As you know by now I love WordPress and I love Studiopress Premium Themes. It’s not just the best blogging tool but it also makes great websites for:
- filmmakers (PWK Productions, Down to the Dirt)
- authors ( Nino Ricci, James McCreath, Paul Quarrington, Moving stories Film Festival)
- and artists (Rachel Peters)
- NEW! videoblogging sites or web series (Funny hockey series, Ripper Hockey)
What I am wondering is why there aren’t more bands using WordPress to drive their web sites. Especially indie bands who are low on cash and can’t afford the fees to get their Flash-based web sites updated.
When I go poking about different band sites, I keep seeing nicely designed sites that haven’t been updated in months. Their tour schedule is behind, there is no way to get updates either from RSS or email, and it looks deserted. What a waste.
In this day and age you can’t afford to do that. In the ever-changing landscape of the music industry, your relationship with your fans is what counts.
Now, I know how difficult it is to keep your site updated. I am guilty of this myself. But that’s why WordPress makes so much sense. Anyone in the band can update it even if you are a techno phobe. Best yet – you can do it from anywhere on the road as long as you are connected to the web. No fancy software programs necessary – just a browser and your Login password.
With the right plugins, you can even use your mobile phone to make updates. How? You can use for phone to send a message to Twitter and the Twitter for WordPress plugin will make it appear on your sidebar.
Here are more reasons why WordPress for Bands makes a lot of sense.
WordPress is cheap.
It’s way cheaper to set up a WordPress blog for bands than to set up a regular web site. I know start up bands don’t have much money – so don’t go throwing it all into a web site that looks good but never gets updated, or doesn’t serve your fans. Build a WordPress site – save the extra for some other promo work – like proper press kits, EPKs or even a publicist.
WordPress has lots of tools to help you build a loyal fanbase.
Here I go again talking about the great community of developers that build plugins for WordPress that really allow your site to work hard for you. You need to communicate with your fans, and you need them to engage with you. This builds loyalty.
WordPress is built on a MySql database, which means you will be able to do things you can’t do with a regular HTML site. Powerful useful things. Not to mention you can update the look of your site in the future very quickly, easily and economically, so it makes long-term sense too.
Your fans can interact with you – or at least your site.
Do a “From The Road” series and let your fans comment on your web site. Add a guestbook or WordPress forum plugin and let them go at it. Write special blog posts where you ask there opinion on which album cover they prefer.
Google loves Wordress
Google loves web sites that are updated frequently and that’s exactly what blogs are built for – frequent updates. They also publish RSS Feeds (read my cheat sheet on RSS) and ping google too whenever they are updated (you don’t really need to know what that means other than it is a good thing and WordPress does it automatically.) If you comment on another WordPress blog you may get some traffic back to your site, and possibly even a backlink. And Google loves backlinks.
Here are a few WordPress Plugins that make your blog a ridiculously wonderful band web site.
- Discography 0.1. Every band site has a discography page. This plugin makes it easy for bands to store and display information about their songs.
- Gig calendar. Makes it easy to manage and display a calendar of your gigs within WordPress. It’s meant to be as easy as possible for both the musician and the fan. It even manages venue data complete with mapping and ticket links. UPDATE Jan 09 – just got a comment from Dan – he’s updated his plugin and it’s now WordPress 2.7 compatible. Go crazy.
- GigPress. Easy to use, intuitive. And very pretty. Automatically posts to your sidebar, though I wish the sidebar link went to the main post rather than the venue web site. Your post may have more info on it, like time and address and ticket prices, than the venue’s page.
- Event Calendar is another plugin that you could use to display your Tour Schedule. They are set to release a big upgrade.
- The Upcoming plugin from Yoast.com works with Yahoo’s Upcoming web site.
- Get a Twitter account and add Twitter Tools to your blog. The plugin will post and archive your tweets – so you get 2-in-one PR and an easy way to update your blog. What to tweet? Thoughts from the road, from the studio, last minute gigs, chats with other musicians. You can also get widgets that will allow your tweets to appear on your MySpace and Facebook pages – so with one tweet you’ve updated several sites. Remember – you can do this from your mobile phone.
- The MySpace crossposter is another time saver. Any posts to your blog will be immediately crossposted to your MySpace page.
- Play your music on your blog – or your podcast – with Audio Plugin.
- Sell your SWAG with this shopping cart plugin.
Here are some cool WordPress premium themes that are easy to customize and image heavy, so will work well for a band site:
- StudioPress Church – That’s right, the Church theme is one of the coolest for a band web site. Think of it as the church of rock and roll. But most of these themes will make great wordpress sites. Formerly called Revolution themes, these designs are upgraded constantly and come with support if you buy. We can customize them for you too.
- WordPress Remix – This was one of our favourite WordPress themes for corporate web sites, but with the recent upgrades there are some great looks for bands. Try home page style 4 or 5. Has integrated galleries and events pages.
- Tribal Music by Gorilla Themes will need some graphic work to swap your own logo and background into the design, but you will get a cool site with built in music player from Mixpod so that you can stream your music.
More Best WordPress Themes for bands here.
To build a custom site like this would normally cost many thousands of dollars. With WordPress, not so much.
Why don’t more bands use WordPress? Why? Why?
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