So you’d like to get yourself a rockin’ music website built on WordPress (pun intended)?
Great (!) because WordPress can certainly handle the task.
That being said, there’s still a range of things that you should be aware of, and especially if you’re building the site on your own.
So to make your job easier, here’s our list of the 5 things to consider when building a music website on WordPress.
1. What makes a quality music website on WordPress?
First of all, what we might call a music website can have a range of different purposes and goals. Three of the most popular ones seem to be:
- building a fanbase (for a band / musician),
- selling records or events,
- delivering news or serving the community around a topic related to music.
What these all have in common is being closely connected to the audience of the site and resonating with them in one way or the other.
This means that a quality music website on WordPress should serve its visitors first, and only then focus on the author / business that owns the site.
Also, the branding aspect is particularly important for a music site. Being memorable is often the difference between success or failure – something that every band knows very well.
2. What’s the perfect design for your music site?
Music websites usually aim for a fun vibe and try to make the visitor feel like they’re part of a tribe, so to speak. It’s a very effective way of convincing them to keep coming back to the site.
A quality music website design on WordPress can be characterized by:
- It needs to look modern. Music is a very trendy niche, and everything that seems like yesteryear’s look won’t land well with the audience. If you want to stay relevant, your design needs to follow the trends. Right now, this means wide, bold graphics (see below), and single-page layouts packing a lot of info on the homepage.
- It needs to use good visuals. The goal here is to showcase yourself (or your band, or whatever the topic of the website is). A great way to go about this is to choose a WordPress theme that allows you to use high-resolution graphics in the background or in the hero section of the header. An example by one of our themes:
- It has to be brandable. Custom logos, custom background images, large visuals as described above … it all plays an important role for the site’s general brandability.
- Be careful with dark designs. There’s this strange belief that a music website should be dark toned and remain mysterious. While some mystery might help, too much of it can become tiring and overall discouraging. In the end, if you like light tones on websites, go for it.
- It needs to look good on mobile. Mobiles is where people consume most of their online media – including music (study says). If your music website on WordPress isn’t mobile-friendly, you’re missing out heavily!
3. What features you need on a music site
Here’s what we think is a crucial set of features for a music website on WordPress:
- Integrated audio/video players for streaming media. No matter what the specific goal of your site might be, if it’s music-related, at some point, you will want to stream audio. Make sure to either get a theme that has this feature built-in, or try a plugin like Compact WP Audio Player.
- Events calendar. Whether we’re talking about actual events (like concerts and so on) or online events, a mechanism that enables you to schedule those and let people join can be very useful.
- Custom post types. In some cases, you might find that the two default content types in WordPress – posts and pages – aren’t enough to satisfy your needs. What about things like: audio, video, event, album, and so on? Make sure that either the theme you select allows you to create new content types, or try out a plugin like Custom Post Type UI.
- Good SEO. People need to be able to find you. Without an SEO-friendly site structure, you won’t get far. Get a WordPress theme that takes care of your SEO effectively.
- Optionally, e-commerce support. If you intend to sell anything from your music website on WordPress – like maybe some digital media downloads, t-shirts, and etc., you should have some form of e-commerce enabled. The best way to get this done is through a plugin like WooCommerce. Just make sure that your theme is WooCommerce-ready.
- Mobile optimization. Just like I mentioned above, this is a must.
- Discography management. Depending on the purpose of the site, you might want to be able to upload your own music, instead of having to embed it from a third-party service (like SoundCloud). Good discography management built right into your websites can come handy in such a case.
- Media management. Setting specific things like discography management aside, some general media management should be available in a music website as well. I’m talking about things like image galleries (e.g. pictures from events), videos, and etc.
4. Customizable homepage – why you need it
Typically, a music website is a very lively place. A lot is going on, and what’s considered “news” likes to change frequently.
In an environment like that, you simply need a customizable homepage. It’s very likely that you’re going to alter it frequently.
A good WordPress theme should allow you to put custom content blocks on the homepage, so that you can share your newest audio streams, videos, events, albums, or anything else that’s of importance. And the more freedom you have to do so, the better.
5. Social media integration on a music website
Social media is a very important marketing component these days, and even more so when we’re dealing with a topic as lively as music.
Chances are that you already have a following on sites like Instagram or Twitter. The first thing you should do is embed your social stream right on your homepage or in the sidebar of the other pages.
Another thing you need is a set of simple social media share buttons – they will allow your visitors to spread the content of your website to their friends and followers. For a simple solution, the Jetpack plugin does a good enough job.
What’s your take?
Are you working on a new music website on WordPress? Feel free to comment if you’re struggling with anything or have any questions at all.