The potential of your band's website is huge, and it can be so much more than just a place to dump content. We look at some key things to consider from the beginning to make sure your website becomes the best it can be.
Guest post by the Soundfly Team of Soundfly's Flypaper
We’ve got an awesome new free course, made in partnership with our friends over at Bandzoogle, called How to Create a Killer Musician Website. Your website is so much more than just a place to put information about your band and leave it there forever — it can be an interactive hub where all of the news, media, and energy behind your music-making venture collide for fans and industry folks alike.
But let’s back up for a second — what if you don’t have a website at all yet? What if you’re still at the very beginning? What do you need to be thinking about first and foremost? We’ll let course instructor Delaney Gibson tell you more about that.
In the above video, courtesy of the free course, Delaney talks about a few things to take into consideration when starting to build your musician website, whether you’re a solo artist or part of a band.
1. Don’t build your website from scratch if you’re planning on making lots of updates
Some of us on the Soundfly team have direct experience with this one. Sure, building a website using tons of customized code can get you a result that reflects the clearest realization of your vision and brand (although if you don’t do it yourself, it could end up costing an arm and a leg), but when it comes to making even the slightest update, having to change the source code is a pain in the butt. Plus, it could end up breaking everything temporarily, and guess how good that looks to record labels checking you out?
So for this reason, we recommend going with a website-hosting and building platform like Bandzoogle, Squarespace, or Wix. You can be sure with any of these platforms that your website isn’t going to randomly break every time you put a new photo or news item up, and even if it does kinda fall apart, these companies have giant customer support teams at the ready to help you out.
2. Can’t choose a hosting platform? Try a few!
That’s literally what free trials are for. If you’re having trouble with the platform you randomly chose, go ahead and sign up for free trials of some others. Put the same images, logos, text, and fonts on each website and feel them out to see which one fits your usage and style the best.
At this point, any platform you choose is going to be pretty high quality — it’s a competitive market out there, after all. So a lot of the subtle things that differentiate these platforms end up being intangible and intuitive, based on a certain sense you get when using them. Do you want something straightforward but basic, or a bit more complicated but with more customizable options? How important are templates to you versus building it all from scratch? These are the things you’ll discover by simply doing them.
3. Images are more than just pretty page-fillers
Your images tell your story. Do yourself a favor and create some beautiful high-resolution photos of yourself and your band, or at least compile the best images you currently have. People want to come to your website and get an immediate sense of the kind of artist you are, and there’s no better way to make a great first impression than to present them with great images up front.
Delaney advises to first gather whatever content you have before starting to put the website together, rather than doing it all at the same time. That way, you’ll have a better idea of how to conceptualize everything and execute it, as opposed to whipping it all up on the fly.
4. Take a look around!
As one of her last points in the video, Delaney reiterates how important (and fun) it is to go browsing the web in search of other musicians’ websites. Check out as many artist websites as possible and write down everything you love. Don’t worry about “copying” that stuff — just find what styles and layouts speak to you, and you’ll be able to make it your own when you start working on your own website.
What do you think?
What are your favorite artist websites? Let us know in the comments below! And go sign up for our free course to learn more about how to create an effective website for your music today.