Tis the season for bully pulpits, smear campaigns, cheesy ads and LOTS of comedy television.
You might not be the type that wants to clutter up their site with political stuff. I don’t blame you. Honestly, as you can see already, I put a banner on my site because… freedom of speech.
See below on the plugin I used and why I think it’s actually a great user experience overall.
With no further ado, let’s dig into some great free plugins that are great for all your political purposes.
WP Legisearch is a powerful tool that enables you to dynamically display the voting record of state legislatures. It’s powered by an API of the Sunlight Foundation — a nonpartisan, nonprofit who’s whole purpose is to help make government more transparent.
You use this plugin by adding the Bills that you want to track. Then, when your site visitors come to your site, you have a search field that allows them to see their local representatives and see exactly how they voted on those bills. Naturally, you’ll have to update your site as new bills get introduced, but the search feature of this plugin is really powerful.
This is a great tool for anyone running a political site that wants to give their users more information about their local representatives.
Find Your Reps
This is another tool that is useful for giving your visitors more information about their local representatives. Users simply enter their address and their local reps appear on the page with contact information.
This is a useful widget for those who create or want to support various petitions hosted on the MoveOne.org website. The plugin lets you both view and participate in the campaigns.
Show Your Support
This is a very generic tool that puts a text-based badge in the upper right of your website. You can put any text you want in there, making it very easy to support any candidate or cause you like.
This is useful for the blogger who wants to advocate for their candidate discretely and simply.
Heritage Action Scorecard
The Heritage Foundation rates candidates on how “conservative” they are. If you are an avid political blogger who mentions political candidates on your site regularly, this tool could be very useful for you.
It basically scans the content of your posts and whenever a candidate is mentioned, it adds an attractive tooltip popup which displays the candidates Heritage score and other details.
Naturally, this is really only valuable for the conservative bloggers, but the tool itself is very impressive. On the opposite side of the spectrum, the Brady Campaign might love to create something like this. The Brady Campaign rates politicians based on their support for stricter gun laws.
Make Donald Drumpf Again
If you haven’t seen John Oliver’s piece on “Donald Drumpf” you’ve really missed out. Love the Donald or hate him, this piece is hilarious.
The climax of Oliver’s piece reveals that Donald Trump’s real name is “Donald Drumpf” — which by itself is nothing all that funny, but in the context of his whole piece it’s hilarious. Plus they went full-boar and build donaldjdrumpf.com and sell paraphanelia and even made a Drumpfinator Chrome Extension.
Anyway… this plugin is an port of that Chrome Extension. It scans your content and dynamically replaces all mentions of Donald Trump with Donald Drumpf.
At the end of the day, this isn’t really useful for anyone doing a political site since accuracy in reporting is most often important — it’s still crazy fun and HAD to be mentioned.
You’ll see this plugin in action in the top-right of my screen here. This is for all those who are “Feeling the Bern”. There’s a couple things I really like about this plugin besides that it suits me politically.
- It looks nice and has a dozen different styles which are all very tasteful
- You can align left or right
- When you click on it, it gives you options for supporting Bernie
- When you click on it, you also have the option to dismiss it for this page, or the whole site.
That last option is really the nice touch. You see, I have my own political views, and I’m promoting them here. But if you want to enjoy my content without having to look at something you detest, click that “Hide badge for entire website” link and you don’t have to see it at all. Nice and considerate … just like Bernie (ok, I’m done).
If you know me, you know I couldn’t ignore the chance to promote Give. It’s quickly become the defacto donation plugin for WordPress and I couldn’t be more proud.
I don’t know all the in’s and out’s of collecting donations for political purposes, but I do know that I’ve provided support to several political causes using Give both in the U.S. and Canada.
If you are a volunteer for a political cause or candidate and running your site on WordPress, then Give is your go-to funding solution.
Show Me Your Sites!
If you run a political blog or cause website I’d love to see it and see creative ways that you are using free WordPress plugins or have developed something unique. Chime in the comments and share your knowledge with my readers. Thanks!