How to Create a Perfectly Balanced Music Store Website in WordPress

If you’re reading this, I assume you’re either an independent musician, songwriter, or both; perhaps even a fan of both. For those of you who fit into one of these categories, you’re in luck because this article is for you. We’ll cover everything you need to know to build a perfectly functional music store website. Even better, we’ll do it in WordPress, the #1 content management system used by 13.8 million websites worldwide. So let’s get started.

The Basics

This is the stuff you need to know and have before you start coding:

  • A domain name
  • A hosting account
  • Access to a VPN
  • A credit card
  • Some coins
  • A laptop, desktop, or server
  • A microphone
  • Software such as Notepad, Sublime Text, Microsoft Word, or Google Docs

Once you have all of these items, you’re good to go. You can start by setting up your WordPress blog (it’s free) with a nice WordPress theme, and then begin adding content to it. For the purposes of this article, we’ll be using the Genesis Framework with Twenty Fifteen as our WordPress theme. If you’ve never created a WordPress blog, it’s a great place to start because all of the necessary files are already within your WordPress account. Plus, you can always learn more from the WordPress community.

Step 1: Selecting A Niche

Once you have a functioning WordPress blog with some content on it, you should consider whether or not to continue building out the site. At this point, you have several options:

  • You can display product listings for bands, albums, and songs for sale. We’ll go with this option because it allows us to cover a wide array of topics, and it’s very flexible.
  • You can create individual band profiles with a blog post for each artist. This way, users can find out more about a particular band, such as its bios, music history, and tour dates. Plus, you can include a video to showcase the band’s talents.
  • You can create individual album profiles with a blog post for each album. This way, users can learn more about a particular band’s music history and find out what others say about it. Plus, you can include a video to showcase the band’s talents.
  • You can create individual song profiles with a blog post for each song. This way, users can learn more about a particular band’s music history and find out what others say about it. Plus, you can include a video to showcase the band’s talents.

Ultimately, it’s up to you what you want to do with your music store website. But above all else, you must ensure that it’s perfectly balanced. That is, you want to provide just as much value to your prospective customers as you do to your current ones. For example, if you decide to go with the first option above, you might want to consider adding a few videos of each artist performing live. Or, if you decide to go with the second option, you might want to create a glossary of terms used within the industry (band, album, and song glossaries are especially useful for establishing a sound brand). Whatever you do, make sure that it adds value.

Step 2: Building An Outstanding Layout

Now that you’ve established a solid foundation, it’s time to add a little more flair. You want to create a unique look and feel for your site, and here’s where the fun begins. If you’ve ever shopped at Nordstrom, you’ll have an idea of what we’re talking about. For the uninitiated, Nordstrom is an international conglomerate that owns a variety of retail stores, including fashion malls. A few of their properties are department stores; the rest are boutiques and specialty stores.

When you walk into a Nordstrom store, you’ll see that the layout is fairly standard. There are racks and racks of clothes, and staff members are standing by to assist customers. But, if you look closely, you’ll notice that this store is laid out in a way that makes sense from a customer’s point of view. For example, the logo at the top is actually placed above the entrance so that people can get a good look at it as they arrive. Also, the display of shoes is oriented so that when you view them from the side, they appear to be marching in place. The result is that when customers enter the store, their attention is immediately drawn to the displays of merchandise, rather than the entranceway or the desk where the store’s personnel are located. Designers call this type of layout “mall-wrap”; it provides a clean break between the outdoors (where the weather is bad) and the area inside the mall where it’s warm and comfortable. This type of design is quite common in luxury retail settings, but it can be extremely useful in other contexts as well.

To achieve this type of layout in WordPress, you need to use the Genesis Framework’s built-in page builder. This is a fantastic plugin that provides you with a simple drag-and-drop interface to assemble pages. Even better, you can use prebuilt templates to get started right away. Let’s say, for example, that you’ve decided to go with the third option above. You’ll want to create individual song profiles with a blog post for each song. This way, customers can learn more about a particular band’s music history and find out what others say about it. Plus, you can include a video to showcase the band’s talents. As an alternative, you could use a template that comes with the Genesis Framework to quickly get the general layout of your website. Then, you can add content to the page as needed.

You’ll notice that when you add a new blog post, a pop-up shows up with a form inviting you to fill out. It is highly recommended that you upgrade your WordPress version to take advantage of all the features the plugin has to offer. Apart from providing a clean and neat appearance to your website, having an up-to-date version of WordPress means that you’re always able to take advantage of the latest news, trends, and offers from the platform (such as the upcoming Gutenberg update, which brings with it a new option for page layouts).

Step 3: Coding The Navigation Bar (Hamburger Menu)

Speaking of news, trends, and offers, let’s talk about the navigation bar above the fold. You’ll want to code it so that when a user clicks on it, an additional navigation pane opens up, filling the entire width of the website’s visible area. This is where the fun begins. You’ll need to use either JavaScript or jQuery to achieve this effect. Here’s a good starter tutorial to get you started:

  • Learn JavaScript Or jQuery
  • Build A Better Hamburger Menu
  • Adding A Navigation Bar To Your WordPress Website

The above tutorial should get you set with the basic coding needed to create a navigation bar that opens up a hamburger menu upon clicking. From there, you can add more options to it by clicking the “additional menu” button at the bottom of the page (this will create a drop-down menu similar in function to the one above).

Once you have a working navigation bar with a few links to create a drop-down menu, it’s time to take things to the next level and make it look amazing. For this, you’ll need the assistance of a CSS expert. Luckily, we have you covered on this front because CSS is one of our specialties here at Creative Market Bloggers. So let’s get to work.

Step 4: Adding More Features

At this point, you probably realize that your rudimentary music store website does not yet live up to your expectations. That is, it’s functional but rather dull. To truly shine, you need to add more features and make it stand out from the crowd. To do this, you need to become an expert in several specialties, including programming and design. But all is not lost. Thanks to the wonders of open-source software and the internet, you can learn just about anything these days. So if you’re looking to add more features to your website, you have several options.