Bob Baker's Indie Music Promotion Blog

News, notes and ideas on music marketing, self-promotion, artist empowerment and more

August 27, 2008

The Art of Simple Music Web Design

My old pal Bob Gleason recently sold his CD/DVD replication company and is now devoting a lot more time to playing music. The other day I visited Bob's web site to see what he was up to, and I was stuck by what I saw.

In an era of intense graphics, Flash intros and multimedia sensory bombardment, it was refreshing to see a music web site stripped down to the bare bones.

His one-page music web site may seem primitive at first glance. And it is missing some things (most notably an email list sign-up form). But a closer look reveals the effectiveness of its simplicity.

Right at the top you see who Bob is, what he plays, and who he might sound like. Perfect.

Under that is a lengthy list of places you can see Bob perform live. That makes sense, especially since he seems to be using this site primarily to promote his live shows. (Note the brilliant move to have MapQuest direction links for each venue.)

It's also a good site to send potential venue people who are thinking of hiring Bob. They can see where's he's playing, along with a lengthy list of cover songs he performs down the left hand column. He's also got his contact info and song samples prominently displayed.

Pay a visit to and see for yourself.

True, this site won't win any design awards. But does that matter? No. What really matters is that people who visit the site can find what they're looking for -- which is access to Bob and his music.

You may not want your music web site to be this stripped down, and that's fine. But I encourage you to keep these simplicity principles in mind. Sometimes, less is indeed more.


P.S. In the coming months, I plan to publish a Music Web Site Critique ebook and audio program. Subscribe to my free ezine and you'll be the first to know when it's available.

Ready to turbo-charge your music marketing campaign? Check out all the new Crash Course packages on Music Marketing, Music Publicity, and Internet Promotion at

posted by Bob Baker @ 9:47 AM   6 comments


At Aug 28, 2008 4:25:00 PM, Blogger lisamarie said...

While I can appreciate the cut-to-the-chase approach that his site has, as a designer I still have to call attention to the word DESIGN in web design. I'm just someone that likes things to look good, but at the same time you do have to get your point across quickly in order to keep your bounce rate low. And let's not forget about UI and easy navigation -- super important.

At Aug 29, 2008 4:11:00 AM, Blogger Christian said...

Ciao Bob - Thanks for the post.

Maybe Bob's site is in extreme opposition to a full-flash, interactive site.

I believe in finding a compromise between the two.

This is the driving force behind the review (or revamp?) of my site ( that I'm currently undertaking and hope to finish soon.

My goals are to simplify & cut down all text, making it snappy & able to provide answers to basic questions - easily and within a few seconds of my visitors' attention span.

Will take some work but... as Leonardo Da Vinci put it: “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”


At Aug 29, 2008 5:37:00 AM, Blogger John of Celtic Ways said...

Thanks Bob, big lesson here. Don't try to sell dreams with your web site. E.g., I find I can no longer stand MySpace pages with the flashes and noise.

When I go to web sites I want to know who, what they do, where they are, what to buy asap, and doing this on one page is perfect. Then maybe sell the dream with audio and YouTube streams if you want to hang around and find out more.

Tight hook up to social sites is also essential now I find, and I'm a huge new Facebook fan now.

At Aug 30, 2008 10:17:00 AM, Anonymous Robin said...

I have to reiterate what lisamarie said about "design." Part of design is laying out information in a way that not only looks appealing, but also makes it easy to find and easy to access.

I don't find putting it all on one page in what basically looks like an amalgamation of text really does the trick. You're instantly overwhelmed with information and if you're just looking for something as simple as tour dates, you have to let your eyes adjust before you can find it.

Whereas putting up a link that says "Shows" would be a lot easier. Click on it and boom, JUST the information that you're looking for.

The information on the page is great, but it's not really that usable.

And not only is there a mailing list sign-up missing, but what about something that allows us to listen to the music. When I'm on a music page, that's the first thing I usually look for.

So I suppose this page is great for existing fans, but it's not compelling enough to bring new fans into the fold.

At Aug 30, 2008 10:48:00 AM, Blogger Bob Baker said...

In response to Lisa Marie and Robin:

I thought I made it clear in the post that I am not advocating that every artist needs to use a one-page web site.

I even wrote, "This site won't win any design awards ... You may not want your music web site to be this stripped down, and that's fine. But I encourage you to keep these simplicity principles in mind."

That was the whole point: Start from a position of simplicity. Make it easy for fans to find what they need quickly. Make your visitors' needs more important than your need to impress.

Look around my own web site. It couldn't possibly fit on one page. But I strive to organize it in a way that makes it easy for people to find what they need quickly -- while still serving my own goals and needs.

That's all :-)


At Sep 4, 2008 1:20:00 PM, Blogger thehippynuts said...

I think the one page webpage is very zen, very confident--this idea made me go into our site and change the order of the pages/buttons so that at least
reading from left to right, I guide visitors to the most important stuff first--in case they don't want to look at all of the pages..I left the bio and press last because
that's more for industry than for fans. thanks Bob.
Kathena Bryant


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