When someone visits your website, they should be able to find exactly what they’re looking for in a matter of seconds.
One of the ways to achieve that is to create a clear top navigation bar (Home, About, Calendar, Videos, Contact, etc.).
Another way to make it simple for fans is to present your homepage as a distillation of all the most important things about your music career at a glance.
The HostBaby website shown here for singer/songwriter John Kelly (click the link to visit the site) is a great example of both methods working together: the design is clear and minimal, so the “top nav” items are easy to read — AND he’s used widgets to make a kind of one-page displaying music, videos, a web store, upcoming shows, his mailing list, and social media links. Continue Reading . . .
Save .music for the indie artist! It’ll take less than a minute of your time.
What if all musicians and bands had websites that visitors could be certain were safe, legit, above-board, official — like .gov and .edu websites? In the coming years, .music domains will become the norm for musicians worldwide, but only if we ACT NOW to keep it in the hands of independent artists.
There is an effort to make sure the new .music website names are protected from domain squatting and piracy, and to keep the names out of the hands of non-music corporations who have already snapped up a lot of the valuable Internet real estate.
The goal is to give DotMusic control over the .music top level domain. They would issue domain names to artists, bands, and other music companies; they would prohibit spammy “parking pages” and domain squatting; and they would ban any .music domain guilty of mass copyright infringement.
You can support that effort by e-signing this community support letter: http://music.us/sign. It takes less than a minute.
We know that domain names don’t sound all that exciting or cool, but this is very important. Because .music sites will become the norm for music-related content online, who controls that top level domain is a big deal. Continue Reading . . .
Because high tech shouldn’t mean high maintenance
Depending on the country you live in, as much as 30-70% of your visitors could be looking at your website on a mobile device.
Is your site design responsive, or mobile-friendly? Are you taking advantage of all the latest tools HostBaby has to offer?
If you’ve been using HostBaby for a few years, you might not have seen our latest mobile-friendly website templates.
Think it’s time to update your website? Check out our new high-tech themes and make the switch.
It’s simple: Continue Reading . . .
You’re a musician. Music is kinda like… your thing. So you want to make sure your songs can be easily heard on your website, right?
Here are five ways to let fans hear your music when they visit your website:
1. Use HostBaby’s built-in audio player
The HostBaby audio player can be easily added to any HostBaby website. Choose your favorite design and create an audio playlist. The share feature makes it easy for your fans to share your tracks on Facebook. Best of all, the audio player is designed to work seamlessly on smartphones, tablets, and desktop computers. Continue Reading . . .
Photo from NBC.
Who won season 8 of The Voice?
Sawyer Fredericks, the 16-year-old songwriter from upstate New York, was announced this week as the winner of The Voice, NBC’s popular music competition show.
Fredericks has distributed his music through CD Baby and hosted his website via HostBaby for a while now, so we were psyched to follow his progress on the show.
Sawyer was the youngest contestant on The Voice this year but he seems to have an old soul, singing gritty blues and Americana inflected songs by the likes of Ray LaMontagne, The Soggy Bottom Boys, and John Fogerty.
He was humble about the victory. “I’m feeling great and I kind of want to get back to the farm just to have a little bit of a break from all of this, so I’m excited to get back home,” said Fredericks. “I do not want to move to L.A.!” Continue Reading . . .
We’re excited to launch a brand new website theme for musicians: FILTER!
With FILTER you can upload a band photo or album cover, and the theme will automatically abstract the image into a background that will give your website a super interesting vibe.
With a single photo, you can give your website both a dynamic AND consistent feel. FILTER gives you a simple way to integrate your design and imagery.
Want to try out the FILTER theme for your website? Here’s how:
Continue Reading . . .
HostBaby clients impress judges on The Voice
Huge congrats to Tonya Boyd-Cannon and Sawyer Fredericks, two HostBaby artists who successfully auditioned for The Voice earlier this year, and who are both still in the running to win the popular TV show’s vocal competition.
We wanted to give them both a shout-out here and share their initial audition videos with y’all.
Watch them wow the judges below!
First up, Tonya Boyd-Cannon kills it with a soulful rendition of Pharell’s “Happy.” Continue Reading . . .
Recently at HostBaby we were excited to see that more than a thousand musicians were using our Instagram tool to display awesome photos on their websites.
If you’re one of them, we’d love to take a look at your photo gallery! Feel free to leave a link in the comments below. If you’re not using HostBaby’s Instagram tool yet, get started today. It’s super simple.
If you’re wondering how to use Instagram to promote your music, check out the following articles:
1. Why you should be using Instagram as a musician (and all its dirty secrets)
2. Spice up your Instagram profile with these tools (and the best ones are FREE!) Continue Reading . . .
If you want bloggers and journalists to write about your music, and if you want to impress talent buyers so you can play more gigs, you need to make it easy for them to write about you or get a feel for your music by providing them with all the essentials.
A few weeks ago, I listed the 10 things that every musician website needs to have in order to make the job of talent buyers and editors a little easier. But there’s one other, simple thing you can do to increase your chances of getting written about or booked for the show.
Create a zip folder that includes:
* a one-sheet (PDF) or bio (Word doc)
* 2 or 3 high-res photos (at least 300 dpi) in both landscape and portrait orientations (because you never know what publication or website will need)
* any articles, reviews, press quotes, or press releases that might be useful to a journalist or blogger Continue Reading . . .