Here is how to quickly set up a landing page website using a subdomain for a PPC (pay-per-click) client.
TL;DR – Quickest + Easiest solution (if you want to skip all the steps below):
- Check the desired URL (e.g., help.domain.com) in a browser window; an error response means the subdomain is available.
- Add the site in WPEngine. Follow the automated prompts to update your website’s DNS.
Step #1. List all Subdomains in Use.
If you don’t know what subdomains the client has currently set up, or do not yet have access to the DNS, perform a subdomain scan:
This scan will provide you with a list of know subdomains. This knowledge is crucial, so you do not create a subdomain already in use and force you to restart the process.
Think of a creative, unique naming convention not already in use:
If this is way above your pay grade, test a domain name you would like to use in a browser window. You are good to go if you get an error page; if it brings you to an actual website, you need to rethink a better name.
Step #2. Create a WordPress website in WPEngine.
2a. In WPEngine, create a new PPC website by clicking on “add site,” then adding a unique identifier name. This name will be for internal use only.
2b. Name + Create Environment.
2c. Wait for the site to be created.
At this point, you can follow the automated DNS WPEngine setup under domains or follow the manual process below. I’ve included the manual setup because I find the automated settings do not always work as expected.
Step #3. Add DNS settings to GoDaddy.
3a. Copying the IP address from WPEngine’s Domain settings.
3b. Go to GoDaddy, find the domain you wish to use.
3c. Click on Manage DNS.
3d. Add the Subdomain DNS records:
Host: help (the name you picked)
Points to: WPEngine’s IP record
TTL: 1 hour
3e. Press Save
Step #4. Setup the Domain in WPEngine
Back in WPEngine. After you’ve waited for the DNS to propagate, add the subdomain under Domains.
Don’t forget to Activate the Free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate + set your WordPress Website to No-index.
The SSL certificate ensures your visitor’s traffic is private, and no-indexing your PPC lander guarantees you do not contaminate your results with organic traffic.
Learn how to create the PPC lander in files in part 2 here.
If you have any trouble, please shoot me a message.