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Explosive music websites

Why follow the crowd and use MySpace for your band's website when you can create something better and easier to manage.

Creating a MySpace page for your band is as easy as falling off a log, but the difficulty is making it look good. MySpace is notorious for its unwieldy code and sparse CSS hooks, creating an uphill battle for anyone who wants their site to stand out from the crowd. By all means have a MySpace page for your band (it is, after all, seen as an increasingly important way to give your music some exposure), but if you want to be different and have a good-looking, easy-to-manage site to boot then the only thing to do is to build it yourself.

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If you're fairly comfortable with HTML, you may want to manage news updates yourself, but if you're handing the design off to someone less technical, you can look at blogging software to act as a content management system. If you're an Adobe GoLive user, CS2 contains ready-made templates for the TypePad service, as well as Movable Type servers. Integrating a blog into your design can't compete with MySpace for simplicity, but you'll end up with a site that's fully under your control.

Sadly, Adobe's support for Movable Type and TypePad is patchy, with no mention of it at all in GoLive's help menu. If things aren't working as expected, it's tough to figure out what the problem is. Dreamweaver enables you to install the Movable Type/HTML Editor extensions suite from http://dreamweaver-mt.sourceforge.net, but this can only be used in code view, making the GoLive solution marginally better.

Entrepreneurs and open source developers have made once troublesome issues, such as adding video, simplicity itself. Upload a video to YouTube, grab the embed tags from the site and paste it into your HTML and your band's video is available to anyone who visits your site (and YouTube, of course).

Look to Flickr to host your photos, who again usefully provide all the HTML code to add the images to your site. It's also a relatively painless process to set up a PayPal account to handle the shopping cart side of things for selling CDs and band T-shirts.

By using your website as a melting pot of available technologies, you get all the flexibility you could want without the technical or bandwidth headaches you might expect.

Click here to download the support files

Click here to download the tutorial for free

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