websites: why? what?, how follows when you have a plan

Artists and labels pretty much live on the internet now – especially with ambient and electronic music in general.   Creating a “home base” for Relaxed Machinery has been a key project in getting the label launched.   Even though this website is not done yet, I decided to open it up and let everyone see it develop as we ramp up to the official “launch” in January 2010.   By posting these blogs I hope that my journey to launching a new label helps other artists and label owners along the way.  I also hope the listeners and potential fans get a kick out of it as well.  🙂

First things first… questions I asked myself with input and advice from couple of close friends:

* Why am I building a website?
* What am I trying to accomplish with the website?  A sort of “brochure” site for each artist and release?  A “community” for music fans to congregate?  A blog?
* What information do I want to present?   What do I hope people will enjoy seeing?
* Do I want a “store” on the website?

These are all big key questions – and they also tied in with what was the label as a whole trying to accomplish.  

The “why” was fairly easy to me.  I wanted a central main website for Relaxed Machinery – somewhere to point everything and everyone to for information about the label, the music, the artists, the artwork.   I didn’t want to rely on a social network as a “homebase” – I wanted it to be on my own terms.  Not to say I’m not putting Relaxed Machinery on the social networks (it’s already there on myspace and facebook) – but that’s just one piece of the label. 

I ruled out a “store”.   There are a ton of pros and cons to having a direct store and for this point in the life of the label, it doesn’t make sense.  My big goal with the label is to get this music out in front of a lot of potential listeners which means reaching out into iTunes, Amazon, eMusic, etc… building a webstore on this site pulled me away from that goal.   Maybe someday, but not now.

Then there’s the “community” aspect.  I do think this is a great thing to build, but there are already other larger communities out there. 

It boils down to the key idea RelaxedMachinery.com is trying to present is information about the artists and releases – and a place to blog about building the label and about what I’m doing in the studio.   I also want to make the blog aspect available to Relaxed Machinery artists.  

So… the end result before ever touching any code… is I wanted a site to present information about the artists and the releases and to allow us to blog about the label and recording and music in general.   Now I could begin to figure out how to build the site.

Which brought me to WordPress – which is what this site is using.  WordPress is designed to be a blog, but has many aspects that allow for the “brochure” aspects like artist bio’s and release information.  Once installed – I searched for a theme that fits my design sense… and Atahualpa fit the bill after trying about 5 others out.

Thanks for reading!

John