Whats the best platform and tips for a new band's website?
November 17, 2008 1:22 AM   Subscribe

I am trying to help out a band with a website. Whats the best platform and tips for a new band's website? It needs to combine youtube, flickr, twitter, myspace, facebook.

I am trying to help a band out with their web development and marketing.

I think the site should contain:

built in music player
picture section (maybe linked to a flickr account)
video section (linked to youtube maybe)
sometype of twitter integration
sometype of myspace and facebook integration
a way to purchase merchandise
a subscriber/fan database for email newsletters communications

I got some the above ideas from the jonasbrothers.com website, however the band that I am doing this for is a completely different genre of music (it is an alternative rock band). The members are completely into talking to fans via their website, but I want to make it easy enough for them to just post in one place and have it update to all these social media sites. (ie if they post a picture, it will put it on their myspace, facebook, flickr and main website). I am thinking that there has got to be an out of the box solution that I am not aware of.

My gut says the major decision I am going to have is which CMS to use (I am leaning towards wordpress). I am very interested in knowing what the hives suggestion would be for me. I know they have a small budget to work with so maybe any custom programming could be done by some freelances. Thanks for the hives time...
posted by schindyguy to Computers & Internet (15 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: If it's a blog I recommend Wordpress. You can get everything you just talked about with plugins. Wordpress is the strongest community driven blogging service so you can get a lot of help from others as well. Joomla is ok as well but I think you should go for wordpress.

For purchasing merchandise, you'll need some other service. I'm not familiar with it.

Since you require more than one service, I recommend that you use a hosting service that has fantastico, which can auto install for you many services including wordpress and other estore modules.

You should check out downtownhost. I think if you contact me, I might be able to get you some discount if you need. You can contact me at soulinfusion [at] gmail [dot] com
posted by rintako at 1:48 AM on November 17, 2008

Facebook can import RSS feeds from blogs and repost them as notes.
posted by Yoshi Ayarane at 2:13 AM on November 17, 2008

Myspace and Facebook are very easy, but they're nowhere near as configurable and they carry a certain stigma, for what it's worth. Rolling your own carries a lot more oomph.
posted by dunkadunc at 2:26 AM on November 17, 2008 [1 favorite]

I've recently been setting up my own wordpress site using some of the channels you suggested, minus any talent or interest from anyone but myself.

A few plugins that are ridiculously good:

FeedWordpress - automatically create posts from RSS feeds. Most of the stuff you mention should be RSS-able, but if not, Yahoo pipes can create a faux RSS feed from most anything

SocialHomes - an easy way to link to all the social networking sites

Twitter tools - lovely plugin to create posts realtime or daily summaries or both. You can also get it to write tweets for you, but if you do both, it might be an endless loop.

(PS, yes wordpress)
posted by kaydo at 4:05 AM on November 17, 2008 [2 favorites]

What is there a way to set it up so that you can post a blog entry on your wordpress and it auto-updates Twitter, Myspace and Facebook with the same blog post?

hmm that sounds handy. I didn' trealise you coudl automate all these links and stuff.
posted by mary8nne at 4:29 AM on November 17, 2008

Best answer: Ning does everything you're looking for and is fully-customizable. I've built several artist sites over it.
posted by Captaintripps at 4:38 AM on November 17, 2008

IMHO, a good band site should focus on A) a built in media player and B) assuming you like the music, info on seeing the band live and/or purchasing merch. The pics, vids, bio, social networking, etc. is icing, and won't matter if you don't nail A and B.
posted by waxboy at 5:16 AM on November 17, 2008

I'm no help with platform (unless it's square-ish and being used to hold something up), but here's another inspiration site for you:


It's well designed and incorporates a lot of what you're looking for.
posted by rhinny at 6:55 AM on November 17, 2008

Response by poster: crazlunatic,
I am kinda leaning towards godaddy just because they do have those auto installers and I have used them before and I am comfortable with the service, but thanks for your suggestions.

what do you mean "Rolling your own carries a lot more oomph." what is the stigma (assuming its bad) with myspace and facebook?

those are the specific plugins that could definitely help. thanks for the suggestion. does it work with the comments on those sites?

i like the idea of ning except that it needs to have that .ning in the bands web address. the video tour has the components that I would need, video player, picture slide show, music integration, but very limited social networking integration (it looks like only facebook). have you been able to get around this with other plugins?

I agree with you, but I really need to hammer A B and C. The C is important to producers and record executives because it shows quantitative information about a bands popularity (not only how many subscribers, but also how loyal/active they are as fans).

I am just trying to make it simple for relatively (non-technical, not computer savvy) band members to go to ONE place and have it distribute over the networks. I see the problem as being what kaydo mentioned as a loop of information (ie they post to twitter which posts to the website and then the website automatically makes a twitter post from the content on the site) How can this be avoided? Maybe simply having them only use the website as the starting point?

And the other issue is commenting. Should they just go to their facebook/myspace/twitter/youtube/flickr accounts and comment directly on the site? Will it update that post on the website? How can the social site and the bands site sync up together?
posted by schindyguy at 10:40 AM on November 17, 2008

A built-in music player is great, but please don't have the music auto-play!
posted by radioamy at 10:48 AM on November 17, 2008

The advantages of Facebook and Myspace is that their userbases are huge. Both services are plug-ugly in terms of how you put a page together and not very configurable. You're also stuck with ads.

I'm much more impressed with a well-designed band website that's not tacked onto Myspace and Facebook (both evil empires, really) that some web developer really put some time and effort into.
posted by dunkadunc at 10:59 AM on November 17, 2008

Response by poster: radioamy,
It wont be auto play, thats the worst...Im not gonna make it like a myspace page

O I understand your point now, but it really needs to link at least with myspace because they already have a majority of their fans on that network. dropping it would be a major setback and clean slate to start with, but would lose a bunch of already signed up fans...
posted by schindyguy at 11:14 AM on November 17, 2008

Best answer: Wordpress is amazing, and you can do anything with it. Definitely use that.

As for a theme that works with other websites, Agregado might be an interesting one to start from... It's kind of the opposite of what you're talking about (it links to web activity elsewhere), but if you think about it, it might be the best option if they're not web savvy/rolling in the dough...

Another thing to keep it simple: you can set up an e-mail-to-post option (Wordpress does this out of the box), or add Prologue-style posting to the theme (which I've done with a band before and it worked out well.)

For the other stuff you wanted, just look around for a plugin. There are lots out there, but be prepared to be disappointed with the results. And always try to keep it simple.
posted by stokast at 2:41 PM on November 17, 2008

Response by poster: stokast,
thanks for the suggestions, they have a small budget to work with. Thats why I am thinking if I gather the scope/requirements of the project (and figure out how the whole system will work including plugins), I can hire a freelance wordpress programmer to put it all together for me. does that sound like a good idea?
posted by schindyguy at 11:14 AM on November 18, 2008

I've never done that, but it does sound like a logical idea.

I'm pretty curious as to how much a custom option like that would cost...

Good luck!
posted by stokast at 4:56 PM on November 19, 2008

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