As I’ve developed this blog and my music web site, I’ve gone through a couple of iterations on how to design a site oriented on music. Here are some tips based on my experience.

Focus 98% on One Thing Only
This should generally be your best demo. Put it front and center. If you’ve got a music video, great, put the Youtube embed of it on your home page. If not, just an image and a music auto-play will do.

Everything else – your extensive discography, your Twitter account, your bio, photos, tour dates, press clippings and film credits – put those in the 2% part of the design.

A great example is Swedish popstar Robyn’s website. No mistaking what she’s all about when you see it.

Music Players
This can be tough. I’ve tried a number of things. My favorite is a $12 Flash Music Player available on ActiveDen. It’s pretty flexible. I discovered it on composer Felix Bird

‘s web site. It’s awesome. You will need a web person who can handle Flash to implement it, but once set up its easy enough for non-techies to maintain.

Wimpy player is popular and widely used, and but I found it very brittle when trying to customize it. Mixpod is a free site that creates an embedded music playlist, but many users have problems with uploaded tracks refusing to play back in the player. YouTube isn’t bad, but if you’re not doing a music video it’s a little awkward to present your music with a still photo in your video.

Site Designers

Best I can say – ask your friends for a designer and find someone you get along with. For a band’s music site, an individual is best.

Now my plug for you NoCal folks: if you are looking for a Bay Area web designer, I had a great experience working with Amy Lee at Sequence Mediaworks. She’s a musician herself. What I like is the “portfolio” Javascript implementation – basically we embedded a series of YouTube and Flash-based music players in a sideways-scrolling list. This was my version of putting 98% of the emphasis on the music and nothing else. You can see it on my film music demo site and my wife Aliona Kazakova’s artist web site.

Posted 8 years ago by John Piscitello

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