Tag Archives: politics

An Inside Look: Victory Framework

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 Design

Pre-packed designs

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.

Color-match technology

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.

Layout

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.

The Features

Powerful Dashboard

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.

Custom widgets

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.

Pre-packed framework

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!

Media management

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.

Our conclusion

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.

5 WordPress Themes for Political Candidates

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).

campaign wordpress theme

Candidate

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

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.

Victory Framework

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.victory framework wordpress political theme

Win With WordPress

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.

win with wordpress political theme

Who’s Who @ Elegant Themes

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.

Whos Who Political WordPress Theme

 Politic @ ThemeForest

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.

Compositio @ Design Disease – FREE!

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.