Mark Zahra

Mark Zahra

Mark has been involved with WP RSS Aggregator for almost a decade, from running customer support to now leading RebelCode, the company behind the plugin. He has a passion for content and news, especially the concept of ethically sharing content to help each other grow.

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Step-by-Step Guide to Creating a Microsite in WordPress

Turn your microsite creation challenges into achievements. Discover insights and strategies from planning to execution, boosting your digital presence.

Thinking of promoting your business by creating a microsite with WordPress? Then you are in the right place! 

Microsites are a powerful tool for businesses because they allow you to create targeted and focused online experiences for your audience. With WordPress, you have a versatile and user-friendly platform at your disposal, making it easier than ever to design and launch a microsite tailored to your brand. And the benefits of doing so are more than enough – reaching new audiences,  marketing more creatively, and, most of all, driving business success.

In this article, we’ll take you through the step-by-step process of creating a microsite in WordPress. We’ll also share expert tips to help you optimize your site’s performance and give you some examples of existing microsites for inspiration. 

Get ready to unlock the potential of microsites and take your online presence to the next level!

What is a microsite?

A microsite is a secondary website strategically designed to promote a company’s product, service, campaign, or event. Unlike the primary website, a microsite typically operates under a distinct domain. These microsites are intentionally user-friendly, offering a simpler and more intuitive navigation experience. 

Often consisting of just a single page, microsites serve as marketing tools tailored to drive specific actions like email sign-ups, ticket sales, or to boost awareness for a particular product or campaign. 

What are microsites used for? 

Microsites serve a variety of purposes within a digital marketing strategy. Here are some of the most common uses:

  • Promote an event.
  • Promote a product or service.
  • Supplement a campaign.
  • Generate leads through email signups or waitlists.
  • Publish specific or niche content relating to the brand.
  • Raise awareness of a specific issue.
  • Connect to a subset of the company’s audience.
  • Connect to a new audience.
  • Engage visitors with an interactive experience.

These can be tailored to achieve a wide range of marketing goals, such as showcasing a new product launch with multimedia content or running limited-time promotions and contests to boost customer engagement. This flexibility in use cases makes them valuable assets for businesses and organizations looking to enhance their online presence and outreach.

Microsite vs. website: What’s the difference? 

The main distinction between a microsite and a company’s primary website lies in their respective objectives. A company website serves as the digital home for the brand, encompassing a broad spectrum of purposes such as product or service promotion, sales generation, lead generation, and brand storytelling. It is the all-encompassing hub of the online presence.

A microsite, however, is a focused site designed with a specific purpose in mind, such as promoting an event or engaging with a specific subset of the brand’s audience. While both are vital marketing tools, they come under separate domains and offer distinct content.

Microsites are characterized by their simplicity, often comprising just a single web page or a handful of pages. This simplicity opens the door to more creative and interactive design elements, making microsites an ideal choice when you want to captivate your audience with a unique, tailored experience.

What are some good examples of microsites?

In order to grasp the effectiveness of microsites, let’s take a look at some examples that demonstrate common microsite objectives. These examples reinforce the idea that microsites don’t have to be overly complex to achieve their desired impact. 

Do Nothing for 2 Minutes by Calm

Screenshot of website with clouds and a 2-minute timer

Calm uses their Do Nothing for 2 Minutes microsite to promote their meditation app by offering a simple yet shareable sample of one of its key benefits – relaxation. The microsite presents visitors with a straightforward and engaging challenge: to do nothing for a mere two minutes.

During this time, users are greeted with an ocean landscape and soothing sounds, providing a brief respite from the busyness of everyday life. The microsite encourages users to put aside distractions and simply relax, a fundamental aspect of meditation and a key selling point of Calm’s app.

Afrobeats: Journey of a Billion Streams by Spotify

A bright screenshot of a website that says 'afro beats' in bold. There are greens, oranges, and purples in the image, with two figures to the left and right of the screen

Spotify‘s microsite, Afrobeats: Journey of a Billion Streams, is an online experience that not only immerses users in the vibrant world of Afrobeats music but also strategically promotes Spotify as the go-to platform for exploring this genre. Through a combination of interactive features, playlists, artist highlights, and engaging visuals, the microsite offers a deep dive into Afrobeats’ rich history and influences. 

It educates users about the genre, while promoting the company’s commitment to providing a diverse and inclusive music discovery platform. Spotify effectively attracts both music lovers and newcomers, showing how microsites can be a powerful tool for user engagement and brand promotion.

Creative Types by Adobe

Screenshot of the microsite My Creative Type by Adobe

Adobe’s software suite offers a variety of industry-standard tools tailored for visual creatives. However, Adobe’s remarkable success isn’t solely attributed to its renowned software but also to its customer engagement strategies. The microsite My Creative Type is an interactive platform inviting visitors to complete a brief questionnaire to unveil their unique creative personality. The questionnaire, comprising 15 questions, delves into participants’ thinking, behavior, and outlook. 

Once you’ve finished the questionnaire, individuals are categorized into one of eight distinct creative types, with insights into their strengths, potential, motivations, and advice to foster their creative ambitions. The results can then be downloaded or shared on social media.

Pinterest Presents by Pinterest

A screenshot of the Pinterest Presents website. It is a black background with some text and a video

Pinterest Presents is a dynamic event promotion microsite for Pinterest, spotlighting upcoming trends and sparking creativity within its user community. This microsite shows how a focused online space can serve to energize and connect with an audience. 

By curating content and insights related to current trends and creative possibilities, Pinterest promotes its platform and positions itself as a source of inspiration for those seeking to stay ahead of new trends. 

These microsites offer a glimpse into the wide-ranging applications of this digital marketing strategy. What stands out most is the incredible versatility of microsites, which prove their ability to achieve diverse marketing objectives. 

From promoting products and services to rebranding efforts and event promotions, these microsites enable adaptability, showcasing their effectiveness in addressing an array of marketing goals. Despite their varied purposes, they all share a common trait: an intuitive and engaging user experience that offers clear communication of their intended messages. 

What makes a good microsite?

Creating a successful microsite requires carefully crafting a digital space with distinct characteristics. These defining traits transform a microsite from a mere web page into a tool for achieving specific marketing goals. 

Let’s explore the essential elements that differentiate a good microsite from the rest. From a clear and well-defined purpose to captivating content, user-friendly design, and optimal technical performance, each aspect contributes to the microsite’s overall effectiveness. Here is what makes a good microsite:

  • Clear objective: A good microsite always starts with a well-defined purpose. Whether it aims to attract a new audience or boost ticket sales for an event, a clear objective guides all content and design decisions. 
  • Engaging content: Microsites offer an opportunity to communicate creatively. Interesting visuals, compelling copy, and interactive elements are your allies here. Capturing the visitor’s attention and keeping them engaged is essential.
  • User-friendly design: The microsite’s design should prioritize user-friendliness. Intuitive navigation and a clean layout contribute to a good user experience.
  • Fast loading times: To prevent high bounce rates, ensure your microsite loads quickly. Optimize images, minimize code, and employ caching techniques to maintain swift loading times, even with rich visuals and interactivity.
  • Mobile responsiveness: Given the prevalence of mobile users, a good microsite must be responsive and adapt to various screen sizes. A positive mobile experience is non-negotiable.
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Incorporate SEO practices to enhance the microsite’s visibility in search engine results. This includes utilizing relevant keywords and optimizing meta tags for better search engine rankings.
  • Consistent branding: While microsites can possess unique branding, they should maintain some connection to the core branding of the company. Consistency in look and feel helps build trust and recognition.
  • Effective Call-To-Action (CTA): A clear and compelling CTA guides visitors toward the desired action, whether it’s signing up for a newsletter, making a purchase, or engaging with content. 

Incorporating these elements into your microsite’s design and content strategy will enhance its effectiveness by ensuring a positive user experience, contributing to the achievement of your marketing goals.

Building a microsite: Pros and cons 

Advantages of microsites

  • Quick and inexpensive: Microsites are often quick and cost-effective to build, especially with the right tools and templates.
  • Focused messaging: They simplify design and navigation, allowing visitors to concentrate on your core messaging without distractions.
  • Shareability: Microsites are highly shareable, making it easier for users to spread the word about your specific campaign or content.
  • Business awareness: They serve as dedicated online spaces to build brand awareness, particularly for niche products, campaigns, or events.
  • Sales and lead generation: Microsites can be optimized to drive sales or gather high-quality leads, offering a targeted approach to conversion.
  • Improved SEO: Well-optimized microsites can enhance overall SEO performance, benefiting both the microsite and the primary website’s visibility in search engines.
  • Detailed analytics: Microsites allow you to gather in-depth data on specific campaigns through analytics tools, providing valuable insights into user behavior and engagement.

Disadvantages of microsites  

  • Development and maintenance: Building and maintaining microsites can be time-consuming and resource-intensive compared to simply adding a new page to your primary website.
  • Visitor confusion: Microsites often have different names than the company’s primary website, potentially confusing visitors and making them feel lost. Careful branding is essential to mitigate this issue.
  • Short lifespan: Some microsites have a relatively short lifespan, especially those created for specific events or campaigns. Managing their lifecycle and ensuring content relevance can be challenging.

Before starting a microsite project, consider these pros and cons carefully to align your decision with your marketing objectives, budget, and resources. 

How to build a microsite in WordPress: A step-by-step guide 

In the following steps, we will break down the process into manageable tasks, both technical and non-technical, to ensure you can create an effective microsite using the versatile WordPress platform. 

Let’s get started. 

1. Develop clear objectives for your microsite 

Developing clear objectives for your microsite is the foundation of its success. Start by identifying the audience. An in-depth audience analysis involves studying their demographics, behaviors, interests, and pain points. Tools like Google Analytics, social media insights, and market research can help you understand your audience better. Look for:

  • Demographics: Age, gender, location, and other relevant factors.
  • Interests: What topics, products, or services resonate with them.
  • Online behavior: How they interact with digital content and platforms.

Once you’ve identified your target audience, specify your microsite’s objectives and purpose. Common goals include:

  • Boosting brand awareness: Use consistent branding elements to reflect your brand identity.
  • Driving sales: Implement compelling calls to action, product information, and seamless paths to purchase.
  • Educating: Provide valuable information or resources related to your niche.
  • Entertaining: Create engaging and shareable content.
  • Engaging a specific demographic: Tailor content and design to match their preferences and interests, ensuring relevance and engagement.

Having a well-defined purpose, based on a thorough understanding of your audience, will guide your decisions throughout the development process.

2. Plan your microsite’s content, design, SEO strategy, and promotion

Plan your microsite’s success by focusing on four core elements: content, design, SEO strategy, and promotion. Begin by sketching the site’s layout, specifying the content types, and creating an SEO strategy that encompasses keyword research, on-page optimization, and user-friendly URL structures.

For effective promotion, consider leveraging tools like social media, email marketing, and outreach to boost your microsite’s visibility. Collaborate with content designers or web developers if necessary, and think about your microsite’s brand identity, as it will impact your choice of domain name. 

If you’re on a budget, tools like WordPress and WP RSS Aggregator can aid in efficient content creation and automation.

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3. Acquire a domain or subdomain 

Selecting the right domain name is crucial. Create a list of potential domains or subdomains during the planning phase, as your desired choices may not all be available. Remember, it is possible to purchase a domain name that’s already been acquired directly from the owner, but this can be expensive. 

Here’s how to acquire your domain:

  1. Choose a reliable domain registrar, such as Squarespace Domains.
  2. Pick the most suitable domain name option for your microsite. If you aren’t sure about a domain for your microsite, try a domain generator to get the ideas flowing.
  3. Review the registration details at checkout.
  4. Purchase your chosen domain name.
  5. Verify ownership of your new domain.

4. Create engaging and relevant content for your microsite 

As microsites usually have a single page or a limited number of pages, you have to be really particular when creating the content. It needs to capture the user’s attention right away and go straight to the point. 

WP RSS Aggregator is a powerful tool for efficiently curating content that appeals to your target audience. By leveraging RSS feeds, which are a technology that enables websites to curate and share content in a standardized format, you can automate the process of updating your content. Imagine, for instance, handpicking relevant content within your niche and showing it on your microsite. This approach reduces your workload and enriches your visitors’ experience with valuable information.

A screenshot of the microsite 'travel blogger community' 

This microsite by the Travel Blogger Community is designed to curate and showcase content from various travel bloggers, providing a one-stop destination for travel enthusiasts. It’s a prime example of how WP RSS Aggregator can transform your microsite by combining content from multiple sources and presenting it in an engaging and organized manner. 

Explore the WP RSS Aggregator set-up guide to learn how to effortlessly incorporate this powerful tool into your WordPress microsite. Whether you’re creating a microsite for travel, fashion, tech, or any other niche, WP RSS Aggregator simplifies content curation, ensuring that your microsite stays fresh and captivating for your audience.

5. Create your microsite 

Now, it’s time to bring your microsite to life with WordPress.com. Here’s how:

  1. Begin by creating a new WordPress page on your site. Go to Pages > Add New.
  2. Utilize the native WordPress block editor or your preferred plugin to design the page’s content.
  3. If you plan to have multiple pages on your microsite, repeat the process and interlink them.
A screenshot of WordPress editor

For now, your microsite pages will appear under your primary domain name, but don’t worry, you can change this in the next step. Once you have got it up and running, the next step is to design your microsite to fit your unique brand aesthetic. 

6. Map your domain 

Once your microsite’s content is in place on WordPress.com after following the steps above, you can map your domain to it. Here’s how you can do this:

  1. From your WordPress dashboard, navigate to Upgrades > Domains.
  2. Click the Add a Domain button in the top-right corner and choose Use a Domain I Own from the drop-down menu.
  3. Enter the domain name you own and select Next.
  4. On the following screen, choose between transfer or connect. Click Select next to Connect your Domain.
  5. Follow the steps to change your domain’s name servers.
A screenshot of the site domains section for WordPress.com

7. Update your domain name server (DNS) records 

To add and manage DNS records in WordPress:

  1. Access your WordPress dashboard and go to Upgrades > Domains.
  2. Click on the domain and select DNS Records.
  3. You’ll see a list of current DNS records. Click Manage to make changes.
  4. Choose Add a Record in the upper right corner.
  5. Select the type of DNS record you wish to add from the Type dropdown menu (options include A, AAAA, CNAME, MX, TXT, or SRV).
  6. Complete the remaining information as provided by the service you’re adding the record for.

8. Launch your microsite 

With your microsite ready, it’s time to launch and kickstart your promotional campaign. Consider a soft launch followed by a hard launch to avoid technical issues during high-traffic periods:

  • Soft launch: Initiate your microsite with a soft launch, which is a limited release to a smaller, controlled audience. This helps uncover any technical issues or glitches before a full-scale release. Gather feedback and make necessary adjustments during this phase.
  • Hard launch: After addressing issues identified during the soft launch, proceed to the hard launch. This is the official and broader release of your microsite to a larger audience.

Utilize social media, email marketing, and promotion on your company website to tap into your existing audience. Explore additional strategies such as influencer outreach, paid promotion, guest posting, and PR to reach new audiences effectively.

9. Set up analytics for your microsite 

To track your microsite’s performance, connect it to marketing and analytics tools like Google Analytics. With them, you can conduct A/B testing, which is a powerful method for comparing different versions of your microsite’s content, layout, or design. 

This data-driven approach allows you to make informed decisions, optimize your microsite’s elements, and maximize its overall performance. With these insights, you can refine your strategy, enhance user experiences, and ultimately achieve better results. So, don’t overlook the power of analytics in elevating your microsite’s impact and effectiveness!

10. Track, test, and tweak your microsite 

Your job’s not done once you hit the publish button! From here, you need to continuously track your microsite’s performance and make improvements based on user behavior and feedback. This is a vital and ongoing step of your microsite journey. 

Regularly test different elements and strategies to optimize your microsite’s potential. By monitoring and fine-tuning, you can ensure that your microsite remains effective in achieving its objectives.

Take your microsite to the next level with WP RSS Aggregator

Incorporating microsites into your digital strategy can offer targeted results and amplify your online presence. To streamline the content curation process for your microsites, WP RSS Aggregator is your go-to tool. It empowers you to effortlessly gather and display engaging content, saving you time and resources.

Harness the potential of microsites to promote products, campaigns, and events and enhance your brand’s visibility. With WP RSS Aggregator, you have a powerful ally to help you curate and automate content, making your microsite creation journey smoother and more efficient.

Ready to take the next step? Explore WP RSS Aggregator and start creating impactful microsites today – your digital strategy is about to get a boost!

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