breaking away from the pack

WordPress for Microsites and Landing Pages – part 2

By on December 4, 2009 in Uncategorized

In Part 1, we talked about getting started with WordPress to develop your e-commerce microsites and landing pages. In Part 2, we complete the process of how to get these up and running.

Installation and Activation–WordPress, Themes and Plug-ins
Being open source, WordPress is free. One advantage of using the Web hosting services of a company like Media Temple is that you can install WordPress and other applications with one click. Updating with later versions is equally simple. To transfer files between your computer hard drive (local) and your host server (remote) files locations, and to work directly with your files on the host server, you’ll need an FTP client. I use FileZilla, it’s free open source software and has a nifty interface. There are many FTP clients for which you can purchase licensing rights. Go to http://filezilla-project.org/ to download the program. They also offer a FileZilla Server version (Windows only).

Once you have WordPress installed and activated, you’ll likely want to replace the default theme with the theme of your choice. There are literally thousands of themes available for download on the Web. Some are free but you may find that the premium themes available for a fee will suit you better. You often get more robust support from the theme developers that can include support forums and better, more timely responses to your inquiries and requests. Here are some links to compilations and reviews of free and fee-based themes and plug-ins:

I chose the Solostream WP-Chatter Premium theme for the Breakaway Media Web site. Solostream also offers a choice of other themes including magazine-style, portfolio, and two newer themes–Sublime and Genius. Again, full disclosure: I’m an affiliate of Solostream. In a later article, I’ll talk about affiliate programs and how you can develop revenue streams by selling other companies’ products and services through your microsites and landing pages.

Premium themes will generally cost anywhere from $49 on up for a single site license and $79 on up for a multi-site or developer’s license. Get the multi-site license unless you are buying the theme specifically for one site. With your new theme activated, download the recommended plug-ins and get them installed and activated. These plug-ins and their associated widgets expand your functionality and greatly increase your choices, allowing you to customize the look and capabilities of your site or landing page. I’ll get into WordPress plug-ins and widgets in more detail in WordPress for Microsites and Landing Pages – part 3.

With your tools at the ready, now you can begin to add the content and sales vehicles which you have developed and tailored to your target/niche audience. Read more about the importance of content in my article on this site, Microsites and Landing Pages.

Go for it!
So get started — sometimes the hardest part is beginning to move forward. Once you do, you can always change or reverse course or take a “side street” and try something different. Keep trying different things until you get a winning system. A bit of advice–don’t let the drive for perfection or having the “perfect” combination of elements and tools keep you from starting. It’s a learning process, but with WordPress you’ll find the rewards of running your e-commerce business with microsites and landing pages will come in time.

In WordPress for Microsites and Landing Pages – part 3, I’ll get into specifics on how you can use microsites and landing pages to increase your revenues, build new revenue streams and support for your organization and otherwise meet your sales and marketing goals.

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