Working as a musician or playing in a band means a constant effort to reach new listeners and earn new fans. Your website and social media presence are key to this—especially when it comes to connecting with audiences beyond your hometown and typical gig radius. A great website can help you build your personal brand or your band’s brand, find new fans all around the globe, garner more media attention, and increase your income from online music and merchandise sales.
Any professional website should start by adhering to these general web design best practices. But beyond that, there are more specific web design best practices for musician and band websites that help maximize the effectiveness of your site.
Tips for Designing a Great Musician or Band’s Website
- Echo the style and aesthetic of your music with your web design. For example, if you primarily aim to create a moody, mysterious atmosphere with your music, do the same with your site design; if your music is predominantly upbeat and cheerful, your site should be too. Just remember to keep it simple and tasteful.
- Have a dedicated page where visitors can listen to your music. It should include audio tracks of complete songs (nobody likes only being able to hear the beginning of a song), official music videos for songs if you’ve made them, and videos of you or your band playing live.
- Only use high-quality media on your site. This includes audio and video of your music, but it also goes for all the photos and other images. Poor-quality renderings of your music won’t help earn you new fans, gigs, or media coverage, nor will it represent you well if people share it. Low-quality images don’t reflect well on a brand either, and even make a site seem out of date and untrustworthy.
- Place prominent social media share buttons with your music samples. Odds are good that your fans and people discovering your music have social media connections with similar taste, so make it effortless for them to share your music on their own pages.
- Create an e-commerce page on your site where users can buy tracks, CDs, and merchandise like shirts, hats, posters, mugs, or whatever other merch you’ve made.
- Include a website page with a downloadable press kit. It should contain an engaging bio or brief story of the band’s history with individual member bios, high-quality headshots and other photos of you or the band (try to offer a few of you performing), links to your social media pages, and links to other relatively recent reviews, press, or other media coverage.
- Have an awesome About or Bio page that’s full of personality, details about yourself or all the band members, and the band’s history. Fans crave biographical and historical information about the musicians and bands they love. This is a powerful way to use your website to form strong relationships with people who appreciate your music.
- Talk about the inspiration for songs, your songwriting process, your biggest musical influences, and other aspects of your art. Fans love opportunities to get insights and insider information from their favorite songwriters, singers, and musicians. You can do it on the page where you have samples of your music, in blog posts, or even on a dedicated page for this sort of content.
- Beyond what we said in the previous two entries, keep your website copy to a minimum. Website visitors don’t generally want to see much text, and it’s a distraction from your best selling point: your music. Let your music be the star of your website.
- Use your website proactively to collect email addresses. Subscription to a blog or newsletter is a common way to do this. You could also offer extra free music to users who sign up for your mailing list.
- Keep your website updated with news and new performances. A Blog or News page makes this easy. If you’re not currently touring or playing live gigs, consider creating fresh content with live video on Facebook, Instagram, or other social media sites. Even adding written or video content about new songs you’re working on, other music you’ve recently discovered, etc. keeps your site looking active and current.
- Make it easy for people to get in touch with you. Have a Contact page in the top-level navigation, and provide an email address and a simple web contact form.