New website — where to start?

This article is intended for musicians who are looking to start a new website. It also provides hints on how design4music can help. Well, we are ready to build it for you but there's a bit more to this. Your input is required.

What is your website?

What is your website?There’s a popular saying “content is king”. It means that your website is comprised of text articles, images, media files and then some “design” around that — not the other way around. No matter how cool is the visual shell — it gives nothing if visitors don’t find useful, interesting, frequently updated, and just relevant information on your web pages. Because, well it was said, content is king!

Thus, preparing the content is the best way to start working on a new website. And this is your task!

Content drill down

Let’s talk about “content” in connection with a website for a musician. What is required for creation of successful web pages?

Site structure

The structure goes first. In our case we talk about simple list of all pages that musicians usually need. Typically these include:

  1. Home page
  2. Bio
  3. Bands/collaborations
  4. Discography
  5. Press
  6. Photos
  7. Contacts
  8. Links

Home page

There are a lot of options what can be shown on your home page. It is a good idea to choose from the following:

  • A small intro text about who you are (that will be linked to your full bio/cv)
  • Something like “your news” which is basically any current info related to your professional life. (You will be writing that once in a while to keep it relevant).
  • Your most recent recording(s). A paragraph of text about each recording might be a good idea. This should be current/updatable block
  • “Oncoming concerts” information presented as a list of events.
  • Good quality portrait photo of your choice (webmaster never knows what is the best image of his client).
  • Additionally your might place there your favorite quote (random quote) — something that refers to your life philosophy or your approach to music... do you know what I mean?

One thing we don’t recommend — let’s say “No” to “welcome” pages. These pages typically containing some dull graphics and the word “enter” are yesterday of the Internet. People want to get straight to the point. Why not to show some respect to their expectations?

Bio/download resume

You need an up to date, comprehensive biography article. design4music will also make a pdf download and a printable version of this text (useful for concert agents, journalists, etc)

Bands*

Some info about each of your current and former bands is essential. List of collaborations is the easiest, if not the most accurate, way to describe who you are. It is a proven “weapon” designed to widen your audience. Creation of such document might sound like a huge work especially for musicians with long career in music. We suggest that you started from a chronological list of your groups. Then gradually build up content adding band’s members and other relative information. This can be done gradually.

Depending on how much info you prepare about each of your artistic projects we will choose optimal layout for publishing this information on your website.

The band description should contain:

  1. Band name/title
  2. List of band members/instruments
  3. A text note/description
  4. Band photo

Additionally you can have:

  • A photo album for each band
  • Concerts of this band
  • MP3 sample tracks
  • Links to videos
  • Recordings with this band
  • ... things like that

*band — or ensemble, group, project, collaboration — we talk about any lasting musical unit you have ever been a part of that is important for your career presentation.

Recordings or discography

Each recording typically contains the following information:

  1. Title
  2. Band/musicians/instruments
  3. List of tracks
  4. Label, release year, release notes
  5. Image of the disc cover

Do you have any other recordings related info? For example some musicians add info about their unreleased recordings along with a proposal to release them.

Press

This can be a separate page for all reviews/articles/interviews or you can have them attached to recordings. Various options here depend on how many articles you are planning to make available. Artists with long recording career might have hundreds of reviews. In this case it might be a good idea to select a limited number of them and put under a title “Selected reviews”.

Photos

Some good quality photos required for building a photo album or gallery. We can help with selecting photos and contact jazz photographers on your behalf. We have established connections with some of the photographers who work in NYC.

This is the core so to speak. Bio article and some down loadable photos are important for local tour promoters. They use it for producing concert posters, leaflets, etc, and to advertise your concerts online.

Discography is a very popular page with music fans and records collectors. Similarly people interested in your music might be excited to find your entire career documented as a list of ensembles you’ve been a part of with photos and reviews.

And of course there has to be a direct way to get in touch with you and find your latest news, especially concert schedule.

Altogether this is what we call a website for a musician! Get your data together, keep your files organize and call us to bring it all online in a nice, appealing shell.

Good luck!

Request a free quote!

Request a free quote or just write Max to max@design4music.org

Content check list

Ideally, by the time you made a decision to order a new website or revamp your old one, you have:

  • Good idea of content for your home page and/or ready text
  • Bio article that describes your work up to date
  • List of bands + clear idea of how extensively you want to cover each ensemble
  • Discography + clear idea what info you are going to have for each recording
  • Estimates of how many articles/reviews/interviews you are going to have
  • Selected photos or at least one-two “theme” photos for your site

    Additionally provide the following info:

    • Are you going to have mp3 samples?
    • Are you going to have other multimedia files (videos, pdfs)?
    • Are you going to sell recordings from your website (paypal)?
    • Are you going to have a blog?

The above info is extremely helpful. It can speed up the whole affair a great deal!

Meet us on the web