Your Homepage is the most visited page on your website. It's your best chance to make a great first impression. You'll want to grab your visitors’ attention, and keep it! So what's the best way to create an engaging homepage that sums you up as an artist?
Think of it as a snapshot of the rest of your website. You’ll want to give people a quick intro to yourself, your music, and your brand. To do that, pull snippets of content from those other pages, then make it look visually appealing. It's easier than it sounds. Let's dive in!
1. Find the perfect header image
When designing your music website, a great header image is your first chance to make a lasting impression. It may even be a more important way to catch someone’s interest than your songs. Be sure to choose a header image that visually represents your band, and your style of music.
Get some images of yourself, or your full band. It’s important to keep in mind that people will be looking at your website from a mobile device as well. You’ll want an image that has some space around the edges, rather than a close up portrait, to adapt well to mobile.
Artist: Stephanie Ryann
Take some photos that are farther away, and landscape-style (wider than they are tall). Then you'll have lots to choose from while you’re designing your Homepage.
Once you choose that perfect image, set the focal point and mobile header height so that your image isn’t strangely cropped on a phone.
Try out a video header to add some movement to your page. Video is a great way to convey live energy in just a few seconds.
Check out the slowed-down video header that Ben Miller and Anita MacDonald have used to show their music. From the instruments to the live cuts, it’s engaging and makes you want to see them live.
Artist: Ben Miller and Anita MacDonald
2. Add your best music
This is key for any musician - make your music easy to listen to! Most people arriving to your website will already know that you make music. So add a sample of your music right to your Homepage.
You can do this by placing a music player in your page’s content, or a site-wide music player at the bottom of your page. Another option is to add a video of a recent song to stream on your Homepage.
The easier it is to spot and click play on your music, the more people will listen to it. So highlight your best track or two here, then save your other songs for your Music page.
Country-rock quintet The Stubborn Lovers have a simple Homepage that places their latest album front and center. They’ve used the album cover plus a call-to-action to buy their music. Under that, they include a section with their single in the music player. The play button pops out in a vibrant color, making their song easy to listen to.
Artist: The Stubborn Lovers
3. Add some bio information
As soon as someone gets to your website, it should be clear to them who you are and what you do. Add just a sentence or two that describes you in relatable terms.
Briefly mention your genre of music, and what it sounds like. Imagine a blogger or venue owner is coming to your website to grab a short paragraph of text about you. Write out something short and to the point, with personality.
To make this look professional, place it in an image and text feature with a small image of you, your band, or your album.
If you’re having a hard time coming up with something, use a recent quote about your album or a live show. It’s important to have text content on this page - it helps optimize your bands search engine presence.
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4. Use a call-to-action
You might feel tempted to toss all kinds of information about you onto your Homepage. Rather than an endless list of events or tons of text, use a call-to-action as something to direct your visitors' attention.
You can highlight your latest track or album, an upcoming event, or add a mailing list signup form. You can also change this up at any time when you have something new to promote.
Artist: Karine Ste-Marie
5. Build up your mailing list
The best way to keep in touch with your fans is your mailing list. Embed a signup form as your call-to-action, or add it into your content, and offer a free track to entice people to sign up.
6. Add social media icons
With so many social media sites out there, it's hard to choose which ones to have on your Homepage. Pick the sites that most people are familiar with, and that you are regularly active on.
Placing 3 to 5 social media sites in your content area is just about right. It's good to show fans that you are active on social media, but with a long list they won’t look at each one. Plus you want people to stay and check out your content. Your website is your home on the web, after all.
7. Organize everything
Now that your content is in place, look at the layout. Most website visitors will spend only a few seconds glancing over your Homepage before deciding where to click next. You’ll want to do a few things to be sure that your Homepage is easy to navigate.
Present your content in an organized manner by laying it out in blocks. This could mean using columns, or sections, or both.
Separate out content with section titles in a larger font. Then, add a section background color (or image) to set off your music player, or bio. If you choose an image for your section background, make sure it doesn’t make your page appear cluttered. Something simple and muted will work best to complement your material.
8. Review your design
Make sure your page is clean and professional looking. Keep your colors consistent throughout your Homepage by checking what’s in your main image. Then use those colors as a guide throughout your content area.
High-energy jazz band New Orleans Swamp Donkeys have a beautifully clean homepage that’s super easy to take in. They’ve made a simple design using black and white plus some shades of blue. Then they’ve added lots of whitespace around all of their content. This makes their Homepage seem organized instead of busy, even with lots of information on the page.
Artist: New Orleans Swamp Donkeys
Your Homepage is essential in creating a first impression on your fans, industry people, and first-time website visitors. Make sure it represents you well, and shows off your music and brand in an organized way.
Once your Homepage is complete, you’ll be well on your way to making a website for your music.
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