An Innovative Trend to Create Microsites Using WordPress
Let’s start our discussion with some live examples.
You should have gone through ‘Game of Thrones’ at least once in the past few years. No wonder, it holds a global craze. That’s the reason why HBO has created a separate microsite for this ubiquitously popular series.
In this second example, the New York Times Magazine has a separate microsite with the name of Walking New York. Giving a unique experience, it allows the users to walk on the NYC streets remotely. While enjoying an immersive tour of the popular areas of the city, you can also know more about the historic sites.
The third example is emojitracker. This microsite developed by Matthew Rothenberg performs real-time tracking of all the Twitter emojis. Insane, isn’t it? But that’s the way it is. The site only satiates the socially inquisitive beings; it serves no other purpose.
By now, you should have got an idea about the innovative trend of creating microsites. Let’s get into murkier details now!
What is a microsite?
A microsite is a part of a website that helps you to focus on a particular product, campaign, or service. Usually hosted on a subdomain or a separate domain, a microsite provides specialized information, thus avoiding clutter on the main site. Businesses often use a microsite to target a specific category of buyer personas and attract visitors with a call to action. At times, it can be temporary, for instance when promoting a short campaign for a particular season. Also termed as a sub-site, it saves you from owning a full-time website to run a short-term campaign, thus preventing you from draining your time and money. But it has no SEO significance, so you will have to retort to your main website to draw SEO benefits.
As you already know now, a microsite is a welcome platform to run short campaigns or spread brand awareness for a specific product. But do you know that it has managed to see the light of day due to WordPress? Yes, a microsite is an advanced WordPress feature that adds up to the potential of the WP CMS. Once you install WordPress, you can create N number of websites, microsites, or a theme inside the theme. Each microsite gets an interactive interface through WP development services. You can also let others host their websites along with your microsite if you are looking to make monetary gains out of it.
Installing WordPress for microsites
WordPress manages the entire file structure itself, which is one of the important advantages of using it. During the process of WordPress installation, two important points are essential to consider.
- The File: The wp-config.php file consists of additional code lines to activate the microsite and notify WordPress about the way it is functioning.
- The folder: For every microsite, the wp-uploads folder includes a subfolder during installation.
Activating a Microsite
If you have an existing site, microsite activation happens straightaway. In case of a new installation, the activation needs you to perform a few additional steps.
Step 1: Download and install WP on the server or local machine.
Step 2: In the folder consisting of WordPress installation files, look for the wp-config.php file and open it. Find the line below:
/*That’s all, stop editing! Happy blogging.*/
Step 3: Just above this line, add the following:
define( ‘WP_ALLOW_MICROSITE’, true );
Step 4: save the file.
Step 5: Next, let us install the microsite via the WP admin screen. Go to WP admin and find out Tools –> Network Setup. Choose subdomains and subdirectories depending on your requirement. You can also leave the default value intact.
Step 6: You will get some code from WordPress. Copy it in the config.php and .htaccess files. Save the files.
Step 7: In this last step, log in to your WP account to install the WordPress microsite from the dashboard. You can also add plug-ins, and themes apart from adding the sites through the dashboard.
An existing WP installation does not have the option to choose subdomains and subdirectories. You will have to use subdomains if the site exists for more than one month.
Some of the essential steps to care for while installing WordPress or when creating a microsite include:
- Custom post type creation
- Theme template modification
- Customized development of plugins
After making all the changes and uploading the files on the server, now is the time to check the new functionality for possible errors and debug the same. This will make way for interactive content communication.
How can a microsite benefit your business?
The role of a microsite is to focus on a specific marketing campaign or product. This web platform can hence benefit your cause in multiple ways:
- Engaging and interactive microsites can create brand awareness
- Microsites are an ideal platform to launch a product and divert customers toward it
- These sub-sites help companies to host the details and registration forms for promotional events
- Microsites act as a welcome mode to enable businesses to acquire quality leads
- They can create a separate identity for your brand, different from your corporate brand
- Microsites can target customers specific to a particular geographical location
Summing up, microsites are an ideal medium to spread awareness about your brand, which is different from your parent brand. An innovation of WordPress, it is easy to install and create a microsite in a few simple steps. To know more about it, you can always get in touch with us.
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