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Old 05-14-2007, 09:49 AM   #1
dthomsen8
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Default Political Web Site Templates

Tomorrow is Primary Election Day in Pennsylvania, and that has me looking at existing political web sites, and now I am investigating political site templates. There seems to be a wide variety of such templates for sale, at widely varying prices and different kinds of complexity.

Rather than follow my examples, you might want to scroll down and answer my question at the end of this posting.

For example, http://www.wyomingwebdesign.com/file.../politics.html has templates at about $60 each, with and without Flash, a deal on some stock photos, and a deal whereby the candidate can buy exclusive rights to a design for $2,100. The same templates are available at many other vendors, where the prices and designs are identical with this example.

As another example, http://www.fpworld.com/why-choose-our-templates.htm wants $197 for their templates, and they claim that theirs are superior quality.

There is another example that I cannot find again just now, which wants $25 a month for the template plus hosting, and asks the user to fill in a lot of information for a form that creates the web site.

In all three of these instances, and others, I find lots of Flash intros and lots of JavaScript, but so far I have not found even one of these sites with a home page that validates at W3C to any standard at all.

Discouraging, because I started out looking into this as an alternative to creating a web site for a candidate from scratch, but maybe that is the best approach. I know that Dennis and others have done political web sites, and other forum members have helped me critique existing ones for me.

Perhaps someone will give me an encouraging word. I would like the site to validate at W3C, avoid Flash, videos and sound (KISS!), and allow plenty of room for content. Any suggestions?
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Old 05-14-2007, 11:28 AM   #2
Steve Rindsberg
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Not sure if there's anything specifically political, but there are lots of interesting designs here:

http://www.oswd.org/

   
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Old 05-14-2007, 03:26 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dthomsen8 View Post
Perhaps someone will give me an encouraging word. I would like the site to validate at W3C, avoid Flash, videos and sound (KISS!), and allow plenty of room for content. Any suggestions?
Just design & write it yourself.

Clients and users will not care if a site validates, has Flash or uses too much Ajax. If it sells the product (generates the votes) then it would be classed as a success.

   
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Old 05-15-2007, 01:41 AM   #4
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How about blogging software - I believe WordPress is very customisable. Very up-to-the-minute for your candidate! And he/she can then add some personal touches and messages very easily.
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Old 05-15-2007, 05:07 AM   #5
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How about blogging software - I believe WordPress is very customisable.
That would be an excellent choice. Certainly a CMS would be a good way to go, and most will have RSS feed scripts inbuilt - assuming the client is willing to take advantage of the benefits of regular content updates with fresh news.

   
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Old 05-15-2007, 06:34 AM   #6
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Getting the client commitment is the hard part of course! I spend a lot of time nagging on this very subject - with limited results.
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Old 05-15-2007, 06:38 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoisWakeman View Post
Getting the client commitment is the hard part of course! I spend a lot of time nagging on this very subject - with limited results.
It is difficult when they have little experience with these tools. You can explain until you’re blue in the face, but most clients just nod but don’t commit.

I was going to suggest WordPress myself. I have persuaded one or two people to work with it — I cross my fingers and tell them it is like writing an e-mail!

   
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