There’s a mistake a lot of music businesses make with their website. Doesn’t seem to matter whether they’re self-employed singer-songwriters, retailers, venues, lables or equipment manufacturers, they get it wrong in equal measure.
The site could look great, and have all the right elements in place – but if they mess up with the URL (and a lot of them do) then it’s all been a bit of a waste of effort.
The URL, for reference sake, is the name that you type into the bar up the top of the web browser up there. The bit that goes “http://www.name.com” – or whatever.
If you’ve gone to the trouble of setting up a website, you presumably want people to find you again. In that case, here are things to avoid. These are my top five mistakes music businesses make with the name of their website:
1) Long URLs: www.thisisthebestwebsiteaboutmusic.com is a pain to type, and people have so many opportunities to get it wrong as they do. I should heed my own advice here: newmusicstrategies is on the long side. I’d aim for 7 letters or less if you can possibly help it.
2) Tricky spellings: www.beatznthyngs.com might look cool (it doesn’t, but go with me on this) – but nobody is ever going to remember what strange variant of spelling you’ve used. URLs should be easily spelled with no confusion.
3) Numbers in the URL: www.in2music4evercositsgr8.com is neither memorable nor easily discovered. Unless your band is called 123Go, you’ll want to leave numbers out altogether.
4) Unspeakable URLs: www.qzlpstk.com is not something you can tell somebody at a party – or even say out loud. If you have to spell the URL when you tell another human being, it’s a bad URL.
5) Subdomains: If you’re going to go to the trouble of having a website, at least be a little bit professional about it. Get your own hosting so you can have www.yourname.com rather than www.yourname.cheapweb.com or what have you.
Again, I’m going to need to take my own advice about this. My personal blog The Wireless breaks a couple of these. People go looking for wireless.com – when it’s thewireless.blogspot.com – though in my defence, it’s only still called that because it’s been there for four and a half years, and www.dubber.com isn’t available. Looking for alternatives – and well aware of the hypocrisy.
It’s worse than that – some people seem to have difficulty spelling ‘strategies’ – so even though New Music Strategies is both speakable and reasonably memorable, there’s still an opportunity to make a mistake with it.
But you’re here, aren’t you? I can at least take comfort from that.