The Victory Framework for WordPress is a new political campaign platform built specifically for WordPress. And Pingable got an exclusive inside look at the powerful tool. On the surface, it is clean, professional and stylish. Inside, it is versatile and highly customizable. You may also enjoy our review of the best political WordPress themes.
The Victory Framework political WordPress package comes with three complete designs for your customizing pleasure. In the vein of omnipartisanship, you can choose from red, blue and white themes. Of course, these are completely customizable in a completely new way (see color-match technology). The themes are all professional and different enough to ensure the competition isn’t using the same design.
The best part of the pre-packed designs is that the framework is ready out of the box, with minutes of setup. Candidates can choose to use an image based logo, or enter text for instant customization.
One of the coolest features of Victory Framework is the color match system. Campaigns often choose color schemes very carefully to reflect their districts, beliefs, even the tone of their campaigns. The color match system lets the webmaster enter colors in the control panel which instantly customizes the design. Now that is a powerful feature.
The power of Victory Framework is not in a groundbreaking front-end layout or user interface, it’s in the ease of use and back-end features. Even well funded campaigns could use Victory Framework with a completely custom design, while taking advantage of the functional features.
The layout is clean and functional while reflective of the traditional campaign site layout. Content and media are prioritized (see media management) and lead/conversion is a close second. All three designs that come with Victory Framework have top navigation featuring dropdown menus.
Below the fold the layout mimics the WordPress powered blog we all know. This is where a traditional campaign website often falls short, communicating real information beyond position statements and tweets.
Victory Framework comes with a powerful dashboard that lets you customize Victory Framework in almost every conceivable way. This includes the design, slider, footer, blog options, featured news, announcements, events and even custom CSS and tracking codes.
The Victory Framework comes with some custom widgets that help the out-of-the-box readiness. They include a “Take Action” widget that inserts buttons with any links you choose. This is helpful for signing up users for events, donations, etc. The buttons direct to pages of your choosing. From there you can use any plugin you see fit to provide the actual feature. Our hope for a future version includes built in functionality for these things
Other custom widgets include social media sharing, Twitter and Facebook widgets to build a true community using Victory Framework as a hub. These can be infinitely expanded upon by leveraging the massive WordPress plugin repository or, our favorite, the Themeforest Plugin Marketplace.
Rather than filling the content structure from scratch, you are prompted to run a “quick setup” after installing Victory Framework. This quick setup fills in sample content, pages, posts, etc. so you can hit the ground running. Just don’t forget to update each piece of content lest people will know you’ve used a pre-set solution!
Victory Framework (all three pre-packaged designs) comes with a powerful media management feature. This includes an incorporated media slider with tons of customization options. You can select the width, slider engine, transition effect, transition speed and lots more. This is an indispensable tool for campaigns that need to showcase candidate faces and photo ops.
Overall, Victory Framework is the best solution we’ve seen short of completely custom systems. If you’re on a tight budget (read: every campaign except national) then Victory Framework can deliver all the features of the expensive solutions, in an easy to use format. All for less than $200. The features are there, the coding is clean and the designs are fresh. Here’s what we’d love to see in upcoming versions:
- More designs
- Integrated features like event management, donation management and constituent capture
When asked about their intentions with Victory Framework, the developers had this to say:
Our intention is to help local politicians be more effective online. This goes beyond just having a pretty looking- Victory will soon incorporate tools to manage all the data collected from these sites. Ultimately, we want campaigns to spend less time managing an online campaign and more time listening to and engaging with voters. In a way, our customers are really the voters themselves. We want to make it incredibly easy for you to know who your candidates are and what they stand for. And if you're up for it, to get involved. We believe that the more information and transparency a candidate offers, the better those candidates will serve the public. We aim to help those types of candidates get elected with our tools.
We think they hit the mark. You can check out Victory Framework here, including a full working demo download.