Whether you’re touring or still practicing in someone’s garage, your band needs a website. So let’s look at why WordPress is the best platform for bands.
WordPress offers the best ease of use, features, and costs for bands of any size. The popular web content management system powers more than 40% of websites worldwide. Let’s review why your band needs a website and the top reasons your band should use WordPress.
While your fans may find you at a gig, if you want to turn them into groupies, you need a website. Websites offer advantages beyond a simple social media presence to help you grow your fanbase and book more venues. You can use them to share music downloads, sell tickets and merchandise, and keep your fans in the know about everything band-related.
Moreover, it’s important to have a space you own and control. While the current social media landscape has come to feel like a permanent part of our lives, there was a time when people felt the same way about MySpace. Social networks are constantly changing their features and algorithms in ways that could destroy all that you’ve built. Having your own site is future proof.
- Legitimacy. Look big time when you’re still trying to make it. A website gives your band credibility. Your band is a product, just like any other brand. You know how suspicious it makes you when you search for a brand and can’t find their online presence? Don’t let that happen to your band — especially when you’re trying to take off.
- Bookings. The credibility and an easy way for people to contact you should lead to more venue bookings. Don’t assume that bookers use your preferred social network or would be willing to contact you there, but it is safe to assume everyone has email. And, of course, people who want you on their stage can contact you directly through your website.
- Fans. Keep your fans engaged with upcoming gigs, info about new releases, and the ability to buy merch. Of course, much of this info can be shared in your social stream… where it instantly gets drowned out by memes, wedding photos, and the trend du jour. On your website, you can position your new release, jam session video, or latest LP front and center. Use your site to put what’s important to your band where people will see it,
- Analytics. Tracking the data on the backend of your site isn’t as sexy as breaking a guitar on stage, but watching the number of visitors rise every day sure is fun.
We love WordPress. If you’re in a band, you will too. There’s a reason top tier artists like Mick Jagger and Beyonce host their sites on WordPress. Here’s why rockstars, celebrities, and bands use WordPress.
WordPress is one of the most affordable ways to build a website for your band. The software itself is free and open source. The latter means it is owned by the community and will be free forever. The only thing your band has to pay for is domain registration and hosting. Domain hosting starts at about $10 per year, and Pressable’s managed WordPress hosting plans start at $19 per month.
One thing to keep in mind is that the quality of your web host is important. You want to look for hosting that offers superior speed and customer support. A slow-loading site or bad server can cause your site to rank low in search results or crash. If your site ranks low, it will be difficult for fans to find you through search engines like Google. If your site crashes… we’ll, you know why that’s bad. These are some of the reasons we warn people that cheap hosting often costs you more.
And, of course, you want your web host to be able to handle your site traffic as your band gets more well-known. Investing a little bit more in a quality host now will keep you from having to migrate to another host later to keep up with all of the traffic your site will get. You can watch the visits to your site increase daily and know your host can handle the traffic.
You want to present your band a certain way to the world. Your site’s theme is part of how you share your vibe online.
Your WordPress theme controls the look and feel of your website. WordPress has the largest theme library of any content management system. You can even find themes specifically made for bands.
For help finding the best theme, start by reading our post on everything you need to know about free WordPress themes. That will help you decide whether to use a free theme or pay for a premium theme. If you opt for the premium route, that post also includes links to some of our favorite places to find the best paid themes.
There are a lot of amazing themes out there and everything is customizable. Don’t be afraid to use a free theme, but make sure your theme sets the right tone for your site either way.
Who has time to learn how to update your band’s website between gigs and practice? The good news is learning WordPress is simple. You don’t have to be a website genius to use WordPress. You can build and design an entire site without writing a single line of code. That’s what it’s for!
Perhaps you experimented with your own blog a few years ago. If it’s been a while since you’ve used WordPress, it’s worth checking again. Many of the recent releases and Gutenberg updates have added more visual editing capabilities to WordPress.
If you aren’t interested in building out your website in your spare time, it’s ok. More than 455 million websites are on WordPress. That means there are a ton of people out there who know how to work it. You can hire a web savvy friend to manage your band’s site or find a freelancer online to set it up for you. Ask around! You’d probably be surprised how many people you know who already host WordPress sites.
Perhaps you want to share music directly through your website, without the music industry taking a cut. In WordPress, uploading your music is as simple as dragging the files into the Media folder. Then add an Audio block to show the media player. If the default player doesn’t suit your needs, there are hundreds of alternative options, most of them free.
Just as you can easily add an audio block to any page of your site, you can easily embed playlists or single songs from YouTube, SoundCloud, Spotify, Vimeo, ReverbNation, MixCloud, Animoto and more, just by pasting your link into the associated block. You can also embed social media posts, Eventbrite events, Google maps, and more. These features are free and easy to use right out of the box, but you can extend them further with free plugins.
If you’d rather stick to making music and hire a professional for making the site, help is not far away. Another benefit of being open source is that WordPress has a robust and active user community. Think of it like the difference between how many people come together to make Wikipedia, compared to the old print encyclopedias. Support forums and tutorials like the ones we publish on our blog can help you solve almost any WordPress challenge.
If you run into a more complex challenge, finding an experienced developer is easy. Because WordPress is the most popular content management system, more developers specialize in the system. You may find it’s easier to hire help with your WordPress site than other web platforms.
For help or hiring an expert, check out our Pressable partners.
Knowing there are people who can help takes a lot of the load off. If you use Pressable, you don’t have to worry about messing up your site. We back it up every day. So, you can always restore to the last version and try again.
One of the disadvantages of many other “easy” website-building tools is you have to pay extra to unlock any eCommerce features. With WordPress, that’s not the case. Just simply activate the free WooCommerce plugin, and you can instantly add a shopping cart to your website. You can use WooCommerce to sell tickets, shirts, stickers, vinyl, and whatever other trinkets you’ve gathered in your basement. Include digital downloads alongside tangible merch.
WooCommerce is just one example of the nearly endless options of plugins you can use to expand your WordPress website. Most plugins are free or freemium, meaning there is a free version, and you only pay if you need to unlock additional features. For example, you could embed an iTunes feed, connect to Apple music, or sell tickets. At present, there are 59,901 plugins in the free WordPress repository.
WordPress plugins make it possible to add features to your website without having to code them yourself. Just don’t go wild. There is such a thing as too many plugins, as we explored in our post on how many WordPress plugins is too many.
Plugins bands might consider using include:
- Calendar or Event Plugins. Let your fans know about your upcoming shows.
- Email Newsletters. Integrate your email newsletter signup form into your website. Having an email newsletter means you can make announcements directly to your fans’ inboxes.
- Membership Plugins. Create a members-only area for your top fans to build a sense of community. You can even charge subscription fees for the members’ area and include exclusive content or early access to merchandise and tickets.
The key here is not that WordPress has one or two particular plugins that competitors lack, but that they have about 59,000 more. Thus, what you can do is limited only by your imagination. If you see something cool that you like on another artist’s site, you can likely find it or something similar in the WordPress plugins repository
Building the best website for your band starts with picking the right web hosting service. Pressable specializes in managed WordPress hosting. Our servers were built exclusively for making WordPress as fast as possible. Plus, we have a whole team of experts who are on standby to help you figure things out. All you need to do is pick your managed WordPress hosting plan and sign up today.