It’s a fast-paced Internet driven world out there, and knowing how to market yourself effectively is a key factor in how successful you will become. Themes and plugins on WordPress play a key part in how you interact with your fans, and in this post we’re going to cover the best that WordPress has to offer for musicians.
We’ll start with a carefully curated selection of WordPress themes for musicians, before moving on to the top plugins. Let’s rock on, shall we?
An Introduction to WordPress Music Themes
Whether you’re just starting out as a musician or are already in a band that already has a decent following, how you present yourself on the Internet can mean the difference between stardom and obscurity. You probably have a self image that you hold near and dear, but what is the image that you want all of your soon to be adoring fans to fall in love with? What kind of music and lifestyle do you represent?
In the words of the immortal band The Who…
Let’s check out some of the top WordPress music themes to get you up and rocking.
1. Singl Free WordPress Theme
From the designers over at Automattic comes Singl, a minimalist theme that enables you to create a powerful online presence. It has a striking black background and a grayscale color scheme which is bound to polarize opinion, so make sure that it reflects your brand! Features include:
- Sticky posts
- Custom menus, header and background
- Full page background image
- Built in subscription form
- Social network integration
2. Byblos Free WordPress Theme
For an extremely clean and modern design this free WordPress theme will have you jumpin’ and jivin’ in no time! Perfect for musicians, Byblos by Smartcat is a full-width slider theme that looks great and is easily customizable. The masonry grid tiles are great if you have a lot of galleries or similar; they stop the page from getting too cluttered, which can dissuade people from exploring your site. Check out all these features:
- Vertical menu layout
- Inbuilt Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Equipped with Font Awesome and Bootstrap
- Sidebar and footer widgets
- CSS3 animations
- Customizable calls to action
3. Blackoot Lite Freemium WordPress Theme
Blackoot Lite is a free WordPress theme that comes with the option to upgrade to the premium Blackoot Pro (currently on sale at $30, though usually $40) which has more features and support, such as the ability to create slideshows, Google Maps integration and lots more.
Designed with musicians and photographers in mind, this elegant and responsive WordPress theme can enable you to build a professional website in minutes. Features include:
- Widgetized areas
- Customizable background
- Automatic translation
- Fully responsive design
WordPress Themes With Integrated Music Player Plugins
Aside from the actual look of your site, another important aspect to consider is whether you want your music available to play on your website. This means people can listen, get a taste for your music and decide whether to subscribe or buy your albums, but it does also mean giving away some of your music for free! Here are some of our favourite themes that automatically come with an audio plugin (or a built-in audio players.
4. Progeny MMXIV Free WordPress (Child) Theme
Progeny MMXIV is a free child theme for the WordPress Twenty Fourteen parent theme which already includes custom integration for the Audio Theme Framework. This music-inspired theme is also an introduction to the Audio Theme Framework plugin. The Audio Theme Framework is a WordPress premium plugin that provides features that are greatly desired for a music-oriented website.
The cool thing is, integration for the premium plugin is included in the Progeny MMXIV theme (so if you want, you can spend a few extra bucks for a lot of extra music related features). But even without the plugin, this theme really sizzles by enhancing the functionality of Twenty Fourteen on many levels. Features include:
- Music and video support
- Customized layouts for music, videos and gigs
- Improved page templates
- Integrated social media menu icons
5. Beat Heaven Premium WordPress Theme
From the maestros at ThemeFuse, Beat Heaven is a premium elegant and responsive premium theme (costing $55+) designed for musicians and bands who want it all. In a world gone mobile, this theme rocks for fans on the go. Beat Heaven takes the zooming and scrolling right out of the mix and leaves you with a smooth browsing experience on your tablet, smart phone or laptop. Premium features include:
- Easy to use page templates & layouts
- Clean integrated HTML 5 Audio player
- Full music video support (plus widget)
- Events module (with timeline display)
- Latest albums carousel and more!
6. Music Premium WordPress Theme
This is another great premium band & music WordPress theme, this time from Themify, which will set you back $49. With the ability for site-wide jams, Music enables you to highlight a custom playlist of your music across the entire website. The distinct audio player included in this theme displays the current track while the rest of your music is easily accessible via a toggle feature. Other premium features include:
- Easy to use Themify builder
- Albums custom post type
- Custom events module (for tours, concerts, etc)
- Masonry & grid galleries support
- Responsive to any mobile device
Audio Plugins for WordPress
If you already have your musically inspired website setup and just want to kick out the jams, we can do that too. As a musician, the best way to get your message to the masses is to let them hear you. So, having a music player that can transcend all the different platforms and devices that the world uses to surf the web is essential.
Let’s take a look at a couple of WordPress plugins for transmitting your sound waves across the time and space of the Internet for your fans to enjoy.
7. Compact WP Audio Player Free WordPress Plugin
When looking to embed an audio player on your WordPress website, you would be hard pressed to find anything simpler and more accommodating to all major browsers and devices than the free Compact WP Audio Player.
This player plugin by Tips and Tricks HQ is incredibly compact so it doesn’t take up much real estate on your page, and makes it less obtrusive for the visitors to your site. You can take this opportunity to not only share your music, but also create things like podcasts to interact further with your fans. Features include:
- MP3 and OGG file support
- Volume level setting
- Looping option
- Theme integration
- Ability to disable simultaneous playback
8. MP3-jPlayer Free WordPress Plugin
For a plugin with a little more style and shine, the free MP3-jPlayer just might fit the bill. From Simon Ward comes an easy and flexible audio player for WordPress that enables anyone to crank up the volume of visitors to their website. This feature-packed plugin is compatible with all major browsers and devices. Features include:
- Multiple skins
- Pop out players
- Visitor downloads
- Manageable playlists
- Unlimited audio players
- Customizable colors, fonts, titles and more
Coda (Is This The End?)
Hardly! I’d say this is just the beginning of a journey you are on to finely craft your vision of what your website will be. I’ve laid out some tools to help you begin the groundwork for sending out your message to the world, now it’s up to you.
Remember to choose a theme that reflects your kind of music and style, whether that is reserved and sleek or something a bit louder. Assess the features carefully – will you benefit more from social media integration, or is having a grid style much more important to your look? The final mix is in your hands.