Musicians are needy folk. I should know – I am one.
So here are the best Musician Plugins you need, brought to you Advertisement free!
Advanced functionality at your finger tips. With widgets you can stream video, book and manage gigs and events, post to a calendar, create simple, staffless chord sheets, track downloads, sell CDs, host a music forum, post and manage band photos and much much more.
So here they are; every WordPress Plugin for Musicians. No nauseating, blinking affiliate ads placed between every other sentence. No annoying splash page begging for your email address.
Just one simple request, musician to musician: Think of me when you want to convert to WordPress, or if you need WordPress training.
Streampad is a really cool plug-in, similar to the Yahoo! Media Player plug-in, that automatically plays back all the music on the current web page. If you post .mp3 files in blog posts often, or have a list of .mp3 links on your music page, Streampad will play back all of the songs on the page automatically, so users don’t have to go searching for the next link.[hr]
WPaudio MP3 Player
If you ever intend to post any .mp3 files in your blog posts, WPaudio MP3 Player is a really slick plug-in that converts the .mp3 file link to a small mp3 player that begins playing the track upon clicking the link. You can even customize how the link is styled, without editing any code! Very cool.[hr]
Chords and Lyrics
This is an interesting one that I have not tried yet, seems like it could be very useful to some musicians. The Chords and Lyricsplug-in allows you to create simple, staffless lead sheets, also called chord sheets. Using shortcodes, you can easily line up the correct chord above the correct lyric. This can be very useful if you want to create some simple tabs of your music so you fans can quickly learn your songs!GigPress[hr]
Gigpress is a plug-in built specifically for musicians and performers. You can manage all of your past and present gigs right from within the WordPress admin backend, and display your gigs using shortcodes, PHP template tags, or the provided GigPress widget. It looks super-slick, and is incredibly easy to use. The plug-in even creates an RSS feed of your gigs, so you can spread the word about your upcoming shows on other websites.[hr]
Events Manager is yet another plug-in that you can use to display events on your WordPress website. The feature that I really like about this plug-in is the inclusion of a Google Map right on the event page, on your website. Instead of a fan having to click and leave your website to view a map of the venue, it is included right on the event page within your website. There is also an RSS feed, and multiple languages are supported.[hr]
If you will be making songs, lyrics, photos, artwork, videos, or any other kind of content available for download on your website, then WordPress Download Monitor is an incredible plug-in to help you track downloads. From this plug-in, you can upload files, track how many times they’ve been downloaded, organize them with categories and tags, create shortcodes (e.g. [freemp3_1]) to quickly insert them into blog posts, make them “members only” downloads, create custom URL’s, and more.[hr]
bbPress is the best forum plug-in out there, created and maintained by the boys and girls of WordPress themselves. It easily integrates with your existing WordPress website, and can be a great solution for a place where your fans can hang out and interact with each other.[hr]
The Facebook “Like” Button has been around for a few months, and is now seeing some heavy usage. It’s a great way to get a link to your website to show up on your fans’ Facebook profiles, and I highly recommend using this plug-in to insert a “like” button on every post and page in your website.[hr]
Twitter Button WordPress Plug-in
Twitter users love to re-tweet things they like, and it all started with this goofy little button. Tweetmeme’s Retweet Button is the defacto standard, and is used by some of the largest web companies in the world. It’s insanely easy to use and install, and should appear on each of your blog posts so fans can start talking about you with their Twitter followers.[hr]
There are so many plug-ins out there that can allow your fans to share your content via e-mail, and various social networks. In my opinion, ShareThis does it the best. Download the plug-in, generate the code, paste it into the settings, and you will have a simple and effective way for your fans to share your content a zillion different ways.[hr]
Since MySpace has made some pretty hefty updates lately, I’m not too sure if this plug-in still works. I would still give it a try anyway, since MySpace Crossposter is the only plug-in I know of that automatically integrates your website’s blog posts with your MySpace page’s blog posts. Everytime you hit that “Publish” button, the post will be automatically published on your MySpace blog as well. Super handy, and a great way to keep your MySpace page updated and active.
UPDATE: The MySpace Crossposter plug-in does not work anymore (big surprise, right?). I suggest trying Status Updater, by Francesco Castaldo. This plug-in lets you automatically update the status on your Facebook Fan Page, Twitter, and MySpace profiles whenever you publish a new post. It doesn’t cross-post to your MySpace blog, but at least it updates your status, keeping you “active” on MySpace, which I guess is still worthwhile.[hr]
If you are active on multiple social networks, it is really important that you link to all of those social networks from your official website. Cute Profiles provides a very neat, and obvious way to display all of your social media profile links. The great thing about this plug-in is that the buttons are anchored to the side of the browser, so as your fans scroll down the page, the buttons scroll with them so they are always visible.[hr]
WordTwit is one of the many ways you can automatically send out a tweet every time you publish a new blog post. The plug-in is very lightweight, and can automatically shorten the URL’s of your blog posts to fit in the 140-character limit of Twitter updates. It also provides some basic statistics about the tweets it sends out.
Out of all the forum plug-ins I have played around with, this is among my favorite. bbPress is a (somehow) free software plug-in that makes it insanely easy to create a community on your website for your fans to interact with each other. Forums are a great way to engage your core fan base, and even turn some of those fans into friends![hr]
The Wibiya Web Toolbar instantly adds interactive and user-friendly experiences to your WordPress website, such as live notifications, live chat, recent posts, YouTube video galleries, language translations, 3D photo galleries, a direct facebook and twitter connection, social share buttons, the Facebook “like” button and much, much more.
This this is an incredibly powerful and useful tool for musicians. It sits right at the bottom of your page, and is a great way to encourage more fan interaction on your website. To get an idea of how awesome this toolbar can be for musicians, check out Allison Weiss’ website.
From her toolbar, fans can receive live notifications about upcoming shows, view recent posts from her blog, watch all of her YouTube videos, share her website on social networks, “Like” her website on Facebook, participate in the live chat room, and connect with her on Twitter and Facebook. Damn![hr]
Flickr Photo Album
Personally, I think that creating simple Flickr badges and slideshows, and inserting them as widgets on your sidebar is good enough to display photos on your website. But, if you want something more robust, definitely consider this plug-in.
The Flickr Photo Album plug-in will allow you to pull in your Flickr photosets, and display them as albums on your WordPress website. There is a pretty simple template provided which you can customize to 100% match the look and feel of your own website, so it doesn’t look all awkward and cheap.
InLine mp3 player – For a discrete method of including music in your blog posts, the Inline MP3 Player is a WordPress plugin that turns links into mini audio players. This tool is simple, functional and offers easy incorporation of music you have stored in the cloud. If you’re looking for a no-frills approach to including music on your blog, try the InLine mp3 Player.
Tune Library – Got all your favorite music on iTunes? Share some of it in your blog posts with the Tune Library plugin for WordPress. Import your iTunes music library directly into your WordPress database, giving you access to your collection from within your blog’s backend. Now you have a ready catalog of music to choose from when providing tunes on your published blog.[hr]
Ever read an article, made a quick comment, and never visited the site again? Thank Me Later automatically sends out an email to anyone who leaves a comment on your site, after a pre-defined amount of time. I use it to suggest subscription options, remind the commenter to check back for replies, and invite him or her to connect with me personally.[hr]
In my opinion, only two share options matter anymore: Facebook and Twitter. Both offer official buttons, and I suggest using them rather than third party alternatives, because they are both recognizable and trustworthy. It’s possible to insert the proper code directly into your site’s theme, but Digg Digg takes all of two minutes to set up and offers a high degree of customization.[hr]
This one is almost too good to be true. Install it and poof! Your site has a mobile theme. It automatically kicks in when someone accesses the site from their iPhone, iPod touch, Android, Opera Mini, Palm Pre, Samsung Touch or BlackBerry Storm/Torch. Definitely a must have![hr]
The comment system built into WordPress does the job, but Disqus (and its chief competitor, IntenseDebate) steps it up a notch. It offers threaded comments and replies, subscribe and RSS options, reply by email, built-in spam protection, and some fancy widgets. More importantly, it connects you to the same large discussion community that you see on big name sites like Mashable.[hr]
This plugin showcases the most popular posts on your site in the sidebar, based on criteria you select. So far it’s done a good job of featuring my best content. Still, I wonder if it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy machine, making the posts it highlights even more popular than they deserve.[hr]
If WPP doesn’t do the trick, here’s a second method to get visitors to click through to another post. YARPP automatically compiles a list of related posts, and appends it to the end of the article. You can restrict results by category or tag, and select how much weight to give the post title versus body. I’ve read that it can slow sites down, but a caching plugin like W3 Total Cache more than makes up for it.[hr]
Losing visitors from a mistyped URL is a thing of the past with Smart 404. It searches for a matching page and redirects to it automatically. If it doesn’t find a match, it can display a list of suggestions on your 404 page.[hr]
If you want to simply upload your bands photography online through an image hosting service or via your own website, then these plugins can do just that.[hr]
Desc: “NextGEN Gallery is a full integrated Image Gallery plugin for WordPress with a slideshow option. ”
Desc: “Handles uploading, modifying images on Flickr, and insertion into posts.”
Desc: “This widget allows you to show pictures from your photobucket account in your blog’s sidebar. Install the plugin and make the minimum configurations.”
Desc: “Fotobook is a WordPress plugin that will link to your Facebook account(s) and import all of your photo albums for use in your WordPress installation.”
Like photobucket group upload album you can turn your own website and band galleries in to user contribution albums.
Desc: “PhotoSmash Galleries makes it easy to create photo galleries in posts or pages that your users can upload images to.”
Desc: “Post your videos and photo galleries/flash slideshows easily and in seconds.”
Desc: “Manage events and display them in your blog. Includes recurring events, location management, calendar, Google map integration, RSVP.”
Desc: “Manage and display a calendar of your gigs/shows/performances.”
The neatest, (just one button) and one of the most widely used social sharing widgets around.
Desc: “Used by 850,000 sites, the ShareThis plugin allows users to share your content through email and 50+ social networks including Facebook and Twitter.”
Google Friend Connnect
Just remember to use Google Friend Connect Integration as to fully utilize this widgets abilities.
Desc: “This widget allows you to display a little (200px) widget in the sidebar which allows you to display the Google FC members of your site.”
Using Feedburners email and RSS service is one of the easiest and cheapest ways your band can get in to Email Marketing.
Desc: “Redirects the main feed and optionally the comments feed seamlessly and transparently to Feedburner.com.”
Twitter Widget Pro
Display your Twitter feed on your website with this plugin.
Desc: “A widget that properly handles twitter feeds, including parsing @username, #hashtags, and URLs into links.”
One of the few music services which your band can use to embed single songs, albums, playlists etc.
Desc: “The SoundCloud Shortcode plugin allows you to integrate a player widget from SoundCloud into your WordPress Blog by using a WordPress shortcodes.”
Desc: “The Grooveshark plugin allows you to insert music links or Grooveshark Widgets into your blog.”