Top 5 Features of a Band Website

Being based in Nashville, Tennessee, Ten Ten Studios has worked on several band and musician websites in the past. A band website typically has some unique features that would not be necessary in other markets and so they can pose some interesting challenges to developers.

1. Event or Performance Calendar

A calendar offers two key benefits to a band's website: alerting your fans to upcoming performances and providing new content for the site. While the importance of the former is fairly obvious, the latter is valuable in terms of search engine optimization. New calendar entries can be fairly short but can include important keywords such as the style of music, band member's names, location -- all of which are good for Google and other search engines to catalog. Frequent updates show that your site is replete with fresh content, even if they are fairly small updates. And of course, it's important to get your fans out to the shows so make sure that you're including the venue name, address, phone number, and possibly a link to the venue's website.

2. Contact Information

Large or small, a band wants to get calls for gigs so a contact form plus phone and mailing address are crucial. Larger groups would want to include the information of the booking agency while smaller performers would likely do their own booking. Make sure you set up an email address and phone number that is monitored regularly!

3. Description of the Band or Musician

An About the Band page is great but make sure you have some prominently displayed content on the site's landing page that describes the style of music, instrumentation, type of venues that you perform in, etc. Think in terms of keywords and phrases that your target audience would use to search and use those in your description. Depending on the size of your market(s) you may have difficulty standing out among similar bands so a good, accurate description can help you be found more easily.

4. Downloadable and/or Embedded Media

When it comes to music, everyone wants free samples so give your audience a few on your website. An embedded YouTube video or a streaming MP3 can help your fans connect with you and bring in new visitors to your performances. If you don't have a CD recorded yet you can make a quick and dirty recording (but still good quality) using a stereo digital media recorder, portable 4-track hard drive recorder, or the like. Likewise, someone in your band might have a decent enough video camera to make a good YouTube video -- post it and link to it from your website.

NOTE: Do not embed your music in a way that it starts playing automatically. There are few things that will cause a visitor to close their web browser faster than auto-playing music. Let them choose when to press play -- don't do it for them!

5. Good Design

Here in Nashville, Tennessee, there are musicians on every corner, working in every restaurant, and singing in every bar. As a result, it can be difficult to stand out -- having a well designed website and other promotional material makes you look professional in a sea of weekend warriors.

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