June 29, 2009

Music Website Design

I'm redesigning my website (www.robroper.com). So I looked at other websites and made a list of things I like, and things I don't like, about other music websites.

Things I don't like:

1. Homepages that take 40 days and 40 nights to load. This is usually due to videos on the homepage, music players, and/or excessive high-resolution photos.

2. A homepage that's not a homepage; you have to click something to enter. Why can you just bring me to your homepage.

3. Pathetic begging for money and support. Buy my CD! Come to my show! Get on my email list! Now!

4. A cluttered page. Too much stuff on one page.

5. Small fonts that are hard to read. I'm not going to read it if it hurts my eyes.

#5 and #6 frequently go together.

6. Music players that auto-play a song on the homepage.

7. 4 billion cookies. There's no justification for more than one cookie.

What are the characteristics of a good music website?

The homepage should be simple, uncluttered, readable and fast loading. It should have the most important info up front. There should be links to other pages for everything else.

Music, video players and most photos should be on other pages linked to the homepage.

The site should express your personality. If you are humble and personable, then the site should convey that; it shouldn't make you out to be self-centered and pretentious. On the other hand, if you are self-centered and pretentious... hey, a lot of fans like that in their heroes. :)

For me, I like color and shape, so I like a nice background and a nice color scheme.

And last, but definitely not least, the site code for the site should meet web standards, and you should test your site with 2 or 3 common browsers.

Of course, those are just my personal preferences. I'd be interested in hearing what others like and don't like about music websites. And I'd love to get feedback on my work-in-progress, www.robroper.com. I'm just an amateur web designer at this point, but it's fun.

-Rob

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