After 7 years, this article has been updated. Please read the updated version here: www.buildthescene.com/band-websites/
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 104 reasons why you do!
- Webhosting: There are many free webhosts available, finding one that works for your needs could be difficult. I have recently found Gigarank, which is 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. I currently have one of my websites hosted there. They also have Cheap Webhosting options if you determine you need higher limits. Some paid hosting companies that I’d suggest: Webhost Python, SiteGround, WebhostingHub, Bluehost, & Dreamhost
- 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 Godaddy and have used Dotster in the past. You can get a domain for about $10/year depending on the type that you choose. I have recently had a client also use Gigarank to register their domain.
- 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. Motley Crue, Dope, & The Rolling Stones, to name a few. Here’s a list of some more.
- WordPress Plugins: Here’s a list of plugins that I think are essential when creating a band website using WordPress.
- Nextgen Gallery – The most popular gallery plugin for WordPress and one of the most popular plugins of all time with over 9 million downloads.
- GigPress – GigPress is a live performance listing and management plugin built for musicians and performers.
- TubePress – Displays gorgeous YouTube and Vimeo galleries in your posts, pages, and/or sidebar. Upgrade toTubePress Pro for more features!
- Page Links To – Allows you to point WordPress pages or posts to a URL of your choosing. Good for setting up navigational links to non-WP sections of your site or to off-site resources
- Ultimate Social Media Icons and Share Plugin – The FREE plugin allows you to add social media & share icons to your blog (esp. Facebook, Twitter, Email, RSS, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+, LinkedIn, Share-button). It offers a wide range of design options and other features.
- Wordfence Security – Wordfence Security – Anti-virus, Firewall and High Speed Cache
- Fullwidth Audio Player (not free) – Add a fixed audio player to any page on your wordpress site. Create your playlists and add them into the player or anywhere in your wordpress site.
- If you’re going to use Fullwidth Audio Player, then I also suggesting using Ajaxify WordPress which will allow your music to play non-stop while someone is browsing your site.
- Jetpack by WordPress – Your WordPress, Streamlined
- WordPress Themes: This is how your website will look. There are literally a million choices out there and many places to find them. If you’re looking for free, I suggest googling “Free WordPress Themes” or 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: