How to put together a great political campaign website
July 26, 2007 8:27 AM   Subscribe

Help me put together a great political campaign website. What does a great campaign website even look like?

I've been roped into redoing my friend's website for his upcoming campaign. Unfortunately, I'm in a bit over my head and hope that the AskMefi community might have some suggestions on putting together a solid site. Pertinent tutorials, links to your favorite campaign sites, general design suggestions, etc...

I'm a decent designer and have all of the standard issue software including the new CS3 suite.

In particular I'm having trouble designing a powerful banner graphic while trying to avoid the usual American flag & screaming eagle political motifs (bleh!).
posted by willie11 to Technology (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: For the last campaign website I was into doing, I used a rotating series of pictures of recognizable landmarks in the riding as a banner, with the rather generic campaign logo much smaller and less prominent, in the top right corner.

Also, this is probably assumed, but you are installing a CMS, right? You don't want to be the guy who has to update the site every day too.
posted by ewiar at 8:57 AM on July 26, 2007

Best answer: you are installing a CMS, right? You don't want to be the guy who has to update the site every day too.

Oh god yes. I'd like to have free time in my life so, yes I will be using a CMS. I was thinking about Adobe Contribute just because it is familiar to anyone who's used MS Office products before.
posted by willie11 at 9:10 AM on July 26, 2007

Best answer: Have you thought about a web-based CMS, so whomever has access can make changes from home or on the road (if the campaign covers enough territory to necessitate road trips...)?

I used Mambo on the one I referred to above, and it worked very well.
posted by ewiar at 9:20 AM on July 26, 2007

Some campaign website features I'd like to see:

- a template incorporating colors other than red, white, and blue
- a link to previous legislation - through an official website - sponsored/written by the candidate if they've already held legislative office
- a way to put in my address/ZIP code and find out when the candidate will be in my area next (Google Maps integration?)
- news from actual news organizations, not just campaign press releases, with audio and video in easily-accessible formats of interviews and debates

Regardless of your candidate's political views, I'd look at the Barack Obama website - it's got a lot of the features I mentioned above, it's easy enough to navigate, the front page itself isn't long,
posted by mdonley at 9:22 AM on July 26, 2007

...and it's accessible to people who might be outside the traditionally targeted political audience, with "en espaƱol" and "register to vote" links.
posted by mdonley at 9:25 AM on July 26, 2007

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