The Ultimate Beginners Guide to Building a Music Site Like Spotify
Welcome to the web’s most comprehensive tutorial on how to make a music download and streaming website. In this guide we set all the steps so that you can make a website like Spotify.
Our aim is a good one; we want to help you build your first website. Without the need to Learn any Code.
Follow the steps in this FREE guide and you’ll have the skills to create a music streaming and/or MP3 download site by the time you have finished this article.
Build your audience and you could even follow a similar business model to Spotify. Or if you are showcasing your own music, enjoy wider coverage and a larger fan base.
This Build A Site Like tutorial is made up of 3 main steps:
- Step 1. We lift the lid off website platforms and why you need to use a CMS (content management system)
- Step 2. We’ll guide you on exactly where to buy the best beginner hosting package online, (and claim a free domain name)
- Step 3. We will demonstrate exacty how to install a CMS, plus a music streaming / MP3 download theme on to your website.
Once you have finished your music website will be completely ready for people to log in, listen to and download.
A Spotify style website of your own is just a few steps away.
So if you are ready, let’s get started…
Step 1: Website Platforms & Why you Need a CMS
As this guide is meant to help absolute beginners get started online, we will start with the very foundation of your website. The Content Management System (or CMS for short).
Why should beginners use a Content Management System (CMS)?
A Content Management System gives beginner web designers a huge head start in building their online enterprise. This is because a CMS makes it possible to build a website without learning any complex computer languages and code.
Another added bonus is that WordPress, (one of the most widely used CMS’s on the internet) is absolutely free.
We will take a closer look at WordPress in a moment. First, let’s explain a little on what the Content Management System does.
What does a Content Management System (CMS) do?
The content management system gives the website owner the ability to control every aspect of their site, using a simple point and click style interface.
It works in many ways like the login area of your Facebook account. Once you have access you can post new pictures, create galleries, add comments and updates all with just a few clicks of a button.
The Content Management System to a website will give you the same amount of control. Once logged in you can add, edit and remove content as you see fit.
You can also change the functionality of the site by installing plugins to the CMS. In the case of a music website it might mean adding MP3 download functions, or the ability for users to upload their own music. (very often if there’s something you want your site to do, there will be a plugin out their designed to make it happen).
There’s also themes – these control the look of your website as well as what it can do. Again, these can be installed onto your CMS with just a few clicks.
Essentially, you can build a complex website using a CMS without touching a line of code.
Why choose WordPress as the CMS for your Business Directory?
There are countless reasons one should use WordPress as the CMS to for your music download website. We covered a few above by talking about plugins and themes. Here’s a few more benefits to using WordPress:
- It is absolutely FREE to use.
- The internet is bursting at the seams with WordPress guides, tutorials and videos that will help you overcome any problems you might come across.
- There are thousands of themes to choose from. Not only can they be used to transform the way your site looks, many of them come with one-click style install methods as well as ‘dummy data’ that you can upload to help build your site.
- WordPress plugins provide all the functionality you could ever need.
- Your site will be ‘responsive’ – this means it will look great on system, laptop, mobile or tablet.
- WordPress is updated regularly, offering superior website performance, speed and security.
In this tutorial, we will show you how to make a music website with WordPress
We will now be getting our hands dirty with the actual creation of your website. The rest of the tutorial is going to cover the following:
- Signing up to the best Web Hosting for your WordPress site
- Registering your Domain Name
- Installing WordPress on to your hosting plan
- Installing and setting up your music streaming and MP3 download theme into WordPress
- How to Upload the demo content that will help build your site out ready for you to customize.
Step 2: Getting the best deal on your hosting and domain name
Step 2 is all about choosing our hosting and Domain name.
What do we mean by that?
- Domain Name – The domain name is what people type into their browser to reach your website. It is essentially, the address of your site. www.spotify.com is a good example of a website domain name.
- Web Hosting – Web hosting services are used to store all the data that makes up your website. This is how your website is made available to visitors, 24/7, 356 days a year. You normally pay for this service on a monthly or yearly subscription. Every website online has web hosting in some form.
Note: By signing up after clicking one our links, BuildASiteLike will earn a small commission from the sale. This comes at no extra cost to you. We use those funds to run Buildasitelike.com as a completly free resource, with the aim of providing more and more helpful guides for our readers.
In our opinion, iPage is the best budget beginner hosting service online today.
Not only is iPage very affordable at only $1.99 a month; they provide everything a beginner could need from their web hosting, alongside, fast and responsive live support.
Furthermore, they will also give you a FREE years domain registration as well as $500 worth of extras on sign up. We feel you will be hard pushed to find a better deal in 2018. It is a great way to get started online.
So let’s begin by purchasing your iPage Hosting plan and registering your Domain Name.
Then click on the Get Started Now Button.
You will find yourself on a screen similar to the one below where you will be asked to choose a domain name.
For the purposes of this tutorial I have typed in “ThisIsMyExample.com”. After that clicking search will tell me if the name is available.
From the screenshot above you can see that the domain name is available. Good Stuff!
Don’t worry if your first choice is already taken however, this is very common.
There are billions of websites online today. With each requiring a domain name, many of the more obvious choices have been taken. There are still many variations available however.
You can try a different name or maybe opt for a different extension at the end of the name, (the results page will display a list of alternatives with extensions such as “yourdomainname.net“, or .site etc.) There will soon be a .music extension, which could be a great way of making your website stand out from the crowd.
Anyway, once you have chosen a domain name that is available you can click Next, choose my term.
Now it is time to select a 1, 2 or 3 year duration for your hosting plan.
You can choose the term that suits you best.
In the example above we have opted for a two year plan.
After choosing your hosting duration you can go ahead and click Next, customize my plan.
There a number of options available here. They are as follows:
- Domain Privacy – We recommend you select yes for this. Domain Privacy will help stop any unsolicited calls and emails from services that have looked at the domain register and got hold of your details as a new domain owner. They will always try to sell you something.
- Website Security & Daily Backup – We recommend yes on this. These helpful addon services are the best way to keep your site backed up and virus free.
- All in One WordPress Bundle – This unneccessary, we can show you what plugins you need.
- SSL Certificate – We recommend you purchase one of these.
After customizing your plan, click Continue to Payment.
(Note, iPage will display more offer pages. At this stage you can simply scroll to the bottom of each one and click ‘no thanks’.)
Well done, Step 2 is almost finished!
After the iPage payment confirmation, you will need to type in some login credentials.
Once done, you will be able to login to your iPage hosting account, (you will find the login area by clicking the login button at the top right side of the screen).
Now we are ready to install WordPress and our music streaming/download theme.
Step 3: Installing WordPress & a Music Streaming & Download Theme
i. Installing WordPress Using the iPage SimpleScripts
The main iPage control panel looks like the image below.
Click on My Installs (SimpleScripts).
Then click WordPress.
You can leave the default settings as they are.
Click Install and iPage will take over.
During the install you have to create some WordPress login details.
Finally, you will be asked to agree to the WordPress terms and conditions, click complete and…
The WordPress Install is finished.
You can now head to the front page of your website (by entering the domain name; example: mydomain.com).
Right now it will look very basic indeed. With little content and only the default WordPress theme installed, your website will seem a million miles away from a sophisticated music streaming site like Spotify.com.
Don’t worry however, this next step will see us take a giant leap towards our goal.
It is now time to purchase and install your music website theme!
ii. How to install a Music Streaming / Download WordPress Theme
With the WordPress installation up and running, we are ready to install the theme that will help us take on Spotify. 🙂
First login to the WordPress admin panel.
You can do this by adding /wp-admin after your domain name.
Using our mydomain.com as an example; the admin URL would be: mydomain.com/wp-admin
On the next screen you will need to enter the credentials you created during the WordPress installation process.
After typing in your login details you will see a page similar to the screenshot above.
This is the main WordPress admin area of your website. This is where the magic happens.
As explained in the CMS overview earlier, the WordPress admin area will allow you to publish new content, install plugins, change your menus and styling and much, much more.
For now we are interested in changing over the theme so that we have a fully functional music website. To do this we need to visit the theme selection page.
Head to the left sidebar menu and hover over Appearance. Cick on Themes.
The shot above is straight from Buildasitelike.com website.
Although many of the default WordPress themes installed, only a single theme can be active at any one time (We have chosen what is called a child theme; which allows us to customize the site to our needs).
To create our music download or streaming site we are going to purchase a theme that will take care of all the work for us.
There are many places online that sell premium WordPress themes, so you have to your homework. That being said, we are to help.
Below you will find a list of some of the best places to search. We have also provided details of what we believe to be the best music wordpress theme currently available.
Let’s take a look…
Where to Buy Premium WordPress Themes online
[Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you, we will earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase.]
The internet has a ton of Theme sale websites. And where’s the plenty of supply, you can expect some very good deals.
When finding a reputable supplier of themes you should turn to the marketplaces that provide detailed customer support, as well as well as a stringent review process on what gets sold.
In our opinion the you should head to one of these marketplaces when buying a theme:
- Elegant Themes
- Template Monster
- Engine Themes
- Thrive Themes
- Theme Fuse
- Theme Furnace
What’s the best Music Streaming / MP3 Download WordPress Theme?
We’ve trialled a number of Spotify style website themes in order to come to a conclusion on which is the best to go for. Musik came out on top for a number of reasons.
It is currently one of the bestselling music download WordPress themes available. Musik is designed out of the box to be compatible with a plugin called Easy Digital Downloads (EDD) (which is included free of charge within the theme pack).
This means you have everything you need to provide MP3s for download, as well as a payment gateway for sales.
At the time of writing the theme has an average of 4.25 stars out of 5 (with over 1000 sales).
Beyond the excellent interface to showcase multiple genres, tracks and profiles with the EDD plugin installed you can accept a wide range of payment methods.
It is easy to set up (and even comes with a one click demo content install) and is perfectly accessible to beginners wanting to launch their own music download site.
With the addition of the Royal Audio Player WordPress Plugin you can also stream MP3 music directly from the site.
It is now time to visit ThemeForest so we can purchase our new theme.
The link above will take you to the main Musik sales page.
Click the Buy Now button.
On the checkout page, fill in your personal details and click, Next.
You will also be asked to create login details for the ThemeForest website. Verify the captcha, click the Create account & Continue Button.
You will then be asked for your billing details.
Enter these and click Save and continue.
After making payment, login to your account and download your new theme!
Hover over your username (you will find this in the top right corner of the screen) and click downloads.
The Musik theme will now be available for download.
Click the green download button.
Now you will see:
- All files and Documentation – This option contains the theme, licence information and other related documentation.
- Installable WordPress files only – This is just the theme files only, in one single .zip file.
Option number 2, the installable WordPress files only, is the one we want
Click and download the zip file to your desktop.
Once done, visit the WordPress dashboard again (mywebsite.com/wp-admin).
We now have to return to the WordPress theme selection page so that we can upload and install the Musik theme.
Installing Musik into WordPress
Navigate to Appearance > Themes > Install Themes. Go to add new.
On the next screeen, click upload and select the Musik zipped theme folder we saved to the desktop earlier. Hit install and the theme will be uploaded and installed.
Once you have uploaded the theme, you need to active it. To activate your new theme, go to Appearance > Themes and press activate to make the Musik theme live.
After you activated the theme, you will get notification in your dashboard stating what plugins you need install.
Click on the “Begin installing plugins” link to begin the installation. Once you install the plugins, please return to the plugins list to activate them.
Importing the dummy data is the best way to get your theme up and running and looking exactly like it does in the demo we showcased earlier.
Import Content data
You can install the WordPress importer to import posts, pages, comments, custom fields, categories, and tags from a WordPress export file.
Follow these steps:
- Log in to that site as an administrator.
- Go to Tools > Import in the WordPress admin panel.
- Install the “WordPress” importer from the list.
- Activate & Run Importer.
- Upload the “dummy/content.xml” file using the form provided on that page, (this file can be found within your unzipped theme file located on your desktop)
- You will first be asked to map the authors in this export file to users on the site. For each author, you may choose to map to an existing user on the site or to create a new user.
- WordPress will then import each of the posts, pages, comments, categories, etc.
Import the Widgets data
You need install a plugin which can be downloaded for free here.
Once the plugin is installed, locate it in the tools menu option. Locate the “dummy/widgets.wie” file from your theme folder and use the plugin to import the widgets data.
Royal Audio Player WordPress Plugin
The demo import above will help you get your music download site up and running, however what about the streaming side of things.
Thankfully, this can easily be added to the site by installing the Royal Audio Player WordPress plugin.
For a complete video tutorial on how to do this, check out below. Whether you create this functionality from the launch of your new music site, or add it later as your audience and musical content develops and grows is up to you.
It’s always good to have options however…
Congratulations, your music website is coming alive!!
By following the steps to import the demo content your site will now very much be coming alive.
Remember, the beauty of installing the demo content means your website will be in a complete state for you to replace what is there with content of your own choice.
With the demo framework created, you can add and delete content and experiment with the layout until you have a website ready for launch to the public.
Move aside Spotify, there’s a new player in town 🙂
- 9 Essential WordPress Plugins for All Beginners
- Musik Theme Documentation PDF – Direct from the theme authors, their install and setup PDF file
How was your experience building this website like Spotify? Was the guide easy to follow? Is there anything you would like to see added? Post your comments in the message section below as we would love to hear your feedback.
And finally, if you like what you found here please Share it with friends. It will help us get the word out on what we are trying to do here; getting absolute beginners started online so they can buildaSitelike… 🙂