WordPress Blogs For Bands

wordpress for bands

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:

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.

There are great WordPress Themes for bands here. Here’s a WordPress site I built for the Toronto Blues Band Porkbelly Futures.

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?

This website runs on the Genesis framework

Genesis Framework

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Comments

  1. Thanks for the Event Calendar plug.

    I’m interested that you raise the subject of event location (venue). Event Calendar will soon include location information in iCalendar feeds – direct to your calendar program.

    Currently we’re just planning to drive it with a “Custom Field” – add a field called “location” to your post, and it’ll appear in the calendar feed.

  2. Thanks for letting us know. Sounds great. I have had a bit of trouble training my non-tech clients on the custom fields part. Hopefully one day that will become easier.

  3. I can’t believe I haven’t caught on to the wordpress bandwagon sooner! I’ve got our site up and running with wordpress but currently trying to find a theme that I can easily customize to fit our style.

    I’m pretty knowledgeable with html and css, but I don’t have much under my belt as far as programming languages go such as PHP. Anyways, I’m working on it. Thanks for your post, it’s been of much help and inspiration!

  4. Regarding Gigs Calendar support…

    There was a while there that I was having trouble keeping up with everything. I’m doing my best to keep up with comments and emails now, but I apologize if your stuff fell through the cracks.

  5. Hey Dan, nice hearing from you.

    Yes, definitely understand knowing how tough it is to get everything done.

    Thanks for the update. I’ll update my blog post too. It’s good to have as many options as possible.

  6. The reason that more bands don’t use wordpress is that there are few available themes that are structured like band websites. Most wordpress themes just look like, well, blogs. Those that don’t are the “magazine” themes and most of those are difficult to customize.

    I recently started using wordpress for my site, and it’s been a giant pain. I’m currently using a theme purely because it’s functional, but not because i particularly like the design.

    Now, if you’re a designer who’s got php knowledge and a pretty hefty understanding of css, you’re set, but most musicians i know just aren’t. This includes myself, even though I probably have a much better understanding of web design than most of my musician friends.

    I have found a few examples of band websites that are using wordpress that look great.

    http://sandramccracken.com
    http://ilikeandy.com
    http://www.theswellseason.com/

    But just try googling “wordpress theme for bands” and the results are pitiful. WordPress is a great tool for content management, but at this juncture, it’s an incredibly frustrating endeavor to make a wordpress site look like a band website.

  7. Hey Wes, I still think a regular blog site is better than a site that is never updated, or doesn’t allow your fans to participate.

    And I am pretty sure band members are building those non-blog sites anyway. That’s why they aren’t getting updated. They paid someone to build a fancy Flash site, and now can’t afford to get it updated. To update a Flash site, or even an HTML site, you have to know some shit.

    That’s why I think blogs are better. You don’t need tons o’ skills to update them. And you don’t need fancy tools. Just a web browser.

    True, setting up isn’t always that easy – especially if you want to customize, or set up some of the fancy plugins, and SEO tricks. But man, pay someone to set it up for you. Setting up a WordPress site is way less expensive than building an HTML site, and you get way more functionality.

    If you’re serious about being in a band, I think dropping some dough on a new web site makes total sense. And don’t forget..Google loves WordPress too…

    I dunno.. i think the sites mentioned here look great, and you don’t have to wait for that Flash stuff to load, only to find the site hasn’t been updated in over a year.

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  9. Cool post! I’ll bookmark this page and wish to share it to all my friends and clients.

  10. Hey guys, If your looking for WordPress Band website themes checkout > http://www.bandthemer.com

    All of our thenes are GPL themes, see > http://wordpress.org/extend/themes/commercial/

  11. Cognitive. I would like to hear more expert opinion on the subject

  12. I think that this issue is very difficult to understand

  13. Many bloggers are using WordPress because it’s so much easy to use and manage. Most blogs I’ve encountered are powered by WordPress. It’s definitely a popular choice for bloggers.

  14. I’m in the middle of reviving an old band site right now. Unfortunately I can’t find the myspace cross-poster plugin. Oh well. Thanks anyway for this great post.

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  51. Try our new band theme as well, http://www.mybandtheme.com, it has a lot of functions specifically designed for bands, such as music sales, concert management, discography, social features, etc.

  52. We have been using WordPress for our band site and love it! Its still taking time to develop but it looks amazing. Thank you for the plugins, I use some of them but about to use the myspace thing…..right now!

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Trackbacks

  1. [...] Here are what I think are the best WordPress themes for bands,  musicians, rock groups, chamber orchestras or  anyone eles involved with music that needs a web site.  To see some of these WordPress themes in action or why I think WordPress makes excellent sense for musicians, check out my article where I rave about WordPress Blogs For Bands. [...]

  2. Why bands should use WordPress blogs (includes a few themes and plugins): http://bit.ly/d6iKxi

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