Here are two resources to consider for building your website:
In Support Solutions –can build or you can pay for consulting time and build your own website:
Joyce and Janis Swanson will build your website, set up hosting and take care of maintenance for the duration of the election:
What To Keep In Mind When Building a Campaign Website
You will want your campaign website to be ready to go “live” after August 17th. Making your website public before that time will enable your opponents (especially the Teacher’s Union) to gather your talking points and then counter your message.
To be positioned to launch your website in late August, you will need to take the following steps:
Step 1: Gather the assets you need to populate your website:
- Get a professional photo (digital) of yourself done by a professional photographer (like at one of the mall-based photo studios). It should be done against a plain background. This photo will also be needed to upload to various sites that invite you to share your information (such as the League of Women’s Voters).
- Have other photos taken of you interacting with the community (phone camera is fine). These could be photos of you talking with parents or attending a school board meeting.
- Gather endorsements from members of the community. ALSO, don’t neglect collecting the names (with permission) from 500+ people in the community to list on your website.
- Do a 30 second video introducing yourself and why you are running for school board.
- When you turn in your nomination papers you will need to raise your hand and swear allegiance to the US Constitution and the California Constitution. Have someone take a video!
Step 2: Draft the copy for your website and have others review it. You will need copy for these pages:
- HOME PAGE. This needs your two sentence HOOK that will engage voters.
- ISSUES PAGE: This is where voter’s will find the three to five talking points and an explanation (1 paragraph) of each.
- ABOUT PAGE: This is your bio. Why are you the best qualified candidate for school board.
- ENDORSEMENTS: This is the page where you will put the list of the 500 people that support you along with quotes from others that endorse you.
- CONTACT PAGE: Tell voters how they can help you. Put up a yard sign. Hold a meet and greet.
Step 3: Set up functionality for website:
- Purchase a Domain Name. You can go to a site like GoDaddy. Get a .com name rather than .org, or info. A domain name is about $15.00 for a year. Some web building apps include the cost of a domain name. Example of domain name: com
- Set Up Campaign Email Address. You can do this with Gmail OR, many hosting providers include a couple of email boxes, or the ability to create aliases. (Ask Jan)
- Fundraising platform/app. See above: Set Up Online Political Fundraising Application. The link provided by the fundraising app will be linked to the DONATE button which should be on EVERY PAGE of your website.
- Set Up Application to Collect Email Addresses and Send Campaign Emails. Recommend that you consider Constant Contact. https://www.constantcontact.com/pricing For $10 a month you will be able to have a sign up box on your website to gather email addresses as well as host polls and a lot more. For $10 you can have up to 500 subscribers and send unlimited email (500 for a 3 month campaign is a LOT!) Mail Chimp is another provider but will likely cost you more in the long run. Constant Contact servers are “white listed” which means that there is a greater likelihood your emails will get through. Mail Chimp servers are NOT White Listed which means that emails may be blocked by some providers.
- Pick a Website Hosting Company. Some vendors providing websites include a hosting services and others will build a website and upload it to any hosting provider that you prefer. Keep in mind that your domain name will need to be “pointed” to where your website is hosted.
Step 4: Build a PROFESSIONAL LOOKING website or find someone to build a website.
- Some website building tools like Squarespace https://www.squarespace.com/ provide the ability to build and host a website (and even purchase your domain name). SVARW hosted a zoom program demonstrating Squarespace: https://rumble.com/v13o877-school-board-campaign-website-design.html. Squarespace may require you to purchase one-year of hosting when you only need 3 or 4 months.