Creating your band website can turn into a somewhat confusing task. You often need to collaborate with a web developer (if you don’t do it yourself), and simply getting all the technical aspects of your site to work can turn into a nightmare, especially if you’re inexperienced.
It’s at these times that you can forget to remember our fans actual experience when they visit your website.
Not only should your site show a consistent branding with how you want to present your band, but it should also include a variety of elements to make sure your fans are able to access your music as easily as possible.
The following elements should be either featured on your home page, or only 1 click away from it.
You do have a newsletter for your band right? If you don’t, you’ll want to consider one. A newsletter allows you to keep a fan engaged with you, and lets you to reach out to them dozens and dozens of times over the years, often creating multiple purchases of your merch, tour tickets, album, or even high-ticket items such as getting paid $800 to play a house show.
Any businesswoman knows that it’s 10x easier to re-sell to an existing client than to a new client. A newsletter takes advantage of this with your fans.
Should it be on your home page, or 1 click away?
Put this one right on the home page. There should be an interactive web form that allows someone to type in their email + name, and be subscribed to your list immediately.
If you’re hesitant to send out emails to a list just quite yet, put up a form anyways and whenever you’re ready to send it out, you’ll already have a list of fans.
If you don’t have a newsletter at least set up, head on over to Mailchimp and start one! It’s free until you get 2,000 subscribers, so that should be just fine while your getting started. Once you hit 2,000 subscribers, you'll have to start paying, but you should be making enough money from your list to justify the cost.
Include links on your band website to your band profile on:
…and any other relevant social networks. I would recommend some of those clever icons that often come with well-designed WordPress themes.
If yours didn’t come with one, or if your website is on another platform, feel free to see some of these free social media icon packs to use on your website.
Make it easy for anyone who wants to hear your music to hear it. Someone should be able to click a PLAY button on your home page and hear your music from your website.
If you aren’t sure how to do it, you can use either Bandcamp or Soundcloud to embed your music; it's incredibly easy. Simply:
If you’re having trouble with this step, then you probably shouldn’t be developing your website anyways, so get your webmaster to do it for you.
After listening, your fans may want to do something else...
Make it plain as day how someone can buy your music from your website. There should be a “buy our music here” headline on the home page so that it’s easy as Chinese food to figure out.
You may want to include links to your music that you're selling on:
...and any other places your music is distributed that would be appropriate to place on your website.
For those of you who don’t tour, feel free to skip this part.
Tour information should be on your website. You might also consider adding links to your band's profile on SongKick, but most importantly you should have a “buy tickets” button next to each location that you’re touring.
You may choose to be more comprehensive, and I leave that up to you, but this is what’s necessary at a minimum if you’re touring.
If you’re using an application like ReverbNation, you may also choose to put your tour and gigs up there, and then embed your event feed on your website. I won’t show you how to do that here, but keep it in mind if you want to take a different approach to showcasing your gigs.
Pretty obvious one here, make sure you include all of your released music on your website. You may want to create a page for every album/EP, and give some more details that people can only find on your website. This helps your fans:
Try and brainstorm here: how can you present your albums in a creative way? What do you want to share about them? At the very least, you should include your track-listing and the lyrics for each song. You might even want to use a Facebook comment box to make your lyric pages even more useful.
Although it’s not necessary, you should make a conscious decision about whether or not you’d like to include a blog on your website. You can use your blog to update your fans on your tour, shows, experiences you gals (or guys) are having, news on new albums, and whatever else you can think of.
You can even review albums that you like, which can often be a great source of traffic. A blog is also a perfect place to review those new cymbals that your drummer just got from his sponsor (another possible source of income).
Decide what you want to do.
Has your band been featured on any blogs, newspapers, review sites, or magazines? You should surely have a page to post excerpts of your features then!
This helps to build credibility not only for your fans to see, but also for record labels or any other music industry professionals who might have the power to bring your band to another level of “stardom”.
This page should also have a press kit that is easy to download. You can always just take the information in my guide for making a band press kit, and put it in a PDF (rather than actually printing it out). Make sure it includes links to your best 1 or 2 songs to listen to online.
And finally, make sure your fans can contact you easily! We’ve already included social media links for fans to use, but we also want to allow them to contact you by email. Make sure to install a contact form on a contact page for fans to fill out.
Your contact page should also include email addresses for promoters or venues to book you by. The email address would look something like “booking@YOURBAND.com”, or “bob@YOURBAND.com”
If you don’t actually have a booking manager, don’t sweat it. Just create an official looking email address that you manage personally; no one will know the difference unless you conduct yourself poorly through email. If you have a tour manager, you would also want to include their email here.
You could also include links to each of your bandmates' separate Twitter accounts, but that’s up to you.
Take a look at The Dillinger Escape Plan’s contact page for an example of a page that’s comprehensive.
I’ve whipped up a PDF that you can print out if you like. It’s a simple checklist outlining the items above. Use it.
If you get everything on this checklist up online, then you should be well on your way to having an effective website (provided your design is sound).
If you need a website designed for your band, I can always help with that. I've done dozens of websites for clients in the past, and I can do the same for your band. If you'd like to work with me, look here for some more information.
My name is Andrew Muller. I love creative art, music, television shows, movies, video games, and a good story.
If you had to find me somewhere, you would probably find me down at O'neils home cooking eating an organic sweet-potato bun breakfast sandwich with ham.
Among my friends, it's a "Muller Classic Move" to eat Mcdonald's at 2am because it's cheap and open 24/7. The joke here is that I'm an idiot.
I play drums, guitar, piano, and I write & perform music for My Goal Is Telepathy. Take a listen to the latest sound here.