You’ve got a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Soundcloud. That’s great! You’re already headed in the right direction. But if you want to be taken seriously by your fans and music industry professionals, you need a website of your own. This article is going to take you through the simple steps of creating your very own WordPress website!
Benefits to Having Your Own WordPress Website
As cliche as this sounds, your band is your brand. Having at bare minimum a landing page for your band is going to be a huge help moving forward in connecting your fan base and creating a central location for everything that has to do with your band. Think of your band as a small business.
Use your band’s WordPress website to unify all your social media content, provide a homepage for your fans to discover more of your music, find out where you’re going to be playing, and where to buy your tunes.
Purchasing A Domain For Your WordPress Website
Locking down your domain name is the most important step in creating a foundation for your band’s WordPress website.
There are several domain name providers you can use.
Two examples (and the best options) are:
Unfortunately, your domain name might already have been purchased. My name is currently a website for an Australian dancer with the same name. Sometimes fate doesn’t roll in your favor.
Don’t fret! this gives you the opportunity to be creative. With the correct SEO and content, your page can even beat out whoever has your full band name in search engines. Take Aer for example. www.Aer.com belongs to the Atmospheric and Environmental Research organization.
So what did Aer do? They made their website http://www.freshaermovement.com/.
Your first step should be heading to GoDaddy to purchase a domain. Your next step would be to set up a hosting service, such as BlueHost.
Setting Up Hosting For Your WordPress Website
When it comes to website hosting there are several options for you to use. It’s best to shop for the best deals because many of these hosting providers will offer great incentives for you to choose them over their competition. Bluehost is a hosting service that has been around since 2003 and has been consistently ranked highly in user reviews and articles.
BlueHost is also one of the few companies recommended by WordPress, the service we will be setting up to manage your content.
Things to look for in a hosting service:
- 24/7 customer service
- One click WordPress installation
- Top Rated service provider
BlueHost is one of the highest rated services because of the high user satisfaction ratings and their multiple options available to its users. Their customer service chat box (which loads directly in the web browser) makes it easier to communicate, rather than deal with back and forth emails.
It’s recommended for small businesses and blogs, and the plans can be scaled up with as amount of visitors to your site grows. They have promotions running that can get you a free domain plus hosting for $2.95/month for the first year.
The steps are relatively straightforward to set it up.
Go to bluehost.com and pick your plan. I recommend going with the most basic version, but the plus version will get you more emails and unmetered website space.
After you pick your domain, you have the option to either enter your already purchased domain or to create a new one through their service.
The final step is to enter your payment information and review your purchase before submitting.
Setting up an Email Account
There’s no better way to come off as professional than to have an email address associated with your band name or band website. This gives you leverage to book gigs like a pro, respond to fan conversations, and have multiple people in the band have their own @bandnamehere.com email.
Each hosting service will have some sort of internal navigation. If you ever get lost, contact their customer service. They are more than willing to help you set your email accounts up!
If you are not familiar with WordPress, it is one of the most versatile CMS’ out there. CMS stands for Content Management System, which means it essentially lets you run a website and all the content on the website without having to write a single line of code. Huge publications like TechCrunch, MTV News, Fortune, Time Inc, and the New York Times use it, as well as thousands of small businesses, startups, and brands.
Most hosting services have
one click WordPress installation somewhere on their internal navigation.
It’s as simple as clicking on a button and your site will be running WordPress. After you install it, you will have your very own admin panel to help you oversee your themes, posts, and site content.
What’s great is that WordPress makes it possible to have multiple people with different levels of access, making it perfect for an entire team.
Finding the Right WordPress Theme
Ffinding the right WordPress theme can give your website the perfect look and feel you’re after.
There are thousands WordPress themes online to chose from, and the WordPress installation itself comes standard with a small handful of simple, clean themes.
Run a Google search for “free WordPress themes” and prepare to be overwhelmed!
There are thousands of free WordPress website themes, but there are also a large variety of beautiful premium themes.
One of my favorites that I personally use is Avada. It comes with a bunch of different themes inside it and has good customer support.
Setting up a theme is relatively straightforward using the “Customize” feature.
Finding the right theme is pretty simple when you know exactly what you want. What’s the most important stuff your fans want to see? Your music (or links to your music), where they can buy your music, where you’re going to be playing, recent news, and pictures of the band. Make sure to hit on these points for the best website experience for your fans. Make sure that the WrodPress theme you choose hits on these major points so your fans receive the best user experience possible on your website.
Googling “Best Free WordPress Themes for Musicians” will give you a good variety of the top themes out there for your band page.
My favorite WordPress Website Themes
I love this theme for bands. It’s simple and has exactly what you need. You can customize your homepage with a high quality image, as well as add some of your content straight from Soundcloud. All of the social media links are at the top left – don’t worry if you are not using all of them, you can delete some upon customization. Scrolling down on the theme shows upcoming dates for future shows.
This is one of the cleanest themes I’ve seen, but as far as customization goes you are locked into its simplicity. This is great if you are just getting started and want a landing page, but if you are expecting a more elaborate set up this theme doesn’t give much way for added customization. It also doesn’t have an internal blog page, but that can be added inside the customization page within WordPress.
I’m a fan of this theme because I’m a firm believer that a nice, high resolution image can do wonders to set the vibe for a website. You can pick an image that best flows well with your music, or add an image of your band for that personal touch. This theme also has links to social media readily available, which is critical in integrating all of your social media audience. The only drawback seems to be that it doesn’t have a place to upload your music, but that can be solved through a plugin that allows you to embed your songs from youtube or Soundcloud.
Muzhit is a pretty cool theme to help you showcase your music in a colorful way. It stands out from the typical trending themes. This gives you a couple rotating slides on the home page, allowing you to show different sides of your band rather than hoping one good image can tie everything together. As much as I like the theme, it is a bit clunky in design for my taste. I’m more a fan of the simplistic, clean themes – but everybody is different! Pick a theme that best suits your band’s personality and ultimately meets your goals.
The above three WordPress Website themes are free. You can check out a few other options are here.
In reality, there are countless beautiful free and premium themes that aren’t hard to find.
Proper Setup of SEO For Your WordPress Website
What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. This pretty much means that whatever page or content you create, if done with proper SEO, will pop up ahead of other related content in Google, or whatever other search engine is used. If you have a band name that is relatively unique like Aer, it will have less competition in the search engine and will pop up closer to first. But if your band name is something like Air, you’ll be competing with pictures of clouds, movies, AirBnb, and Macbook Airs.
The key to remember is that search engines do not look at how pretty your website is, they merely read the content to see what is applicable for the user searching. The words, content, and material on your website need to be of a high quality and quantity for search engines to pick it up. This can be tricky for a simple site design. The solution here would be to have an internal blog that is focused on not only making interesting content that speaks to your audience but content that hits the key SEO phrases to bring in visitors. Think about what you would type into Google if you were searching for music, and try to include those exact phrases in your articles. Words found within your content that accurately match the words found within your titles are given more credit. The amount of links to your website matters as well. Search engines scan the entire internet and give value to the amount of links on different pages that ultimately bring the reader to your page.
SEO can get tricky, especially because results may take a few weeks or even months to see. The good news is that social media is overtaking SEO in terms of music discovery very, very quickly. When was the last time you actually googled something like “Death metal band”? My advice is to not spend too much time intensely studying the dying art of SEO and just have the basics covered.
Having an internal blog does wonders for not only your SEO, but your brand image and email collection as well. Figuring out how to build an effective social media presence will actually take your SEO to a new level – just be sure to link your band’s website on all your content to give it more weight in search engines.
So with these simple, painless steps, you can create your very own WordPress Website. This will just be another way to promote your band, but it will also serve as a hub for all things related to your band. It will be a destination for fans, where they will find your social media, photos, bios, and most of all, your music.
If this article helped you in creating a website your band, please give it a like, share, and comment!!!