You’ve got music, you’ve got album artwork, and you’re getting streams.
A great way to keep building your following is to create your own website, but don’t fall into the “vanity trap.”
A lot of first-time website creators obsess over how their website looks and end up creating a site that looks nice but does nothing for their goals. That’s a real shame because a website can be so much more.
Your website can be a 24/7 sales machine selling your music around the world. Don’t get me wrong, the website is going to look great, but the point is to grow your fanbase and sell music, not just to say, “Hey look, we have a website.”
Now that I’ve got you on board with my way of thinking, let’s talk about what making a band website requires.
How complicated will this be?
If you’ve never made a website before, you won’t be done with this over the weekend. This will take some work.
You won’t need to write any code, but you will have to learn some new tech skills and familiarize yourself with WordPress. At the end of the day, there’s quite a bit to learn but none of the steps are that challenging.
You should make the website yourself if you want to save some money and you have a genuine interest in learning how to run a website.
Altogether, the site should cost around $160 to make with an annual cost after that of about $90/year.
If you hire someone, it will cost $500+ and you will need to pay someone every time you want to update the site (spoiler alert: that will be often).
If you’re still excited then let’s talk about the tools you’ll need to build your band’s website.
Get your website domain name
Before you do anything else, the first step is to pick out a domain name.
The goal is to find an available domain name so that it only costs $10 instead of the thousands a domain broker would charge you.
Finding an available name is pretty easy once you know a few tricks. I have a guide on finding available names you can follow, but here’s the simplest technique.
If your band is called “The Websites” then ideally, you’d want to register thewebsites.com. Let’s say that’s taken. Instead, you’d register thewebsitesband.com. Just add “band” to the end and you’re virtually guaranteed to score a solid .com domain name for $10.
You don’t have to register it just yet because you can get it for free by following the next step.
Get web hosting
To get your site online, you need web hosting.
When someone visits your domain, you need a server to send them the contents of your website. You’ll rent space on a server to do this which we refer to as hosting. Virtually all businesses pay for hosting with only the world’s largest tech companies, like Google, managing their own server hardware.
Hosting will be your biggest expense, but for the reasons just explained, it’s completely necessary.
For new WordPress users, I always recommend Bluehost.
Bluehost is very affordable but still provides reliable performance and uptime.
I used Bluehost for my first WP sites about 10 years ago and they worked well for me then. I tested them again recently and their product has only improved.
The one complaint I have about Bluehost is that they push a lot of upsells, but that’s why they’re able to offer cheap hosting in the first place 🤷♂️
If you’re looking for a high-performance option, Kinsta is the host I use now for all my websites including this one. While I love their service, the pricing is high for a new and yet-to-be-profitable website which is why I recommend Bluehost instead to get started.
Also, when you signup with Bluehost, they’ll let you register your first domain name for free which saves you about $10.
Plus, they also auto-install WordPress for you.
Learn how to use WordPress
After you create a Bluehost account, you’ll get a live WordPress website right away. It all happens pretty fast.
Now it will be time learn the basics of WordPress and how it works.
I have a 17-part video tutorial on how to create your first WP site, but you can pick things up at video 5 if you want to jump straight into the WordPress dashboard.
That video course will teach you all the fundamentals you need to be productive with WordPress.
Once you’ve got a handle on things, you’ll be ready to really start customizing.
Pick a WordPress theme
With WordPress, we use themes to transform how the website looks.
If you’re on a tight budget, you can pick a free theme. We’ve got 19 free WordPress themes and lots of our users are already using them for band websites.
Otherwise, you can choose a premium theme.
The main difference between a free and premium theme is that premium themes include more features. That can be a pro or a con depending on what you’re looking for.
A free theme will be easy to use and you’ll be finished customizing sooner. However, you could find the options too limiting. On the other hand, a premium theme might be overwhelming, or you might love the massive number of customization options at your disposal.
If you identify with the latter then check out the awesome Mozo theme.
It will take you longer to learn how to use this theme, but it’s got a gorgeous design and all of the following features:
- Beautiful audio player
- WooCommerce integration for selling music & merch
- Tour dates layouts
- Email subscription forms
- Integration with Elementor page builder
- Photo galleries
There’s really nothing you can’t do with this theme.
That said, if you want additional recommendations, we have more top themes in this collection of the best music WordPress themes.
Once you’ve picked out a design, you can start customizing your website.
The options you have available will depend on the theme you choose, but if you want some ideas, check out this guide of 31 ways to customize a WordPress website.
When you’re happy with how it looks, you’ll be prepared to start promoting.
Start promoting your website
With your WordPress site online at your new domain and your theme fully customized, you’ll be ready to rock.
We don’t have a lot of content on how to promote a new website yet, but the best way to get your first visitors is to share your site with any existing followers you already have.
Tell your friends and family, post on Twitter, Facebook, Youtube – anywhere you have a presence.
I hope this guide helps you to build your first band website, and if you learned something new then make sure to share it with someone else you think would enjoy it before you go.