Got a Band? Need a Website for Your Band?

I often use WooThemes WordPress themes for client sites, particularly if the budget doesn\’t allow for a complete, starting from scratch approach. They design great themes that are well supported and are built on a solid code base that allows for plenty of customization without having to reinvent the wheel each time you start a project.

Unsigned

They\’ve just released a new theme that is specifically for bands, singers or musicians that want to roll their own website. There are lots of websites and services out there to help bands get going1 but Unsigned by WooThemes is for the artist that wants to have full control over their site and doesn\’t mind doing a bit of HTML/CSS coding or wants to hire someone to help with that part of it.

Features

They\’ve bundled in a bunch of great stuff, including:

Events Module

Caters for the management and listing of events (gigs, festivals, etc). Events can be grouped into categories (club, concert, gig, festival, etc) and tours. An event\’s status (upcoming, right now, past) is determined by it\’s start and end date/time.

Discography Module

Discography is where the artist manages their album releases. Albums can be sorted into categories and make up a cover image, unique catalog ID and a release date. Each album has an audio player facility, which uses tracks that are uploaded directly when adding or editing an album.

Videos Module

Videos is where the artist manages their embedded videos from YouTube, Vimeo, etc. Videos can be sorted into categories and make up an optional posterframe and an embed code field.

Soundcloud Integration

Woo – SoundCloud is a bridge between Unsigned and SoundCloud. When a username is specified, the system connects to SoundCloud and retrieves the user\’s tracks and playlists. These two content types are outputted via a Woo – SoundCloud – Playlist widget for specific playlists and a Woo – SoundCloud Tracks widget to display individual players for specific tracks.

WooCommerce

WooCommerce is a free plugin that enables e-commerce on any theme – but on Unsigned it allows bands.musicians to sell their albums and other merchandise right on their site.

Buy Unsigned

You can pickup Unsigned for $70 from WooThemes or get in touch with me and I\’d be happy to help you get your band\’s website up and running.

Why Should I Bother Setting Up a Website When I Can Use Facebook?

Take the advice of those that have gone before us. From a post by author John Scalzi when asked by an aspiring writer whether it’s worth it to set up your own website when Facebook is the place to be:

My thought on this: Hey, remember when everyone was on America Online? And then everyone was on Friendster? And then everyone was on MySpace? And now everyoneís on Facebook? Yeah, youíll notice a pattern here, perhaps.

So, letís go back to 1998. Youíre a new writer and you want to establish a permanent residency online. Which would be wiser: Having your own site at your own domain, or putting up a site at GeoCities?

Itís 2001, same drill: Which is wiser: Having your own domain, or creating a site on AOL servers?

2003: Your own domain, or a Friendster page?

2007: Your own domain, or a MySpace page?

(Hindsight is a useful thing.)

And now itís 2011 and the choice is oneís own domain or a page on Facebook. Guess which I think you should do.

It’s why I urge anyone doing something online to at the least set up a single page site (I call it a postcard site) with details and information and then link people to your Facebook page if you want to. But at least hold the main destination in your control (i.e. “Just visit my site, www.mywebsite.com for all my details…”) and not handing that control over to Facebook. Facebook does not have your best interests at heart. Not that I’m a conspiracy theorists and think they’re evil incarnate, but they can – and have – changed policies or rules that don’t always take into account how a small business owner may be using their service.

If you own the domain, you retain control over the address and can point it wherever you want.

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