Bands and Artists Websites – Showcase and Best Practices
I think web-design is an art just as much as music is. Being a musician myself there are some things I personally like and want to see on a band website and there are some things that really bug me.
Things like landing pages, splash pages, music that starts automatically, all-Flash sites and cluttered interfaces often make me wonder who’s in charge and why record labels and artists still do those things when they clearly get in the way of a great user experience.
Trends And Changes
I did notice some trends though. A lot of bands and artists are now very active on social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook and Last.fm, which is a good thing since fans can get a glimpse of their everyday life and get behind the scene info. I also noticed that a lot of band websites that used to be all Flash a couple years ago are now turning to CSS/HTML/JS and many also have blogs.
It’s all about interacting with fans, so it really makes sense to have all those tools and platforms at your disposal when you’re in a band. (of course a lot of band websites have a really bad case of ‘MySpace-itis‘ but let’s not think about this too much – it hurts.)
What Does A Band Website Need?
Of course it’s all about the music, so it should be easy to listen to tracks and buy the album(s) and merch, but it’s also about keeping fans up to date so a list of upcoming shows and events is a must have. Let’s make a quick list:
- Latest news
- Upcoming shows and events
- Blog: opinions, behind the scene stuff and social networks
- Merchandise: full online store
- Media: pictures, videos and other rich media content
- Story and bio: about the band and members
- Mailing list/Newsletter system
I think those are the ‘essentials‘ but many bands also have things like fan clubs, street teams, surveys, wallpapers, mobile apps and ringtones, and a bunch of other cool things that are meant to keep fans interested and spreading the word about their favorite band.
Collecting band website designs that are actually well-designed and don’t have a splash page or music that starts automatically is a very tedious process, but I’ve managed to collect 20 – unfortunately many of them still have intro pages or auto-play music players, but I thought they were worth mentioning. Enjoy!
Avenged Sevenfold ↓
John Mayer ↓
Kid Rock ↓
Brad Paisley ↓
Breaking Benjamin ↓
Death Cab For Cutie ↓
Suie Paparude ↓
Gary Nock ↓
Fall Out Boy ↓
Kings Of Leon ↓
The Blizzards ↓
Jamie Cullum ↓
Dave Matthews Band ↓
Collective Soul ↓
Zac Brown Band ↓
Linkin Park ↓
Your Turn To Talk
I hope you liked this post! Which ones are you favorites? Of course this list would not be complete without your input so feel free to chime in and share your own findings with the rest of us. Cheers!