With every type of website comes a series of general Dos and Don’ts to keep in mind. For example, a professional website for a law firm wouldn’t want to have a bunch of flashing images or slang, but should always have clear, easy-to-read information accessible to all kinds of potential clients.
However, the attention-grabbing images and use of colloquialisms might be perfect for a gaming website. So, what do you do if you’re an artist, musician, or band?
Here are 7 important features to consider when setting up such a site.
1. NO Advertisements!
This is more of a “must not have” than a “must have,” but it’s every bit as important as other features. When your website is centered around art, music, or anything that requires holding the site visitor’s attention, the absolute last thing you want to do is flood your website with advertisements to steer attention away from your content.
Sure, you might be able to make a couple of bucks here and there from clicks or endorsements, but you’re ultimately sacrificing site traffic, potential clients and gigs, and even your reputation. People are much less likely to take your artwork or your band seriously if you’re openly relying on advertisements for additional income.
2. A Blog (That’s Regularly Updated)
Most website themes will offer the option to maintain a blog. Even WordPress themes that are specialized for artists will cater for creating a blog as part of the site.
Incidentally, if you’re looking for great WordPress themes for artists do check out the following post from CollectiveRay: https://www.collectiveray.com/best-wordpress-themes-artists
Taking advantage of that feature is actually a great way to connect with the public, show off your latest accomplishments, and keep your website up-to-date and fresh. You can post recent stories and adventures as an artist, information about upcoming or recent shows, discussions about struggles and successes, and countless other topics to keep your website relevant and your fans in the know.
3. A Mobile-Friendly Version
As a website centered around aesthetic appeal and content availability, it’s absolutely vital that you ensure the site works on any platform. Check to make sure that it not only works across multiple popular browsers, but has a functional and visually appealing mobile version as well. There’s an increasing need for mobile-friendly websites across numerous genres, but it’s especially important for artists and musicians.
Most artists and musicians have income that relies solely on people noticing, taking an interest in, and investing their time and money in their creations. If people could only reliably access website information from a desktop or other stationary device, the artists’ visibility would decrease dramatically, as would their income.
4. Social Media Widgets
More often than not, if you go to a popular band’s website, you’ll see a series of widgets for different social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. These are valuable tools for anyone hoping to expand their own network and increase their visibility. Someone who visited your site, fell in love with your creations, and became a fan can share their favorite pieces directly from your site to their own preferred social media network and expose you to all of their peers. They can also follow you on multiple platforms and share your own posts across them all. Simply having those options available on your website can dramatically improve traffic to your brand.
5. A Stylish Yet Easy-to-Navigate Design
Naturally, the way your website is laid out is every bit as influential as your content itself. You can have the most captivating content in the world, but if your layout is difficult to understand and hard to navigate, no one will be interested in the headache it takes to access that content. Make sure that you have menus that are short and straightforward, your color scheme makes it easy to read text or see images properly, and your information is accessible to those with special vision or hearing needs.
However, you also don’t want your website to be plain and boring. As an artist, you need to stand out and show off your creativity! With this in mind, find the perfect balance between the above guidelines and a unique theme that will help you grab people’s attention without sacrificing simplicity and ease of use.
6. Image Compression Plugins (for Artists)
When you have an image-heavy website, especially when those images are the very thing that will help you earn money, the amount of time it takes for your website and those images to load needs to be a top priority. Many image-heavy sites make the mistake of forgetting to minimize their file size so that their site doesn’t lag unnecessarily.
Thankfully, there are a variety of image optimization plugins that can help you avoid long loading times and prevent people from leaving your site out of frustration without ever seeing what you have to offer. Some of the most popular plugins include WP Smush, Imsanity, ShortPixel Image Optimizer, Lazy Load, and reSmush.it Image Optimizer. These plugins will take your image files and pare them down so that they neither weigh down your site nor lose any of their quality in the process.
7. Contact Information
Having multiple forms of contact information that is both up-to-date and easy to find on your website is perhaps the single most important thing to have on your website. After all, if no one knows how to get in touch with you, how will you ever book new gigs, find new clients, or make more money?
Most websites will have a dedicated “Contact Us” tab in their primary menu bar, which makes it perfectly simple for a visitor to find what they need.
You can either format this page so that the visitor fills out a form that gets emailed to you or simply provide your contact information directly on the page. If you don’t have a physical business location separate from your home, we recommend opting for a contact form. However, it doesn’t hurt to include an email address and phone number that’s specifically used for your work.
These are just a few crucial features for your website as a singer, artist, or band, but they’re certainly some of the most impacting. As you’re creating your site, keep these points in mind and research what other successful creators in the same field have done with their own websites! See what works, what doesn’t, and what can be modified so that it works in your favor, then create something that’s entirely your own and sends you on the path to success!