Here’s what’s wrong with your band’s website

bad band websiteJessica Hopper is a writer for The Village Voice who pens a weekly column called “Ask Fan Landers,” where she offers tips to struggling indie musicians. She gives great advice without pulling any punches, and it makes for a brutally honest, genuinely helpful series that every DIY artist should check out.

In November of 2013 she fielded a question from the singer of a young New York band who had been “tirelessly emailing blogs” and had “received little to no response even from blogs that likely don’t have a large following.” The singer wanted to know if she and her band should keep at it, or if she should focus her energy elsewhere.

Hopper had some great advice for the band on some of their noticeable shortcomings, and when it came to their website, she gave it to them straight:

People should land there and have a good idea of what you are about immediately. “We are a seven-piece chamber pop band from New York”; that cute picture of you beardos out in the woods; Soundcloud embed of your BEST song right under it.

You should have a “news” kind of section out front–how old is that record? Address us, tell us of these upcoming shows, give us a whiff of your bands fun-loving/morose/quirky personality. Beige on white is a bad color scheme for anything–pick any other colors. You need a press section with a bio, downloadable photos at hi and lo-res, links to songs or embeds. Do not make people run around to your Facebook and Bandcamp and Soundcloud for different things. Also, a couple links are broken, and what’s up with your “Friends” listed under the “People” link? Are those personal friends? People who are sometimes in the band? TCB on that front. Your website needs personality and it reeks of “timid local band” and doesn’t make you seem interesting.

Check out the full article here.

“Do not make people run around…for different things” is the big takeaway here for me, but also that she was able to form her “timid local band” impression by just spending a little time on the band’s site – it goes to show you how the little things on your site can all add up to one big picture, and you need that picture to represent you and your music in the best way possible. It never hurts to micromanage every single aspect of your site!

Ever wish somebody would give you the straight dope on your website’s shortcomings? Ever had somebody tell you the harsh truth? Did it hurt or help? Let us know in the comments!

[Image from Shutterstock.]