Essential WordPress Plugins for a Political Website
More politicians than ever are turning to WordPress for websites they hope will help them grow a support base, and, hopefully, win an election. From local city council positions to the biggest congressional races, the extensibility of WordPress is making it all possible.
Essential Elements of a Political Website
You’ll notice several elements that pop up on every successful political website. These are the things which the public has come to expect a candidate to provide – the snippets of information we all look for when making decisions on who to vote for.
A successful candidate separates himself from the crowd by adding things like:
- Event information
- Volunteer opportunities
- Information about election day
Media is becoming increasingly popular on the web, and this holds doubly true for political candidates. When he was president, Obama and the White House website used a combination of private videos and YouTube, and other candidates have followed suit. As an example, President Trump and Twitter. It’s where he’s most vocal than any other platform.
To rally the troops it helps to publish upcoming campaign events on your website. It lets the public know where you will be and gives them a chance to meet the candidate in person – the best way to generate support and to get vote commitments.
There are thousands of event plugins for WordPress which give you the ability to do everything from creating custom events to displaying them in sidebars and on pages. The three event plugins listed below go a step further.
The Time.ly All in One Event Calendar is a premium calendar plugin that allows single and recurring events with color-coded categories (perfect for different campaign event types) and the ability to filter events on the front-end, a feature most other calendars don’t offer.
Every candidate for office needs volunteers, and the web is one of the most powerful ways to reach that potential support base.
Entering info to and accessing info from the WordPress database can be a chore for those new to WordPress, but the Participants Database plugin allows easy front-end and back-end database publishing.
The plugin can be set up to collect any type of information about the viewer, including voting and contact preferences, volunteer availability, even donation history.
What makes it even more powerful than using custom post types or metadata is the plugin’s built-in form builder which ties submitted information directly into the database for future retrieval and editing, which is one area where most other form plugins fall short.
Donations are the lifeblood of any successful political campaign. Luckily, our own form creating plugin, Forminator, can take donations via Stripe or PayPal and also get volunteer information. He’s our 5-star recommendation for campaigns.
Plus, Forminator is free to use and set up is extremely simple (as you can see here and in the video below). You can have your donation live in just a matter of minutes.
To learn more about donation pages, check out this article.
Politicians have known for years that people are more inclined to trust you if you are endorsed by someone who is respected. And the best way to show that trust is with public endorsements.
With WordPress, endorsements can be added to your website and displayed with testimonial widgets, and two plugins handle this perfectly.
The Testimonial Widget Plugin allows you to add testimonials from the front-end or the back of your WordPress website. It allows for the management of endorsements and a custom display in your sidebar or in posts or pages with the use of a shortcode.
With endorsements, any politician is bound to pick up steam and increase the potential for victory.
Information About Election Day
What would a politician’s website be if it didn’t include information about the election itself, and, in particular, a countdown telling people exactly how much time they have until election day?
The Uji Countdown plugin displays a visual countdown timer clock on your website, which can be configured to show days, hours, minutes, and seconds to your big day. It can be placed in a post or page, in the sidebar as a widget, or anywhere on the front-end via a shortcode.
This is a great plugin for use on a politician’s site instead of relying on social media for the latest updates.
The Results Are In…
As you can see we have several winners when it comes to setting up a political website with WordPress.
As for campaign speeches, debates, and Twitter posts, unfortunately, WordPress can’t do much for politicians to win an election with those.
May the best plugin win!