As a musician, I learned how to create websites out of pure necessity. I am not a professional programmer - I learned through trial and error and studying on my own what works and what doesn't work. I've now written hundreds of websites for artists, musicians, bands, galleries, and other organizations.
In 2009 I created this class, "Web Design for Artists" as a class I teacher in-person around my area. The class has been very successful, and I'm really excited to bring it to an online platform. My goal with this class is simple: I want all musicians to have a website, be able to manage their website, and to never, ever, have to pay someone to do it for them.
This is a hands-on class: I am going to make a website for myself during this class, and walk you through every step. Nearly every video is a "walk through" on how to do something. And because I'm not a technical web designer, we won't get bogged down with any abstract terminology - only what we need. Lets dive in!
Praise for other classes by J. Anthony Allen
How we are going to get a website all setup for you during this class. It won't be easy, but we are going on this journey together. I'll do my best to make it fun!
The handout I use when I teach this class in person. You can walk through the whole class with this, and it includes a vocabulary section for any extra terminology you might need to learn.
There are a few things we need to do to get all setup to have a website. This video is our starting point to talk about each thing you will need, and how to get it.
It doesn't matter if you do this class on a Mac or PC. In this video, I'll explain why.
This can be a really daunting task - but in this video I'll tell you what do look for, and make a few recommendations.
A few things to consider when choosing the best domain name for you, your art, and your business.
How to actually set everything up. In this video I'll walk you through every step, and every confusing option to make sure you get setup right, and don't buy things you don't need.
If you already have a domain name, but want to transfer it to a different company, watch this video. This is a walkthrough of my doing it for one of my domains.
Domain transferring has a few steps to it, so I broke this section into 2 videos.
With your new hosting plan, you have the ability to create an unlimited number of personalized email address. (Like: firstname.lastname@example.org). In this video I'll walk you through how to set those up, if you want them.
Wordpress will be the "framework for our house." In order to get the framework in place, we need to do a basic installation of Wordpress.
Some people like to hide the website they are working on so the public can't see their in-progress website. If you want to do that, this is how.
Our setup is done, and we can now move on to putting our content into our website!
Before we dive into Wordpress, we have a few setup things we need to get out of the way.
The Theme is the template for your website. We have millions to choose from, so get some tips in this video before beginning your search.
Once you've found a theme, you need to install it. Here is a walkthrough of how to do it.
Depending on your theme, you might have some extra things to setup. Here are some tips.
The Dashboard is our main command center for Wordpress. In this video we will poke around and see what is here.
Pages and Posts are both "content areas," but they work very differently.
We will use pages for almost everything - so it is time to get some content together!
As artists, organizing our work into categories can be tricky. Here are some tips.
Once we have the structure figured out, we can put our menu together.
The Home Page is the first thing people will see when they come to your site.
Widgets are like extra little content nuggets. Making good use of them can give your website a lot of extra impact.
Plugins add extra functionality to our site. In this video we look at how they work.
Installing a plugin to let us sell our work online! Includes taxes, shipping, and downloadable product info.
Selling stuff part 2! Installing a plugin to let us sell our work online! Includes taxes, shipping, and downloadable product info.
Selling Stuff part 3! Installing a plugin to let us sell our work online! Includes taxes, shipping, and downloadable product info.
We've already done some work hiding the comments section on our pages, but we might need one more step.
Embedding can give us access to video, audio, and some other things on our site in a very easy way. Here we will talk about how it works and what you need.
In this video we will walk through embedding some video onto your site.
Using Soundcloud, we will embed some audio files, or whole albums into our website.
We made a dummy store page earlier when we were making our menu, so here we need to go back and hook that page to our new store.
Content complete! But we still have more to do. The light is at the end of the tunnel!
What is left to do? Plenty.
In this video I walk through the process of getting your recent Twitter tweets to show up on your website. If you don't use twitter, this might still show you some valuble information.
Incorporating Facebook into your site.
You think you want a calendar on your site, but you don't. In this video I'll show you why you don't want one, and some better alternatives.
Be warned that incorporting your social media into your website can have consequences!
Update early. Update often.
Screw up? Wish you could roll the clock back to a previous version of your page? You can. This is how.
Here is what is left. Just a few things, but they could be important.
Keep some pages private, and schedule some to show up in the future. Easy!
If you put password proctection on your site all the way back at the beginning, it is time to take it off. Here is a walkthrough.
As promised in the Widget section, some basics on formatting with HTML. You don't need this, but it might be handy to just know the basics, which I cover here.
Thanks for watching this class! A few parting thoughts...
It is becoming popular for bands to let fans "subscribe" to their music, and charge them every month or year for all their tracks. This video shows how to set that up.
There is so much more to learn!
J. Anthony Allen has worn the hats of composer, producer, songwriter, engineer, sound designer, DJ, remix artist, multi-media artist, performer, inventor, and entrepreneur. Allen is a versatile creator whose diverse project experience ranges from works written for the Minnesota Orchestra to pieces developed for film, TV, and radio. An innovator in the field of electronic performance, Allen performs on a set of “glove” controllers, which he has designed, built, and programmed by himself. When he’s not working as a solo artist, Allen is a serial collaborator. His primary collaborative vehicle is the group Ballet Mech, for which Allen is one of three producers.
J. Anthony Allen teaches at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN., and is an Ableton Live Certified Trainer. He is a co-founder and owner of Slam Academy, a multimedia educational space in downtown Minneapolis. Recently, Allen founded Hackademica – an innovative net-label for new music.
J. has a PhD in music composition, 2 Master’s degrees in music composition and electronic music, and a bachelors degree in guitar performance. Through his academic travels, Dr. Allen has received numerous awards along the way.
If you run into him on the street, he prefers to be addressed as J. (as in, Jay.)