I have got 101 Reasons Why Your Band Needs A Website however, this article is for bands (or small businesses) who want a website, but have not sorted themselves out with one yet.
Note: don't confuse a real Website with a Profile Page, they are both a part of your Internet presence, but you own the website, you don't own the profile page - the profile page is part of someone else's website!
When embarking on the set-up of a website, there are three main points to consider:
And my top tip is; keep it all very simple.
Computers use numbers, humans use words! UnsignedBandPromotion's actual numerical website address is, 22.214.171.124, but we use, UnsignedBandPromotion.com because it's easier to remember. Don't forget, Unsigned Band Promotion Dot COM!
When you sign up with a webhost you are usually issued with a long domain name (also called URL), e.g.:
which can be just as hard to remember as the numbers! So a good webhost will often offer you a free or cheap domain name that includes free set-up. Domain Names look like this:
YourBandName.com / .co.uk / .net / .org ... you already knew that!
A band's URL should be the band's name that's what everyone would expect. But what happens if your band's name is being used by someone else either as a trading name, as a domain name or both? Sh*t hits fan! You will have to:
- check if it's OK to use your band's name and re-think the domain name, e.g. try:
- try negotiating with the other party and seek professional legal advice (could be expensive whatever happens).
- completely change your band's name and therefore your domain name.
Do some investigation...
Your band's name needs to be V.short and memorable - one or two memorable words that reflect your band's image, sound and lifestyle. Choosing a band name isn't easy, when you've eventually made your selection, make sure it's O.K. to use it.
Test your chosen band name:
- by using the search engines ["Your Band Name"] ["YourBandName"]
- by seeing if the URL is available, the domain extension should be: .com or .co.uk
- by seeing if it's already registered at:
- by seeing if it's already been trade marked:
- Independent Music Law Advice can represent you and deal with all your legal issues
Even if you don't have a website, it's a good idea to buy your domain name ASAP. The cost should be around £12 per annum, prices vary for .com, .co.uk etc. Don't do a Cloaked Web Redirect and link the name to your MySpace, that's lame.
Seek Out & Buy Your Name Now
The website hosting services industry is very competitive and consequently there are many bargains to be found, with basic website hosting costing a little as $2.95 per month. But, I've got to say, "Be business like", start out as you mean to go on, positively and professionally. Don't go for an obviously free webhost that uses pop-ups and splashes garish banners all over the place, if you've got no money, start off with MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, ReverbNation, YouTube, Wordpress and CD Baby. Don't forget, your Internet Service Provider should provide you with free space and if they're very nice, they might allow you to attach a domain name (mine do). Personal recommendations are always helpful, ask around on the social networking sites.
There is only one way to go for the serious band, a Virtual Domain. For 99 times in a 100 it is your best option. A Virtual Domain is shared web hosting - your domain name and website runs on a shared web server (I'm trying to keep this short & simple). There are three types of website hosting (apart from buying a server!):
- Shared web hosting is the default option for most hosting companies. Shared hosting means your band's website is being run on the same server as a number of other websites (it's comparatively cheap!)
- Dedicated web hosting, you guessed it, your website has its own server, it's all yours. You would only require this if you have a massive website and need the extra bandwidth (expensive!)
- Collocated web hosting, a bit like a dedicated server for control freaks; the hosting company actually connects your hardware to the server and throws in, software, technical support/maintenance and security, etc. (very expensive!)
There are four points I consider important when choosing a web hosting service:
- Technical Support
- Reliability and Speed
Ed. Note: Oh! and 5. What you actually get! I recommend iPowerWeb because they're top in all five.
iPowerWeb's Business Pro package is the #1 selling web hosting solution on the Internet and they offer a reliable all-inclusive web hosting package for unsigned bands looking to the future. iPowerWeb have combined three different packages into one powerful solution - this is just a small taster what your get:
- Storage UNLIMITED webspace
- Transfer UNLIMITED
- 2500 email accounts
- Blog, Forum, Gallery
- Full website statistics
- E-commerce software and a PayPal shopping cart
- 24/7 toll-free tech support
- Choice of bonus packages:
- Free domain & design templates
- Free transfer & free marketing
Here is what iPowerWeb have to say about themselves:
"Our most popular package is our one year web hosting service plan which costs $95.40 (Ed. could be cheaper if there is an offer on) - Terrific Value. Month after month for the last year we have sold more web hosting accounts than any other hosting company in the World. Our Membership package is incredible; Free Marketing, Free Content, Free Easy to use Web Builder + unlimited webspace, unlimited gigs of traffic, 2500 Email accounts; more than enough for the overwhelming majority of bands' websites on the Internet. In addition to all this we are always here for our members with Award Winning 24/7 Customer Support via Toll Free Phone (Ed. USA only I think) & Email,"
What to do:
Start of by asking yourself a question, "What are we trying to achieve with the band's website?" Your answers will quickly highlight what type of web hosting plan you require. Cost is obviously a key question too - go to the leading provider for the best deal - iPower Website Hosting - they offer the most powerful, affordable and reliable web hosting plan, with over 220,000 satisfied members; and I am one of them.
What Are You Trying To Achieve With Your Band's Website?
A band's website must reflect the band's image, aura and style. If your website contains: counters, marquees, blinking text, gratuitous animation, massive images, pop-ups and flash, it will be: amateurish, irritating, a turn-off and unnecessary, your visitors might think that you're like that too!
But that's not what I mean when I ask "What are you trying to achieve with your band's website" - I mean:
- do you want to sell CDs and mp3s from your website?
- do you want to run a mailing list sign-up form and send auto-response emails?
- do you require dynamic HTML and content?
- do you want to run a blog with comments?
If you want to run scripts, then you will need:
- A web server running Unix / Linux / Windows / Mac
- CGI, Ruby, Perl, PHP, MySQL
If you've got no idea what I'm talking about, maybe you are a complete beginner, you'll need help - send me an email and ask. Put NOSPAM as the Subject. Don't worry, I won't try to sell you anything and my advice is free.
- The Band Register 2
- Independent Music Law Advice
- UK Patent Office - Trade Marks
- USA Patent and Trademark Office
- iPower Website Hosting
Web Hosting For Bands is offered to you under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License, which means, it's yours to use as long as you Attribute the work to Unsigned Band Promotion and Link Back.