In order to have a Microsite of your main site, Higher Logic must install a model site and then update it so that it is a "replica" of your main site. That model site then becomes your template for creating microsites.
- You can create multiple microsite "templates" and use them to create different microsites.
- At any time, only one microsite model can be designated as the active model.
TIP: You can switch models by using the Model Microsite? toggle on the Admin tab of Site Options > Site Setup.
By using a model site, any changes made to syndicated content on the main site (e.g., to profile pages, landing pages, discussion pages) automatically flow to all of its microsites, rather than having to make the same changes individually on multiple microsites.
TIP: Syndicated content is discussed in Step 2 - Manage content on your sites.
NOTE: This "trickle-down effect" is equally applicable to customizations that you make to your main site and, for example, updates that are rolled out to your main site by Higher Logic.
- If your site is already live, create a case with our Customer Support team and request the Microsites module.
- If you're still in the implementation phase, tell your Implementation Manager that you want the Microsites module.
The role of Community Types
Model sites are established at the Community Type level and enable you to then quickly and easily produce a microsite that mirrors the site it is based on, which has inherited its properties from the associated Community Type. The benefit of this practice is that, because each microsite that you create is based on a model site, it automatically inherits the configuration of that model site.
Model sites are associated with a Community Type and enable you to then quickly and easily produce a microsite that mirrors the site it is based on, which has its properties defined by the associated Community Type. The benefit of this practice is that, because each microsite that you create is based on a model site, it automatically inherits the configuration of that model site.
Model sites can be set as a feature of a Community Type and then that Community Type can be designated for use with microsites only. The benefit of this practice is that each microsite that you create based on that Community Type will automatically inherit the configuration of your microsite model site...as well as any other type-specific settings that you configure.
NOTE: If the Community Type gets updated, only those sites and microsites that are created after the update will inherit the updates; existing sites and microsites will not.
You'll configure your Community Types in Step 5 - Apply your model to a community type.
Step 1 - Update the model site's navigation & content
After the model site is installed, you should evaluate its navigation and content. Consider the microsites that will be based on it and make any updates that are necessary in order to meet the needs of those microsites.
NOTE: The model site is set up to show only the content that is associated to the community that the microsite is based on. This ensures that microsites show only the content that is relevant to their members. Although this default setting can be changed, generally you should limit site content to only what is relevant to its members.
Step 1a - Update the navigation
The model site is a replica of your main site, so it will contain all of the pages that your main site contains. If there are pages that you don't want to be displayed in the microsite, you can manage them in the Content Management System (CMS).
To access the CMS:
- In the Admin Toolbar, click Edit Navigation.
WARNING: When modifying your model site, do not delete pages that you don't want to use or show in the navigation. Instead, hide them so that you don't accidentally compromise any hidden functionality or cross-page dependency that they provide.
For example, if your community microsites won't be using the Blogs feature, you can hide the Blogs page so that it doesn't display in your microsites.
NOTE: If you make a change like this, consider the impact of the change across the site. For example, if you remove the Blogs feature from the site, you should also remove the Recent Blogs widget from the Home page so it doesn't appear, blank, on your community microsites.
In the CMS:
- Click the plus (+) and minus (–) icons to expand and collapse the page structure.
- Note that hidden pages are denoted by an eyeball-with-slash icon.
- If a page is hidden, its sub-pages are automatically also hidden.
- If a page is visible, the visibility of the sub-pages can be individually managed.
To hide/show a page in the navigation:
- Click to select the page you want to manage.
- Check or uncheck the Visible in Navigation box in the Page Properties panel.
- Repeat these steps for any other pages that you want to show or hide in your microsites.
- Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Save.
TIP: Visit the Manage Site Navigation & Content of our knowledge base to access additional helpful content.
Step 1b - Update the content
Now that you've set up which pages will display on microsites, you can individually manage the content of those pages in Page Designer.
View the pages and note what content you want visible for microsites and what you want to hide.
WARNING: As with the CMS: do not delete content items and widgets; instead, hide them as described below.
To hide content items and widgets:
- Access Page Designer by:
- Navigating to the page that you want to update and, in the Admin Toolbar, clicking Edit Page.
- Clicking the ellipsis icon for the page you want to update and then selecting Edit.
- Click to select the content item or widget that you want to hide.
- Click Properties in the right panel and check the Hide box.
The content of the content item or widget will be greyed out and the "not visible" eyeball icon will display.
TIP: If you want to show hidden content, uncheck the content item's or widget's Hide box.
Step 2 - Manage content on your sites
Your microsites will inherit most of their content from your main site, so it's beneficial to add and/or update the main site content that will be shared.
NOTE: Shared content is called syndicated content. To learn more, see Syndicated Content in Your Community.
EXAMPLE: You plan to create 24 microsites and you want each of them to include information about your organization (e.g., your strategic goals, your latest policy statement, and a message from your president); you want this information on each microsite's About Us page. Instead of creating and managing an About Us page for each microsite, update the page on your main site and then make sure that it's available for syndication.
Step 2a - Update content on your main site
To ensure content can be syndicated:
- Open your main site and navigate to a page that has content that you want to syndicate.
- Review the content, make any necessary updates, and save the changes.
TIP: Note the Navigation Title and Page Code Name under Properties. Doing so might help you more quickly locate the correct page when mapping syndicated content in a microsite.
NOTE: Remember, this content will be syndicated, so future updates will automatically propagate to your microsites; the content doesn't have to be "perfect" right now.
- In the Admin Toolbar, click Edit Page.
- If the Build tab on the right is active (orange bar), click Properties.
- Scroll down to the Syndication area and make sure that the Prevent this item from being syndicated to other pages/sites box is not checked. If it is checked, uncheck it.
- Save and publish your changes.
Step 2b - Add content to your model site
Open your model site:
- In the Admin Toolbar, click Edit Navigation.
- Click and drag the Add Page button (it is above the page hierarchy) to where you want to add the syndicated page and drop it into position. OR...
Click an existing page's ellipsis icon and choose Add to add New Page (Draft) at the bottom of that page's hierarchy; click and drag the new page to reposition it.
- Double-click New Page (Draft) to manage the page properties and content.
- In Page Designer > Properties, you:
- Can check the Visible in Navigation box to make the page visible,
- Must give the new page a unique name (Navigation Title) and a simple Page Code Name, and
- Can check the Super Admins Only box (in the Syndication section) to limit who can change the content.
- In Page Designer > Build:
- Click, drag, and drop a Syndicated Content content item from the Content palette to the empty content row.
- Double-click the Syndicated Content holder and in the dialog, use the dropdowns to select your main site (Syndicated from Site) and the page (Syndicated Page) that hosts the syndicated content.
NOTE: After making your selections, the Page Code Name displays as a link in the dialog. You can click it to open the page in a new tab to quickly confirm your selection and/or make changes.
- Click Save.
- Repeat these steps to add any other pages with syndicated content.
- Click Publish.
Return to the model site and verify that any pages you've added, and set as visible, display as expected.
NOTE: Remember, syndicated content is managed on the main site; it cannot be changed on the microsite. Any changes made on the main site will automatically propagate to the same page on the microsite.
Set up advertisements
On the Site Ads tab of the Site Options > Ads page, you can set up advertisements that are specific to each microsite. You can use the Cross-site Ads tab if there are ads on your main site that you want to also display on your microsites.
See Advertisements - Website Ads for information on how to set up advertisements.
Step 3 - Create & apply a microsite theme
We recommend creating at least one microsite-specific theme that you can apply to your microsites in order to differentiate them from your main site. This will prevent confusion as users navigate from your main site to a microsite.
The microsite-specific theme can be as simple as a few color tweaks or more complex if you prefer. The idea is to clearly distinguish your microsites from your main site.
To create a microsite theme in your model site:
- In the Admin Toolbar, click Site Options > Themes (right click for a new tab).
- Click Create New Theme (upper-right of the themes list).
- Give the new theme a name and click Create Theme.
- On the Theme Editor page, use the Color Picker to set dedicated colors for your microsites. OR...
For more advanced theme editing, choose either Import Theme CSS or Override CSS.
NOTE: See Create & Edit Themes for instructions on how to create a theme using any of these three methods. After creating your microsite theme, return here to apply the theme to the model.
Apply your theme
After you've created a theme, it is available in the list of themes.
NOTE: You can return to this page to manage (rename, edit, copy, delete, and edit the style sheet [advanced users only]) the theme.
Now you can apply your new theme to your microsite model so that your microsites inherit it.
To apply the microsite theme in your model site:
- In the Admin Toolbar, click Site Options > Themes (right click for a new tab).
- Click radio button to select your new theme; click Finish.
- On the Navigation page, click Site Setup and then on the Theme tab, confirm that your model site is using the theme.
Step 4 - Configure microsite admin permissions
Your microsites will have Site Admins to manage the day-to-day business of the site, so they'll have to have some permissions that allow them to perform their duties. However, you can restrict some of their permissions in order to retain control over some of the administrative functions.
In this step, you'll set permissions that control whether, and how much, Site Admins can change the layout and design aspects of the microsite.
NOTE: It's important to do this so that a Site Admin doesn't dramatically change the look of the microsite, taking it out of "alignment" with your main site and any other microsites you have. This preventive measure ensures continuity across all your sites.
EXAMPLES: Assume you have set a header logo that you want displaying in all of your microsites. In the Allow Images? section, toggle the Logo option to No in order to prevent it from being changed in a microsite by the Site Admin.
Or, if you don't want the Site Admin to change the microsite theme that you applied, toggle Enable Local Theme Options to No in the Allow Local Design? section.
To set admin permissions in your model site:
- In the Admin Toolbar, click Site Options > Site Setup (right click for a new tab).
- Click the Admin tab.
Use the information in the following table to set which features your Site Admins can manage in their microsite.
|Allow Layout Changes?||These options correlate to the settings on the Layout tab. Enable and disable these options to control whether they are available to Site Admins on that tab (see Set Up Your Site).|
|Lock Top-Level Navigation?||Toggle to No (recommended) to prevent Site Admins editing the site's top-level navigation. To learn more, see Lock Pages and Content.|
|Allow Local Design?||Toggle to No (recommended) to prevent Site Admins creating an unapproved theme; they are restricted to existing themes (i.e., those on the Site Setup > Theme page).
If Yes, you can disable the individual options (Import Theme CSS, Color Picker, and/or Override CSS). See Create & Edit Themes to learn about these options.
|Allow Images?||These options correlate to the settings on the Images tab. Enable and disable these options to control whether they are available to Site Admins on that tab (see Set Up Your Site).|
|Model Microsite?||Toggle to Yes to designate this microsite as the active microsite model.
NOTE: This option is disabled in the model site.
|Allow In-context Editing for HTML Content?||Toggle to Yes to allow Super and Site Admins to edit the HTML content items on any page in the site. HTML content items display small, semi-transparent edit buttons when Site Admins are logged in.
NOTE: This is one step of a 2-step process; see Enable In-Context Editing for HTML Content for more information.
NOTE: If you don't see this option, it might not be enabled in your account. Create a case and request that it be enabled.
Step 5 - Apply your model to a community type
Your model site is now configured with the theme, layout, and other settings that you want. When you apply it as the model for a Community Type, it will be the default "template" for all communities that you create, based on this Community Type.
To apply your model to a Community Type in your model site:
- In the Admin Toolbar, click Admin.
- Navigate to Community > Communities > Types.
- Select the Community Type that you want to apply your model to and click Edit.
- Scroll down to the Features area, check the Website box, and choose a site from the dropdown.
- Set or change any other configuration options and then scroll down and click Save.
Any communities that you create, based on this Community Type, have the ability to create a microsite; the microsite will be based on the selected model site.
NOTE: Checking the Website box amounts only to enabling the feature for communities based on this Community Type; it does not automatically activate it for those communities. You'll have to individually select the feature for any communities that you create (refer to Step 6 - Create a microsite, below).
TIP: To learn more about Community Type options and settings, see Community Types.
Step 6 - Create a microsite
Now that you've established your model for a Community Type, you're ready to create a microsite.
You've prepared a model with various settings and configurations, so the actual creation step is simply establishing a community's settings and enabling the Website option.
To create a microsite in your model site:
- In the Admin Toolbar, click Admin.
- Navigate to Community > Communities > List.
- Click the plus sign to the right of the page title.
- In the dialog:
- In the Type dropdown, select the Community Type that you edited in the previous section.
- Scroll down to the Features section and check the Website box.
- Configure any other settings you want for the community.
- Scroll down and click Save.
TIP: Review the list to verify that your new community has been added.
Step 7 - Assign Site Admins
Now that your microsite is set up, you can assign one or several Site Admins to manage some of the day-to-day operations of the site. Site Admins can manage page content and advertisements, as well as an organization's volunteer program.
- See Manage Site, Community, and Super Admins to learn more about Site Admin permissions and how to assign the permissions.
- If, in Step 4 - Configure microsite admin permissions, you chose to let your Site Admins manage the microsite's theme, layout, and images, refer them to Set Up Your Site for information on managing these, which should be one of their first tasks.
Site Admin privileges in Microsites
It's important to note that if a community is associated to a Microsite, the community's Community Admins automatically have Site Admin privileges also. In such cases:
- The Community Admins are not included in the Add/Edit list of the Site Admins column of the Pages > Sites > List page (as regular Site Admins are).
- The Community Admins will display Community, Site in the Admin Roles column of the Users > List page.
- Super Admins can enable and disable permissions (for additional control of these Site Admins) in Site Setup > Admin (tab).