How to give your website a Christmas makeover

In addition to the festive atmosphere on the streets and in stores, you can also enjoy the holiday season online. From SEO measures and social media engagement to website design, there are plenty of ways to decorate your website and engage customers.

General tips for blogs and websites

The following tips will help you get your website ready for the holiday season. These tips are universal and can be applied to any type of website.

Optimize your website for SEO

Throughout the year, but especially at special times like Christmas, it’s crucial that you use search engine optimization (SEO for short) to ensure that your website performs well in Google search rankings and is found by as many users as possible. This includes ensuring that your website content is optimized in several ways - from content to media to text structure and more.

A few important actions you can take include writing meta information, inserting internal links, and adding keywords. Before you add any keywords, however, you should first conduct thorough keyword research to find out which terms and phrases perform best in terms of search volume.

Also, make sure that the information across all your pages, and especially on your landing page, is always up to date. Visitors may be annoyed if they are greeted with Halloween content during the holiday season. It’s important to make sure users feel right at home the moment they access your site.

Add some Christmas sparkle to your website

Admittedly, some website owners overdo it with the festive look of their website, but there’s nothing wrong with a little winter magic. In fact, it can have a positive impact. By tastefully adapting the design of your website to the holiday season, you are showing your customers that you maintain a professional web presence and are committed to keeping it up to date. Some website builders provide templates that you can use for this time of year. Below, we’ve also included some design suggestions for you as well.

Color and font designs

Add a bit of Christmas sparkle by using a different color palette. Red, green, and white lend themselves well to the holiday season as well as classier options like gold and silver. Fonts decorated with snowflakes, reindeer, holly leaves, etc. can also provide the right touch. There are many different font providers with a Christmas category in their catalog, and many of these fonts can be used for free. It’s important though to read the fine print and find out, for example, if you need to pay a fee to use them commercially. You’ll also need to make sure they are web fonts. Using web fonts ensures that the fonts are displayed correctly in popular browsers.

Here are some websites where you can find different fonts:

Screenshot of the search results for “Christmas” on the Free for Fonts website
At freeforfonts.com, you can access numerous different font types, many of which are free. (Source: https://www.freeforfonts.com/?s=christmas

Christmas media

Of course, visual embellishments such as videos, photos or illustrations can leave your visitors with a positive impression of your website. For example, you can add a festive header to your homepage, which wishes users “Happy Holidays”. You can find suitable banners and photos in image databases such as Pexels and Pixabay Simply search for terms such as “Christmas” or other Christmas-related motifs that come to mind. You’ll also want to ensure that the image works well with your brand. If you have a website with a botanical background, for example, images of poinsettias, also known as Christmas stars, might be a good idea.

Screenshot of the search results for “Christmas” on the stock photo website Pexels
On stock photo websites like Pexels, you can find countless images for Christmas and much much more. (Source: https://www.pexels.com/search/Christmas/

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Animated effects and decorations

You can also use (animated) Christmas decorations to give your website the wow effect. There are various plugins for animated decorations that you can download. Why not try a Christmas garland as a banner for your website? Or a flying cartoon reindeer sleigh? WordPress plugins like Christmasify! offer great decoration options including falling snowflakes.

Here are a couple of examples from popular brands that have given their websites a special touch for the holidays:

Screenshot of the Christmas page of the Coca-Cola website
Coca-Cola offers a special page for their different Christmas promotions. (Source: https://www.coca-cola.com/ie/en/offerings/christmas-2023
Screenshot showing the holiday design on Nordstrom’s homepage
Nordstrom’s has given its homepage a new look for the holiday season. (Source: https://www.nordstrom.com/
Screenshot of the Secret Santa page of the Cadbury website
Cadbury has set up a Secret Santa game this year, allowing people to secretly send chocolate to someone. (Source: https://secretsanta.cadbury.co.uk/

Background music

You can also embed holiday-themed melodies and songs into your website. Similar to adding visual decorations, WordPress admins can also use the plugin Christmasify! to add holiday music to their website. Alternatively, you can also upload a music file to your website’s storage space. Whichever method you choose, make sure that you use songs, compositions and melodies that are royalty-free. You can purchase these on sites such as Musicfox. After you have purchased the music you want to use, locate the page code and embed the following code text:

<embed name=“Songtitle” src=“songtitle.mp3” border=“2” width=“152” height=“24” autostart=“true” Delay=“0” VOLUME=“35” loop=“true” controls=“smallconsole”>.
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Simply insert the name of the song you selected where “Songtitle” is. If “true” is after autostart, the song will be played as soon as the page is opened. Swap “true” with “false” to turn off autoplay. Do the same with loop if you don’t want the song to run in a continuous loop. We also recommend that you adjust the volume level. Avoid large music files as they may slow down the page loading speed.

Tip

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Tips for eCommerce websites

Offer Christmas promotions

During special occasions like Christmas, you can engage visitors by offering holiday-themed promotions. There are plenty of opportunities and ideas to get visitors involved. WordPress site owners, for example, can add a plugin to create a WordPress advent calendar and embed it on their website. This can be combined with a sweepstakes, a raffle and/or a Christmas quiz. Of course, these can also be done without the calendar as well. Prizes for raffles could include small gifts, exclusive discounts, and coupons for free shipping.

If your website has its own forum, make use of it. Encourage your users to upload Christmas photos and posts on a particular topic and reward the most interesting ones with a special award or offer. You could also set up a scavenger hunt, where you hide a surprise across random pages of your website for every day until Christmas. You can post clues for your scavenger hunt on your forum beforehand.

Minigames are just as welcome. For example, users could count flying reindeer, catch presents with a sack, or steer a sleigh past obstacles. There are numerous games that can be embedded into a website using iFrames. Among them, for example, Christmas Chain - HTML5 Game or Game Christmas Furious, both of which are available for purchase on Evato Market at CodeCanyon.

Screenshot of the minigame Game Christmas Furious
You can purchase minigames like Game Christmas Furious and embed them into your website. (Source: https://preview.codecanyon.net/item/game-christmas-furious/full_screen_preview/6009305

Use and embed social media platforms

It’s a good idea to announce any promotions you have on social media in order to attract existing and new users. Linking your website and content to platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and X (formerly Twitter) isn’t just beneficial during Christmas time, but all year round. Through social media marketing, you can not only increase awareness of your website, but also increase your sales. Here are a few ideas:

  • Christmas updates, e.g., with videos, pictures and info from your website crew or your products
  • Announcement of promotions and coupons for your website
  • Show your altruistic side by supporting a Christmas fundraiser and keeping users updated about it
  • Advent calendar on Facebook with different coupon codes
  • Send an exclusive discount code when retweeting on X (formerly Twitter)
  • Small gift for the most beautiful winter photo on Instagram
Tip

It’s important for companies to advertise on social media. Depending on the platform you are advertising on, some strategies may be more effective than others. Another thing to keep in mind is that the display formats can differ significantly from one platform to the next. The Digital Guide articles below can help you to achieve success on the most popular social media platforms.

You should also consider adding links to your social media profiles in your newsletter. Additionally, you can also use your newsletter to creatively send a digital holiday greeting card to customers and clients. However, be mindful of how you address your customers. Your copy should always be polite and in line with your website branding. For some, a generic Christmas greeting is adequate. For others, a casual and more humorous approach such as “Happy holidays to everyone, regardless of which list Santa has you on!” can also work.

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Performance is the key to success

Once your website is all set for the holiday season, it may see higher traffic than usual. So far, so good - but beware! A high number of website visitors could mean longer page load times for your site, leading to bad user experience. Managed or shared hosting solutions can help you address this problem. In addition to having the highest security standards, these models offer optimized loading times for your website as well as protection against server failure.

If your website is an online store and you do not have in-depth knowledge of web development, consider using an ecommerce platform to keep your e-commerce activities as straightforward and easy to manage as possible. If you purchase your online store platform through a hosting provider, you’ll receive technical support, and your store will be ready for a rush of visitors. This way, you only need to worry about the content on your site and welcoming the holiday season with open arms.

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Generate content automatically with AI

In the last few years, a lot of advancements have been made in the field of AI, especially with regard to large language models. Generative AI systems like GPT, DALL E and Midjourney are capable of creating engaging and valuable web content. With generative AI, you cannot only have text content created for you, but images and videos as well. Such tools make the process of creating a website faster and more affordable. In the following list, you’ll find articles that take a look at the best websites for generating text, images and videos with AI.

To really benefit from the possibilities that these AI tools offer, it’s best to first learn how to engineer prompts. Once you have prompt engineering down, you can be sure that the AI tool you are using creates exactly what you want it to. The article on prompt engineering in our Digital Guide can help get you started.

Summary

With the tips mentioned above, you can get your website ready for the Christmas season and provide your audience with an engaging experience. However, it takes more than the website ideas mentioned above to successfully establish an internet presence for the long term. Even though the road to the perfect website isn’t an easy one, your efforts are sure to pay off in the end—and wouldn’t creating and maintaining an amazing website be a great New Year’s resolution?

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