wise is again, down to you, but having all useful info will only help boost your site's SEO ranking and Google listing. But things you will definitely want to think about including (big hint) are…
5. Create a clear navigation menu
You’ll also need to create clear navigation routes via the navigation menu to each of these sections or pages on your website.
The best way to approach this is to structure the pages you want to include in your website in a hierarchy of importance, with the most important at the top and the least seeked out at the bottom.
So you might structure them like so:
Email sign up
Each artist will do this differently, there’s really no right or wrong structure, as you can see below.
Just do what feels right to you & put yourself in the shoes of online visitors, fans or potential PR execs who might land upon your website. What would THEY want to see first?
6. Add a mailing list sign up
One of the most advantageous parts about having your own music website, is being able to collect email subscribers and build a mailing list.
E-marketing is still MASSIVE. And it’s practically the only direct line of communication you might get with a fan or listener to tell them what’s new with you & how they can get involved.
As you can see, every artist - big or small - is on the email sign up bandwagon…
Just like Justin Bieber...
Versus Phoebe Bridgers...
While many of the paid website builder platforms come with dedicated e-marketing tools, for some (and more likely if you’ve opted for a free option) you will need to sign up to an e-marketing tool like MailChimp or Mailerlite.
From here you can integrate the mailing list sign up form into your website via its own dedicated page, ready for visitors to fill out and subscribe when they land on your website.
Learn more about how to build a mailing list here.
7. Embed photos and videos
Everyone loves a good snapshot or video. After all, we’re living in a digital world where image based content is at the forefront of basically everything. And your website shouldn’t be excluded.
Photos are easy to add and they can add visual interest to your overall website. A good way to make use of your pics is to embed them into a designated photo gallery page. This way they’ll also be clearly visible for any press or media leads that need a good bundle of press pics to promote your latest release.
Just make sure the photos you upload are:
Similarly embedding videos can be a really great way of adding fun and engagement to your website! If you’re already uploading content to your YouTube page, you can simply embed those video clips into your website.
Clips from recent shows or a tour, as well as any official music video releases are always a crowd pleaser.
8. Set up website analytics
Last but certainly not least, you’ll want to dive into the world of data, metrics and analytics!
(It’s actually not as boring as it sounds, trust me)
With social media, you get immediate gratification from your fans and followers in the forms of likes, comments and shares. Each of those small pieces of data is a good signifier as to whether people are loving your content or not. But with websites, it’s a lot less clear cut.
That’s why tools like Google Analytics are an invaluable way of pointing you to a better understanding of what’s working and what isn’t. Not to mention, you can gain much more in-depth and high level data from a website, than you can from the no. of new Instagram followers you gained this month compared to last.
Website analytics will give you insights into things like:
Don’t forget, you can always take inspiration from other artist’s websites - such as the examples in this post!
But overall just have fun with it. Building a website doesn't need to be a daunting task, it’s actually a really cool way to create & own a little piece of the web that’s all your own - a piece of self-owned online real estate that houses your most special possession.
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