More WordPress Tools & Themes For Bands [Updated]
There's clearly a lot of interest in WordPress among musicians based on traffic to my previous posts on themes and plugins for WordPress.org and WordPress.com's music tools. Since then I've encountered some additional resources for WordPress.org that are relevant to bands and musicians along with a caveat about WordPress hosting and free WordPress themes.
First Things First
WordPress.org is the free download for which you have to find your own hosting and all following mentions of WordPress in this post refer to WordPress.org. If you know what you're doing and are good at staying on top of updates of both WordPress, themes and plugins, or are working with someone who has those capabilities, then you can take advantage of a variety of inexpensive webhosts.
If you read an article like "Why You Should Never Search For Free WordPress Themes" or ""What You Should Know about WordPress Free Themes"" and find yourself confused or baffled, setting up WordPress.org with a $5 a month "unlimited" webhost and tossing up a free theme you found on the web may well lead to disaster.
What I would do if I were you and what I will do at some future date when I return to WordPress is use a service like Pagely or Synthesis that has an established history of hosting well-known sites and a serious commitment to security and performance.
For themes I'd be looking most closely at themes listed by WordPress or created by such established companies as WooThemes or StudioPress.
One tactic I use for evaluating companies is putting the name of the company and the word "problems" in Google and seeing what comes up. That isn't enough on its own but I've often found widespread disatisfaction with companies that initially seemed cool or had highly visible brands.
That said, here are some interesting looking resources worth checking out.
WordPress Themes for Musicians
45Press focuses on "Websites for Music Artists." Official sites built using their product include those of Mac Miller and Blondie with additional design work on the Mac Miller site and possibly Blondie as well.
45Press offers a variety of features and services from themes to hosting. If I were to consider using them I would also want to check on what level of customer service they offer as I would with any company.
Update: I initially thought there was a communication delay with the company but I realized after speaking with Joel of 45Press that was due to the fact that we were emailing about possible coverage with no expressed deadline and he was away from the office. Customer service is a different channel and like many companies they handle basic issues via an open forum and address "mission critical" concerns directly as needed.
WordPress Jedi has a couple of posts that will lead you to various music-related WP themes:
Graph Paper Press focuses more on themes for photographers and visual artists but the web increasingly requires visual appeal to draw people in.
They also have a really interesting looking Sell Media plugin that could be quite useful for D2F action. They're also gradually integrating related tools so it's worth knowing about. Speaking of plugins:
WordPress Plugins for Musicians
Tweet&Get it! – "get Twitter followers in exchange for a downloadable file." Personally I think getting an email address is the best thing to go for but that's your call.
"3 Must Have Plugins for Musicians and Bands" from WPMU.org's blog include:
- Donation Can for crowdfunding donation campaigns.
- GigPress for performance listings.
- HTML5 Player with Playlist for cross platform audiio or video streaming.
WPMU.org is both a good resource for WordPress info in general and for their own themes and plugins. However to get ongoing support you have to pay for a subscription and that adds up after a while. But a case could be made if you like enough of their products to make a commitment to their world.
Also worth checking out:
"10 Essential Plugins for Building Your Band’s Website"
Note: Linkmaster Adrian Fusiarski was my source for some of these resources.
- WordPress For Musicians: Band Themes And Record Label Plugin
- WordPress.com Launches WordPress Music
- Indie Band Uses IgnitionDeck For Crowdfunding Without The Middleman
Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (Twitter/App.net) blogs about music crowdfunding at Crowdfunding For Musicians (@CrowdfundingM). To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.
“setting up WordPress.org with a $5 a month “unlimited” webhost and tossing up a free theme you found on the web may well lead to disaster.”
I wouldn’t completely agree with that statement. The free WordPress default theme Twenty Eleven is very good and using a reputable host with a unlimited plan can work out just fine. Do a little research on the host to make sure it is not a fly by night company and you will be fine. Hostgator is great, Bluehost is great, Dreamhost is great. Just select someone that offers 24/7/365 support… online chat, email and phone. But… if you have no experience with WordPress you might be best to have a consultant help you get started, teach you the basics and then hand it off to you. WP you will learn is very easy to maintain. Shop around, don’t feel you need to get a dedicated server, or a hosting company that specializes in WP. One word of advice… AVOID GoDaddy for hosting a WordPress site.
Definitely avoid GoDaddy.
Why avoid godaddy I have recently purchases a domain from godaddy.
I do use godaddy for domain registration. It’s been awhile since I tried out their hosting.
The pages were always really slow to load and I stopped using them. Have always heard complaints since then but haven’t kept up on the details.
This is some good help for WordPress users, but this can also be of value to anyone trying to start a WordPress Band Website
It’s called WordPress Artist / Band Manager
WP Artist is an all in one Music solution for WordPress. As opposed to using several plugins to build one artist website, you can use this plugin as a grand plugin for managing an artist/band information. Created by a Record Label owner, this plugin has been done to meet the needs of a good website.
And here’s a collection of plugins + themes to make a band website
Let me know what you think.
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