With today’s online world, it’s really easy for anyone that has a boatload of beats to get their music online and promote it. Making a name for yourself is quite easy, but it can also be difficult, since there are thousands of producers out there doing the same thing as you. So what sets some of them apart from the others? Sure, talent is a big one, but so is being professional. My advice to you: get a website.
But I Have A Website
No you don’t. Out of all of the producers I’ve seen online, there’s literally only a small fraction that are really professional. The reason why I’m saying this is because only that small amount of them have their own website. Most producers have an online presence, and even fewer have a website. Then even fewer than that have a professional website.
What most producers have isn’t necessarily a website, it’s more that they have their own web PAGE. For example, if you have a SoundCloud, Facebook, or Twitter account, that’s your web page. Yes, you customized it the way you wanted to and put your beats up for everyone to listen to, and maybe even added pictures, as well as interact with your followers. But it can make a big difference if you have your own domain.
Your Domain Name
The first thing you will want to do is get your own domain name. For example, if your name is DJ Producer X, (I don’t know if that actually exists), then you might want to look for djproducerx.com. You can also get .net, .org, or any other extension, but try to get .com. You can get all of them if you can afford it, that way no one can mess with your domain name, plus it won’t confuse anyone. There are plenty of domain registrars that you can hit up, and some charge more than others. What’s good about the domain names is that you pay up front for a whole year (or more), and that’s it. Here are some good registrars:
https://www.namecheap.com (I use this one)
You can also just search for “domain name registrar” or “domain name registration”. There’s also plenty of web host companies that offer the domain service with the hosting of your website. If you choose those, they will set you up with your own domain name, plus host your website.
Finding A Web Host
Once you get a domain name, and if you want to get a separate web host, then you need to look around. I’ve used a fair share of web hosting companies over the years, and a lot of them suck. Don’t get me wrong – there’s some good ones out there but you have to be very careful. If you stick to well known companies, you should be good to go – but still be careful!
I was with this one company for over 8 years, and they were fine in the beginning but then I guess they changed management and it all went down the toilet.
Before you pick a web host, you need to first figure out what you will need from them. There’s some that offer unlimited amount of bandwidth and storage, and some of them are good, but there’s usually a catch. Let’s say you want to just have a basic website where you’ll have one or two pages with your beats listed on them. Most basic hosting packages will have enough bandwidth for that purpose, so you shouldn’t have to fuss too much about it. It’s when you have an insane amount of beats posted on your website, and you have tons of traffic to your website – that’s when you need to be careful of how much bandwidth you’re using.
There’s tons of web hosting companies, but if you really want to get a good grasp on what’s good out there, (and which ones suck), hit up a place like: http://www.webhostingtalk.com. They have lots of people on there that give their review of various hosting companies, plus you can sign up and ask them what you would need for your music website.
Now that you have your domain name and found a hosting company, it’s time to build a website! There’s probably a billion ways that you can make your own website, but I’ll give you a brief overview.
WordPress is a blogging platform that you can install on your own website. Even though it’s for blogs, there’s plenty of websites (and even big companies) that use it because it’s really powerful. It’s simple to set up, plus there’s a huge community of users, so there’s always support not far away.
What’s good too is that you can also buy themes and install them for your website. You can easily customize the look of WordPress, but it can get technical, so that’s why sometimes just installing WordPress, buying a theme, and setting it all up like that is the best way to go. You can find a crazy amount of themes by just searching for “wordpress themes”.
Hire a web designer
I used to make websites, and there was always someone that needed one. I did lots of websites for producers because they couldn’t be bothered with trying to learn all the code stuff, which is understandable. They wanted to focus all their attention on their music, not waste time learning something they’ll only use once in awhile.
There’s tons of designers out there, and just like a web host, it’s hard to find a good one. I’ve seen lots of crappy designs, and it’s amazing that some of those designers actually get paid! You can easily search online for “web designers”, but I would recommend your best bet is to just ask around. Talk to family members, friends, or people you know online, and ask them if they know anyone that makes websites. Prices of course will vary, anywhere from $200 to $1000, but you have to remember that you’re looking for a simple design, and the main purpose of the website is to showcase your beats. Remember that when negotiating.
Make Your Own Website
If you want to make your own website, you can learn. There’s no need to buy books because all the material you will need is right here online. There are many websites that offer free tutorials, either in articles or in videos, plus there’s also some tutorials that you have to pay for. Either way, it’s not that hard to design it yourself, but it all depends if you want to put the time and effort into it. If you want to start learning something now, I would recommend you start with the two basics: HTML and CSS. Combine those two, and you can make yourself a fantastic, professional website. You can search for “learn HTML” and “learn CSS”, plus you can start with this great website: http://www.codecademy.com/learn.
I’m going to have to think it over, but I might write up a tutorial on how to make your own website. If you want to see that, let me know below in the comments!