Build a Website
All musicians, audio engineers, and scholars need websites to present their work to the world. The following introductory guidelines will enable you publish an effective site regardless of your experience with technology. Before launching a website, set up an appointment with MECC to review your ideas and materials. Also see our compilation of sample websites below.
Step 1: Determine the purpose of your site. For students, websites generally serve as portfolios of their work but can also promote income-producing activities such as teaching, concertizing, recording, and gigging. It's vital, therefore, that you consider who your audience is and how you will use the site to communicate your professional identity. To gather ideas, visit the websites of others in your field, and see our compilation of sample websites below.
Step 2: Draft a list of required pages. These typically include:
- Home page featuring a photo and press quote, slogan, or mission statement
- Bio page, with a link to a resume and electronic press kit. Groups might call this page, About
- Media page with video and possibly audio clips
- Events or calendar page, if you're sufficiently active
- Works page - you might title this page Repertoire, Compositions, or Projects
- Teaching page, if appropriate, describing your mission and services (performers with large private studios commonly link to a separate teaching site)
- Contact page, with a fill-in form
In addition, you'd include links to your social media, integrate a blog if you publish one, and incorporate a sign-up form for any newsletter.
Step 3: Assemble content for each page. Gather excellent photos and videos (follow the links in the sidemenu at left for info about photography and recording services at Peabody). Draft your bio and any other text. Costs for photography and recording services can be covered by Peabody Career Development Grants.
Step 4: Start building. With all of your content in hand, you're ready to begin the construction process. For starters, you'll need to purchase a domain name, if you don't already own one (i.e., a URL such as yourname.com). The domain name can typically be acquired via the content management system you use or via the company that hosts your site.
Below are some services and content management systems for hosting and constructing websites; this isn't an inclusive list, so explore multiple options. For help designing color schemes, see Paletton and Adobe Color Wheel.
- Tech or time-challenged musicians: Consider drag-and-drop interfaced such as Bandzoogle, SquareSpace, SpaceCraft, Wix, or Weebly. With your content ready, you can construct and publish a site in an afternoon. For a teaching website that enables you to accept credit card payments, use an online calender, and more, consider MusicTeachersHelper.com.
- Tech-knowledgeable musicians: You could either use one of the above services or employ WordPress.org, a free platform with abundant themes and plugins. With WP.org (not WP.com), you purchase a domain name and hosting plan separately, e.g., from GoDaddy.com.
- Tech-savvy musicians: You might opt for WordPress.org or you could buy a domain name and hosting plan from the likes of GoDaddy.com, use design software such as Dreamweaver, and learn about coding via free tutorials such as those at W3Schools.com.
Note that these guidelines are introductory in nature. See the Music Career Resources page at MusiciansWay.com for additional online marketing tips.