COMING IN 2021

BandTheme

From The Creative Corporation

Stunning WordPress themes from one of the leading web design agencies in the music industry.

“Band Theme is specifically designed and built for bands and musicians… individually tailored for different styles and genres of music, putting you in complete control and allowing to cultivate your online visibility…”

BandTheme enables bands and musicians, at ALL career stages and levels of success, to create professional, high-end solo artist and band websites – simply – and at a fraction of the cost of an agency-built site.

With a ‘future-proof’ platform and the ability to add all the widgets, bells and whistles you could want or need, from streaming services and social media to merchandising, BandTheme has the power to rocket propel your online presence…

So whether you’re an upcoming musician, band manager, record label exec or established artist with legions of fans around the world, build your next website with BandTheme.

Enter your email address below and be among the first to know when BandTheme launches.



The Creative Corporation

 

 

 

Musicians: Why you Need a Website in 2021

BandTheme Blog | Tag: Music Marketing

For several years now, there have been countless instances of musicians becoming ‘internet famous’ before becoming bona fide music mega stars. Whether it’s Soundcloud rapper/singers like the late XXXTentacion and Post Malone or YouTube-originating pop sensations like Justin Bieber and Ed Sheeran, you’d be forgiven for thinking that as long as you have a strong social media and streaming presence, there’s no real need to have an actual website in 2021. But you’d be wrong.

Whilst social media and streaming sites are an integral aspect of a successful band or musician’s online presence, even the megastars who found fame without having their own website, get one once they become a success. 

There are numerous reasons for this, and most of them apply and carry benefits for those who are just starting out on their musical journey, as well as those who have incredibly successful. The primary reason, and the one that most of the others follow on from, is that your website is entirely your own platform. Your command centre. Your control tower. You control exactly what’s on it, and sometimes more crucially, what isn’t. 

You control the aesthetic, the level of interactivity, the way it’s linked with the rest of the music industry and the wider digital world. For one person, it might present crucial opportunities to make money from music sales and merchandise, whilst for others it might be a purely artistic endeavour; cryptic in nature, an online manifestation or extension of a concept album, with little or nothing in the way of traditional or contemporary music marketing. 

It’s a space that you control and one that you will continue to control. You’re not at the mercy of a 3rd party platform’s whims or corporate development. You won’t suddenly find that the user interface has changed without warning and your page is now being used to push other artists you have nothing to do with, or selling something else entirely.

Another reason why it’s wise to have a website as a musician is that, just because The Weeknd, Shawn Mendes and 5 Seconds of Summer found fame via YouTube and Vine, doesn’t mean that everyone with any talent will be discovered in a similar way. That’s not to say you shouldn’t also upload music to YouTube, Soundcloud and the like, but that, by having one central HQ that people can search for or click on from your social and streaming channels will help labels, managers and agents find our more about you (all the stuff you want them to know!), find live appearance and tour date details and, of course, find more music.

Furthermore, a decent website demonstrates to industry professionals that you are serious about your music and your career. And guess what? People who work hard in the music industry like to work with artists that also like to work hard! Promoting an upcoming band or musician that has a website makes life a whole lot easier for publicists, managers and agents. Similarly, a website is the perfect place to host an EPK (electronic press kit), making things much easier for journalists also, and the easier you make it for journalists to do a feature on you, guess what? That’s right. The more you likely you are to feature in their publication.

Websites are also fantastic for cultivating, growing and keeping your fanbase informed, both by the site itself and by a newsletter email once you’ve captured their contact details (through your website!).

So, whilst streaming and social media platforms that artists sometimes put lots of time and energy into fall in and out of favour (Myspace, anyone?), a website and domain that is yours and yours alone will stay with you, grow with you and adapt with you, even if your sound evolves from underground hip hop to bubblegum pop. Then to country. Then back to hip hop again.

BT

 

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14 of the best WordPress plugins for musicians

BandTheme Blog | Tag: Web Tech Tips

One of the greatest things about WordPress as a musician or band website platform is it’s sheer flexibility. It is as versatile as you can be imaginative, with the potential for visually stunning results as well as tremendous functionality, especially when your starting point is Band Theme. 

Below we’ve compiled some of favourite WordPress plugins and widgets for musicians and bands looking to create a dazzling, pro-level website; all of which are compatible with our range of custom themes.

  1. Audio Album

There are many audio players out there for WordPress and as the majority are free or have free versions, you have nothing to lose by trying a number out before settling on one. This one is clean and simple, easy to use and customise. It plays and displays the audio tracks off your album, or any collection of tracks, for that matter (the plugin allows you to style a group of audio files as mp3s and display them as a single block that looks like an album). It uses the default audio library of mediaelement.js, included with core WordPress files. Colours can be customised and you can store multiple albums or playlists. Give it a whirl!

  1. Video Gallery

With an aesthetic that looks much slicker and more professional (or ‘expensive’) than a boring old standard YouTube embed, Video Gallery offers an amazing array of video hosting tools. It allows you to create an unlimited library of videos that are fully responsive (very important these days with the amount of people accessing the web via smartphones). It comes with numerous different design views and, as well as self-hosted videos, can be connected to YouTube, Vimeo and more.

  1. NextGEN Gallery

NextGEN Gallery wasn’t created solely for the benefit of musicians. However, it offers numerous features that make it easy to show off images on your site, via striking and fully customisable galleries, allowing you to proudly display album artwork, photos of live performances, press shots of the band, even the crude cartoons you drew on napkins on the tour bus.

  1. Seriously Simple Podcasting

Everyone’s doing a podcast these days it seems. The reason being, they’re incredibly popular and a great way to connect with fans of your creative (or intellectual) endeavours. The Seriously Simple Podcasting plugin is the best option to seamlessly manage your show directly from the WordPress dashboard. Easily upload episodes in a few clicks, view engagement analytics, and run multiple podcasts from the same site, each with their own unique RSS feed. It comes with shortcodes, widgets, and a customizable media player so you can display your podcast exactly how you want. With +20K active installations and over 160 5-star reviews, this plugin is preferred among new and veteran podcasters alike. So whether you’re an aspiring (or accomplished) DJ with mixes or radio shows to share, like to talk about music as much as make it, or just like the sound of your own voice, embedding a podcast player on your site is a great route to finding the right ears to cast into. 

  1. Disk Audio Player for WordPress

Another of our favourite audio players, this easy-to-use WordPress HTML5 player is fully customisable, with multiple skins and unlimited colour options. ‘Retina ready’ and mobile responsive, this great little plugin features keyboard control, external links to support purchases and downloads, track info, and playlists, with an adjustable scrollbar. Configure your audio player easily with a drag-and-drop admin panel. Simple. And stunning.

  1. Event Manager

Going on tour or have a series of shows coming up? Use Event Manager to add events, registration, booking, and more. It comes with the ability to create events on a single day, multiple days, or on reoccurring days. It also allows you to offer tickets, integrate Google maps, categories, and more. The Pro plugin also allows you to add PayPal, Authorize.net, and to accept offline payments. A handy way to centralise and manage your gigs, giving you more leverage to get your fans to head to your website. Check it out.

  1. WP Discuz

Have a page or post with a new track or video? Use WP Discuz to allow visitors to easily login and comment on it. The default WordPress comment system is a pain to login to. In addition, it also is subject to many forms of spam, which can drag down your site’s rankings on search engines like Google and Bing. Instead of signing in or creating a WordPress account, users simply need their name, email, and website. A captcha is also added for extra security.

  1. Spotify Embed

This handy widget comes as a ‘Block’ (Blocks are the components for adding content in the new WordPress block editor). With the Spotify Embed block, you can embed whole albums, tracks, podcasts and playlists into your posts and pages. Visitors will need a Spotify account and be logged in to listen to entire tracks. For users who are not logged in on their Spotify account, the play button plays a 30-second long audio preview, and then the users are prompted to either login or to sign up. NOTE: You don’t actually need a Spotify account to embed Spotify on your site, for those who only play music off 7” vinyl and cassette tape hipsters.

  1. Newsletter

You know the drill: you get people with a keen (or passing) interest in your music and then you send them updates, offers and news of band line-up changes after the bassists keep leaving.   Newsletter is a newsletter and email marketing system for WordPress: perfect for list building, you can easily create, send and track e-mails, headache-free. It works “out of the box” and they recently redesigned their drag and drop composer to make campaign creation even easier. You can also customise your subscriber preferences to let each one choose how they want to receive your emails, if at all. This is especially important since new GDPR laws make spamming punishable by death [citation needed].

  1. WooCommerce

Let’s make some money! WooCommerce allows you to sell music, merchandise, and anything else related to your music (or completely unrelated, for that matter). Products for sale can be physical or digital. You can create different prices for different packages and deals, put items on sale for a limited time – the options are almost endless. You may have to pay a percentage of each sale and connect with a payment gateway, but this is one of the best ways to sell on WordPress. It also automatically creates an online store, shopping cart, user account, and more.

  1. Amazon Auto Links

Let’s make some more money! Did you know, that even if people want to buy your records and CDs (remember those?) from Amazon, you can make some of the money back by sending them to Amazon via an ‘affiliate link’? So if you don’t want to have a store on your site, you can still get a bit extra by sending your fans to Amazon. In fact, the program gives you a cut every time a sale is made to someone who has come from your site, whether or not it’s your item that is being sold, so you can even have a list of your favourite new albums (or even books) on your blog, include links to Amazon and get paid for the referrals. Then spend the money on drumsticks (wooden or chicken, the choice is yours). 

  1. EventON

Another great choice for event displaying. The best-selling events and calendar plugin at the CodeCanynon WordPress plugin marketplace, EventOn is now one of the most feature-rich calendar and events solutions for WordPress users. Not only does the design of the calendar and its events look great, but also the back-end interface makes EventOn very easy to use. While the default tile design of the EventOn calendar looks super-slick, you can easily customise its appearance and ensure your calendar integrates with the rest of your website (or sticks out like a pulsating thumb, depending on how badly you want people to notice your extensive tour or northern working men’s clubs).

  1. Popup Builder

You can use Popup Builder to give your visitors an urgent ‘call to action’ (which is marketing speak for cajoling or incentivising people into doing something specific, like buying your entire back catalogue and all your merchandise for “the insanely reasonable price of £500”.). This can include a newsletter signup, song download, discount on merch, or other. The plugin allows you to build unlimited popups with a number of customisations and animations. You can use a popup image to redirect to another page, fill out a contact form, or even use a Facebook themed popup. Give it a try. But don’t pop up too much. Or your fans fill pop off somewhere else.

  1. AddToAny Share Buttons

What good is having a morbidly obsessive fan base if they cannot easily share your content and do much of the promotional legwork for you? Add to Any Share Buttons allows you to easily install a host of sharing buttons to your pages and posts. It comes with impressive options such as customising buttons, floating buttons, and even a share count, so you can see how much free work people are doing for you. You have the option to share with dozens of sites and add likes. What’s not to like?

There are many hundreds of other suitable plugins and widgets for you to consider for your WordPress site, so if you don’t think you have all bases covered from this list, or you want something ‘the same but different’, the internet is your oyster – go forth and search!

BT

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