Web sites are a perfect promotional tool for musicians and bands. They offer ways to showcase music and videos. It means that fans can interact with the band anytime they want. Promoters and venues also get to see the group or musician in action. Having a dynamic web site is essential for the marketing of any musician, whether a soloist or rock group.
New bands may opt to run their own website but those who want to use freelance designers and developers need to know how much it will cost. Prices of web sites can range widely, especially so with web sites for musicians. But as a rule, you should be able to get a designer to produce a starter web site for around £500.00. This excludes and a domain name or hosting costs.
Most smaller bands or musicians will be able to get away with a fairly modest hosting package. A starter web site such as the one I develop doesn’t need a lot of server resources. I would recommend the business hosting package at 1&1 Ionos is more than sufficient. You get a free domain name and it costs as little as £5.00 per month plus VAT.
Features of a band or musician website
Then it’s a case of building out the website using WordPress and some associated plugins to help integrate your social media channels. This can be done yourself to save money but it does take time to learn how to tweak the web site to get everything working well and looking good.
The time you save on getting your musician website live and working could make the cost of hiring a freelance website developer and realistic option. Especially as developers can work quickly and confidently on the project. For instance, someone who orders my starter package will have their web site up and running within 2 days. That can be important to get your band promoted and bookings coming in.
The minimum you should be looking for when setting up a music group web site should include the following:
- option to listen to the audio of the group
- option to see the group in action
- find out where fans can see the group gigging
- ability to buy music tracks of the group
- ability to buy fan merchandise for the band.
- have a contact form to inquire about bookings.
In addition to this, there should be a section where fans can find out more about each of the band members. Fans should also be able to read about the history and influences of the band.
With a little bit of tweaking a WordPress based web site can achieve all these.
Audio on a musician website
Having an audio option is essential for any musician website. People want to hear your music after all. I like working with Spotify. This is a good platform even for smaller bands as you get a payment – admittedly small – for every play of your track. Your music has to be submitted to Spotify through a distributor or record label but there are cheap options for bands just starting out.
Spotify offers a number of recommended distributors for bands to sign up with to get their music on Spotify. Probably the most affordable one is DistroKid. It charges $20 a year and you can submit as many tracks as you like for that fee. They also don’t take any royalty payment so you get to keep all earnings. Not only is DistroKid for original songs that you write but it can also help with your cover song rights payments. It’s probably the best $20 a year that any band can spend. Your music is not just sent to Spotify but to over 150 other streaming services and music purchasing stores.
As long as the music sharing platform you use – such as Spotify or Soundcloud – has an API then you can normally insert a playlist of your music onto your website. In the demo site I linked to above I put in place a Spotify feed. This comes as standard in starter musician websites I offer.
Youtube on a music group website
Another good way to promote your band on your web site is with Youtube videos. It’s fairly straight forward to add a Youtube playlist feed to your website. This gives something that fans can watch over and over again. It’s also useful for booking agents and promoters to see. It enables them to see the sort of stage show that you put on during your performances. It also lets them organise the correct music genre for the gig venue.
Videos are probably the best marketing tool you have has a musician. They are fairly easy to make now thanks to the high-quality cameras you find on phones. Get someone to record some tracks as you perform at a gig. It is also worth spending a day recording a more structured video with good sound and lighting.
There are plenty of plugins that lets you add videos to your website if you use WordPress. My starter package for musicians uses a slider effect for videos. It looks good and is easy to operate.
Adding events calendar to a music group website
You’ve sorted out the audio and videos, now it’s about letting your fans know where they can see your gigs. Having a good events option can really help promote your group. There are some really good ones for WordPress that just plugins in quickly.
A word of warning with events plugins. Some of them offer the option for a Google map to show where the gig is being held. These can be really useful but Google no longer offers free access to their map API. You will need to sign up for an account and you will be charged for the number of times that a map is called. This can add to the running costs of your website so you need to think carefully about this option.
Making money on a bands website
You also want to monetize your website to ideally make a profit. The most profit of selling your music is to sell it yourself on your own musician website. Most starter packages will offer this facility. The package I offer for £300 certainly offers this music shop opportunity. People should be able to buy your music and your cost will be the processing fee which is a small fraction of selling on stores such as Amazon and CD Baby.
The other way to earn money from your music website is with merchandise such as t-shirts and hoodies. This can get expensive you buy bulk in advance. A lot of bands will sell t-shirts at concerts but it can get expensive to sell a wide range of things like hoodies and jackets. These are expensive to produce for new bands. Spreadshirt is a great way for groups to earn money from their website. You just upload your designs and choose which clothing to print on. Spreadshirt does everything and pays you a royalty every time an item is sold. It integrates really well with WordPress so well-stocked merchandise store on your web site without any costs. Obviously you don’t make as much as having t-shirts printed in bulk but there is also no upfront costs or risks.
So with both music sales and merchandise sales, you can more than cover the cost of your website running costs and even make a profit. When ordering a website you really need to ensure the package or design you opt for offers at least these two options.
Features of singer’s website
The other main sections of a band website would be a contact form so people can book you and an about page to give a little history of the band. You could also have a section with bios of each of the band members.
All of the above things are covered by the starter web package for musicians that I offer. It is a very affordable package for new bands or those just wanting to update their online presence.
The ongoing cost of a music website
Ongoing costs of a website need not be that expensive. Web hosting for can cots as little as £5.00 per month plus VAT. If you opt for more enhancements of some features you may need to buy an annual licence fee. Some of these can be quite expensive so care needs to be taken when choosing. Ongoing maintenance, tweaks and functions can be sourced on a freelance basis.
Freelance developers normally charge around £40 an hour and will charge to the 30 minutes. This can be quite effective and affordable as an experienced WordPress developer can do quite a lot of work in 30 minutes.
So how much will it cost to have a basic starter web site for a musician or group? Budget for around £300 to install a basic package. Then there is ongoing hosting costs and any possible licence fees.
If you like the look of the demo site for the music web site then please get in contact and let’s have a chat about your project.