How to set up a new government campaign website
A campaign is a planned sequence of communications and interactions that uses a compelling narrative over time to deliver a defined and measurable outcome.
Government communicators may require a website to support a campaign. This guidance explains, if you can demonstrate the need for a campaign website, how to set one up using either:
Timings: Please ensure you have allowed at least 4 weeks from the time you submit your application to your site being built if approved. If your campaign has Professional Assurance approval, submit your application straight away.
The government’s Campaign Platform offers communicators the opportunity to create secure, easy to build one-page campaign websites that are low or no cost.
Some good examples of the look and feel are:
A site on the Campaign Platform must be:
Websites that don’t meet the above criteria or that host a transactional element (e.g. where people use a government service) need to go through the Cabinet Office exemptions route.
The Campaign Platform is a single page website template (WordPress) which communicators add content to themselves. This “sample site” has been created to show communicators how the wire-frame looks & the types of content it is possible to insert, and contains non-technical guidance on how to add box images, video, headings, buttons for call-to-actions, etc.
Applications must initially be sent through the GOV.UK “ZenDesk” (NB: only Heads of Digital/department’s single point of contact with ZenDesk login rights can submit applications). A link to GOV.UK and the ZenDesk is at the end of this guidance.
It is mandatory that this GCS OASIS template is used for all campaign website applications – no alternative templates are accepted.
Applications are reviewed by a Panel of reviewers from both GCS and GDS who will come back to departments with comments and queries. If your site is approved for build, there may be terms & conditions attached which must be followed.
Once built, the content on the final website needs to be viewed & approved by members of GCS. Your site will only be approved to go live once any changes are completed.
Applications from departments can also be accepted for bespoke campaign microsites, these websites are separate to GOV.UK but take a GOV.UK url. These are usually subject to build costs. Here is an example campaign microsite : DWP “Workplace Pensions”
6 months after your site goes live you will be required to provide performance data for the site based on your digital KPIs. Please provide the relevant contact details for the team responsible for reporting in your application form.
Before filling out your application please consider:
An increasing number of the public now get their news and information from social media and other digital channels. Before requesting a campaign site, make sure you’re confident you have an evidenced based strategy for getting your target audiences to engage with it. Ensure you’ve explored all other options with your department’s Head of Digital Communications, who is a member of the Digital Centre of Expertise (DCOE). If you’re an ALB, contact your sponsor department.
You don’t need a site on the campaigns platform or an external microsite for:
Find out how to apply for a campaign page or a microsite through the Government Digital Service.