The twinkling lights are hung, sleigh bells are ringing – the holiday season is in full swing! As a website owner, this is an exciting time to spread festive cheer and give your brand a festive new look.
But like putting together the perfect gingerbread house, designing a holiday-themed website requires careful planning (and a little creativity).
In this article, we‘ll explore powerful yet easy ways to spruce up your WordPress site for the holidays using plugins, themes, effects, and more. I‘ll also share tips from my 15 years of webmaster experience to help you avoid mistakes and turn your site into a digital Christmas wonderland!
So grab a mug of hot apple cider, put on your Santa hat, and let‘s get jolly with some seasonal website magic!
- Why You Should Deck the Halls of Your Website for the Holidays
- 5 Easy Ways to Add Holiday Cheer to Your WordPress Site
- Avoid Common Holiday Website Mistakes
- It‘s Time to Spread Some Digital Holiday Cheer
Why You Should Deck the Halls of Your Website for the Holidays
Beyond just bringing joy to visitors, giving your website a touch of yuletide cheer offers quite a few nice benefits:
Improves Brand Image – By celebrating holidays, you show customers you‘re fun and festive. This builds trust and loyalty. Studies show 82% of consumers have a more positive view of brands who decorate for the holidays.
Drives Social Traffic – People are more likely to share seasonal content. One study by Buzzsumo found holiday articles receive an average of 250% more shares.
Increases Sales – According to Adobe‘s 2021 holiday shopping data, "seasonal discounts and promotions are top incentives for online shopping."
Boosts Engagement – Holiday-themed websites keep visitors attracted longer. No one quickly bounces from a site with fun falling snowflakes!
Stands Out – Adding festive effects can differentiate you from the typical website. Think gingerbread men instead of plain buttons.
Now that you see all the upside, let‘s explore some stellar ways to deck out your website for the holidays!
5 Easy Ways to Add Holiday Cheer to Your WordPress Site
With the right plugins and themes, it only takes a few minutes to give your WordPress site some holly jolly spirit:
1. Launch Festive Popups and Promotions
Popups and banners allow you to instantly grab attention for holiday deals and promotions.
I recommend the plugin OptinMonster which has templates designed specifically for the holidays.
For example, you can promote cyber week sales with a popup featuring:
✔️ Red and green colors
✔️ Snowflake borders
✔️ Countdown clock
✔️ Holiday images
OptinMonster experts recommend using exit-intent popups for Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals to convert abandoning visitors.
To create one:
Choose the "Exit-Intent" campaign
Select a holiday template
Customize popup content, colors and images
Connect to an email service like Mailchimp
Set campaign schedule for cyber week
Don‘t forget to A/B test your popups to find the most effective content/designs for each audience.
Promoting your holiday promotions and sales through opt-ins is critical. OptinMonster helped one site generate 51,000 email subscribers in just 30 days!
2. Spread Cheer With a Holiday Giveaway
According to statistics from RafflePress, giveaways increase website traffic by up to 800%!
They also grow your email list, social followers and brand awareness through shares and word-of-mouth marketing.
That‘s why giveaways are a perfect way to engage visitors this holiday.
With the plugin RafflePress, you can quickly create contests like:
Big Christmas Sweepstakes
12 Days of Holiday Giveaways
Spread the Cheer Instagram Contest
To set one up:
Choose a holiday-themed template and image
Add festive giveaway details like prize and dates
Have users sign up for your newsletter to enter
Promote the giveaway on social media and email
Select random winners after end date
No matter what you‘re giving away – free products, gift cards, subscriptions, etc. – a holiday giveaway is sure to delight fans while growing your reach.
3. Design Special Landing Pages
Landing pages focused on the holidays help you advertise seasonal promotions or content to website visitors.
For instance, create pages like:
- Black Friday Electronics Deals
- 12 Days of Christmas Free Downloads
- Halloween Recipes
The plugin SeedProd makes building beautiful, high-converting landing pages easy.
Pick a template that fits your holiday
Add festive images, colors and fonts
Insert buttons, videos, content blocks and opt-in forms
Connect your email service like ConvertKit
Drive traffic to the page through links and ads
Focus your page on a specific holiday offer or theme to attract targeted visitors. SeedProd‘s templates and customization options ensure you can create the perfect landing page in minutes.
4. Sprinkle Some Festive Effects
A dash of holiday magic like falling snow or twinkling bells helps increase brand delight and gets visitors feeling merry.
For Christmas effects, the Christmasify plugin lets you add:
Falling snowflakes ❄️
Santa animations 🎅
Holiday music 🎵
Christmas countdowns 🌲
Festive cursors and themes
Install and activate the Christmasify plugin
Choose effects like snowflakes and Santa
Set start and end dates to match holiday season
Save settings and check out the live effects!
Other fun effect plugins to try are Weather Effect for seasonal leaves/snow and Flying Letters to spell "Happy Holidays" in sparkles.
5. Deck Your Pages With a Holiday Theme
An easy way to overhaul your entire site into a winter wonderland is by switching to a seasonal theme.
Two great free Christmas themes include:
Christmas Bell – Comes built-in with holiday textures, wreaths, lights and more. Also has widget areas for Christmas countdowns.
Snowflakes – Features bold yuletide colors, graphics and fonts with a clean, mobile-friendly design. Has slideshows and promo boxes.
To swap themes:
Log into your WP dashboard and navigate to Appearance > Themes
Search for a holiday theme and click "Activate"
Browse through the theme‘s panels to customize and add widgets
Update site content with holiday images and posts
Don‘t forget to switch back after the holidays!
With thousands of free seasonal themes, you can match almost any holiday. Try previewing themes to pick the perfect one for your brand‘s vibe.
Avoid Common Holiday Website Mistakes
While launching holiday promotions can boost success, I‘ve also seen many website owners make preventable mistakes:
Forgetting to test popups before launch day – This leads to issues like broken opt-in forms and missed conversions. Always QA test first.
Using the wrong color scheme – Match brand colors instead of clashing reds/greens. Cohesion builds trust.
Updating too early/late – Don‘t launch holiday themes in October or keep them past New Years. Stick within seasonal windows.
Going overboard on effects – Use tasteful decorations sparingly. Don‘t overwhelm visitors with chaotic snowstorms.
Not having a rollback plan – Swap themes/plugins out timely. Leaving up stale promotions hurts credibility.
The holidays only come once a year. Avoid rookie mistakes with sufficient planning and testing. Ask yourself – "Would Santa approve of this website?"
It‘s Time to Spread Some Digital Holiday Cheer
The virtual halls have been decked! With these professional tips, your website will help visitors get in the holiday spirit.
Don‘t be afraid to get creative with colors, fonts, images, and effects on your WordPress site this holiday season. As Maya Angelou said:
"People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."
A pinch of digital holiday charm delivers delight. It shows you value celebrations and connect with the cultures of your website visitors worldwide.
So try out some of the plugins and ideas above to spruce your site up for the holidays. Just remember – whether you observe Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or New Years – keep your decor classy, your promotions meaningful, and your website merry!
Happy holidays and cheers to a jolly new year ahead!