How to Build a Website with WordPress and a DJ Website Plugin
A while back, I found myself in a situation where I needed to build my own website to host my DJ plays and album reviews but didn’t want to use a blogging platform (at the time, Tumblr was the blogging platform of choice and I wasn’t a fan). I had just finished reading about WordPress in a digital marketing book and decided that it would be the perfect fit for my needs. In this article, I’ll walk you through the steps necessary to build a WordPress website from the ground up, using nothing more than free WordPress themes and plugins.
WordPress is the most popular blogging platform in the world, currently holding the #2 spot just behind Google’s Blogger.
The free version offers plenty enough features to get by, and since it’s open-source software, you can rest assured that you’re not paying for services you don’t need.
WordPress also happens to be remarkably simple to use, even for those unfamiliar with blogging platforms. Once you’ve set up a new blog (on your own domain, of course!), you can start adding content in the form of short blog posts (i.e. an average of 700 words).
Pick A Suitable WordPress Theme
Since you won’t be using professional-grade website software, you’ll want to pick a simple, easy-to-use theme that suits your needs. When it comes to WordPress themes, there are dozens to choose from, and it can be tricky to find the right one for your needs. Fortunately, there are several WordPress themes designed for musicians that you can utilize. For example, Spotify’s website is built on the [Spotify Theme](https://wordpress.com/themes/spotify/), which is robust enough to hold all of their content (such as album reviews and playlists) while looking clean, modern, and uncluttered.
Curate your own playlists
As a DJ, you’ll want to keep your playlists organized and easy to access, so it’s best to build these lists directly into your WordPress site via a playlist manager plugin. The [Fresh Juice](https://wordpress.com/plugins/fresh-juice-for-streaming-music-services/) plugin, for instance, allows you to create, edit, and organize playlists directly from within WordPress, as does the [Playlist Plus](https://wordpress.com/plugins/playlist-plus-for-musicians/) plugin.
Customize Your Posts And Pages
While the free version of WordPress allows you to create and access posts and pages via a generic “blog” dashboard, you’ll want to take the time to delve into the different layouts and design options available to you. There are several WordPress themes that provide users with the option of showing their latest posts on their homepage, for example, in a feed format. You can use this option to show your latest album reviews, interviews, and other content in a simple, efficient manner.
You’ll also want to look into the various custom page options that WordPress offers. For example, you can create a “music gear” page where you can post all of the equipment that you use in your studio, along with photos of the items in use. As another example, you can create a “playlists” page where you can showcase all of your currently curated playlists.
Set Up An RSS Feed For Your Blog
The [RSS (Really Simple Syndication)](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RSS) syndication service allows content owners to create a news feed (similar to Twitter’s [@username](https://twitter.com/username) in-reply-to tweets) for their websites. RSS feeds are quite useful for blogs that review new albums and plays, as these websites often put out new content multiple times a day, keeping the content flow going without having to update multiple blog posts with the new content.
You can use RSS feeds to show new content from your blog on your website without having to constantly update your blog. To set up an RSS feed for your blog, navigate to your blog’s dashboard and click on the Settings tab. From here, you can choose which categories and posts you want your RSS feed to display, as well as set the frequency at which the feed should be updated.
Installing WordPress is quite straightforward and can be done in just a few minutes. From the WordPress website, download the latest version of the software and save it to your computer. Once downloaded, open the compressed file and follow the onscreen prompts to complete the installation.
Installing WordPress will bring up a configuration screen where you can enter a blog name and establish a username and password for your blog. From here, you can also choose your blog’s locale (i.e. the language in which you wish to write) and set up a password for the admin panel, which serves as the backend of your website. You’ll use this admin panel to modify the content and design of your website, as well as to add new content such as posts, pages, and photos.
Getting Started With WordPress
With your WordPress blog set up, you can begin adding content to it, either by blogging about music-related topics or by curating music plays and albums that you’ve previously covered in your DJ blog. The choice is up to you!
To get started, navigate to your WordPress Dashboard and click on the Add New button (top right corner of the screen). From here, you can either start a new post or click on the “Continue reading” link at the bottom of any given post to access all of its content. If you’d like to get more information about a certain topic, you can click on the “More” tab at the top of any given post to access a resource guide or look up additional information about the topic.
Make Sure Your Website Is Working Correctly
Once you’ve got WordPress up and running on your computer, you’ll need to make sure that the blog software is configured correctly and that it’s working properly. To test if everything is installed properly, visit your website’s homepage and enter the username and password that you set up during the installation process. If you’re still encountering problems, visit the WordPress forums to seek help from other users. The administrators and moderators of these forums are generally very helpful, and if you’ve installed the correct version of WordPress, they may even be able to help you get set up with a premium account, which gives you more features.
WordPress is quite simply the best blogging platform for musicians because of its versatility and extensibility. By understanding the basics of how to use WordPress, you’ll be able to launch a professional-looking website in no time at all, while also keeping your existing blog up and running, too. So, if you’re looking for an easy way to get your music out there to the world, or just want to have a place to keep all of your album reviews and plays, then WordPress is the perfect fit.