If you are building a web application product, you might be tempted to host your marketing site within your app. This might work OK initially, but over time you will likely run into some of the issues mentioned below.
Separate your marketing and app sites because…
- Your home page/marketing site and web application serve two different purposes. Your home page is there to help people discover and purchase your product. Your web app is the product.
- Initially, you may manage both, but eventually you’ll someone to help. It will be easier for a marketing pro to work on your WordPress site.
- It will become more challenging to separate the two if you don’t do it early on.
- Your marketing site and web application will likely be better off on two different technology “stacks.” Your marketing site will likely be less interactive and can be hosted using off-the-shelf technologies and services such as WordPress, Webflow, Squarespace, or Wix. Your web application will likely require custom development that should be managed separately.
- The two will require different backup strategies. You will probably depend on a code repository to back up your web application’s code (I.e., GitHub). For your marketing site, you will want to back up the content, so if you are using WordPress, a plugin like UpdraftPlus makes more sense.
- Different search engine optimization strategies: Marketing sites should be search engine friendly for SEO with a permissive robots.txt file. Dynamic web applications are rarely search engine friendly, and you usually will want to opt out of indexing.
- If your marketing site goes down, you want to avoid bringing down your web application and vice-versa.
- Your marketing and engineering teams can move faster because they won’t be stepping on each other’s toes.
- You may eventually set up a continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD) pipeline for your web application. A CI/CD solution isn’t necessary for a marketing site because only the content needs to be managed.
How to setup separate marketing and web app sites
Here’s a common pattern companies use to set up their separate marketing and web app sites. Let’s say you own the “example.com” domain. Instead of hosting your app on example.com, make it your marketing/home page. Use the app.examples.com subdomain to host your web application. Add a link in the upper right-hand page of your marketing site that says “Sign-in,” which links the user to the login page of your web application on app.example.com.
Existing customers can easily see where to sign in to your web app product, and prospects can easily find your brand and product information. By the way, WordPress is an excellent option for your marketing site. If you follow my tutorial, you can get it up and running in less than an hour.
Please comment below if you find this helpful or have a better strategy to manage your marketing and web application sites. Thanks! -Mark