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Band Websites

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by rfalter, Nov 12, 2004.

  1. rfalter


    Jul 20, 2004
    Pasadena, MD
    So we finally booked some gigs and we want to put up a website to help promote the band. I volunteered for the project seeing how I am the most 'puter savvy one in the group. I got a web host and domain registered, but I just can't seem to put anything together that "works". I see that a lot of folks here have websites for their band. I was curious how you got it started. Did you pay a developer, use a template, have a friend help :help: , or "borrow" ideas from other band's sites ? We don't need anything real flashy or sophisticated (yet), just pics, schedule, bios, contact info kinda stuff. Also, if you are the "webmaster" for your site, does the band contribute ideas/feedback on the site ? My computer background is mainly hardware, but I can find my way around in FrontPage fairly well. Any input would be greatly appreciated.
  2. cowsgomoo

    cowsgomoo gone to Longstanton Spice Museum

    Feb 8, 2003
    I'm the webmaster for my band:


    I try to make it so the site is a reflection of the band and the music, but I try to remember that the site is primarily for information, and NOT part of the entertainment... people generally dont want wacky visuals or esoteric navigation systems.. they want to know when your next gig is, what songs you play, what you sound like, some gig pictures etc

    it's really just a case of working out what you want to do, then developing the ability to do it... just like music really :)

    unless you're pushed for time, I cant understand why a creative person such as a musician would leave their website creation to a 3rd party
  3. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    I am a web developer... as with any other site I do, I spent a while batting round ideas before I started to sketch things out (often with pen and paper before I go digital). In the design stage I will be looking out for inspiration - other sites but also books, magazines and the general environment.

    I do most of the maintenance myself although, with the 'Teeth, I've set up a shared blog so all three of us can chip in on the news front (a blog is a really easy way to get news onto the front page and keep the site alive).

  4. rfalter


    Jul 20, 2004
    Pasadena, MD
    Thanks for the insight, guys. I think the main problem now is lack of "content".
  5. My site isn't much to look at (http://www.lucidtwist.com) but I did it myself without much graphic design know-how. I found a site who's colours I like and played around in Photoshop until I came up with something that would "do" ;) However, I am a web-programmer, so throwing the HTML and ASP.NET coding together was a breeze.

    I highly recommend a professional designer, or at least a friend who's really good do a design for you. The touch a professional adds compared to a well-meaning guy like myself is incredible!

    That being said, there's nothing preventing you from doing it yourself and doing an admirable job.

    Good luck!

    - Andrew
  6. adam on bass

    adam on bass Supporting Member

    Feb 4, 2002
    New Braunfels, Texas
    Endorsing Artist: Spector, GK, EMG and D'Addario
    This is my day job. I have offered to help people before and the offer stands. I work at an Advertising agency in Bend, OR and have been doing so fo 6 years.

    The one thing I can say about a band website is, KEEP IT SIMPLE. People going to band website want 3 things, CALENDAR, TUNES and PROMO MATERIAL. The most important is CALENDAR.

    I have redone our website(firkin) so many times it hurts to think of it. It used to be all Flash and it was conceptually cool and it worked great but people were put off by it. I have since dumbed it down so much that people dig it.

    If anyone wants help with looks or programming let me know. I am glad to lend a hand.

    If anyone wants to see websites I have done ask and I'll send you links.
  7. I have done a couple websites for bands. I try to keep in mind what colors are for the band and I also ask their input. www.gldmusic.com is a pretty simple one I did. They love the green I used and it's on the bass drum along with a black background hence the black background on the website. I just searched for some cool fonts and used them. It's not a terribly complicated site, but it works and looks good IMO.
  8. SlavaF


    Jul 31, 2002
    Edmonton AB
    I built my soon-to-be-broken up band's website here, a studio owned by a former teacher of mine (located at http://www.hauntedrecords.com) as well as my own site. I started building right around the beginning of 2004, and I've done everything in Frontpage. I started off with a very basic layout; just so I could get the basic info on there. Eventually, my knowledge of FrontPage increased, and I add more and more cool stuff to my site. Just draw a basic layout, show your band, get suggestions, and get it into Frontpage using tables and whatnot - you might have to screw around with it for a while before you get a layout that you want. Once you have that, everything else is simple.

    Feel free to PM me with any questions about FrontPage you may have; I can help you get a site going. I know how it is; it's confusing as hell to get a site up and running. :)

    PS my band doesn't really contribute much to the website side of things.
  9. adam on bass

    adam on bass Supporting Member

    Feb 4, 2002
    New Braunfels, Texas
    Endorsing Artist: Spector, GK, EMG and D'Addario
    Another thing. People will be reading this so try to keep away from white type on a black background. It hurts the users eyes. There are other ways to achieve the "dark look" without killing your users experience.
  10. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    Are you sure? I thought light type on a dark background tended to be easier on the eye, with the light radiating from the important parts of the screen (the text) rather than from the background. For example, I use "The Blues" theme on Talkbass (white text on a blue background) and it works just fine on the eyes.

    White on black can be a bit stark but slightly off-white (say #eeeeee if you're talking hex!) on black is gentle and clear. I know that yellow on blue is often recommended for projecting text because it is very easy for people with a range of visual problems.

    My rules of thumb regarding text are:

    - good contrast (whether light on dark or vise versa) although the colours need to complement each other (light pink on dark green would be pretty ugly)
    - not too small (and set so the design works even if the user chooses to scale the text size up)
    - avoid distracting background images (if you must have a picture under the text, make sure it is very low contrast)

    ... and, of course, making sure the text is worth reading and properly proof-read to start with!

  11. I got started by making a hideous personal site years ago. As time went on and I learned more I got better, though I'm still not the artsy type. I would recommend abandoning frontpage asap, but to get something up quickly it could be very handy. If you want to get deeper into the process, learning to write code is a good move. That doesn't mean you have to do it all the time, but it's good to know how.

    Anyway, on to the more important part of your question...[or]
    Enough about me, let's talk about you.

    A simple template might work, or just throwing something quick together in frontpage. If your goal is to get something online quickly, simple is good. Cowsgomoo's advice was sage: People visit your site for information first. They want to hear your band, see when your playing, and learn a bit about you. Everything else sgould be secondary to these goals. As long as the site isn't hideous to look at, you'll do ok. Getting a professional developer would be a good move, but a simple informational page in the meantime won't hurt anyone.

    Another route, would be to set up a blogger page or something (http://www.blogger.com/). They're easy to maintain. Also, a lot of bands seem to be using myspace to share information and music (http://www.myspace.com/). It's like a community for meeting people online but also has a special section for bands that has a few extra features like music streaming. There are a bunch of similar services that would be fine for a quick and dirty job while you get a quality web presence put together.

    I'd go on, but I'm pretty sure I'm rambling. Ask if I said something that needs further explanation. I have a tendency to think I'm making sense when I'm not. :)
  12. rfalter


    Jul 20, 2004
    Pasadena, MD
    More great advice. Thanks guys !
  13. fozzy


    Jun 21, 2001
    Riga, Latvia, EU
    I designed web page of my previous band Foul Taste Of Freedom , also designed my current band homepage Saving Daylight Remains , and one project for wooden toys VARIS ..
    Dreamweaver MX 2004
    Swish MX(Flash tool)
    Flash MX
    Paint Shop Pro 8
    PhotoImpact 8
    Gimp 2
    + the best html/php editor Notepad :D
  14. RoyQBiv


    Nov 8, 2002
    Bellingam, WA
    It seems like with the number of pro web guys floating around on TB, myself included, it would be cool to put together a full list of people that do this for a living and are willing to help out for people that need help or need a designer to do everything. Free professional help, donations optional? ;) It seems like it would be a boon to the less computer-inclined of our ranks.
  15. fozzy


    Jun 21, 2001
    Riga, Latvia, EU
    Good point, count me in the list :cool:
  16. Our keyboardist knows a little bit about computer design:

  17. no4mk1


    Feb 21, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    I manage my bands website http://www.fiftygrit.com/ .

    I try to keep it simple and consistant.

    My biggest pet peeves is when a design is too busy with too many colors. Keep it simple.

    I work in AutoCAD all day long, and am used to white text on a black background, so I guess I am just used to it. :rolleyes:

    My biggest advice? Go get HTML for dummies and code it yourself by hand. If you understand how all the code works, you can manage your site much more effectively (not to mention quickly).

    Nothing sucks worse than having an out-of-date calendar because your web site guy isn't answering his phone.

  18. andysvec

    andysvec Supporting Member

    I really like your site, I was checking all them out on this thread and yours sticks out to me. I do our site too - www.jride.com - but I need to change the design as this one has been going for over a year, and I'm just sick of the look. Plus I'm just using frontpage, which is really easy for me, but I should really move on to something better. I too had to 'dumb down' the site a while back as I was getting carried away, but I think I dumbed it a little too much :p
  19. When we'r at it.
    I'd like to have some feedback on our site...! We'r talking about a small redesign, but I dunno. Think I like it as it is:
  20. fozzy


    Jun 21, 2001
    Riga, Latvia, EU
    Interesting idea, but realisation is nothing special, could do better! Popup window - better get rid of that! :D