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Q&A: Do Indie Artists Really Need A Website?
By Michael Allison - 12/17/2001 - 03:30 AM EST

I wanted to thank you for all of the great advice. You really helped me out in the past by making things so clear to me. I hope that you don't mind if I ask a question. I have been debating on whether or not to get my own website. I am wondering if an indie artist really needs a website. If so, should I have a professional designer make me one, or should I do it myself? Thanks for everything that you do for indie artists. It's always appreciated. - Nick D.

First off, allow me to say how much I appreciate your comments on my work. It's always nice to hear these sort of things. Now on to the question. I think whether or not you need a website is up to you. Since I don't really know what your plans are for music, it's sort of difficult to answer specifically. Here are a few questions to ask yourself.

1. Do you want website?
2. Do you think you need a website?
3. Would you like to establish an online presence?
4. Do you have time to maintain a website?
5. Are you willing to learn basic HTML?

Those are just the basic questions, but important ones. I believe that a website is an essential tool for any artist today. That doesn't mean that they are absolutely necessary. You can build an online presence without your own website. You'll just have to use other companies to make your presence known. Just remember though, your website is just like your press kit. The only difference is that it's more interactive, and the fact that it's online for everyone to see. The choice of whether or not to have one is totally up to you though. Let me warn you that maintenance can be a pain sometimes.

Now to answer the question about the construction of the website. I'm a cheapskate. I do everything myself, because I don't see a reason to pay someone else to do something that I can do myself. When I decided to construct The Global Muse, I first set out to learn HTML. The internet is full of great free resources and tutorials on this subject. It's not as difficult as it looks either. I finally built my site with the trial by error method. Eventually I got it to look the way I wanted it to look.

If you have the money, or do not have the time or patience to learn HTML and build your own site, then the option of hiring a web designer may be right for you. Just make sure that you hire someone you think you can trust. Hire a reputable designer who can show you some other sites they've designed. Just like anything, don't jump into it without research. This can be expensive. Good luck. I hope your decision is one that you're happy with. - Michael Allison

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