In the course of creating my own website, I have looked at several websites for composers at all levels and points in their career. The importance of a good web presence for a composer cannot be understated. It will often be the first and main portal to a composer for performers or potential listeners.
A Website as a “Hub”
Composers will often use several platforms to promote their music including, but not limited to: SoundCloud, iTunes, Spotify, YouTube, and SheetMusicPlus. A personal website, therefore, can act as a hub for all of these services. Many of these services will also offer ways to embed audio or video by copying and pasting a code snippet directly into your site. I would also recommend making sure your personal site’s URL is set in all of these services.
The thing I have noticed most often is that composers’ websites seem hastily assembled. Many are not easily viewable on mobile devices, have tiny text, performance issues, or are just not very attractive. One doesn’t have to be a professional web designer to make a good website! There are many services that have attractive, mobile-friendly themes that will make a composer’s web presence really “pop”.
- Originally started as a blog site, WordPress has grown to be one of the most used platforms on the web.
- 1000s of themes and plugins to customize the appearance of your site.
- If the composer is tech-savvy, WordPress is easily customizable by creating custom themes or plugins with PHP.
- This site is built with WordPress.
- Wix.com or SquareSpace
- These services also offer themes and extensions to customize a site to meet a composer’s needs
- Custom code is not nearly as intuitive as WordPress, but for most composers, this may not be a requirement.
Composers’ websites should be their entire portfolio. A good example of what it should include is similar to materials required for job submissions or calls for scores.
- Music Recordings
- Commercial recordings on Spotify or iTunes
- Freely available recordings that are either self-hosted or on Spotify
- Scores/Sheet Music
- Sample pages, possibly with accompanying recordings.
- Links for where to purchase.
- Self published scores for sale.
- Any of the platforms above will likely have a “Store” option.
- In WordPress, composers can sell physical copies or downloads with WooCommerce or other store plugins.
- Contact Forms
- Hint: Never put an email address in text on a website, robots will find it and put it on spam lists.
- All of the web platforms listed above will have contact form options.
- Keep people updated with whats going on.
- Upcoming performances with links to the events.
- Personal blog posts will help composers connect with listeners and performers.
Composers should ensure that their sites have the proper meta tags so that when pages are shared on Facebook or Twitter that they will have nice images and headings. It is also a good idea to include social media links that connect to the composer’s presence on social media platforms.
Composer sites will usually be a kind of advanced, in depth business card. Include the URL in your email signature, on business cards, and with job or call for score submissions.
Having a good SEO setup for a site is also a good idea. Include Google Analytics and Search Console setups. Make sure that search engines can crawl and index your site easily. Having multiple pages is a great way to improve SEO, whereas single page sites are quite bad in this measure.