There are a lot of bad band websites out there.
There are also a lot of really great ones.
Surprisingly there are only a few basic principles that can separate a great band website from a horrible one.
Here are 3 things you can do right now to improve your layout as well as your user experience.
When deciding on a website design, you must do everything in your power to make the experience enjoyable for vistiors.
Its the same principle as when your band performs. You hope everyone shows up, has a great time, and they leave wanting more.
There’s nothing worse than a cluttered website.
Let it breathe.
When there is too much activity on a page, people are overwhelmed. When people are overwhelmed they get confused. When they are confused, their brain starts freaking out.
So they leave.
Your website is THE center of your web presence. It needs to accomplish at least 3 things:
- Convince people to click play.
- Allow and persuade people to join your mailing list.
- Lead them to buying music and/or merch.
Too often bands try and display their entire career on the home page.
This is what you want to happen when a potential fan visits your website.
- You want them to have easy access to your music. Do NOT make them dig for it.
- You want to lead visitors where you want them to go. If you are selling copies of your new album, then your website design needs to reflect that goal. If you want mailing list sign-ups, make it easy for people to find your subscribe box.
- You want them to be able to contact you. What if I found your website, wanted to book you for an interview, but could not find any information on your website with an e-mail address, contact form, or social media link? You just lost out.
As far as colors go allow me to share some friendly advice, try to stick to 3 colors: 2 primary and 1 accent.
Turn off auto play
Auto-play is notorious for interrupting, not only my vibe, but my workflow.
If I am in the middle of head banging on top of my desk to the latest Soul Sanctuary album, the last thing I want to do is be interrupted by your bubble gum pop song about puppy love….seriously.
Alternatively, if I was in the middle of listening to an interview with my favorite recording engineer, I’m going to be really irritated when your music starts blaring through the speakers.
First impressions are everything and your site’s auto-play has put a bad taste in my mouth before I have even given your band a chance.
Auto-play can kill a good buzz like the police. Turn it off.
You can check out our article 4 Reasons Why Your Band Needs To Blog to learn the why behind this one.
I will elaborate, briefly.
You need to think of yourself and your band as content creators.
In order to be a band, you are already creating content in the form of songs = music + lyrics + practice. For your website, your web presence, and your fan base, you need to think bigger.
When consulting with others about their online presence, blogging is always met with resistance and a big…
“ugh..I don’t have time for that”.
Don’t have time for what? Expanding your fan base? Moving your music forward? Getting s*** done!? Then go find a job.
Blogging is a lot easier than people think. Even if you hate writing, you can still successfully blog. More people listen and watch than read so the odds are already in your favor (if you hate writing).
Here are some ideas:
- Have a camera? Create videos discussing the stories, processes, or nuances behind your songs. Pick 1 song a week, figure out how to capture the best quality video possible, upload it to YouTube, then embed the video in a blog post and promote it for a week.
- Listen to music? Review albums from your friends’ bands, bands you are a fan of, or popular bands in your genre. If you enjoy their music, chances are your fans will too. This will help drive traffic to your site through SEO as well.
- Podcast. Podcasting is essentially creating an mp3 file and uploading it to the web for consumption. Create a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly show with a theme or a specific focus in mind. Then let us show you how to get your podcast on iTunes.
The important thing is to decide on a strategy, stay consistent, and never give up.
Have you seen a horrible band website lately? Share it below in the comments.
(Good) Website Examples
Note: There is no such thing as a “perfect” website so do not spend a lot of time stressing out about the design or layout of your website. The important thing is to keep it simple, make it enjoyable for your fans, and make sure you are directing people to take action (download, buy, share).
Also, remember that your website is a living, breathing, organic asset. Just because it looks this way today doesn’t mean you can’t change it tomorrow.