Biden-Harris Transition Website Launches on WordPress

The Biden-Harris presidential transition team has launched a new Twitter account and a website powered by WordPress. BuildBackBetter.com is hosted by Automattic and is zippy fast, thanks to Jetpack, Cloudflare CDN, and a lot of other performance optimizations. It loads in 333 ms, performing just 19 requests.

The site was created by Ben Ostrower’s team at Wide Eye, an 11-year old agency based in Washington, D.C., and the same team behind Kamala Harris’ 2020 presidential campaign website. Their work on Harris’ site won recognition as a finalist in Fast Company’s 2020 Innovation by Design Awards in the Graphic Design category.

In anticipation of winning the election, the Biden-Harris Transition team uploaded the content for the website in October, based on the image URLs. It uses a custom theme called Transition. Peeping under the hood, it looks like the site is using the Ninja Forms plugin for the email signup and contact forms, as well as Google Tag Manager for analytics. The language switcher is powered by MultilingualPress.

Wide Eye paid particular attention to the multilingual and accessibility features of the site with beautifully implemented toggles for contrast and font size. The high contrast toggle (dark mode) creates an elegant and natural transition between modes, without compromising the quality of the design.

The transition site also has an official accessibility statement regarding the team’s commitment to working towards WCAG 2.1 AA standards compliance:

Our on-going accessibility effort works towards conforming to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) version 2.1, level AA criteria. These guidelines not only help make web content accessible to users with sensory, cognitive and mobility disabilities, but ultimately to all users, regardless of ability.

Visitors are encouraged to email accessibility@bidentransition.org with feedback on how to provide a better experience.

The Biden-Haris transition team is focused on building the necessary infrastructure for providing a smooth transfer of power from the current administration with a focus on critical matters, such as public health policy and national recovery plans. The website publishes updates on the leadership being assembled to tackle these challenges.

Both the current administration’s whitehouse.gov and JoeBiden.com are also running on WordPress. If the Biden-Harris transition website is any indication, the next edition of whitehouse.gov may also relaunch on WordPress.

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10 responses to “Biden-Harris Transition Website Launches on WordPress”

  1. Mark Haynes says:

    A fast and professional looking website. Done very well, the best! A good day for WordPress! Reflects the President-elect and the Vice President-elect perfectly. Glad!

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  2. Allie says:

    This website is fantastic. The team are really professional. Well done 🐼

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  3. Steve says:

    It’s not just Biden and Harris.

    WordPress powered dozens of candidates this year. All four Georgia candidates Senate. Both candidates in Iowa, Michigan, Arizona and more:https://publishpress.com/blog/wordpress-us-election/

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  4. will says:

    The agency did a great job of making it look not like a typical WordPress install; it’s accessible, and I find it aesthetically pleasing and functional.

    Although there’s no one size fits all experience for any page builder or editor,
    that even after 18 months after being made the default editing experience for WordPress, Gutenberg isn’t being used to build higher-profile websites like this, displays how far it still has to reach adoption by the greater community and to feature parity with php templates.

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    • Otto says:

      Parts of it do use the block editor. I grant you, it’s very customized, and thus very subtle. But if you look close enough, you can find it.

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    • David Artiss says:

      Hi Will.

      Although I can’t speak for this site, some of of the largest sites on the internet, that use WordPress, are using the block editor.

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  5. Mary Job says:

    Beautiful. Wow, a good one for WP.

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  6. No matter which side of the aisle you sit, it is SO COOL (on two levels) – that the President-Elect’s site was done in @WordPress AND in the footer is an Accessibility Statement. Many site builders don’t realize how important this declaration is onsite. Look’s like Joe Dolson’s WP Accessibilty plugin was used as well! Go #wordpress and #a11y!

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  7. Rodney B says:

    Performing just 19 requests?!?! Huzzah! An attainable goal for us all.

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  8. Another stunning gem that’s not in the WordPress Showcase (https://wordpress.org/showcase/). BTW, the Tavern is “on fire!”

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