WordPress is a simple tool used by millions of webmasters. Did you know Google has a whole department dedicated to political adword accounts? We didn’t either until recently.
There are many political candidates using WordPress to manage their online presence. As the United States Presidential campaigns of Barack Obama and Howard Dean showed, the web is one of, if not the most important tool for political organizing.
Here are our picks for WordPress themes best suited for political applications. The criteria we used to evaluate themes were:
- Layout – political WordPress themes need to grab visitors’ attention quickly and convert visitors to action-takers.
- Design – political WordPress themes send a message about an individual candidate. They are not just a design, but a brand that must be sold.
- Function – themes should have lots of room for widgets and sidebar content.
- Integration – good political WordPress themes should integrate smoothly with social networking sites, social bookmarking, streaming media, Twitter and similar organizing tools.
- Customizable – no political candidate should use an out-of-the-box theme without customizing it to fit their campaign, their constituency and their message.
Update: Here are some new WordPress Political Themes for
2011 2012. Enjoy!
Update to the update: Since this post was originally written, there have been many more political WordPress themes developed. We just removed a couple outdated/no longer supported themes, and added some very cool new ones. Check them out below!
Campaign <– My new favorite!
Campaign is my new favorite because of the look and feel, and built in functions. This theme is fully translatable, and comes in 4 color schemes so it’s good for any political perspective. It comes with some cool jQuery powered hover effects and a neat slider. It also has support for multimedia including Vimeo. Like any good WordPress political theme, it has great styling for email capturing and event management. What’s more, the latest update makes this theme fully responsive so it looks good on all devices. An optional donate button can be set up with any payment gateway as well. The designers thought of everything, even the FEC elections disclaimer (for those in the United States).
Candidate was built as both a political campaign WordPress theme, but also a social issue/grassroots campaign theme. The designers claim to have experience building real political themes, and their design suggests they’re telling the truth. Although not as trendy a design as Campaign, this one is definitely a good choice.
Politico is a straight WordPress theme that you can customize to add features common on political websites such as donation widgets and signup forms. Lots of buyer feedback suggests folks are really happy with this theme. Also, this theme has a strong media slider which is important for political campaigns that need to showcase their candidate kissing babies and such.
The Victory Framework is essentially a theme, with tons of built-in features. It is an out-of-the-box website for political campaigns that only needs basic information to go live. Of course, any candidate would need to make it their own before launching officially. But it includes all the basic functions of a political website. This is one of two complete campaign packages.
This is also a highly-evolved WordPress Political Theme. It has built in features underneath a political design. It also boasts contact management features which is a plus for any campaign. Rather than signing people up for email lists, you can turn them into advocates and constituents.
Who’s Who is a clean, multi-level navigation theme with not a lot of options, but the right framework. If your campaign is purely informational, this theme will do great. It also has multiple color options so you don’t have to go blue.
This theme comes with 9 custom widgets and is one of the most professional political/campaign themes available without going completely custom. The theme supports 5 different post formats and audio/video. Here’s what’s extra cool: this political WordPress theme supports BuddyPress! This means you can easily build a community on your site with chat, forums, connections, messages and more. Politic has a custom skin for the Events and WP Email Capture plugins which are very helpful tools for political campaigns.
A cool blue theme with a design that never seems to get old. This isn’t a new theme, but it seems to always look stylish even as design trends change. I like the blocky design and clear, simple navigation. For a not-too-complex political WordPress site, this theme would be perfect.