If you’ve ever tried to create a microsite from scratch, you understand the pain and heartache that can be involved in HTML coding. If that’s you, you’ve probably also experienced the disappointment of being limited by premade microsite templates that somehow always seem to miss the mark.
Luckily, the right microsite solutions make it possible for you to create highly customized content with no coding experience, all with the ease of using an editable template. Here’s how you can use a paid or free microsite template to move your microsite to the next level.
Everything starts with a good microsite template
Plan your “micro website” beforehand
Before choosing which template to use as you build your microsite, create a plan for your design. As with any design process, keeping purpose in mind directs major decisions about your microsite. If you design the microsite on paper before, you’re going to have a much easier time picking the right template.
Your purpose informs the layout of your microsite. The way your site is structured will look different depending on the sort of content you aim to include. You may be tempted to choose the most stunning template you can find, but if its design isn’t geared toward your purpose, it’ll be a pain to customize it later. Find a template that matches your purpose, and you’ll have a much smoother process going forward.
Once you have a framework that takes purpose into account, plan out your microsite with stylistic elements to make content pop and keep users engaged. If you know the kinds of elements you want to include, you can find a template that facilitates them.
Your microsite’s timeline matters, too. If you’re creating a microsite for a temporary purpose, it’s okay to plan a one-off template for it. However, if you’re planning on creating multiple microsites with a consistent theme, it’s important to consider your template carefully, as you’re going to use it time and time again.
Understanding the purpose, branding, and strategic content that you want to include in your microsite will help you find a robust microsite template.
Take the time to find a paid or free microsite template that gives you a good start
With your purpose, branding, and style in mind, you can start shopping around for templates. Luckily, there are thousands of templates online to choose from!
As you look, keep a checklist of the features you want in mind. Because of how many templates are out there, there’s no harm in being picky about the template you choose to use. Picking the perfect template can save you time in customization later. Plus, doing it right the first time means you don’t have to worry about going through the process again when you want to create more microsites.
Pick a template that is navigable and avoids being too busy. Early studies have determined that users tend to think that visually simple websites are more aesthetically pleasing. Though we don’t like to judge books by their covers, users make snap judgments that can often be swayed by things like aesthetics and graphics.
Templates that are HTML-based can be easily incorporated into most microsite builders. You don’t want to find the perfect template and then find out you can’t work with it. Also, don’t be stingy! While free templates are out there, they suffer in quality and support. If you want to find the best template, invest in a paid one that was likely coded by expert developers.
Find a microsite template through your microsite creation tool
A common misconception about microsites is that they aren’t worth the hassle of creating one. However, this is only true if you’re building a microsite from scratch. Using the right microsite builder side steps all the trouble of coding, testing, and laborious redesigns.
Using one platform for finding your microsite template, editing, and analytics is the most cost and time-effective way to make the most of your microsite’s potential. This streamlines the process of creating your microsite and makes it easy enough for anyone on your team to create one—no need for independent web developers or consultants!
With Zoomforth, for example, creating the perfect microsite with a flawless template is as simple as dragging and dropping. No HTML coding, no headaches, no hiccups. Plus, once you create a microsite of your own or customize an existing template, it’s easy to duplicate and reuse what you’ve already created.
Redesign your microsite template to perfection
Make the microsite design your own through unique branding
Even if you are creating a temporary microsite, it’s important to have branding in mind. Because your microsite is independent of your main web pages, finding ways to tie your microsite content back to your brand may be more subtle than it is in traditional content. Again, this may also be a tool you are using to experiment, so being strategic here is key!
Branding also doesn’t have to be consistent. You might play around with new color pallets or fonts that are seasonal or product specific. OfficeMax’s main website is extremely different in design and content from its seasonal “Elf Yourself” microsite. In this case, creating continuity between your brand and your microsite may include the use of CTA buttons or strategic logo placement.
Here are some subtle ways you can keep branding consistent:
- Incorporate parts of your business’s standard color palette. This may come from your logo, branding efforts, or other communication materials you use.
- Keep your logo visible. Traditionally, logos are placed in the top left corner of your microsite.
- Be consistent in the visual elements and images you use. Opting for similarities in photo composition and editing can make the content look like it is held together by a common thread.
Change up the theme or layout of your chosen microsite template
The best part of working with an intuitive microsite builder is how easy it is to customize premade templates and themes.
While coding solutions may take multiple iterations or revisions before finally seeing what you have in mind, microsite builders allow you to drag and drop elements, make simple changes, and see it all in real-time. Simple redesigns like this take some of the pressure off of finding the perfect template.
With an intuitive editing platform, you can add as many elements as you’d like, whether they are on the original template or not. If you’re looking for relevant communication strategies, though, you might opt for something more consistent.
Zoomforth’s editing platform allows you to duplicate created microsites and save them as templates. This includes keeping the backend CSS controls the same each time the template is used. These elements may include:
- Color palette
- Font type, size, and weight formatting
- Text animation
- Image sizing
- Padding on tables
Optimize the microsite templates for performance
Before you go launching your microsite too early, you need to make sure that it’s responsive. Many visitors to your site are going to be mobile users, and a mobile-responsive template isn’t an option anymore: it’s a necessity. While many templates nowadays take that into account, make sure the template you’ve chosen is responsive to handheld users.
Micro and macro level analytics allow you to get a picture of which elements of your microsite are most effective, least engaging, or totally ignored. So, if pieces of your template are going unused or are not visited by the appropriate stakeholders, you can easily readjust your design!
It takes the guesswork out of making your microsites better and makes it possible for you to create the most optimal microsite for your specific purpose. Plus, it means you don’t have to start back at square one and conduct another extensive search for a more effective template.
Microsite templates are easy with Zoomforth
When it comes to creating engaging user content, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Your microsite is unique, with all of its own peculiarities depending on your brand and purpose. While a paid or even free microsite template offers you a comprehensive framework for getting started, the ability to customize user experiences and collect user analytics is the only way to ensure a return on your investment.
Zoomforth makes it easy for you to create the perfect microsite template for your team to use. We have tons of microsite templates that you can choose from, which you can clone and redesign to your heart’s desire. When you use our service, we’ll also provide you with a branded template of your very own that follows your brand guidelines.
No matter how you choose to make the most of your microsite, our team will be here to help you every step of the way, 24/7. Interested in an all-in-one microsite solution? Try out Zoomforth with a demo!