Deadlines/Brief

Music videos are so 80s/90s, right? They belong with the era when MTV screened wall-to-wall vids instead of 'reality' TV? Try telling that to the millions who bought Gangnam Style; were they really simply loving the music? 1.6bn (and still climbing) have viewed the video on YT, not to mention the many re-makes (school eg, eg2), viral ads + celeb link-ups (even political protest in Seoul) - and it doesn't matter how legit it is, this nightmare for daydream Beliebers is making a lot of money, even from the parodies + dislikes. All this for a simple dance track that wouldn't have sounded out of place in 1990 ... but had a fun vid. This meme itself was soon displaced by the Harlem Shake. Music vids even cause diseases it seems!
This blog explores every aspect of this most postmodern of media formats, including other print-based promo tools used by the industry, its fast-changing nature, + how fans/audiences create/interact. Posts are primarily written with Media students/educators in mind. Please acknowledge the blog author if using any resources from this blog - Mr Dave Burrowes

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

WEBSITES Using Wix to build your band website

IN THIS POST: Guides and how-to's for using Wix to build your own band website, incorporating multiple top-linked pages and deep social media integration, plus e-commerce for merchandise and music sales (even if not ultimately connected to a card/payment account), search engine hits (SEO) and more specific techniques through YouTube guides. 
To view a range of student websites following the music promo package brief, see this post.
First up, perhaps uniquely, an advert...


WHY WIX?
You may not have heard of Wix before now (I hadn't until it was recently recommended to me), but it is a high profile, internationally popular website build option (they claim its used in 180 countries), reflected in the range of languages how-to YouTube videos come in. It fares well when compared to rivals. It operates a freemium model - you can access most things for free, but can pay for more options.
Wix manages to make intricate, fully-featured website design easy and intuitive - and there are plentiful online guides...

WordPress is the dominant player in the online website-builder market (DreamWeaver remains the dominant software option), but Wix boasts a vastly superior ease-of-use; there is a much steeper learning curve with WordPress. Other rivals such as Weebly are not only more limited but also charge for options bundled for free with Wix. According to this site, Wix is the third most-used online website builder.

Wix is largely controlled via drag and drop, with the ability to go into menus to edit site layouts - you should find it a highly user-friendly website builder... [You can read more basics at the Wix Wiki]
Wix.com's 90-second intro to working with Wix


If you do go on to look to monetise any of your work, a former student (Amber) who got a job handling e-commerce operations for a an online retailer on the back of her Media work, not least the blog, tells me they found the e-commerce provision in Wix quite problematic, and had to get onto the helpline frequently. How typical or not that is I have no idea!

BEFORE YOU GET TO WIX...
Read the guide on the steps involved in researching and planning your website.

YOUTUBE GUIDES
When I approach new software or ICT tools, YouTube is generally my first port of call. In time I will seek to create one or more vodcasts myself. You can use Wix's Help function and general online search for alternatives to video; eg this is Wix's step through guide to creating your own landing page (and the Wix site has a search box of course).



Wix provide this '10 must-see Wix techniques for Newbies' page which would be a good starting point too; it appears to initially load in Spanish (but then auto-translate into English).

EG1 - ANIMATED GALLERIES; EDIT COLOUR SCHEME; CREATE ICON
For now, take this short (3min) example. Its a run-through of just 5 tips, but shows you clearly how to do so - I'd skip to tips 3, 4 and 5 (animated galleries; changing the colour scheme; creating an icon for your website which can be embedded - just as the Twitter etc icons are - on other sites, including your social media) from 1:03 in:


EG2 - FULL RUN THROUGH OF SETTING UP, EDITING A WIX SITE
Here's a lengthier (17:33) overview, taking you through the entire process from picking a template to customising and adding your own content. I'd skip to 1:14.


EG3 - FULL RUN THROUGH OF SETTING UP, EDITING A WIX SITE
One more lengthy video guiding you through the full process; you can easily find more should you wish to(?!).
This one (25mins) is aimed at teachers, but again runs you through the process and various specific techniques:


It may be worth watching one or more full runthroughs to get a preview of some of the techniques involved, and perhaps some reassurance for the newbies that this is very manageable, but these videos aren't so useful once you're sat trying to figure out specific techniques. For that you'd want to find more specific guides - and perhaps look at web pages as well as videos, according to your own preference (video can be a slow way of getting precise information). Some examples follow, but I've gathered more into a Playlist, and will shortly point you to an official Wix playlist which you could use...

EG4 - ADDING MEMBER SIGNUP/LOGIN BUTTONS
A good example of the strengths and weaknesses of video tutorial; it starts with a minute of waffle (skip to 1:09 to avoid it), but is clear and easy to follow.


EG5 - APPS + ADDING A SEARCH FUNCTION
Whilst not entirely thrilled with his style, I clicked through to the 'ComputerMDofGilbert' channel and searched for Wix. This is one of ... lots of hits that came up; The Doc has put together guides on many of the topics you might want to figure out in time. Once again the first half is waffle (the final minute too!), but skip to 2:02 and you've got a good, clear, concise (really just 90 seconds!) guide thats very easy to follow.

In this example, you need to access an app, just as you might with your smartphone. These mostly follow a freemium model; the free version of the search tool here is limited to just 30 searches per month, but if you're concerned an examiner might think something is broken you can always have blogged a brief demonstration of it working (or pay for the app upgrade).


EG6 - E-COMMERCE
Business users appear to be the predominant Wix user, and many of the online guides are focussed on e-commerce. Much of the point of any contemporary music act website will be to raise revenue, through merchandise at least as much as through music (and Miley Cyrus was hardly the first to decide that giving away her music could still be a profitable model).

There's a complete start-to-finish walk through centred on e-commerce (the link skips a minute of waffle); a 14min 'Blogtrepreneur' guide; a feature promoting a specific Wix e-commerce app (Shopify); the Doc has done a shorter guide, which I've embedded below - as usual, there's waffle which you can skip by going to 1:08. Later, I'll highlight Wix's own video guides.

As I noted above, one former student who got work while still on the Media course through the quality of her blog experienced difficulties with real-world use of Wix's e-commerce tools, but how typical that anecdotal experience is I don't know.

EG7: ADDING SEO (search engine optimisation)
There are lots of videos on this too, a useful point for you to consider as part of your engagement with audience and use of technology. This example is from 'Website Builders Critic', a 6 min video - there's an exhaustive 40 minute webinar too!


A fragment of a 37-video Wix playlist, generally short (1-2mins) + focussed!

WIX'S PLAYLISTS OF VIDEO GUIDES
Wix themselves have produced a wide range of highly focussed video tutorials (in addition to the site's Help function). Have a browse by clicking through to the YouTube page on this video, part of a playlist of 37 videos, generally 1-2 minutes long and mostly highly specific. This is their guide on adding a shop to your site.


FOUR USEFUL LINKS FOR WIX
Simple 'Wix' search on YouTube.
ComputerMDofGilbert's Wix guides.
The Wix.com playlist.
10 Top Techniques For Newbies (wix.com).
...

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