All musicians need websites to present their work to the world, attract concert presenters, and establish relationships with fans.
The following guidelines will empower you to publish an effective site at low cost and regardless of your facility with technology.
Build a Musician Website in 4 Steps
Step 1: Determine the purpose of your site
For rising performers and composers, websites generally serve as portfolios of their work and can also promote income-producing activities such as teaching, concertizing, and gigging.
It’s vital, therefore, that you consider who your audience is and how you will use the site to communicate your mission as an artist.
To gather ideas, visit the websites of others in your field.
Step 2: Draft a list of required pages
For performers, essential pages typically include:
- Home page, featuring a compelling photo along with a press quote or mission statement
- Bio page, with another powerful photo; you could also have a link to a resume and/or electronic press kit
- Media page, with audio and video clips
- Events or calendar page, if you’re sufficiently active
- Repertoire or Sample Programs page – depending on your specialty, you might alternatively title this page Compositions or Projects; performers do well to include sample programs
- Teaching page, if appropriate, describing your mission and services (performers who are busy teachers will commonly publish a separate teaching website)
- Contact page, with a fill-in form
In addition, you’d include links to your social media, integrate a blog if you publish one, and incorporate a sign-up form for any newsletter. If you sell merchandise, you could include a page titled “Shop” or maybe “Merch.”
MailChimp offers the top freemium email newsletter service. It’s free for lists with fewer than 2000 subscribers, and not overly costly for larger lists such as mine (I use MailChimp to distribute The Musician’s Way Newsletter).
Step 3: Assemble content for each page
Gather photos and videos, edit your recordings, draft your bio and other text.
Aim to assemble different photos for every page of your site such that the photos tell the story of what you do as an artist.
Include the likes of head shots and full-body shots, performance and rehearsal stills, and images of you practicing or teaching. Bear in mind that our brains process images far more quickly than text, so uplifting photos can make immediate and lasting impressions on site visitors.
In total, this content-gathering step is typically the most time-intensive part of the site-creation process.
Step 4: Start building
With all of your content in hand, you’re ready to build. For starters, you’ll need to purchase a domain name, if you don’t already own one (i.e., a URL such as yourname.com); the domain can typically be acquired via the company that hosts your site.
The resources below represent a sampling of commonly used services for hosting and constructing websites.
Opt for a drag-and-drop interface such as Weebly, which is remarkably easy to use and provides plenty of attractive design templates. With your content ready, you can create a site in an hour or two. Alternatively, consider Bandzoogle or SquareSpace.
For an easy-to-launch professional teaching website that enables you to accept credit card payments, maintain an online calendar, and more, consider MusicTeachersHelper.com.
I recommend WordPress.org, a free platform with abundant themes and plugins (note that WP.org is distinct from WP.com, which is more of a simple blogging tool).
With WP.org, you purchase a domain name and hosting plan separately, e.g., from GoDaddy.com. (WordPress.org is the content management system I use to publish MusiciansWay.com; I host with GoDaddy.)
Contact me if you need help building an effective site or otherwise advancing your music career.
Visit the Music Career Resources page at MusiciansWay.com for additional online marketing and search engine optimization tips.
© 2012 Gerald Klickstein. Updated 2018, 2020