Making a website: The Commonwealth

The-Commonwealth--Desktop

A couple months ago, we in The Commonwealth launched our official website, which I personally designed and developed. It felt appropriate to have the website launch in promotion of Urban Soul and our newly found partnership with local label Cellar Door Records, but the real need for it was a practical one.

Since releasing Souvenir in 2011, Bandcamp was our primary connection to our listeners. As our first EP, making it completely on our own was an incredible challenge, and Bandcamp’s ease-of-use really attracted us because it took such a load off our backs when distributing the album digitally. Two LP’s later, and Bandcamp was effectively our main website; it had a good ranking in search engines, our contact info and music was immediately accessible and its tracking tools offered a lot of rich information. With Cellar Door Records, we knew that our distribution channels would be growing, but in some cases splitting on the user-experience side of things. We still wanted a singular site that summed up who we are.

Thankfully, Bandcamp affords the ability to embed any music it hosts into any other website with their player widget, even if they’re managed by different accounts. We had been using this method for sharing our music on social networks (and also this blog, as part of the sidebar), but I realized we could leverage it for our own website, virtually tying together our entire discography and band information into one place.

Months later, I thought I’d share my thought process over the short period of time it took to create The Commonwealth’s website (about two weeks). Continue reading

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Bandcamp and The User Experience

Bandcamp is a website that invites independent musicians to freely distribute their music through it. At no charge (besides a 15% cut from each sale after the fact), a band can set up and customize their own page to stream, promote and sell their songs/albums/merchandise in a number of combinations. Once your music is up and available, you can track statistics as well for how many people are visiting, listening (which is broken down into full/partial/skipped plays too to give you meaningful insights) and buying. You set the prices and, if you’d like, your audience can too. It’s an incredibly powerful tool and it’s only getting better lately, especially in the department of interactive design. Continue reading

Souvenir

Three of us, alone, made some noise in our dining room for nine months.
Here’s what the result sounds like.

Souvenir, by The Commonwealth

Souvenir
The Commonwealth’s (that’s us) debut album.

Take something home with you at
http://thecommonwealth-music.bandcamp.com/

Or listen right now