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Designing Your Musical Website

Your first step in getting a website up and running is designing it. When you design your website, keep the following points in mind:

  • Make your site easy to navigate. Make sure that your visitors know where they are on your site at all times. It’s often a good idea to have a menu bar on each page so that they can at least return to the home page without having to search for it.

  • Consider mobile devices in your design. Smart phones and tablet computers are a growing segment of online users, and many of them don’t support Flash technology. So, skip the fancy flash intro and jumping right into the meat of your site.

  • Make ordering your CD (or other stuff) easy. Put a Buy My CD button or link on every page.

  • Double-check all your links. Nothing is worse for a web surfer than clicking on links that don’t work. If you have links on your site, double-check that each one works. And if you have links to other people’s sites, check the links occasionally to make sure that the page you’re linking to still exists.

  • Test your site. Before you sign off on your site design, check it from a slow connection and multiple devices if you can (or have your web developer do this for you). You instantly get a sense of whether your site’s download time is speedy.

    If it’s slow to load or confusing to navigate, keep working on it until it works. You may also want to check your site using different Internet browsers and screen resolutions to make sure that your site still looks good.

  • Make your site your browser’s home page. This way you know immediately you’re your website is down and you don't have to wait for a call from a friend.

For more tips and tricks on creating a great website, check out Websites Do-It-Yourself For Dummies, 2nd Edition, by Janine Warner (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.).

When your site is live on the Internet, techniques such as search engine optimization (or SEO, which makes your site appear higher in search results) and social media networking can help your site and your work get noticed.

SEO techniques are constantly evolving and beyond the scope of this book, but you can check out Search Engine Optimization For Dummies by Peter Kent (also from John Wiley & Sons, Inc.) to find out details. You find a brief introduction to social media networking later in this chapter.

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