Musicians need all the exposure they can get in order to gain recognition. Their art needs to reach as many people as possible. While Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, iTunes and so on, have become the most popular promoting tools among bands and solo artists, having your own website conveys even more professionalism.
An attractive, well-conceived and well-designed website helps your fans stay up to date with all your activity and helps you as a musician as well, by offering you a platform you can use to keep in touch with your fan base and share everything related to your work in a more organized way.
If you are a musician, you probably don’t want to spend time messing around with codes, when you could be working on your breakthrough hit. And if you are just getting started with your career/band, you probably don’t want to invest a ton of money in hiring a web developer or a web designer, either. If that’s not your case, this article is not going to be of much help. But if you do fall in this category, keep reading.
If you are not the most tech-savvy musician out there and you don’t want to spend time learning how to work with CSS, HTML, PHP and other such programming languages, you can still have a great looking website. There are several options you can choose, but the most common ones are using a website builder or creating your site with WordPress. We recommend the latter for several reasons: first of all, because it is free and it gives you a lot of freedom of creation, it is very user-friendly and also because it has millions of plugins and themes you can choose from, and their number increases everyday. Not only that, but you should know that a lot of big celebrities have their official websites built on WordPress: Katy Perry, Snoop Dog, A-Ha and many more. Even Sony Music Entertainment, which represents Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, Celine Dion and other huge artists, has its website built on this platform.
Although WordPress itself doesn’t have enough tools to create your perfect site, what it does have are countless plugins that will allow you to add the missing ingredients: a music player, a music library, a way to manage your photos, add a calendar with your events and upcoming shows, an online shop and more. There are some plugins that are specifically designed for this purpose, like: GigPress, Event Organiser, GigsCalendar, Spotify Master, SoundCloud Master, Cue, NextGen and more.
Here are some of the most popular themes you can use for your website: Music Club, Lucille, Vice, Croma, Vocal, FWRD, Oscillator, Superstar, Nightclub, SONIK, Mesh, Sonorama, Obsidian, Singl. There are so many more out there you can try, depending on your taste and expectations.
After your website is built, you also need to get it up and functional, so the next thing you are going to need is a good, adequate hosting provider. Because we’ve focused on WordPress for the building part, we are going to enumerate the best hosting providers that are suited for WordPress sites and have affordable plans. Here are some companies that fit the budget of a small/mid-sized musician site:
BlueHost: it is endorsed by WordPress since 2005 and has really affordable starter plans.
iPage: has a package that costs only $1.99/month and a WP Starter package for WordPress, that goes for $3.75/month.
InMotion: has great WordPress optimized plans
HostGator: affordable and ‘WordPress ready’, with normal, shared plans and WordPress cloud hosting.
ASmallOrange: they offer everything from shared, business, reseller, dedicated hosting, to WordPress optimized hosting that comes with one-click-installation.