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Musician Website Quick Fix #1: Turn Off Auto-start


This is the first of a series of quick posts we're working on to give simple, actionable tips and advice that can help you make your website a little better and more effective. The first is one that not everyone will agree with, and even within the Bandzoogle team, folks have different opinions. Either way, here's what the CEO thinks ;)

Turn off auto-start music

Top 2 reasons why you should have music auto-start on your site:

1. It's your site, and you should have it the way you want (and we like it that way).

2. Bandzoogle Founder Chris Vinson argues that people know they're coming to a band website, so they should be expecting to hear music. (Restaurant sites however, please...).

Top 5 reasons why you should NOT have auto-start
on your site:

 1. Remember, your fans are music fans. There's an excellent chance, when they visit your site that they are already listening to some music (iTunes, Pandora, Spotify, their stereo, etc.). Forcing your best track to get mixed with the latest Gaga single isn't the experience you want them to have.

2. You have no idea what volume setting their speakers or headphones are on when they reach your site. Can make for very unpleasant surprises, especially if at work, or at the library. Especially if you're a screamo metal band.

3. Tabs. More and more people use multiple tabs when they're browsing, and they might "right-click-open-in-new-tab" your website. That's how I do it. I'll see a link in a blog post, for example, right-click it, finish reading the post, and then go to the new tab to check out the site. So sometimes I will have music startle me out of nowhere and I'm not sure which tab it's from. Spooky, and a bad first impression.

4. The music that auto-plays competes with your own content. You have a cool new video ? Folks are then forced to pause or stop the player (if they can find it) and then start the video, or the one song they're curious about. Can be annoying. Give them control.

5. Waste. Often people will have their speakers muted or mute them when music auto-starts. That can mean a lot of wasted bandwidth for that fan, potentially slowing down your site for them.

So there it is. Clearly I'm not a fan of auto-start music. Let us know in the comments what you think, both as a website owner and as a fan.

This guest post comes from David Dufresne, CEO of musician website and marketing platform Bandzoogle.