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Campaign Site Customization

This page lists the steps to set up a political campaign website using the boilerplate website, once the starter website has been loaded.

  • Bookmark this page in your browser (I suggest). Keep this page open while you work.
  • Go to your website. If you don’t see a dark toolbar at the top of this page, login to make it appear. The URL to login appears on your homepage (or it’s yourdomain/wp-login.php).
  • At the top right of your homepage, find a magnifying glass icon. Use this to search your site for TODO. This will give you a list of pages you need to open and edit. Click each link to open the page, then look for the Edit Page link on the dark toolbar to start editing the page. Follow the instructions on the page for editing the page contents.
  • Click Customize on the toolbar to make the following changes:
    • Click Header and then Change Logo. On this screen, you can enter the Site Title and Tagline. The tagline may be left blank.
    • At the bottom of this same screen, click Select site icon to choose a square image (512×512 pixels) to be used as a “thumbnail” for the website, e.g. in browser tabs.
    • Back up to the top level of the Customize menu and select Menus, then Main. Here you can drag to rearrange menu items, delete any you don’t want, and change their labels. If you want to add a new page with menu item, you can also do that from here, via the Add Items button.
    • Click the blue-pencil icon near the “Pro-Truth” right sidebar item to edit this part of the screen. Edit as needed, or remove the “widget group” containing these items if your candidate doesn’t choose to take the pledge.
    • Click the blue pencil near Follow section of the right sidebar. The “shortcode” beginning “Sassy_Follow_Icons” needs to be customized with your candidate’s social media profile URLs. The syntax for the shortcode is documented here.
    • Click blue Publish button to save your changes thus far.
  • If you’re happy with the overall layout of the site and don’t want to switch to a different theme at this time, do the following customizations:
    • On the Header > Change Logo screen, you may upload a small logo (200 x 50 pixels). Click the + sign just above “Site Title” to select or upload your icon image. Use PNG or WEBP image format to enable transparency with smooth edges (in care your icon is round, for instance).
    • Check out all the options on this screen. You can adjust them experimentally. One of them lets you control the position of the icon (if you added one) relative to the title and tagline. You can also turn off the title and tagline and display only the logo.
    • Please note: if you prefer you can hide the title, tagline, and icon altogether, and replace the header background with a graphic that has any text or logo already on it. Do this under Header > Header Top > Layout. This lets you upload a new graphic, control its opacity and height. This image is also the background for the menu, so a graphic that’s dark or complicated on the right side might make the menu unreadable. In that case, look below, where you can drag the Primary Menu and Search Icon header components to the second row of the header, where they’ll get a flat-colored background.
    • Publish your Customize changes.
    • Explore your options in Customize. Experiment. If you want to do other customizations, to fonts or spacing, colors, etcetera, go ahead. Publish periodically any changes you want to keep, or exit Customize if you’ve made changes that didn’t work out and haven’t yet been published.

Email Sending Setup

Your WordPress server needs to be able to send email. It sends out notices to you, the website manager, about:

  • Password resets you requested.
  • Broken links.
  • Comments requiring moderation.
  • Information someone fills in a contact form.

The server is already able to send email, but it’s a type of email that the recipient’s mail system is likely to flag as spam, so it might not get delivered. Since the recipient for all the above are you and your peeps, you might be able to get around this by fishing the email out of your spam folder and whitelisting the sender. However, if this is not straightforward with your mail vendor, you can configure your web server to send “real” email that’ll pass the smell test.

To do this, go to the Plugins screen of your dashboard. There are two plugins installed but not active, which you can use to hook your website to an email account of yours to use for sending. Decide which email account you would like to use.

If it’s a Microsoft email account (hosted on Outlook or MSN mail), activate the plugin Mail Integration for Office 365/Outlook. Any other email, activate WP Mail SMTP. Follow the plugin’s instructions to configure it to send email via your account.

Whichever email plugin you’re not using, delete.