Have you already built your political website, or are just launching your campaign? No matter what, it can be hard to know how much you should pay.
Don’t let yourself get ripped off and pay too much for a website that won’t win a single vote.
To win your race, you need to spend your money wisely – that starts with your website. Determining how much a website should cost can be tough, and depends on a lot of factors.
How much does a political website cost?
The cost of a campaign website can range dramatically, from a few hundred dollars to thousands. Some of the biggest campaigns can end up spending tens of thousands of dollars on a custom website to meet their specific needs.
There are several options for your website, which impacts the price greatly:
DIY Website builders – Platforms like Ryvall, Squarespace and Wix, will let your campaign build a website yourself for just a couple hundred dollars a year.
Custom Website Designers – If you find a design firm or digital agency, they will often charge thousands of dollars for a custom website, depending on how complex you want it to be.
Do you need a custom website?
The biggest way people overpay for a website is by getting a custom site that they don’t need.
More expensive websites often come with complex features like event calendars and news sections, in addition to custom layouts.
The truth is that you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Most local races, and many larger state races don’t need to shell out the extra money for these features. You can run a great winning campaign with just a few simple pages.
Writing a great biography, highlighting key issues, and providing a method to donate and contact the campaign should be all you need.
Here’s a good rule of thumb: Unless you have the money to hire a staff member to keep your site up to date, you probably won’t be able to keep a blog and calendar current. If you can’t take advantage of all the features, you should skip the extra cost.
If you’re running for city council or another local office, you probably shouldn’t spend thousands on a custom website.
No one can tell you how to spend your money. However, for many sheriffs, county commissioners, or city councilors, spending thousands on a website is the wrong choice.
In these races, many people don’t pay close attention, and even the most expensive websites would be lucky to have a few hundred visits per month.
Saving a few thousand dollars on a website can mean more money for voter contact through mail, phone calls, and ads. Spent right, that money may reach more people than if you spent it upgrading your website.
We aren’t saying skip the website. It’s a vital part of a professional campaign. But a more expensive website isn’t always better, and it doesn’t translate to more votes.
Usually the cost of your website should be less than 5% of your campaign budget.
Every campaign will decide to allocate their resources differently. As a good benchmark, you probably shouldn’t pay more than 5% of your total budget on a website.
Most people don’t find your website by accident. They’re sent there because they see a yard sign, mailer, or advertisement. There’s no point in spending a large chunk of your campaign budget on a website, if you can’t get people to see it.
If you’re running in a very small race, this may be more, since a website may be one of your only expenses. Conversely, if you are running a very expensive campaign, your website should probably cost significantly less.
Your website should help your campaign, not drag you down.
Too often, campaigns are overwhelmed by complicated websites, and can waste valuable time learning new tools and trying to get their site to work. Spending too much time fiddling with complicated updates can keep you from spending time winning over voters.
Worse, overspending on your website can keep you from spending your money on things that matter like yard signs, mailers, ads and voter outreach.
Your website can help your campaign win. It can help collect donations, inform voters, and help get people involved. It shouldn’t take ages to get that set up.
Whether you pay a designer, or use Ryvall’s campaign website builder to do it yourself for a fraction of the cost, your campaign needs a professional website.