So you’ve decided to set up your own site to promote your music. You’ve bought the hosting, installed WordPress (Both essential, learn how to do them both easily here), and are ready to start adding pages. But what web pages should you add to your musician website? Well, that’s exactly what we’re going to look at today!
Check out the below for 8 pages you should incorporate into your site, and what you should include on each of them. While you can leave some out if you like (Or even add some ones not mentioned here), the below is a good idea to get you set up. So, let’s get on with it.
Important Note: Due to the nature of websites and how fast they change, some of the examples in this guide may have changed from the way I’ve described them. If that’s the case no worries, I still mention what makes them good so just take that on board.
1. A Home Page
This is the first page people see when landing on the front of your site. For example, for Music Industry How To, the home page would be here. Generally, the home page of your website should have the main information you want people to see. While Music Industry How To is a blog and contains quite a lot of info, as a musician your home page should generally be less cluttered. Think of your home page as a good introduction to what you want people to do the most.
A good example of this is Justin Timberlake’s current home page, which has the option to sign up to his mailing list at the top, followed by a list of his future tour dates. So his main aim is to get you on his mailing list (Which should be yours too, you can learn how to do that here), and the second is getting you to come to one of his shows.
Top Tip: The reason he’d prefer to get you on his list before anything else, is because once on his list, he can email you to let you know about his tour dates and anything else that’s important at the time. That’s why it’s so important to start a mailing list; ongoing communication with people.
Mailing lists provide you with ongoing communication with fans! – Tweet This
A quite extreme example of a ‘single message homepage’ is Kanye West’s website, which at the time of writing this simply has a picture of a CD. When you hover over it, it gives the date ‘June 18’ and starts playing some of his new music. That’s the main message he wants to get out there right now; “My new album is coming out the 18th of June and I want you to go and get it. Here’s a sample”.
The front page is what people often see first for musician’s websites, so use it to guide people where you want.
2. A Shop Page
A page you simply must have on your website is a shop page. On your shop page, you should give people the chance to buy your music. This can either be in the form of directly having a good shopping cart on your website, or by getting your music on iTunes etc, then linking to it from your shop page. If you ask me, both should be done, but put more emphasis on selling from your own site. This is mainly to increase the amount you keep from each sale, but also to get your fans used to visiting your site directly.
As well as selling your music on you shop page, you can also sell merch such as T Shirts, gig tickets, and anything else you can produce and want to offer. I’d say start off with just selling CDs and digital downloads first though, and only get into the rest if you’re either getting fans who are willing to spend money on board, or if the cost to offer that merchandise on your site isn’t that expensive.
If you want to know how to set up your music for sale on your shop page, check this guide. Just be sure to give a sample clip of your songs before so people are more likely to listen and buy.
3. A Squeeze Page
A squeeze page is a page on your site which is optimized for only one message. For example, if your main aim is to collect email addresses, than your squeeze page will have nothing more than a message and a email opt in form.
The idea behind them is to minimize distractions. You won’t have your normal sidebar videos or links to all the pages on your site on this page; The design is very minimalistic, and there’s nothing much to do other than take the action you want or go back.
I show people how to set up squeeze pages in the Academy, so if you want to learn how to do that check it out.
4. A Video (Media) Page
Next up, you’ll want to include a page where people can see all the videos you’ve got out there. While before I’d call this a media page and include both songs and videos, I’ve found it better to leave out songs all together, and just showcase your videos here.
The reason for this is simple; If people want to hear your songs, they can do this else where. Ideally, on your Shop page, on radio, or wherever else you’re showcasing them.
As I mentioned, on your shop page you should have clips to your songs anyway. If people want to hear your songs, they can go on there and hear them. You can either let them play the full song at a low quality with the option to buy the full quality version if they like, or you can play them half the song and let them know they can but the full version. The choice is yours.
If you don’t currently have any videos for your video page, I suggest you get some up and running asap. This doesn’t have to be expensive, as you can always get a cheap consumer level HD camcorder. You can see where to get one of these and how to shoot your first music video in this music video making guide.
So those are the first four pages you should really include on your music website, it’d be a mistake not to have these. That’s only half of them though, below are four other pages you really should include.
5. A Blog Page
A blog page is an important one if you’re planning on using your website as more than just a online flyer (Recommended). Music careers aren’t static, so your website shouldn’t be either. In order to make that the case, you need to keep updating it with new news and the latest in your music career. This is where blogs come in handy.
A blog is a place where all your updates and thoughts are showcased, appearing one after the other as they’re posted. The newest entry is displayed at the top, so gives the impression of always being fresh with the latest news. An example of a blog page can be seen on the Independent Music Advice front page (This is laid out in blog format).
I seriously recommend you get a blog up and running, and keeping your content fresh.
6. A Contact Page
A contact page is pretty self explanatory; it’s a page which gives your fans and potential business partners (Event organizers who want to book you, people who want you to feature on their show etc) your contact details.
So what details should you have on your contact page? Well, that’s really up to you. That said, most likely you’ll benefit for putting your social profiles up there. Facebook and Twitter are after all probably the best place for fans to contact you, as they’re communications everyone can see so provide good social proof. If all they want to say is “I love your music”, the best place for this to be sent is probably your Facebook wall.
That said, you should also display at least a contact form or email as well. This is for potential business partners that want to hire or work with you in a professional manner. Be sure to make it clear that’s who the email address / form is for, as that’ll help minimize the amount of people contacting your via the wrong method.
While you can put your personal contact number up if you like, remember that everyone will be able to see it, and you’ll most likely get a load of prank calls and people wasting your time. So it’s not recommended with your personal line. Filter people through email first and then give your number to those who are deserving.
7. An About Page
No website is complete without an about page. This is where you tell people your story, giving them a chance to connect and relate to you on a deeper level.
A lot of first time visitors to your website who don’t already know much about you will visit your about page from very early on. It’s important that you include good information on this page, as if you have a poorly structured and boring about page, you could end up making people leave your site.
There are a few ways you can set up your about page, the best ones being:
- Telling your story, or
- Letting people know where they can find out all the details on you (Your bookings, where to buy your music etc).
I’d personally go with the first option, as the rest of your website already shows all that other information.
8. A Gallery Page
Your gallery page is where you can showcase your pictures to the world. While a trend on artist websites which has slowed down, pictures are just as important as ever. After all, if they wasn’t do you think Facebook or Pinterest would be anywhere near as popular as they are now?
If you’ve made a WordPress website, there are plenty of gallery plugins you can download for free. These will allow you to display your pictures in a neat and attractive manner.
So there you have it, 8 pages you should most likely add to your website. If you haven’t added them already, you may want to have a think about whether or not doing so would benefit your main aims in any way. Most likely they will.
So, can you think of any other pages that should be added to your music site? If so, let me know in the comments section below.