Trying to Build a Music/Artist Website

Hi all,

I need to build a music website to sell my CDs, LPs and MP3s as well as have all the usual artist news, galleries, contact forms and stuff (e-commerce/CMS). Many other artists and small labels have similar sites, and some of them are very good; experimental, arty, creative, etc.

My question is this; when a developer builds a site for someone, who owns the code base? Presumably if a lot of money is spent on the project the client owns it, or it may be developed in house, but is that always the case, even for relatively low budget projects?

My dilemma, as with so many independent artists is that I could never afford to build the bespoke site I aspire to, but am speculating that if a web developer has already created the code for a good music site that it could be re-deployed a number of times, with a few tweaks, at a much reduced cost. Is this common practice, or is the code usually subject to copyright or client restrictions?

‘Off-the-shelf’ isn’t an option unfortunately. After a great deal of research I haven’t been able to find an off-the-shelf solution out there. The now defunct 1-2-3 Music Store from easybe was a step in the right direction, but was not quite ready for prime time, and is no more in any case.

Is the ‘2nd hand code’ approach feasible or worth pursuing, and is there anyone out there willing to pick up the gauntlet or point me in the right direction? I’m interested in your thoughts…


check out how some sites do it and you can get some ideas.

here are a couple of the more popular ones:

That really depends on the terms of the contract. Partly it can come down to whether it’s a ‘build and maintain’ or a ‘build and hand over’ contract.

OK, sure. But is it therefore feasible to approach a developer of a site and say that you’re on a small budget and would like to base your site on the existing code base of an established site they’ve built? The developer is spending less time by tweaking the gui and layouts. no need to reinvent the wheel. But I guess this model only works if the developer factors in the re-deployment income when building the original site and prices it accordingly to begin with perhaps.

another way of looking at this is if I was to gather together about 5 or 6 record labels and have a bespoke site built that could be used for all the labels but have a different appearance and be used in slightly different ways. they all enjoy the reduced costs but have the advantage of the solid features. In my case I can’t get the labels together but am looking for someone who already has the build in place and is willing to re-use it for a number of other independent artists/labels.

bandcamp and soundcloud have absolutely nothing to do with what I’m talking about here. I have heaps of ideas and an existing site I threw up about 15 years ago, but no coding skills, so that’s really what I’m looking for.

Here are some of the sites of friends and other people on the scene. I want to go slightly further in terms of design touches, but what will achieve this kind of project?

Popup Records


No Bones Records

FatCat Records : Home

Ninja Tune

Planet Mu Records

expanding records

Audio Store

The Leaf Label: NEWS

RA: Resident Advisor - dance & electronic music magazine

4AD - Official Website

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