What is a microsite?
Microsites are either a single online landing page or a small cluster of pages situated outside of a college core domain and strategy. A microsite framework has its URL structure, content, and even a specific look that might be completely different from the rest of the site.
Because microsites aren’t connected to a college core domain, they can be an excellent launchpad for new departments and strategies. For instance, if you wanted to start a new department that didn’t chime with your existing department essence, you might launch a microsite to see how end users respond to your new department. The separate site would give you a set of key insights through things like Google and marketing analytics, without risking your reputation.
What is the difference between a microsite and a website?
A microsite is the same as a website. You’re still going to need a domain name for your microsite and a hosting strategy. The difference is, you’re focusing on a very specific thing with a microsite, like a single department or service.
Microsites might link back to your larger college website. However, these digital tools are intended to drive targeted traffic to a specific campaign or audience. There is a lot of similarities between microsites and landing pages. However, while landing pages are hyper-focused on convincing your end user to take a specific action, microsites are more about providing information, albeit for a particular department or purpose.
Why Should I use Microsite?
1. Microsites help with reaching a specific audience
While most websites cater to a specific niche, as your college grows, you may decide that you want to explore your connections with other end users and potential students. While adding a new department/service suddenly on your main website might confuse your audience, creating a separate, yet connected microsite campaign can help you to look for new opportunities in a safe environment.
With microsite marketing, you can see whether your service or department appeals to a different vertical, without diluting the existing trust and authority you’ve built for your parent college website. If everything goes well, you may gradually introduce the new aspect of your department/service to your parent site, or you could decide to keep that part of your identity separate for the foreseeable future like what you currently have for different departments & services like admissions.college_name.edu & teaching.college_name.edu
2. Microsites are great for introducing new service/department
New expansions to your education portfolio don’t always work out according to plan. With microsite platforms, colleges can build a new campaign for a unique service/department, without relying on too many connections with their parent college website straight away. If the new campaign is a success, then it’s easy to direct people back to the main website with CTA links.
On the other hand, if you find that your new service/department idea doesn’t gain much traction, you can get rid of your entire microsite without making much of an impact. So, microsites are an excellent way to experiment with new services.
3. Microsites could help with rebranding
If your current service/branding isn’t having the right impact on your target audience anymore, you might decide that it’s time to try something new with a rebrand. Although creating multiple microsites might mean spending a bit more in the short-term, it gives you a chance to track the potential performance of all the new brands/services you may want to create. By testing each new brand/service identity against each other, you can boost your chances of making the right decision with your new logo, website design, and more.
Are microsites effective?
So, are microsites a good way to build your college potential online? Well, that all depends on how you use them. As well as the options that we covered above, you can also create a microsite campaign for things like:
- Building awareness for an upcoming event or promotion.
- Presenting infographics, whitepapers, and other valuable information that adds value to your service/department.
- Hosting a separate blog or educational department wise website that supports your parent college website.
- It helps you to increase your online visibility across the globe with new languages and custom content.
The benefits of a microsite
Microsites can be cost-effective, short-term ways to figure out what kind of steps you should be taking next for your college.
Let’s take a look at some of the major microsite benefits you can consider when deciding whether to use this strategy for your college.
1. Microsites are quick and easy to launch
Building a website can be an exhausting experience. There’s a lot to think about, from how you want the site to look, to what kind of pages you need to include. However, the microsite structure is much easier than the framework of a standard website. Do you know something? Developing and launching the microsite is much quicker too.
2. Microsites allow colleges to get a specific outcome
The fact that microsites are incredibly easy to build means that colleges can get as creative as they like with their messaging and their strategy. A microsite landing page can be specifically tailored to just one department or a very niche target audience. While main college websites generally focus on anyone and everyone who might stop by, microsites can get very specific.
3. Microsites can last for as long as you like
A microsite can either be a long-term commitment, or a short-term strategy, depending on your needs. If you’re looking for a way to run a short-term or seasonal campaign without overhauling your entire website, then a microsite might be a great solution.
4. Microsites are very cost-effective
As everyone knows the important benefit of microsite development is the cost. Yes, it is cost-effective. Whether you’re opting for a WordPress microsite you can usually build a miniature website without spending a fortune. If you’re promoting something on a seasonal basis or trying something new and you’re not sure how much you can afford to spend, Microsites are a great choice.
SEO for Microsites
Microsites allow colleges to segment information and focus specifically on a single topic. It’s not uncommon for colleges that host annual conferences to have a separate website for their annual events. These sites can provide information and allow for registration separate to the actual site. Microsites can boost your SEO in a lot of ways. High-quality microsites that gain viral traction across the web are great for earning attention from new end users. You might even see a significant increase in your service reach caused by your microsite.
Additionally, links back from your microsites to your main college website can help to slightly increase your SEO standing too. Since external links still have a considerable part to play in determining how your college appears online, it makes sense to generate as many high-quality links as you can.
How to create a microsite in Wordpress
Micro-site is a high-level feature of WordPress that gives more potential. It provides an orderly and organized way to create multiple sites in one place. A person can make a huge profit by letting other users host their site on WordPress. The WordPress installation process for microsites will be two different types of files and folders. The wp-config.php file has more lines of code that stimulate micro-site and notifies WordPress how it is running. The wp-uploads folder contains a sub-folder for each micro-site during the installation process. The actual advantage with WordPress is, it can manage the file structure itself.
Activating micro-site based on the parent site whether it is a new site or already an established site. Activating micro-site on a fresh installation of WordPress requires some additional steps.
Just download and install the WordPress in your local machine or on the server as like always.
Open the file titled wp-config.php.
A line “/*That’s all, stop editing! Happy blogging.*/” will appear.
You need to add one more line above that line, which reads
“define( ‘WP_ALLOW_MICROSITE’, true );”
Save the wp-config.php file.
We can install the micro-site from the admin dashboard.
This is how you need to install it.
From the WordPress admin dashboard, just go to Tools > Network Setup. You will be asked to choose subdomains and subdirectories, which you can choose based on your requirement or simply leave the default value as they are before clicking on the install button.
Finally, WordPress will provide you some lines of code that you have to copy in the file named confid.php and .htaccess. Then save both files.
Once you saved the files then simply log in to the WordPress admin dashboard and finish installing the micro-site. From the dashboard. Finally, you can add themes, plug-ins, etc.
Multisite Best Practices
Work with a WordPress Consultant Experienced with Multisite
First and foremost, we recommend that you work with a WordPress consultant like us, who is an expert on scaling WordPress Multisites. If the Multisite network grows, you do need to keep an eye out for the number of server resources your site uses, as well as the upkeep of your database. It’s absolutely flexible as long as you are proactive, and it helps to work with an expert who can guide you through building the Multisite.
Pick a Good Hosting Provider Experienced with Multisite
It is very essential to use a good hosting provider that supports the various features of Wordpress multisite. A hosting provider with a great track recording in hosting Multisite deployments will dramatically raise the possibility of sustained success for your projects.
Web Technology: PHP version 7.3 or greater with Wordpress 5.3
Database: MySQL version 5.6 or greater OR MariaDB version 10.1 or greater
Are you looking for a Wordpress development company to build your microsite or landing page? Reach Techmango Technologies as we are the award-winning website development company in India.