Musformation How We Do: Our Design For A Small Indie Label Website Part 2 The Label Page & Widgets

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Continuing on yesterday’s post about our design for a small indie label’s website today we will discuss what we choose for the label page aka the landing page when someone first gets there. Much of what we needed to think about were our widget choices. Follow me to the jump and we will discuss what we choose.

The Idea
The idea of any label page should be to show how to find info on the bands on the label as easy an possible. Obviously, we wanted to get as much info as possible above the fold as possible.

The Widgets
Starting from the middle column we will work our way down and back up to discuss which widgets we used.

The TuneCore Player Widget

There are a million widgets out there to choose from to play your music off of. I feel like we could have made a few different choices on this one and still been happy. What drew me to the TuneCore widget was the good looks and good sounds. I liked the idea of having a buy button in the widget (even if I do wish I could point it to other services TuneCore services instead of iTunes). The widget’s audio fidelity really impresses me and since Dean and I are both producers this is really important. One problem I do see in the future is that this widget takes up a lot of real estate and we are going to have more than one release soon. When we get past two releases I am going to have to re-evaluate this decision and see what other options are out there. That said this widget I find to be a great choice for single artist pages and wish more artists used it so I could hear a high quality stream of their music.

This is some standard code that Jackie put in. Each release as they come out will go down this column. An album cover and a link to buy seems more than enough for this feature.

Non-DFR Releases
One of the things I don’t see labels do enough. All three of the bands who DFR is working with right now have releases that they have put out on their own or with other labels. Obviously, since the label is in it to help bands they want to make sure the bands can sell anything that can make them money. In my eyes you should make it easy to find any other releases from a band to help your artists survive.

Follow Us
You may recognize this widget from Musformation. Jackie built this for us and we copied it and transfered it over (you could easily do this as well). As I discuss on the site nearly everyday, I find it super important to get your fans to follow you on whatever site they prefer to get information from. This widget allows your fans/press to follow you in whichever way they prefer.

ReverbNation Show Widget
All of the bands DFR has signed already use ReverbNation so this helped a lot in this decision. There is not a lot of options for this type of widget but I did like The Live Music Machine widget a lot because of some of the other features like th ability to bid on the band, but decided on the RN widget in the end. The reason for this decision was automation. Dean and I do not want to spend our whole life setting up social networks. One of the cool things that ReverbNation’s show widget does for labels is to aggregate all of your bands shows into the widget. This means when the band updates their RN profile with a show it automatically goes into our widget. That played a big part in my decision and won me over in the end.

ReverbNation Fan Collector
My first instinct was to use FanBridge for the mailing list. They allow you to collect some info that RN doesn’t and that seemed very appealing to me. I like the idea of collecting Twitter and Myspace addresses through FanBridge but all of our bands were already using ReverbNation. This coupled with not having to log into another social network made me change my mind. I do still love the FanBridge service and may use it if I was working with an individual band since they offer a few small things that ReverbNation doesn’t that I really like, but this time RN won me over.

Obviously, we want the cool videos the bands make to be seen by potential fans. When new videos are released they will be posted in the left blog column first and then put down here when they aren’t as newsworthy.

Twitter Widget
At this point we are filling column space. Since this widget is available, I figure it is a good way for people who have scrolled down to see some of the news and conversations that are happening on the labels twitter.

Facebook FanBox
The FanBox seems to help get people to sign up for your Facebook. Since we have the room I figured it would be good to put this down on the bottom.

Jesse Cannon is the editor of Musformation. He produces records at his studio Cannon Found Soundation. Follow him on Twitter at @JesseCannonMusF. For more info please visit his website.