Whether you’re doing it yourself or collaborating with a pro, here are some things to keep in mind.
Easy Navigation: Your website should be easy to navigate with a clear nav bar featuring the most important content on your website.
Branded Style: Develop a brand – the colors, fonts, and logo that visually represent you. Write a short “pitch” that you can feature on your home page and use over and over on everything from your iTunes profile to your Facebook page to press releases. If you feel weird creating a “pitch,” use a killer press quote or fan quote that sums up the way you sound.
- TIP: your social profiles should all match your site colors.
Stunning Photos: If you spend money on one thing, spend it on a few really amazing professional photos of you and your band. In lieu of that, feature the cover art of your latest release on your home page. Tyler N Stevie got SpaceCraft to do some custom development to create a full-bleed slideshow of fun photos as their landing page. From there, fans can click ‘Enter Site’ to get into the rest of the content, which features their upcoming shows, a place to subscribe to their newsletter, a track from their SoundCloud page, and their Twitter feed streaming in real time on their sidebar.
Clear Navigation: There are a few sections you always want to feature in your nav if you’re an artist, musician, or any kind of personality.
- Bio. This should be the same thing as your press kit (which you can get on ReverbNation).
- Buy. This can link out to a storefront or iTunes so fans can easily buy your music and other merch.
- Events. It should be crystal clear where your next show or appearance is. You can feature your calendar on your home page or in your sidebar, where it will stick on every page. But you should also have a page dedicated to listing out all your upcoming performances.
- Blog. Even if you only post once a week or once every two weeks, having a blog on your website is critical for artists and musicians. In fact, I just wrote about the top seven reasons every musician should blog. It’s not only a way to keep your website looking fresh (and alerting search engines that your site is active), but it helps engage your fans because they can get an idea of what you’re working on, where you are, and then leave you feedback in the comments.
- Contact. Make sure that you include an e-mail address or a contact form so people can contact you for online publicity, booking, or just to tell you they like your music. Don’t make it hard for anyone to find you online. Fans should feel like you are easily accessible.
After your site is done, make sure to keep your social media sites updated! That means daily. (For how to do it, check out a recent post on my blog with everything you need to know. It's called Ariel Hyatt's Social Media Food Pyramid.) That way your whole site remains interesting and dynamic and fully updated.