Q: What Features Are Included?
A: We’re constantly adding on new features. This is not an exhaustive list, but as of July 2019, we include:
- Scores shown in points or percentages
- Color coded scoring. You define scoring ranges for each color.
- Color selection for headlines, name backgrounds, and hyperlinks
- Search for legislators by address or city
- Search for legislators by name
- Filtering by district, party, and chamber
- Current legislator contact info
- Voting record for each legislator with links to the most recent bills they’ve been active on
- Link to their full, public BillTrack50 profile
- Customize your default sorting by score, district, or alphabetical
- Comments section for each bill. Recommended to explain your stance.
- Ability to turn columns off/on in the Votes table on legislator pages.
- 2 optional text widgets in the sidebar where you can enter in your own copy and links. Recommended for promo content.
- 1 optional widget in the sidebar where you can pull in blog posts by category (for WordPress sites only)
- 1 optional widget used across all of the legislator detail pages where enter in your own copy and links. Recommended for promo content.
- Background image customization
Q: What Additional Features Are Planned?
August (2019) planned development iteration includes:
- Sponsor column on legislator pages
- Mobile improvements to legislator page tables
- Letter grade scores (A-F)
Send feature suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Q: Do You Have Examples of People Using This Plugin?
A: Definitely. We recommend looking at our case studies section for live examples of the plugin and to read how our scorecard has directly gained the attention of legislators.
Q: What Scoring Options Are Included
A: BillTrack50 has the capability to generate Vote Index or Total Scores. For either option, you can set color-coded ranges.
Vote Index scores are percentage based, so they will display as 0-100 in the scorecard.
Total Scores are the total number of points and can display as positive or negative scores in the scorecard.
Q: Can you display both state and federal scorecards?
A: Yes. We pull in whatever data you have added to your BillTrack50 scorecard. Contact us for federal scorecard pricing.
Q: Can I use this without a BillTrack50 account?
A: No. you must have a BillTrack50 account to use this plugin. It requires a BillTrack50 API key, which you can request directly from BillTrack50.
Q: Is this plugin only for WordPress websites?
A: Currently, yes. However, we can create a hosted WordPress microsite that houses the scorecard, if you’d like to use it. Also, we are actively working on integrating this into other platforms as well. If you would like to request a platform, please email us at email@example.com.
Q: What is the Membership Option
A: Turning on memberships in the plugin requires that your visitors be logged in with a WordPress account to view more than 3 legislators. This is optional and can be easily turned on/off in the plugin settings.
Q: How are you affiliated with BillTrack50?
A: While we get regular feedback and input from BillTrack50, we are separate entities. Please contact us for issues, support, or feature requests for this plugin.
Q: Who do we contact for support or feature requests?
A: Contact the plugin developers directly: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: WordPress Theme Requirements
A: Your theme must have a full-width template of 960px wide or wider to display this scorecard. If you don’t have one included, you could look at creating a child theme to add one.
Q: System Requirements
A: We recommend the same system requirements as WordPress: PHP v5.6+, MySQL v5.5+ and the latest version of WordPress.
Q: How do I install this plugin?
A: See our installation instructions.
Q: It’s the start of the new session and my legislators aren’t displaying.
A: Legislator votes determine which legislators your scorecard grades and includes. If you’ve changed your scorecard to a new session, no legislators will show because they haven’t made any votes yet. To solve this, contact BillTrack50 and have them add a dummy bill in your BillTrack50 scorecard with a vote for each legislator. Once you get House and Senate votes, you can remove this dummy bill.
Q: It’s the start of the new session and I only have votes for House members.
A: It likely means the bill has been voted on in the House, but not the Senate yet. You can view that bill’s current status in the detail section of the individual BillTrack50 bill.
Q: Some legislator headshots are missing.
A: For new legislators, their headshots will pull in once they have cast a vote that has been pulled into your scorecard.
Q: A legislator is no longer in office, but I still want to show them in my scorecard.
A: Log into BillTrack50 and go to your scorecard. Edit your scorecard’s settings via the ‘Manage’ tab to include out of office legislators in the scorecard.
Q: Some legislators are still missing after the above issues are resolved.
A: Please contact us at email@example.com. Include your website url, a WordPress administrator login, and the names of the missing legislators.
Contact our development team at firstname.lastname@example.org. We operate under our parent company of Revive Design Studios, based in Denver, Colorado and are in the office from 9am-5pm Monday-Friday.