Frequently Asked Questions
Start your digital campaign with Online Candidate.
We provide everything you need to create, launch and manage your campaign website.
- Simple – Get started quickly. Be online in minutes.
- Inexpensive – Monthly option as low as $29 per month. Custom design as low as $399.
- Professional – We design and build your site within days or you can do it yourself.
- Built-in tools, free resources, and additional services to grow your online campaign.
Here are some frequently asked questions from potential clients…
If I am running for local office, should I have a campaign website?
Definitely, because voters will look for you online.
Whether you are running for US Senate, Town Supervisor or the local school board, a website can be an essential component in your campaign.
A campaign websites gives you more freedom to get your message across than other delivery methods. A candidate isn’t limited by the size of a brochure size or the time of a radio ad. It costs far less to raise one campaign dollar from your website than through direct mail, telemarketing or prospecting lists. A website can be used to invite feedback, recruit volunteers, solicit contributions and share media ads and news reports as they happen.
A custom-built website can cost thousands of dollars, and each update can become an additional expense. On the other hand, having an amateur build your site can end in a less than desirable result.
Online Candidate provides a professional-looking, full-featured websites that candidates or campaign staff members can easily create or update without the assistance of programming talent.
We have four different website options: Our Lite Website Package and Monthly Option are designed for smaller campaigns with limited budgets. The Regular Package includes custom template design, while the Enhanced Website Package includes a custom design plus initial content setup.
See for yourself how each package works. Try our online Demo or view the full feature list
Why use Online Candidate rather than local web developer create my website?
There are many solutions to get a website built, but it’s hard enough to run a political campaign without learning the ins and out of web development. You need a campaign website that performs well, is reliable, and is optimized to convert your visitors into voters. With Online Candidate, you start with a fully-functional website with default pages and built-in tools.
Our system is specifically designed for political campaigns. A local web developer may not have experience with political websites and will almost certainly charge you more. A volunteer may lack the skills to do the job and may disappear when you need them most.
Thing move fast on the election trail, and you’ll need to be able to make site updates without waiting for an expensive developer to make changes for you. With the Online Candidate website builder, you are in control.
Are Carol and Shane real people?
Yes, we are! It’s funny how many people are actually surprised when one of us answers the phone by name.
How long have you been creating campaign websites?
After that, we had the idea of using our web skills to help other local candidates. Most local campaigns don’t have a lot of money, so Online Candidate was envisioned as a turnkey solution to allow campaigns to create and update their own sites.
Do you work with Democrats or Republicans exclusively?
Would you do a website for my opponent?
We cannot guarantee that an opponent will not order a website through us. It has happened a few times. We do not solicit the opposition of our clients, but at the same time, that does not stop anyone from finding or ordering from us
I am a political consultant or marketing service. What can you do for me?
If you are interested in having us provide your candidate’s website platform, please see our personal consulting page. We look forward to working with you
What about foreign (Non US) websites?
If you are looking to register a country-specific domain name, you will need to register the domain name through a registrar of your choice and point the name servers to ours.
Can I use my own domain name?
If your domain name is not already registered: You can register your own domain when you set up your website. We include one free .com or .org domain with each package. Specialty domain extensions such as .republican, .democrat and .voting are also available.
For more information about choosing a good domain name, read Should Your Campaign Register A Dot Com, Dot Org Or Both?.
Can I get design files if I want to have print materials made from my site design?
Yes! If you have a Regular Package, Enhanced Package or a custom design upgrade, we can send you high-res files for use in your campaign print materials. Just send us a support ticket with the request
What is the content management system (CMS) based on?
Check out the Demo Section to get a feel for how the platform works.
Big Question - What are the campaign website packages?
Our Lite Website Package and Monthly Option is perfect for candidates on a budget. This package includes a content management system and built-in tools. For the design, select from a wide selection of header images, color styles, and font types to create a unique look. From there, add your site content and go live. It’s easily upgradable to a custom design so you can grow your site with your campaign.
Our Regular Campaign Website Package includes a custom design that reflects your campaign. We create a website header with your campaign colors, logo, background and candidate head shot. We also modify colors, font and background to create a consistent look.
The Enhanced Campaign Website Package features the custom design aspect of the Regular website package, but also includes the setup of your initial site content. We’ll arrange your site text and images for a pleasing design and optimize your content for search engines. After that, it’s all in your control.
All campaign website packages include exclusive free access to OnlineCandidateResources.com.
What is the Monthly Option?
The Monthly Option is for clients that prefer a month-to-month solution. The Monthly Option includes the full online candidate website CMS and tools. It is similar to the Lite Website Package in that you can select from a wide selection of header images, color styles, and font types to create a unique look. From there, add your site content and go live! It’s easily upgradable to a custom design so you can grow your site with your campaign.
It is billable monthly until you cancel online through your client account.
To compare your options, check out our Package Comparison Matrix.
What is included in my site when I order?
After your order is processed, you will receive an email with instructions on how to create your website admin account and additional notes.
Once you create your admin account, you will be able to log in to the site. You will find that your site already comes pre-installed with the following content pages and tools:
- Home page
- About the Candidate page
- News / blog section
- Events page
- Issues page
- Endorsement page with form
- Voter Information page
- Volunteer page with signup form
- Contact page with form
- Donation page
- Default or custom Under Construction page
Add and edit your content whenever you want. You can add text, photos, graphics, videos and more.
Built in tools includes a countdown widget, social media post integration, customizable forms, image galleries, landing page generator, popup creator and more.
If you are creating your own site, you will have access to template options for header graphics, logo upload, site colors, fonts and header layout options. If you already have campaign colors and design, you can easily match the website to your look.
Each section in your Site Administration contains help sections along with links to our Knowledgebase that contains step-by-step instructions. We’ve worked to me the system as simple while flexible as possible. If you run into any trouble, submit a ticket through the yellow support tab.
Finally, you’ll have access to articles, tools, letter generators, resources and graphic templates through OnlineCandidateResources.com. You’ll find login information in your Site Administration.
How quickly can my website be built?
Short answer: It depends.
If you are using the builder yourself (Monthly Option or Lite Package), you should be able to put together a site within a few hours. It helps to have your photographs and copy already written. It’s a LOT faster to copy and paste copy from a text file and format it in the builder than to type directly into the builder window.
If you ordered a Custom package or a site setup upgrade for your Monthly or Lite site, turnaround time is 3-4 business days from the time we receive all your material. A little organization on your part makes the process go much smoother.
Need a site yesterday? Reach out and we’ll see what we can do to bump you ahead a bit.
What online fundraising options are available?
Online Candidate can easily integrate with Raise The Money, Anedot, ActBlue and most any fundraising service. You can also link to outside sites or embed content or widgets from any other sources. Our clients have used a number of online donation services over the years.
Read: Comparing Political Donation Platforms – Our Recommendations
What other products/services do you provide?
We provide a number of additional products and services to help your campaign.
Our Download Store has ebooks and templates for political campaigns.
Additional Addon Services to build your online campaign include: Site Launch, Social Media Setup, MailChimp Setup, IP Targeting services, and Personal Consulting. Learn more.
Template-based websites can also be upgraded to a custom design.
What is the 'Website Launch Package'?
- Google account setup: We will create Google account and install Google Analytics on your site so you can monitor your site traffic and see where your visitors are coming from. Setting up your Google Webmaster account will allow us to submit your website’s sitemap and ensure your new and future pages are quickly indexed.
- Website review: Your site can’t rank well if it isn’t optimized. We’ll check your site for basic SEO to make sure the site is search engine friendly.
- OnlineCandidateLinks.com profile: We’ll create and optimize your candidate profile on our onlinecandidatelinks.com directory. Your listing will help tie together your website and social media profiles while providing an additional place to control your message.
- Site launch press release: You provide some basic information, and we’ll draft a press release announcing the launch of your website. Once it’s approved, we’ll post the release to a press release syndication site.
- Initial bookmarking: Links are the currency of the web. To kick off your initial links, we will bookmark your website, press release, OCL profile, and your existing social media accounts to a number of bookmarking websites. This will ensure that your content is indexed by the major search engines.
See the full list of Addon Options.
What is the 'Content Setup Option'?
Do you provide SSL Certificates?
Yes! SSL is provided FREE for all Online Candidate hosting clients. This means that your campaign website will be available at a secure HTTPS address. This provides a higher level of confidentiality and privacy. It also helps ensures that “hackers” can’t snoop or intercept user data. HTTPS is critical for ecommerce websites, but it’s also important for any site requesting user data.
How much does an Online Candidate website package cost?
The price depends on your package, but all prices are inclusive. Your website order includes domain setup, configuration of the CMS and hosting. Regular and Enhanced website packages include header/template modifications. See our features page for a fill list of features.
Additional website services and products are also available.
Are there any hidden fees or recurring costs?
What payment options to you accept?
What are your refund policies?
We strive for client satisfaction. We encourage you to check out the Administration Demo to see if the system is right for you.
For the Monthly Website Option and Lite Website Packages, you MUST cancel through the Client Portal. Instructions on how to cancel are located in your site admin dashboard. If a package is cancelled within one week, you will be refunded minus domain registration costs. While a domain name IS included with a package, we do incur charges by the registrar. Therefore, domain costs are not refundable (currently $25 + Domain Privacy, if ordered). You still own the domain name and may transfer it or point it elsewhere if you choose.
For packages that include custom design, site setup or addons, we only provide partial refunds on what work has not been completed.
Hosting is included with the website packages. It is not severable, so we do not provide pro rata discounts.
I don't need hosting for the entire period. Do you discount for shorter hosting times?
For the Lite, Regular and Enhanced Website Packages, the hosting time is included with the package. It is not severable, so we do not provide pro rata discounts. The additional hosting time is beneficial in that it gives you more time to ramp up your online campaign. The earlier a website is launched, the more effective it can be.
If you are looking for a short-term solution, consider the Monthly Option.
How can I upgrade my website package?
On the Dashboard of the Lite and Monthly site administration is a link to the Client Portal where you upgrade to a Custom Design, Content Setup or to extend your hosting. Upon order, you will be emailed instructions.
Custom designs are typically completed within a few business days. You’ll want to have a candidate photo ready ahead of time.
How do I cancel my website?
You can cancel your website either by clicking the Client Portal Login button or Cancel Account link in your website admin dashboard, under the Support tab in the admin navigation, or by accessing the client portal.
Do NOT email cancellation requests!
I've ordered...now what?
When you order your website package, your domain name and hosting are automatically set up for you. Check your email for a special link to create your primary user account. Once that is done, you can log in and start setting up your website.
How does the Custom Design process work?
Short on time? Choose our Enhanced Website Package, where we set up your content for you. Text and image information must be provided in electronic form. The site setup is performed once with the materials provided. After that, it’s all in your control. (The Content Setup addon can also be added to other site packages during or after your order.)
The website packages are upgradable. For example, with a Lite Package, you can easily upgrade to a custom design and 6 months additional hosting without losing any of your existing content. The price? Only the difference between the packages.
Monthly Option clients can also order a Custom Design or Site Setup addon at any time.
Which package is best for you? Find out here.
How soon can my Custom Design website be set up?
You can start working on your site as soon as you order and create your user account. For sites with custom design or content setup, allow 3-4 business days from the time we get your materials.
In a time crunch? Contact us.
What do Online Candidate sites look like?
Our custom designs include logo design, your choice of colors and a header image. The page template header, colors and page fonts can be edited to create a unique look. The headers can be tall or short, we can add backgrounds or match any campaign color scheme. We’ve designed hundreds of sites for all types of candidates, organizations and races.
For non-custom websites, you can choose between dozens of header backgrounds and color schemes. You can also edit your site fonts, width and various header options to create a unique look. Have your own header design? You can upload and use it if you want. A number of Canva header templates are available for your to customize through the free graphic design platform.
You can our work in our Client Website Design Gallery. See something you like? We can match it!
What support do you provide?
Your Online Candidate administration contains on-screen instructions as well as links to our extensive Knowledge Base. Should you have questions on how to use the system, or any other question, feel free to sent a ticket directly through your site administration.
Some of our competitors only do support by email. Tickets are best, but if you are really stuck on something, give us a call.
We always welcome feedback or suggestions for our product.