The evolution of music consumption has gone from physical (think CD’s, cassettes, minidiscs? and vinyl) to digital. And, while a good website has long been an important part of a musician’s repertoire, in this day and age it’s downright vital.
As both a hub for distributing music and connecting with fans, an artist needs their website to be the center of their online universe.
With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of five tips to make any band’s website rock out loud. We’ll also show you some excellent WordPress themes that will help you bring these features to life.
1. Provide Quick Access to Music
It may seem a bit obvious that a musician should, at the very least, make a few songs available for streaming and/or download. But that’s the bare minimum. Care should be taken to ensure that listeners can get to your music without having to hunt for it. Adding an extra layer of convenience, such as keeping tunes playing while users explore the rest of your site, will be much appreciated. It shows that you aim to please the most passionate music fans.
Zona is a WordPress theme that utilizes AJAX. That allows their slick, fully-responsive music player to keep on playing as you navigate from page to page. Content is easy to manage via the included Visual Composer plugin. You’ll also find plenty of attractive page layouts and an event calendar to post your upcoming gigs.
2. Encourage Commerce
While it’s great to allow for some free streams and downloads, part of the ultimate goal is to sell a few tracks along the way. Whether you’re selling your work through your own website or through third parties like iTunes or Google Play, you’ll want to give fans an opportunity to make a purchase. After all, sales will help you live that rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle.
Lucille is built for commerce – wherever it takes place. It’s compatible with and customized for WooCommerce, so it’s great for music and merchandise sales that take place directly on your site. And, the theme has built in Discography management. This enables you to link to outside marketplaces, including Amazon, iTunes, SoundCloud and Google Play. The theme also includes event management, a video post type and the ability to easily create photo albums.
3. Prominently Display Upcoming Events
The experience of seeing a band live can play a big part in turning casual fans into loyal ones. So a full-featured showcase of upcoming gigs is an important complement to any band’s website. Beyond the basic date and location, elements such as links for purchasing tickets and maps to the venue make it easier for concertgoers to see you up close and in-person.
Muzak displays events in style, with bright colors and an easy-to-read layout. Events management is built in with integrated ticket purchase links and Google Maps capabilities. Also included is a handy event widget that will allow you to display your upcoming shows anywhere on your site. The theme has everything a band could want, but also features an “Artists” post type that a club or even a record label could benefit from.
4. Make Personal Connections
Every music fan wants to know more about their favorite artists. And even the slightest bit of recognition in an artist’s social media feed can make someone’s day. You can bring that personal touch to your website with elements like a regularly updated blog, photo galleries, artist biographies and social media integration. While none of these features is necessarily unique to music, they are simple ways to create a connection.
Playbit is a theme that provides all the tools you’ll need to connect with fans. Easily add a Twitter feed to promote your account. Add bios and photos for band members so that listeners can get to know them better. Choose one of the many attractive blog layouts to share what life is like on the road or in the studio. Also check out the included background video/image slider, menu variations and a slew of theme customization options.
5. Utilize Motion to Create Good Vibes
A band or artist website shouldn’t adhere to the normal standards of the corporate world. It should be anything but boring. For example, the smart use of animation and video can turn a static page into something that better reflects your personality. It isn’t necessary to use over-the-top motion, but rather utilizing just enough to make for a compelling experience.
SONIK does a fantastic job of incorporating movement into your design. The use of subtle animation under text headers calls attention to important content. Video backgrounds can be used to add a bit of excitement to a page without overwhelming users. The theme includes features suitable for musicians, DJs, artist communities, radio shows and other related entities.
It’s a Hit!
Ultimately, an artist’s website should be both a reflection of their art and a guide for all of the ways to experience it. Keeping those principles in mind will allow you to connect with fans and build momentum. Each of the themes mentioned above provide you with plenty of tools to help make it happen.