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Kiwi web technology

powered French president's campaign

Silverstripe got some buzz when its website software was used for the 2008 Democratic National Convention that kickstarted Barak Obama’s US presidential campaign.

Now another left(ish) politician has used the Wellington company's CMS (content management system) in a successful election bid.

SilverStripe can be thanked (or blamed, depending on your politics) for helping François Hollande win the French presidency.

The socialist candidate's website,, was the web-based focal point of the door-to-door campaign and functioned as the main communication tool throughout the whole election period, SilverStripe says.

In the month before the election, the site had three million unique visitors and ranked the 15th most visited information site in France, it says.


As in any good socialist campaign there, there was no money involved, only glory.

Anyone who wants to create a website can download SilverStripe's open source software for free.

So how does the 40-person company make a buck?

SilverStripe's Kerstin Schuman told NBR ONLINE the company earns revenue by building bespoke websites and applications based on its CMS and framework.

In the case of Mr Hollande's campaign, "SilverStripe didn't build the site. They had their internal developers use the SilverStripe open source CMS. Their team works for Hollande directly and no agency was involved.

"It's a similar scenario to Air New Zealand, which also uses the SilverStripe CMS but has its own in-house developers working with the tool."

SilverStripe did not pitch for the Hollande campaign's business, Ms Schuman said.

"We have quite a strong open source community in Europe in general and France, UK and Germany, in particular.

"The way it works is indeed word of mouth and evangelism of our actual SilverStripe community members."

French developer Frédéric Giudicelli, who ran the Hollande web campaign, uses SilverStripe for all websites he builds, and has touted its user-friendliness.

The Hollande campaign was the first in Europe to have a web development team being fully integrated into the campaign headquarters.

The technical team of six people maintained the main website for top-down communication and another site that functioned as the communication tool for campaign activists, by SilverStripe's account.

“It was a rather small team and we could never have managed to develop and maintain so many sites, and versions of them, if it hadn't been for SilverStripe’s flexibility," Mr Giudicelli offered in endorsement of the NZ software.

"The Framework and CMS allowed us to be very responsive on the necessary evolutions.

"It was very important for us to have the capacity to quickly add new page models or to simply change previous models.”

Chris Keall | Wednesday May 16, 2012