Joanna and I have had the same website since 2010. We’ve been so thankful for it. Our friend @jakebondo built it and did an awesome job. We’ve loved having a site that looks sharp to send people to, but it is time for a change. Our WordPress-based site was right in the “current” zone when it was built, but now websites have evolved. They are now using more screen real estate and many now adjust automatically to fit different mobile devices. These features either didn’t exist or weren’t being used much in 2010. Because these new features are available today we knew we didn’t want to just change the skins and photos. So now we are making a complete change and this time I am building our website. In this post I am going to describe a little about what is involved to build your own website, and I will give you the links you need to do the same so that you can start building websites for artists you represent, yourself, or for your band.
Why Social Media Isn’t Enough
I’ve been surprised how many artists I talk to that don’t have a website. I understand why to some degree. They can be a little challenging to manage because you have a lot more to maintain than say a Facebook page or Twitter account. On the other hand, social sites don’t offer the same abilities and flexibility that your own website can offer. When you have a website you own real estate on the web and have total control. People can find sanctuary in your ad-free website and focus more on your content exclusively there. With a content rich website you can use social media and email list communication to create a complete promotional machine. There are all-in-one website options out there like Squarespace, or you can buy your own hosting and choose your own framework to work with. I have chosen to buy hosting from Bluehost and I am using the WordPress platform to build on because of the versatility and functionality the WordPress universe offers. Since I am not a developer I have chosen a WordPress template to build into that is designed by Audiotheme. Audiotheme is a company that has built WordPress templates specifically for musical artists.
Why I like Audiotheme
I found Audiotheme templates a few months ago and loved the functionality that was built into them. As artists we need a template that gives us the opportunity to let people hear and see us easily and have a media rich site that offers the opportunity for monetization. Audiotheme’s framework allows all of these things. Their templates look great and are in the current web style zone so that you’re site won’t look like it was made 5 years ago. Most, if not all, of their templates adapt automatically to differently sized mobile device screens. In addition to this, their customer support when I’ve had questions or problems and Twitter replies have been an amazing help.
Timeframe For a Build
When you begin to build your website I would suggest you find a day to a week where you can devote some time to get it completed. Your website could feasibly be completed in a day, but in case you have some hiccups or just want to let it sit with you for a bit before you put it out there give yourself about a week for the design. If you don’t want to do it yourself, hire a high school student to help you. WordPress is easy to use as long as you or your helper will watch the videos on the links I am about to share. If you don’t watch these videos and you are unfamiliar with it you will probably never figure it out. It is easy but it’s not drag and drop intuitive. The videos reveal all the places you will go in your the WordPress interface to edit and load the different parts of your website.
The Audiotheme templates are currently a one-time price of $69. You can pay for upgrade support in year two, but you don’t have to. You should also make sure you download the their two free plugins CUE and Simple photos with your theme. Bluehost plans for a one domain website start at $3.49 a month and go up. If this is your only website, the cheapest Bluehost plan will probably work well for you. Bluehost is also offering a free domain for the first year. Each year after that the cost is $15.99. This is all really affordable.
3 Phases to building your website
- Use the image link below to go set up an account with Bluehost and install WordPress. You can purchase a domain name from Bluehost as well if you do not have one. Watch the first 6 short videos in this playlist of WordPress Walkthrough videos to learn how to get started. You don’t have to watch all ten videos in the playlist because we will be moving to Audiotheme video tutorials next. If you already have a hosting account and WordPress site then install the Launcher plugin to let people know your site is under construction. It will point people to your social sites while you work on the redesign.
- Go to Audiotheme using the image link below and purchase and download a template. All of them are pretty cool. The one you will choose depends on your design taste. I chose the Promenade theme because I liked it’s layout the best and it seemed to have a few extra features because it is one of their newer template designs. If you are worried about having a site that is the same as everyone else, don’t worry, your pictures and logo will make it look authentic.
- Install your Audiotheme theme to WordPress and add your content. These videos do a great job explaining how to add photos, and media to the site. Because I have a little experience with WordPress I thought I could figure this out-I couldn’t. Don’t make this mistake. Watch these videos.
After you go through these phases your website will be functional and ready to rock! In my next post I will be talking about the plugins I have added to enhance our new site. Adding plugins will make a huge difference in your site’s functionality and security.
Thank you for reading this post! If you have any questions please email me or make a comment in the comment section. If I missed something important please make me aware so I can make corrections that will help future readers.