Brazil’s Election 2022: WordPress and presidential candidates’ websites

We are only two weeks away from the first round of Brazil’s election. Do you have any ideas on how WordPress is used by presidential candidates? I’ve done a quick survey and you can check out the results here in this post.

Years ago I gave a talk for the Curitiba WordPress Meetup community about the WordPress presence in the political market. Although that was definitely the most boring talk I ever gave – sorry, folks! – it was clear how WordPress was consolidated as the preference by candidates and parties.

Nowadays, the tendency seems to be much more toward social networks rather than websites. This is not new nor exclusive to Brazil but that is a topic for another post. Unfortunately, it seems WordPress is losing its space to other platforms.

Methodology

The list of candidates and their sites are available on the Superior Electoral Court website and their order here in the post follows the results from the latest poll from Datafolha.

Many candidates registered several links, most of them social profiles. To determine “the” website, I’ve used the URL that is not a social network and also contains the candidate’s name.

If you see any mistakes, please let me know.

Candidates

Lula (PT 13)

Captura de tela do site https://lula.com.br/

Lula’s website is made with WordPress, apparently by Ative.

Some highlights:

  • Elementor: The Elementor page builder is used, at least on some pages like https://lula.com.br/zap/;
  • Plugins folder: Although the development team changed the default folder from /wp-content/plugins to /modulos-sites
  • REST API: …they chose to keep the list of users open in https://lula.com.br/wp-json/wp/v2/users.
  • Yoast: However Yoast SEO comments were removed, using the link above it is possible to see the premium version of the plugin being used.

Bolsonaro (PL 22)

From all the sites registered by Bolsonaro’s candidature, what fits better in the criteria I am using is the link above. It is merely a hub, made with pure HTML, listing his social profiles. The website seems to be done by Rogerio Cupti de Medeiros Junior, Carlos Bolsonaro’s assistant.

One of the links is a blog used by his entire family: https://familiabolsonaro.blogspot.com/?m=1. I am not sure if the clumsy visual is intentional or not but anyway, as the page is used by other candidates I’ve preferred to use the other site.

Ciro Gomes (PDT 12)

Ciro Gomes’s website uses Next.js and Strapi.

This one was a bit tricky to decipher. Checking requests in Chrome’s Developer Tools, I saw a request for an API: https://backend-prod.ciro.app.br/api/projetos. Visiting the link directly, a x-powered-by: Strapi header was present in the response.

Simone Tebet (MDB 15)

Simone Tebet’s website is made with WordPress, apparently by Rino3. As in Lula’s website, the list of users is available through the REST API. They are using the free version of Yoast.

Soraya Thronicke (União 44)

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Soraya’s website is made on Wix. It is a curious case because the website does not seem to be made for a presidential candidature but rather about her current mandate as a senator. Nevertheless, it seems the website was only launched after her party switched candidates.

Vera (PSTU 16)

Vera’s candidature is using good and old pure HTML.

Sofia Manzano (PCB 21)

Sofia Manzano’s website seems to be using React. For CSS, Tailwind seems to be the main tool used.

A small highlight for the slip in the main banner. The campaign folks didn’t notice the repeated phrase “Por um programa por um programa”.

Felipe D’Avila (Novo 30)

Felipe D’Avila’s website is made with WordPress. On this site, Animus seems to have chosen Divi with a child theme. As on Lula’s and Tebet’s websites, the list of users is available in REST API, as the usage of the default version of Yoast.

Summary

CandidateSiteCMS
Lulalula.com.brWordPress
Bolsonaroapp.bolsonaro.tvHTML
Ciro Gomescirogomes.com.brNext.js + Strapi
Simone Tebetsimonetebet.com.brWordPress
Soraya Thronickesorayathronicke.com.brWix
Padre KelmonOnly social profiles (from Roberto Jefferson)
Veravera.pstu.org.brHTML
Sofia Manzanosofiamanzano.com.brReact + Tailwind
Felipe d’Avilafelipe30.com.brWordPress
Léo PériclesOnly social profiles
Constituinte EymaelNo website registered

Honorable mention: bolsonaro.com.br

The bolsonaro.com.br domain is a case apart. After becoming available due to lack of payment, the domain was bought by a businessman and now its content is exactly against Bolsonaro.

The website was built with Squarespace.

Conclusion

Of 11 presidential candidates, only 3 are using WordPress for their main websites. Two of them only registered social media profiles in the Supreme Court.

With a reduced TV time, candidates are using even more digital communication and the focus seems to have shifted to social media (potentially WhatsApp groups.)

Even with reduced relevancy, websites and domains continue to be important and visible. Especially domains containing the candidate’s name.

Felipe Elia

Lead Web Engineer at 10up, WordPress Core Contributor, Global Polyglots Mentor in WordPress.org, and Locale Manager in the Brazilian WP Community.

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