30 Oct 2019

How To: Build a Music Website

Building a website is a lot easier than it used to be. Originally you would need to learn coding, which is its own language. These days there are other ways of going about it, but you still need a vision. You still need to know what you want to make. Social Media has changed everything, if you want the world to know who you are, you can create a Facebook or sign up to Twitter.  But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t also make a website…

Choosing A Name

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The first thing you need to do is decide what you want to call your website. It’s best to keep it simple, don’t add hyphens or numbers to your URL and make it so that it’s as easy to remember as possible.

There are a lot more domain names (.com, .co.uk etc) than there used to be. This is hugely beneficial, as many of the more popular ones are extremely expensive, but don’t get one that’s too obscure as you’ll look unprofessional.

Hosting

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It’s possible to just think of a URL, type it in and see if it’s available. However, quite often, if it’s not in use, this can be a very expensive way of acquiring a website. Website brokers can charge upwards of £10,000 for a website name, which really isn’t worth it.

Instead, you should head over to one of the more established website hosting sites, like GoDaddy, and see what they’ve got on offer. Not only will you be able to find a URL that you want to use for a fraction of the price it might otherwise cost, they also offer other benefits.

Since most people don’t know how to build a website from scratch, many website hosting sites will give you the option of using website building applications. The most popular of these is undoubtedly WordPress. With hundreds of templates on offer, you don’t have to worry too much about the actual design of the website, and instead can focus more on the content.

Through these hosting websites you will also be able to purchase an email account to add to your website. Rather than using a Gmail or Hotmail account, you’ll look much more professional with whatever the name of your website is attached. 

The Look Of The Thing

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It cannot be stressed enough how important it is to make sure all of the details on your website are up to date. There’s no point going to all the trouble of making a website only to have no one get in contact because you’ve got the wrong phone number of email address down.

Take time to write the main content of the website. You don’t need to have the longest bio, for example, but make sure that it’s easy to read. You should also make sure that all the font colours are easy to read. If you’ve got off-white writing on a white background, no one will be able to read a thing you’ve written. Also, if you’re uploading photos, make sure that they’re high-resolution. All of this goes towards making your website look more official, it’s very easy to turn visitors off if your website is impossible to access. 

Starting a Blog

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Blogging is very important. You don’t need to post about your band every single day, but you do need to post consistently. You can put the post whatever you want, what’s going on backstage, what stage your latest album’s at, how you’re finding your tour. Blogs don’t need to be very long, but as long as you’re putting something out there, it’s fine.

If you don’t have something about your band to say every time then at least post about something that you like or something that’s related to it. Even if it’s just about your favourite band’s new album, then that’s fine

Some Things To Add

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So apart from your bio, contact details and a blog, what else should you add? Firstly, make sure that you’ve linked all of your social media to the website. You should be using this as a hub where fans can obtain easy access to the rest of your online presence. Alongside social media links, put your Spotify and Apple Music profiles on there, and, if you’re a composer, make sure that you have a separate tab for your music portfolio. While it’s worth having this on one of the various websites designed to host portfolios, having it in as many places online as possible will only broaden your chances of being found.

Next, make sure that any upcoming live appearances you have are listed, as well as links to places where fans can buy tickets. Again, the main point of your website should be to make it easy as possible for visitors to access anything you want them to see.

If your band sells merchandise, it’s also very easy to add a secure, online shop. Hosting sites and WordPress will have easy guides to walk you through this. The main thing you need to make yourself aware of is GDPR. These are international laws regarding data and how you should store it. There are hefty fines dished out to anyone who breaks them, so if you’re taking address and bank details from customers, make sure that they’re securely stored and not shared anywhere.

Websites are the best way of grouping your complete online presence together to maximise your chances of finding work. While it’s easy to now set up a website in a matter of minutes, take your time. Familiarise yourself with the website builder you’re using, draw yourself up a checklist of everything you want online and take your time.

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