How to setup a PPC lander in WPEngine

How to setup a PPC lander in WPEngine

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):

  1. Check the desired URL (e.g., help.domain.com) in a browser window; an error response means the subdomain is available.
  2. 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:

https://pentest-tools.com/information-gathering/find-subdomains-of-domain#

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 forcing you to restart the process.

Active Subdomains
Active Subdomains

Think of a creative, unique naming convention not already in use:

e.g., help.doimain.com

If this is way above your pay-grade, test a domain name you would like to use in a browser window. If you get an error page, you are good to go; if it brings you to an actual website, you need to rethink a better name.

404 Error Page
404 Error Page

Step #2. Create a WordPress website in WPEngine.

2a. In WPEngine, creating a new PPC website by clicking on "add site," then adding a unique identifier name. This name will be for internal use only.

Add Site
Add Site

2b. Name + Create Environment.

Create New Environment
Create New 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.

A Record
A Record

3b. Go to GoDaddy, find the domain you wish to use.

GoDaddy
GoDaddy

3c. Click on Manage DNS.

3d. Add the Subdomain DNS records:

DNS Settings

Type: A-Record
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.

Add Domain
Add Domain

Don't for get to Activate the Free Let's Encrypt SSL certificate + set your Wordpress Website to No-index.

Free Let's Encrypt Certificate
Free Let's Encrypt Certificate

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.

In WordPress, Click Discourage Search Engines
In WordPress, Click Discourage Search Engines

If you have any trouble, please shoot me a message.