Looking to Setup a Portfolio Website

Discussion in 'Internet for Musician' started by ghostwriter, Apr 23, 2022.

  1. ghostwriter

    ghostwriter Member

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    Hey,

    I'm currently working on a huge portfolio project, with many different short demo tracks. My idea is to make a website and in it have my demo tracks on a list. I also plan on adding stuff like bio, contact links, and possibly a merch store in the future (maybe selling my sheet music and lossless audio would be a better start).

    But more on the portfolio part of it: Instead of having my potential clients scroll through the demo tracks randomly, I wanted to make it so that they can search via a list of tags.
    So if my client wants to hear an orchestral track I made all they have to do is click the "orchestral" tag.

    Any ideas on what tools/service I should use to build a website with that kind of function? My knowledge of programming/coding is very rudimentary and I wanted to stay away from that if possible.

    Thanks,
     
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  3. clone

    clone Audiosexual

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    You should specify what/if any budget you are going by.

    it will save your and others' time.
     
  4. ghostwriter

    ghostwriter Member

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    Since I'm still working on my demo tracks I first wanted to know if this is a thing that is possible (without having to resort to complex programming). I guess I could hire someone to do it but it's not my best interest right now.
     
  5. BEAT16

    BEAT16 Audiosexual

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    1.) If you live in Europe, you should know this:

    The new EU GDPR: what do website operators need to know?
    On May 25, 2018, the new EU General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) will come into force. It will govern data collection and storage practices throughout the European Union. According to the principle of “lex loci solutionis” (literally: “the law of the place of performance”), Swiss website operators who process personal data may also be subject to the new regulation.
    www.hostpoint.ch/en/blog/new-eu-gdpr-website-operators-need-know/

    2.) Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Starter Guide
    https://developers.google.com/search/docs/beginner/seo-starter-guide
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2022
  6. Tai-San

    Tai-San Member

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    Your best bet is a template from themeforest, using WordPress. Something like this:

    https://themeforest.net/category/wordpress/entertainment/music-and-bands?term=portfolio

    And hire someone for the initial setup (if you're not confident doing it yourself), and then you can refine and tweak later on. Usually the developers selling the template offer that service for a small fee, or just find someone on fiverr. But the templates now typically have a "one-click" install where everything is done for you anyway, assuming you have somewhere to host it.

    Literally any template will have the functions you need, like tag search. You might have to spend a little time learning how to manage it from your WP backend but it's the easiest and most cost-effective way, in the long run. You'll get a really professional-looking and properly functioning site for potential clients so it's well worth the money. I've built quite a few websites over the years (gone from starting from scratch in html using Dreamweaver and Fireworks to using WP templates now) and honestly, this is the only way to go to save time and frustration.
     
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  7. Paul Pi

    Paul Pi Audiosexual

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    Wordpress is definitely the content management system you want. It's by far the most popular for general site development. For example, both this and the sister site site are wordpress-based.

    Your stated requirements are very straightforward and most of it could be accomplished with ease - and certainly without programming as such. You will still need to learn stuff, so be warned.

    EDIT: @Tai-San beat me to it!
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2022
  8. Ankit

    Ankit Audiosexual

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    Themeforest is the easiest solution but not the safest approach, if safety is a concern. Themes and templates are not regularly updated and contains security vulnerability. Their templates usually install some amateur plugins. They load slow and are not optimized for the SEO. Google prefers light weight websites (especially the newer ones).

    I prefer to only use themes and plugins from good developers/sources who know their job well and keep their themes and plugins updated.

    True.

    @ghostwriter I would say that doing this yourself for the first time is going to be frustrating or joyful (depends on you). I also recommend Wordpress (just don't fall in the WiX trap).

    First Step - install Local by Flywheel to experiment and learn building your wordpress website on your computer.
     
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  9. Ad Heesive

    Ad Heesive Audiosexual

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    https://collegeinfogeek.com/personal-website/

    With the grandiose title of... "The Ultimate Guide To Building A Personal Website"

    Excusing his title - it is still a pretty good step-by-step hands-on guide for beginners.

    I like all the comments from @Tai-San, @Paul Pi, and @Ankit
    They clearly know the trade offs (pros and cons) of DIY building fast streamlined hand-crafted sites versus using bloated web site builders.

    And they also know that pragmatism eventually pushes even the techie die-hards towards exploiting nice proven examples like Word Press.

    That's what makes the above guide worth reading - it is for beginners and it does focus on using Word Press.

    Personally I'm still in the die-hard DIY camp, but I completely agree with previous comments that hand-crafting 'without off-the-shelf tools', like Word Press, is no longer a viable recommendation to newcomers - unless it's something you really want to learn about.
     
  10. shinjiya

    shinjiya Member

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    I'm a Python/C# developer who's also deeply involved into servers in general, here are my two cents:

    • Stay away from WordPress (self-hosted), it might seem simple, but for your application it is not ideal and a huge money waste. You can set up a portfolio using a static website and host it on GitHub for free. You can accomplish that by buying an HTML template and editing it, or using a static website generator such as Jekyll. This advice will save you money, since even the cheapest host can deliver your pages to millions of people without any issues. WordPress will require a LAMP (or LEMP) stack, and that can be costly in terms of server processing. There is zero reason to run WordPress, which requires SQL, if you do not plan to keep up a blog.
    • If you don't know how to make any of this happen, you might have a better shot at hiring someone to make the website for you. Buy the template you want, make a rough draft (even on Paint) of how you want things done and what should be written on it, and you're gold. That's a job that can be delivered in one to two days and shouldn't be extremely expensive if you're good at explaining things.
    • Other popular builders such as SquareSpace might be a good idea for a portfolio, but I'm afraid it might cost a bit in the long run since you won't own that website. You're just renting it. I might be wrong here since I never used it, but that's what I could understand from the countless sponsorships they do on YouTube.
     
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  11. RobertoCavally

    RobertoCavally Platinum Record

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    I have very little knowledge (except if/then/else lol) in coding or similar, but putting up a site was like pick a hosting, install WP (or any other thing), pick a simple template, replace text/pics/..done! Want to delete "powered by WP" - google it and write a couple of CSS lines, wanna embed something, google it..

    The most annoying part I remember was to point the domain (that was already there) to new nameservers just because I had to get in contact with them guys on both sides for security reasons. And that was bc the site was initially put up for my relative who hired a guy that later become a drunk managing sites for a bunch of composers with his smartphone, camping in a bar. ;)

    That's my problem with hiring someone. I usually preach to always get a professional for a particular job, but here the thing is pretty simple and I really like to have control over what's going on access, passwords, updates, stats.
    Very interesting. Mainly because you're right abot the money - any hosting will cost you something..
    (btw, what is self-hosted?)

    Still, the main OP's Q as I see it is - a good template for the specific job. Personally, I'd go for a super simple site and add a separate, stable, up-to-date addon/plugin.
     
  12. Ad Heesive

    Ad Heesive Audiosexual

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    I hope the OP is not getting confused by the answers. I think the answers have been really good (so far).
    So what to make of this... We've heard "Use Word Press" We've also heard "Stay away from Word Press"
    and now I'm going to say "these are not mistakes - or even contradictions".
    You are just hearing the pros and cons getting highlighted and discussed.

    I'm on both sides of the fence. I'm a self-declared DIY die-hard that has built and managed multiple web sites since 1996, and I've never resorted to using bloated resource heavy web builders (like Word Press). I've explored them, and enjoyed playing with them, but never adopted them for serious work. - and yet I'm also recommending that Word Press (or similar web builder tool) is a good choice for a newcomer - so how does that make sense?

    Maybe some of the core arguments are these...

    I think it's really unlikely that the OP (or anyone else) would be able to specify the full requirements, in advance, and then not need to adapt them later. Quite the opposite, I will bet that the OP will want to keep on changing the site, maybe very frequently.

    It is an entirely reasonable (and common) goal for a newcomer to want to be fully in DIY control of 'content management' whilst wanting to remain oblivious to, and undistracted by, ALL of (not just some of) the complex techie details.

    It might sometimes be a good idea to get pro support to get up and running but I would call it scary to end up as a hostage to pro support every time you want to make changes. So, I would assume your solution MUST include DIY content management even if it does not include DIY initial setup.

    Techie parameters - do they matter?

    All of @shinjiya's techie criticisms of Word Press are 100% accurate but do they actually matter to you? If a reliable hosting company says "Pay us $120-150 USD per year so that you can forget about all the techie parameters" is that a deal you want or not? It's money yes - but is it wasted? that depends on who's buying. A reliable Word Press hoster will put you into a scenario where your DIY content management is easy and even your DIY setup is novice-friendly too. Only you can decide whether that's a genuine bargain or a rip-off.

    I could tell you it's cheaper to repair your own car but is it? are you a mechanic? do you have a garage, and tools, and know-how?
    Techie advisers are often guilty of recommending solutions that they legitimately regard as simple and straightforward but they may have underestimated how much their familiar solution can end up demolishing a novice. So if you dare to stray into the wonderful world of real DIY solutions without tools like Word Press be prepared to encounter either a thrilling education or a distracting techie nightmare.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2022
  13. BEAT16

    BEAT16 Audiosexual

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    How much money do you want to invest per year ?

    The first and perhaps most important thing to remember about web design costs is that they can vary completely. You can get a website for as little as 20 euros a year, but it won't look good (or worse, won't be usable). And that's our point: how good your web design is depends on how much you invest, but how much you invest is completely up to you.

    Sites like WordPress, Wix, Squarespace, Weebly, and Shopify are leading the way into a new era of DIY web design, allowing anyone to run their own site at minimal cost.

    The first decision you make is which provider to use. The different sites appeal to different styles and industries; Shopify is exclusively for e-commerce, WordPress has a large community of third-party designs for more personalization, etc.
     
  14. Ad Heesive

    Ad Heesive Audiosexual

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    Not sure I'd call it a 'new era' but otherwise agree totally.
    for example... https://www.a2hosting.com
    They claim to provide WordPress and various shopping carts, e.g., OpenCart for as low as $2.99 per month, and of course they brag about being a super reliable hoster, etc. The most expensive part of the game is still your own learning curve, but what's not to like about the opportunities. All the real techie stuff can be ignored and handled by your hoster, leaving you with still a lot to learn and enjoy about designing and configuring what you personally want your site to be and do. At $2.99 per month it's a financially cheap exploration.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2022
  15. BEAT16

    BEAT16 Audiosexual

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    Good day @Ad Heesive, thanks for shining a light in the thicket of providers.
    You have to do a lot of reading and comparing beforehand and hope the companies don't go out of business.

    Best web hosting services in 2022
    www.tomsguide.com/buying-guide/best-web-hosting-services

    Bluehost - The best web hosting service available
    www.bluehost.com/special/techradar?subtag=tomsguide-de-1334195053812978400&utm_campaign=affiliate-link_techradar_notype&utm_source=www.tomsguide.com&utm_medium=affiliate&utm_affiliate=techradar
     
  16. Ankit

    Ankit Audiosexual

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    OP wants to stay away from any kind of coding/programming. Wordpress is different today, obviously static site generators like Hugo are much better choice but they require editing the configuration file.
     
  17. Ankit

    Ankit Audiosexual

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    Wordpress.com is self hosted.
     
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  18. shinjiya

    shinjiya Member

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    WordPress, as I remember it, comes in two flavors: hosted by WordPress(.com) themselves (there's a free tier and a paid one, which should be what you actually want for anything professional), and self-hosted (WordPress.org). The latter means that WordPress provides you their platform, which you can install into any server that is capable of a LAMP/LEMP stack. That means: shared hosting, VPS, dedicated servers and even your own computer. The self-hosting application is what every major website running WordPress is doing.

    Yes, there are two sides: you can either pay more in the long run for WordPress, or you can pay some upfront for a programmer and learn to edit small blocks of HTML when you want to add new content to your portfolio later. However, I didn't catch one detail from OP's first post: they want to run a merch store, and that overly complicates things.

    Based on OP's unwillingness to hire someone to lay the groundwork for the website, I guess all that's left is to pay for a service such as WordPress or SquareSpace. Maybe the latter, since I've heard they have good working merch stores. The cost, however, will add up over time, so you need to be prepared to cover it if you aren't making any money directly from it.
     
  19. jarredou

    jarredou Ultrasonic

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    No. This forum is based on XenForo. Sister site is based on Datalife Engine. No wordpress here. Maybe you should start to learn to read a site's source-code before saying bullshit.
     
  20. Paul Pi

    Paul Pi Audiosexual

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    Fair enough - I assumed they were & didn't scan the source-code first. However, both this and the sister site certainly could be built & hosted using wordpress & furthermore wouldn't be additionally subject to annual licence fees.

    In the context of this thread, your point is what precisely?

    Some real-world useage stats for perspective:

    https://www.similartech.com/compare/wordpress-vs-xenforo
    https://www.wappalyzer.com/compare/datalife-engine-vs-wordpress
     
  21. thepie

    thepie Ultrasonic

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    Wordpress is shit only popular because people think thy are coders using it. THmeforest tempates are slow as fuck (and mostly out of date - bootstrap). You will get a cheap site that a million other people have.You will have zero SEO. The audio integration from templates is rubbish, Of course you could go the route of the Kontakt developers and just embed a soundcloud player but makes your brand look amateur. Do yourself a favour and hire someone who knows what they are doing. Th guys who 'advise' you wordpress /themeforeset don't know what the fuck they are talking about.
     
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