Thanksgiving is behind us and that means we are in the home stretch for the holidays. As the year draws to a close, there’s an underlying excitement in the air – no matter which holiday you celebrate, everyone looks forward to spending time with family, enjoying a good meal, and decorating for the season.
But, just as you are decorating your homes and getting them ready for the festivities, it’s a good time to add some holiday cheer to your website, too. After all, we’re talking about your online home here. Doesn’t it deserve a little holly jolly goodness?
In this article, we’ll show you how you can use various elements to add that festive feeling to your website.
How to Add Holiday Cheer to Your Website
When we refer to the holiday season, many people default to thinking about Christmas. But there are so many holidays happening in December. For example, Hanukkah, a traditional Jewish holiday that lasts for 8 days, starts on December 24. Then, there’s also Kwanzaa, which falls on December 26 this year and lasts for 7 days. If you run an ecommerce website, you’ll also want to make note of free shipping day which falls on December 16.
Before busting out the default red and green colors and slapping on a “Merry Christmas” sign, take a moment to think about which holidays you want to celebrate and who your target audience is. You may find yourself coming up with a whole new strategy for your website holiday decorations.
1. Spice Up Your Graphics
One of the most obvious ways to get your website ready for the holidays is to add a few holiday-themed graphics to your website. These could include anything from homepage banners to icons in your menu to festive backgrounds. There’s a wide variety of holiday-themed icons and stock photography that can help you reflect the upcoming holiday season. And while some of them are more Christmas-oriented, there are some dedicated to Hanukkah and other holidays, too.
Changing the background of your website or your newsletter signup form is a nice way to add a subtle holiday spirit to your website.
Use this Illustrator action pack to create colorful website graphics and add festive lights around your website.
This Hanukkah collection of colorful vector cartoon illustrations and decorative elements can be added not only to your cards but can be used on your website as well.
2. Decorate Your Logo
Don’t be afraid of tweaking your logo by adding a holiday inspired icon. Most business owners add a cute Santa’s hat to their logo but take a step further and find your own twist. Consider using snowflakes or bells… the options are limitless.
3. Change up your website colors
Another easy way to add a little holiday cheer is to tweak the colors of your website. Bear in mind your original color scheme and from there make the final decision on the color palette that works for you. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to change the colors to red and green, especially if your site’s design just won’t work with that. But the holiday season also highlights colors like gold and silver which have a tendency to pair well with other hues. Play around a bit and see what you can come up with.
4. Customize labels
Depending on your website, you might want to consider changing up some of the labels to match the season. If you run an online store, you might want to replace Buy Now with a Gift or use Santa’s List for the wish list or your most popular products. Santa’s List even works for replacing the normal wording on your most popular posts. And almost all websites can change their contact label into Contact the Elves or Send a Message to Santa. Get creative and use your imagination but do make sure it’s still clear what each particular label means.
5. Use a Countdown Timer
Adding a simple countdown can make anyone get even more excited about the upcoming holidays. If you’re using WordPress, there are plenty of plugins that add the countdown functionality to your website. And if you’re using a different CMS, you can bet there is a countdown script for your platform as well. The only thing you need to do is set the date you want it to count down too and the plugin or script will take care of the rest.
This technique can also be used on ecommerce sites where it’s known as the urgency marketing technique. Even a very basic countdown script can trigger customers to act and make a purchase.
6. Let it snow
I don’t know about you but nothing gets me into the holiday spirit more than seeing the first winter snow. And with a little help of scripts and plugins like these, you can have falling snow on your website too. The best part about them is that the effect is actually quite unobtrusive and won’t prevent your readers and visitors from seeing your content. You can enable it on all your pages or only on the homepage, it’s up to you.
7. Use a Decorative Font
Using a decorative font can add a personal touch to your website but it also reminds us of the holidays and handwritten cards. There’s a plethora of decorative and handwritten fonts available on the internet. Some of them are even created specifically with Christmas in mind. However, for a more general approach, consider using a font like the Marthina Script. It comes in two styles and it even includes bonus ornaments and floral frames.
8. Mark special day with a calendar
If countdown timers aren’t your style, consider adding a calendar widget that marks the important days. You can use it in your sidebar or footer as an advent calendar which works really well if you pair that with a holiday-themed series of your blog posts. You can also mark the 12 days of Christmas or the 8 days of Hanukkah or even the 7 days of Kwanzaa.
9. Add holiday overlays to your photos
Photos play a huge role on any website so why not add some holiday cheer to your blog post graphics or even your social media updates? Consider using photos as you normally would but adding a special holiday overlay to them. You can even use those on specific holidays to share your well wishes with the rest of the world.
Decorating your site can be just as fun as decorating your own home, especially when you have the right tools for the job. Use the resources above to spread the holiday spirit and wish your visitors a merry holiday season.
What’s your take on decorating your website for the holidays?
Featured image: Abrams