Installation


First, try an Automatic install. If that doesn’t work, you can try manually installing.

Step 1: Automatic Plugin Installation (Best Option)

To add a WordPress Plugin using the built-in plugin installer:

    1. Go to Plugins > Add New.
    2. Click the Upload button
    3. The resulting installation screen will list the installation as successful or note any problems during the install.
    4. If successful, click Activate Plugin to activate it.
    5. Now follow the steps in Step 2: Customize the Plugin

Step 1 Alternative: Manual Plugin Installation

Use this option if your server does not permit automatic installation of a WordPress Plugin and you are familiar with FTP usage.

Backup your site completely before proceeding.

To install a WordPress Plugin manually:

  1. Download this WordPress Plugin to your desktop.
  2. Extract the zip archive Plugin folder to your desktop.
  3. Read through the “readme” file thoroughly to ensure you follow the installation instructions.
  4. With your FTP program, upload the Plugin folder to the wp-content/plugins folder in your WordPress directory online.
  5. Go to Plugins screen and find the newly uploaded Plugin in the list.
  6. Click Activate to activate it.
  7. Now follow the steps in Step 2: Customize the Plugin

Step 2: Customize the Plugin

  1. In WordPress, go to Settings > BillTrack50 Scorecard
  2. Customize the following fields:
    1. BT50 API Key: Paste in your Bill Track 50 API key and then click the Save button at the bottom of the page.
      1. If you do not have an API key, please contact Bill Track 50.
    2. Select a BillTrack50 Scorecard: This will default to the first plugin it finds in your Bill Track 50 account. You can select the field to change which scorecard is displayed. You need to go set up a scorecard on your Bill Track 50 account for this field to populate.
    3. Main Header Image: Upload an image that displays behind both the search for legislator by address field and behind individual legislators on their detail pages.
      1. If you prefer a different image to be used on the legislator pages, contact us and we will send you custom code to put in your theme.
    4. Scorecard Title: This is title of the landing page.
    5. Members Only Option: This is optional and is used to encourage membership to your site. If someone isn’t a member with a WordPress login, they can only see the first 3 legislators in the list. Once logged into WordPress, they can see everything.
    6. Scoring Method: Should be set to normal.
    7. Range Splits: Scores default to a red background if the score is below zero and green if it’s above zero. To change, this or add new colors, enter in a number and choose what Range Color you want for that range. (The range is considered in-between the high and low number you’re working with.)
    8. Scorecard Title and Subtitle Color: The color of the title and text on the landing page.
    9. Primary color: This color will be used as the background of legislator names on scorecards.
    10. Secondary color: This color displays as your links.
    11. Legislator Name Color (Legislator Page): The text color of the legislator names on their dedicated pages.
    12. Force HTTPS for image URLs: If you want image links to be https instead of http. Select this is your site uses SSL (https) or if you’re unable to get headshots to load.
    13. Enable Partial Loading of Legislators: Improves page speed by only loading some of them on page load.
    14. Main Subtitle Jumbotron: This is the paragraph text that displays under your page title.
    15. Scoring Info Sidebar: Displays in the sidebar. Is used to explain your values and scoring system.
    16. Display Recent Posts in Sidebar: This pulls in your recent WordPress blog posts into the sidebar. You can just check it to turn it on. Then you can multi-select to choose which categories you want to display. (On Windows, multi-select is done with Control + click. On Macs, it’s done with Command + click.)
    17. Default Legislator Sorting: Sets the order legislators are sorted in when a user first lands on the scorecard.
    18. Tables to Display: Allows you to show/hide the Vote and Bill tables on the dedicated legislator pages.
    19. Vote tables columns to display: Allows you to show/hide columns in the Vote table on the dedicated legislator pages.
    20. Display Promo Sidebar Section Title / Text fields: This enabled another heading and text editor for the sidebar. This is just if you want to add an addition section with text/links.
  3. Click Save again
  4. Paste the following shortcode into any page with a full-width template of 960px or wider and save that page. We do not recommend using a page template that includes a sidebar, because our plugin comes with a built-in sidebar.
    [bt50-scorecard]

Common Scorecard Questions

We provide solutions to the following questions in the Installation and Setup section of our Support page.

Q: The scorecard keeps showing a loading symbol and the fields in the WordPress admin are greyed out.

Q: It’s the start of the new session and my legislators aren’t displaying. 

Q: It’s the start of the new session and I only have votes for House members.

Q: Some legislator headshots are missing.

Q: All legislator headshots are missing.

Q: A legislator is no longer in office, but I still want to show them in my scorecard.

If you run into other issues or questions, please contact us at support@legislativescorecard.us or (720) 515-8498.

Common Plugin Issues

If you are having problems with a WordPress Plugin, see the WordPress.org Troubleshooting section.

Error: Unable to move plugin files

If WordPress gives an error related to being unable to move plugin files, you very likely have server permissions issues. See Changing File Permissions and Hardening WordPress for the official WordPress documentation on how permissions should be set.

Error: White Screen of Death

See Common WordPress Issues

If you experience a white screen of death after installing our plugin, please deactivate it, turn on WP_Debug in your wp-config.php file, and refresh your page. Then, contact us or email us at support@legislativescorecard.us with the error you receive.

In that case, until we are able to get back to you, we’d recommend deactivating our plugin. If you are unable to access the WordPress administration screen, you can deactivate the plugin manually.