The Best Ecommerce Platform for Independent Bands, Artists, and Musicians

We recently analyzed nearly 500 random music websites for professional bands to better understand what tools they’re using to enhance their careers and try to determine the best ecommerce platform based on what actual musicians are using.

While the results are far from scientific or definitive, we were interested in broader trends to learn what opportunities exist to create better tools for bands and musicians.

How to Protect Music Uploads in WordPress

Your music is your art. The realized expression of your creativity, emotion, and hard work. It’s what makes you stand out. It’s your product. It’s only natural that you want to protect it.

Unfortunately, the truth of the matter is that you need to consider anything posted online for preview to be publicly accessible. It can be copied in one way or another and can’t be completely prevented.

AudioTheme Agent 1.2.0 Released

AudioTheme Agent 1.2.0 includes a number of improvements to make it even easier to get help when working with our themes and plugins. The new version is available via automatic updates or can be downloaded in your account on AudioTheme.com.

Priority Support

It’s now possible to submit support tickets directly from your admin panel. When you visit the AudioTheme Agent screen, you’ll see a new “Help” tab with a form to send us an email directly.

New Pricing, New Products, and Next Generation AudioTheme

It seems like forever since we’ve been in touch and unless you’ve been watching closely (or chatted with us in support), you likely haven’t heard much from us, so we wanted to let you know what we’ve been working on and what’s coming down the pike.

New Pricing

One thing we’ve always disliked about the WordPress economy is the feeling of being nickel-and-dimed every time we needed a premium feature provided by yet another add-on. It’s one reason our licensing system centered around the AudioTheme plugin, but in many ways it limited us.

Eventually it came time to rethink our approach and figure out how we could pack value into each purchase without breaking your bank or nickel-and-diming you into the fetal position, while remaining sustainable as a business.

To accomplish that, we decided to reduce the price of our self-hosted themes to a standard $69 and made plans to introduce a bundle late last year.

A Micro-landing Page for Introducing Your Ideas to the World

Say “Hello World” with Billboard

Thoughts are fleeting. Research. Content. Branding. Tweets are here today and gone tomorrow. Navigation. Photography. SEO. Status updates rapidly disappear the second they’re published. Design. Code. Email…

Getting started is overwhelming. It doesn’t have to be.

From idea to website, Billboard is the quickest way to introduce your concept to the world using WordPress.

Support for Slider Plugins In Promenade

It’s no secret that we’re not huge fans of sliders, which is why we don’t typically add them to our themes. There are numerous documented pitfalls, but we’re not here to limit what you can do.

In fact, we try to make our themes as easy to work with as possible, and that includes extending them. We enjoy seeing people customize our work and some of our favorite sites are the ones people have made their own.

We receive regular support requests from customers who want to replace the hero image in Promenade with a slider. Our typical response is that it is possible, but requires customization via a child theme or functionality plugin.

However, we understand not everyone is comfortable jumping into code.

With that in mind, we recently added a couple of custom plugins to our support resources to provide simple integration with existing slider plugins.

Have fun and feel free to drop us a line to let us know if there are any popular plugins you would like to see us support.

Say Goodbye to Shaken Encore and Hello to Encore

It’s hard to believe, but Shaken Encore, our very first theme, was released over two years ago. In internet years, that’s ancient.

AudioTheme, WordPress, and themes in general have seen major changes in that time and needless to say, we’ve learned a lot and improved the way we build themes.

With a bit of reflection and a lot of excitement, we’re saying goodbye to Shaken Encore and welcoming its replacement…

Cue: A Premium Playlist Plugin for Everyone

Showcasing music is an essential part of every musician’s website. After all, the music is what it all boils down to, right?

That’s why each of our themes features audio players in various locations: Americanaura with a site-wide, continuous player anchored to the bottom of the screen; Nowell features a slick lightbox popup; and Shaken Encore with players on the homepage and the sidebar. In some cases, these can be tied directly to a record in the discography, but often-times, people want to feature an arbitrary selection of music from across their catalog — a playlist if you will.

We’ve been keenly aware of the shortcomings of simply selecting a record or multiple tracks and decided we needed to improve the experience and make it as easy as possible to feature the music you want featured. Our initial goal was to bundle this functionality into our framework and make it available to our Professional and Developer license holders, but along the way we realized the ability to create playlists in WordPress would appeal to a broader audience. Plus, we selfishly wanted to use it in all of our themes and allow everyone else to use it, too.

We decided the best approach would be to deliver a premium plugin at a non-premium price (FREE).