The election is over. As a candidate, you’ve either won or lost. All the advertising has ended, the final bills are paid, and the signage comes down. But don’t forget the campaign website – it’s still out there! Here are some ideas for dealing with your website after Election Day.
Update the site!
No matter what you do, you should post a final election update to your site as soon as possible. Won or lost, you home page should acknowledge the results. Thank your friends and supporters for their help – they deserve it.
If you have a domain name that is year based (electsmith2010.com), you should keep the website up for a few months, or until the end of your hosting period. You site may still get traffic from those interested in the outcome of the election or what is happening with the candidate. With a date-based name, odds are you won’t use that same name/website again. If you have a name that is position or name based (smithforsupervisor.com or joesmith.com), consider the long-term benefits of keeping the site active until the next campaign vs shutting the site down completely.
Keep the campaign alive
To keep volunteers and fundraisers available and in the loop, elected officials and PACs should never truly shut down their campaign organizations. You may want to shut down certain pages or sections of the campaign website, but continue to run the site with relevant news and event updates. In other words, keep the interest alive until the next campaign!
Convert to a personal site
If you are done with politics altogether, your website can always be redesigned and re-purposed for another use. If you run a business in your name, you can either switch the entire site over or point the domain to another site.
If you like the Online Candidate content management system, we offer a business version of our CMS. A new look can equal a new site! Visit ProfessionalSiteBuilder.com for details.
Redirect your domain name
Instead of having the domain name point to your campaign website, you can have the name point to another website or web page. Depending on the elected position, your newly-won office may already have an official web page waiting for you. Use the traffic that would have gone to your old website and send it there.
Shut down the site for the next election cycle
For many OnlineCandidate.com clients, this seems to be the most common – and unfortunate – end to their websites. When the hosting period ends, they simply stop the hosting and let the domain name lapse.
There are a few downsides to completely shutting down a campaign website and letting the domain name go:
- Someone else can pick up the domain name, and you’ll probably have a tough time getting it back.
- You’ll have no control over a new website that someone creates with your lapsed domain name.
- All the links that you built up over the last campaign will now go nowhere. There’s no guarantee that those links will still exist the next time you revive your website (assuming that you have not let your domain name lapse in the meantime).
Even if a client wants to completely shut everything down, we suggest that they at least keep the domain name active – especially if the domain name matches the candidate’s name. Keeping a domain name registered is a nominal cost, and it keeps the name in your possession.
For Online Candidate customers who indicate that they want to shut everything down, we offer to back up their website for them. If they decide to start again, they are only charged the annual hosting fee rather than the full design amount to get the site restarted again. It’s our way of saying thanks for your continued support!
Looking to get started on your campaign web presence but don’t want to spend a fortune? Get a great website at a great price! Check out our list of built-in website features.
By Shane Daley