How-To

DefendsLiberty is a free service for creating powerful campaign web sites for Libertarian candidates — in about thirty minutes.

A Free Campaign Web-Site-in-a-Box

  • YourName.DefendsLiberty.com
  • A dozen customizable LP issue pages
  • A page to accept credit card donations
  • A guestbook for collecting/displaying endorsements
  • Components re-usable in any LP web site
  • Introduction to Libertarianism
  • RSS feeds of Libertarian news
  • Everything completely customizable via any browser
  • Zero cost, zero fees, zero hardware requirements, zero bandwidth limits
  • 300MB storage space, full versioning and backups

All You Need To Provide

  • the office you're running for (e.g. Congress - California district 14)
  • your name
  • your campaign photo
  • your campaign bio
  • you campaign email address
  • your campaign mailing address
  • optionally:
    • a domain name to use for your site (for which you have domain ownership)
    • name of your campaign's Yahoo Group (or other link for subscribing to campaign updates)
    • your phone number (and whether you want to receive text messages from voters)
    • your instant messenger ID (if you want to receive IMs from voters)
    • URL of your campaign's blog

What's Included

  • A free domain name: YourName.DefendsLiberty.com (or use/buy your own domain name)
  • A no-ads web site hosted for free on wikidot.com
    • Site content can be edited/customized in any browser using simple wiki syntax
    • Full versioning and easy downloads of backups means your data is safe
    • No bandwidth limits; free storage for up to 300MB of site data
    • Hyper-extensible via modules, multimedia plug-ins, and thousands of Google gadgets
    • Full candidate ownership of site, no strings attached
  • Themed banner logo with customizable text and full-window resizing
  • A full-featured customizable front page
    • Interactive Nolan Chart political quiz
    • Introduction to Libertarianism
    • A YouTube collection of libertarian videos
    • A Flickr slideshow of libertarian bumper stickers
    • A table of links to the 27 planks of the LP Platform
  • A customizable side bar
    • Your campaign photo
    • A national debt clock
    • A "What's New/Next" section
    • RSS feeds of popular Libertarian-related content
      • LP.org, Bob Barr, Cato, Reason, Third Party Watch
    • Social-networking site-promotion buttons
  • A menu bar offering links to
    • Candidate bio and blog
    • District information
    • Let visitors write their representatives or the media
    • Libertarian public policy resources
    • Political watchdog resources
    • Buy Libertarian merchandise
    • Join the LP or sign up for LP email updates
    • The World's Smallest Political Quiz
    • Bob Barr for President site
  • A full-site text search facility
  • An extensible set of customizable LP issue pages
  • A guestbook page for collecting/displaying endorsements
  • A comments page
  • Subscribe link for your campaign's Yahoo! Group or equivalent
  • Email a friend about the campaign
  • FEC-compliant footer disclaimer with configurable copyright and privacy policy
  • Paypal button to accept credit card donations (3% transaction fee, no setup or periodic fee, you don't even have to register with Paypal until you get your first donation)
    • Congressional races: there are no reporting requirements for campaigns that raise/spend less than $5000 and do so only via donations of <= $50 that never total more than $200 from a given contributor.
    • California: reporting requirements kick in for non-federal campaigns that raise or spend $1000 in a calendar year.
    • Donor Town Square offers a contribution collection/reporting solution with no setup fee and no periodic fee but a 6% transaction fee. CompleteCampaigns.com offers a similar deal with a 7.5% transaction fee.
  • ClustrMap and StatCounter of visitors to the DefendsLiberty network

What You Can Add

  • Customizable campaign business cards
  • Customizable campaign car magnets
  • Your own ClustrMap/StatCounter to track your own traffic
  • User forums
  • Per-page visitor comments

Features Being Considered

  • Questions for the candidate
  • Bulk emailing how-to
  • Online postcard how-to
  • Custom campaign merchandise
  • Calendaring e.g. Upcoming
  • Visitor polls

Creating A New Site

  • Register at wikidot.com
  • Go to Wikidot and claim billredpath.wikidot.com
    • Site name: Redpath For Senate
  • Create side panel
    • Go to http://brianholtz.defendsliberty.com/nav:side
    • At the bottom of the side panel, click "view source"
    • Copy all the source to the clipboard
    • Go to the front page of your wiki
    • On the bottom of the side panel, click "edit this panel"
    • At the bottom of the page, click "files"
    • At the bottom left of the page, click "upload new file"
    • Click "Browse" and select a jpeg campaign photo
    • Destination file name: CandidatePhoto.jpg
    • Upload file
    • On the bottom of the page, click "edit"
    • Replace all the source with the source in your clipboard
    • Near the top, edit the caption ("Brian, Melisse, …") to describe your campaign photo
    • Near the bottom, change "Holtz for Congress" to e.g. "Redpath for Senate" and "BrianHoltz.DefendsLiberty" to e.g. "BillRedpath.DefendsLiberty"
    • Save
    • The site will look a little bit broken until you install the custom theme two steps below. We create these two pages first because the custom theme hides from voters some site-editing tools that you can access from these first two pages.
  • Create the Site Administration page
    • Go to http://brianholtz.defendsliberty.com/site-administration
    • At the bottom of the side panel, click "view source"
    • Copy all the source to the clipboard
    • Go to the front page of your wiki
    • At the bottom of your side bar, Site Tools -> Site administration
    • Create page
    • Paste the clipboard source
    • Save
  • Install the DefendsLiberty custom theme
    • Site Manager -> Appearance -> Custom Themes -> Create a new theme
    • Theme name: DefendsLiberty
    • Theme to extend: Base (not Basic)
    • CSS code: paste all the code from http://defendsliberty.com/custom-theme
    • Save theme
    • Site Manager -> Appearance -> Themes
    • Choose a theme: DefendsLiberty
    • Save changes
  • Install the front page
    • Go to http://defendsliberty.com/quiz
    • At the bottom of the side panel, click "view source"
    • Copy all the source to the clipboard
    • Go to the front page of your wiki
    • At the bottom of your side bar, Page Tools -> edit
    • Replace all the source with the clipboard contents
    • Make title of page blank
    • Save
  • Install the menu bar
    • Go to http://brianholtz.defendsliberty.com/nav:top
    • At the bottom of the side panel, click "view source"
    • Copy all the source to the clipboard
    • Go to e.g. your wiki's nav:top
    • At the bottom of your side bar, Page Tools -> edit
    • Near the top, replace the blog URL with your own (or delete the menu item)
    • Update the "Our District" URL
    • Update the "My Opponent" URL
    • Update the "My Opponent's Donors" URL
    • Update (or remove) the "Candidate's Blog" URL
    • Update (or remove) the "Subscribe to Campaign Updates" URL
    • Save
  • Create the bio page
    • Click the candidate photo on your wiki
    • Click "create page"
    • Set the title to "Candidate Biography"
    • Add the photo by pasting: [[f<image /nav:side/CandidatePhoto.jpg width="200px" style="padding:5px"]]
    • Write a candidate bio
    • Save
  • Configure License
    • Go to your Side panel -> Site administration -> Site manager -> License
    • Choose the license: Other
    • Paste the custom license below
    • Save changes

This free Wikidot.com site is "paid" for by the candidate. Except where indicated, site content is by the candidate or by the Libertarian National Committee Inc. and is licensed under <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/">Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License</a>.

  • Create your Contact page
    • Communicate -> Contact the Campaign
    • Create page
    • Add your contact info
    • Save
  • Create Your Endorsements Database
    • Site Administration
    • create a new campaign
    • Title: Endorse This Campaign
    • Identifier: EndorseMe
    • Create
    • Deselect Address and Country
    • Save settings
  • Create your Endorsements page
    • Support -> Sign our Guest Book
    • Create page
    • Title: Endorse This Campaign
    • Paste the code below
    • Save

[[module SignPetition id="EndorseMe"]]
[[module PetitionList id="EndorseMe" limit="50"]]

  • Create your Donate page
    • Go to http://brianholtz.defendsliberty.com/donate
    • At the bottom of the side panel, click "view source"
    • Copy all the source to the clipboard
    • Go to the front page of your wiki
    • Support -> Donate to the Campaign
    • Create page
    • Paste the clipboard source
    • Customize where the URL says business=brian@holtz.org&item_name=Holtz%20for%20Congress
    • Customize the mailing address at the bottom
    • Save
  • Create Comments Page
    • Click on "Communicate -> Read or add to comments"
    • Create page
    • Paste the code below
    • Save

[[module Comments title="" hide="false"]]

  • Enable Comments
    • Site Administration -> Site Manager -> Forum & Discussion -> Permissions
    • Click both "Add new posts" and "Create new threads" under Anonymous (or Registered)
    • Save changes
  • Configure Custom Domain
    • First set the CNAME record for your custom domain to wikidot.com (or directly to 67.228.37.26)
    • Or, just ask gro.ztloh|nairb#gro.ztloh|nairb to do that for yourname.defendsliberty.com
    • After that change propogates (in 30 minutes or so), do this:
    • Site Manager -> Custom Domain
    • Custom domain: yourname.defendsliberty.com
    • Save changes

Customizing Your Site

Customizing Your Site Banner

Changing Your Photo

Customizing Issue Pages

Except where indicated, site content is by Brian Holtz or by the Libertarian National Committee Inc. and is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License.