a) Web site
It is a good idea for your band to have a site on the World Wide Web. This site not only gives you added visibility that you cannot get elsewhere, but gives you an additional outlet for selling merchandise such as CD’s, videos, T-shirts, or whatever you may have to offer. Another use for the web site is to provide a form so that people can enter their e-mail address to get on your e-mail mailing list (see next section).
If you do not have a Web site, and you start to get at all popular, chances are that one or more of your fans will start one. You can find out if this has happened by doing a search for your band’s name on one of the major Internet search engines. The difference between a site you start, and one operated by one of your fans, is that you have more control over what’s on your site, and you also receive the revenue from anything you sell on your site. A fan site that is not under your control may start to criticize you if your band makes some change that the operator of the site doesn’t like (such as changing your musical style slightly, etc.). If you wait too long to put up your own site, the “other” sites will be the ones people find when they search for your name, so it is best to be proactive and get your site up early in the game.
If you do find that a fan has already set up a site, and you like what he or she has done so far, and you don’t feel that you have the time or knowledge to operate your own site, you may want to talk to that person and see if they’d like to be the operator of your “official” site. Don’t enter into such an arrangement lightly, you want to be sure that this is someone you can trust and that has the expertise to operate a top-notch site. Also, don’t assume that lots of graphics and other “bells and whistles” on a page make it a good page. If your page is slow to load, a lot of casual readers won’t wait. No matter who creates your page, you should view it over a slow internet connection (the type of connection that the average person accessing the Web would have) and see how long it takes your page to load. If it takes more than about eight seconds, a lot of people will grow impatient and go to some other site.
A web site does not have to be expensive, at least not to start with. If you are just getting started, you probably already know at least one person who has computer experience. If you absolutely don’t know anyone, check at the nearest high school, they probably know of at least one or two “whiz kids” that would love the opportunity to do a basic Web site for a band (there are some 16 year old kids who know more about system administration than people who have been around computers for years). The nice thing about a Web site is that you can always change it later if you need to. Also, do be aware that there are people out there who profess to be “professional Web site designers” that will start on your site and then drag it out for months, charging you hundreds or thousands of dollars and never actually finishing your site. Until you are really in the “big leagues”, you’re better off to stick with a relatively simple site maintained by someone who has a passion for computers.
I have programmed web pages for myself several times and I was never happy that they could stand up to a professional designed site. Internet to the rescue. The www.ronnielee.rocks was a templet that I found on the net made just for bands. It had all the bells and wistles that made it a pro site. It was affordable also. Look around before you jump to purchase there is a lot to choose from out there.