Band Websites and EPKs on a Budget

I’ve decided to update a 7 year old article about building a website for your band on a budget.

There are always paths to your goal. Ultimately I suggest finding someone who does design websites (being one of those people), but you can get a website for your band for completely free if you follow these tips. If this is above your head, feel free to contact us. Not sure if your band needs a website? Well here are 13 Reasons You Need Your Own Band Website!

Website for your band: WordPress How To

I personally prefer the self-hosted WordPress. It gives you much more flexibility for your website build than the hosted version of WordPress. There are a few things you’ll need to get started with your band website: Webhosting, a domain name, and while not 100% necessary a SSL. A SSL will help secure your website and you should really have one if you plan on selling merchandise from your website. A SSL will also help with your SEO, or search engine optimization. Search engine optimization is in simplest terms making your website easy for search engines to list within their database.

  1. Webhosting: There are many free webhosts available, finding one that works for your needs could be difficult. In the past I have used Gigarocket with success. They are a host for post webhosting service. They require you to make 10 quality posts in their forums before they give you a free hosting for your website. They also run contests from time to time to do things like double your webhosting limits and give you a free domain for a year.Personally, I prefer to use Webhost Python. I have had success with many other hosts including: SiteGroundWebhostingHubBluehost, & Dreamhost. If you plan to sell merchandise on your website, you need to make sure that you have a SSL available for your use.
  2. Domain: A domain name is your www.yourband.com address. There are many free options here such as dot.tk & point.ml; however, this is the one place that I think you should spend money because most people are so used to the “normal” top level domains like .com, .net, .org that it will be hard for them to remember domains like .cc, .tk, .ml, etc. I personally use Webhost Python & Godaddy and have used Dotster in the past. You can register a domain for for relatively cheap.

Okay, I have my webhosting, domain, and SSL. What’s next?

Design & Management: This is probably the scariest part for the non-designer. I suggest using WordPress as the content management/design for your band website. There are many big name bands that have done the same. Silversun Pickups, Sony Music, The Who, Katy Perry, & The Rolling Stones, to name a few. Here’s a list of some more. There are plenty of WordPress how-to videos on YouTube to get you started.

  1. WordPress Plugins: Here’s a list of plugins that I think are essential when creating a band website using WordPress.
    1. Adding your music to your website:
      1. MP3 Music Player by Sonaar
      2. Fullwidth Audio Players (not free)
    2. Adding your photos to your website:
      1. Envira Photo Gallery
      2. Nextgen Gallery
      3. WordPress also has a built in gallery that I sometimes use instead of adding a plugin.
    3. Keeping your show dates up-to-date:
      1. GigPress – GigPress is a live performance listing and management plugin built for musicians and performers.
      2. BandsinTown – If you use BandsinTown, don’t reinvent the wheel and make your job harder, use their embed codes for your website
    4. Selling your merch:
      1. Woocommerce
    5. Adding your videos to your website:
      1. Embed Plus for YouTube – Gallery, Channel, Playlist, Live Stream
    6. Adding your social media links and links to your music on streaming sites:
      1. Popular Brand Icons – Simple Icons
    7. Get your website listed in search engines:
      1. Yoast SEO
    8. WordPress Security:
      1. Wordfence Security – Wordfence Security – Anti-virus, Firewall and High Speed Cache
      2. Again make sure you choose a webhost that contains a SSL, or purchase a SSL to go along with your webhosting.
    9. Want more control over your page layouts? Use a page builder:
      1. Elementor
      2. Elementor Header and Footer Builder
  2. WordPress Themes:
    1. Using a page builder:
      1. Elementor
      2. Elementor Header and Footer Builder
    2. Using a Theme: This is how your website will look. There seems to be an unlimited amount of themes available for WordPress. I suggest visiting the Theme area on WordPress.org. If you don’t mind paying for a theme here are a few sites to take a look at:
      1. AudioTheme
      2. Sonaar
      3. Band Themer
      4. Theme Forest
      5. Or you might find a list like this one during your google search: WP Beginner’s 27 Best WordPress Themes for Musicians and Bands 2021.

Ok Bill, we’ve read this and you’ve really just given us a bullet point list of things we can use… what would it look like?

I’m glad you asked. Here are some examples of band and music related websites & Electronic Press Kits that I’ve built  using WordPress and a lot of the above plugins and themes:

I still need help.

I am always available to build your band website and teach you how to run it; however, since you’re reading an article about building it on a budget (you should ask me, I bet you’ll be surprised), I may not be in your budget. Here are some websites that may help you learn how to do it on your own:

  1. WPBeginner – this is a great place to learn about WordPress and it’s capabilities. It will teach you everything from the basics to how to build your own plugins and themes.
  2. W3 Schools – learn many web based languages that can help you customize your WordPress install. I use this website a lot when using CSS to customize my installs.
  3. HTML Goodies – Very similar to W3 Schools, this website is where my journey started way back in 1995.
  4. WordPress.org – Download WordPress from here as well as many free themes and plugins.
  5. WPVideoTutorial – Video Tutorials that teach you how to install, manage, and create with WordPress.
About the Author
Bill is a teacher by day and webmaster by night. Bill started working with bands and their online presence in 1995. He founded AK Music Scene in February of 2004 and the Pennsylvania Rock Show followed shortly after in September of 2004. In October of 2016, he founded Podcast your Scene Bill hopes that his websites help the bands around the world get their music heard. Unsigned music creates signed music, and there are a lot of bands out there that deserve a shot at that. In late 2017, Bill started his 4th unsigned music website, www.buildthescene.com