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In my delusional world, Santa is a WP developer extraordinaire. He is, quite simply, a fat guy in a red suit with an uncanny ability to put some fat green in my client’s pocket by providing me with some great plugins – ones that can get visitors engaged and spending this holiday season.
I’ve made my list, and there are no “sweaters” on it this year. No, I’m looking for the proverbial “Red Ryder B-B Gun”. The official Red Ryder. You know…two hundred shot range with carbine action.
So, before you say “you’ll shoot your eye out with that”, let’s have a look at what’s under the tree. Let’s see what “WordPress Santa” has in store for us this year.
Nothing gets online shoppers in the holiday (i.e. spending) mood like the sight of snow and WordPress developers offer several free plugins for this expressed purpose. None of the three I’ve found, Xmas Snow, Simply Snow, and Snow Storm, require any setup. Just upload and activate.
In my testing, there was no discernible difference between Snow Storm and Simply Snow. I noticed from time to time that parts of the page suffered a mild distortion from time to time as the “snow” fell, however. Otherwise, these worked just fine. Xmas Snow is my choice here. While the same, mild distortion occurred, the snow looks much more ornate, like flakes. They show up against a white background as well, taking a light grey tint when they do. Its a novelty but ultimately, little more.
In the final analysis, we got: A sweater
Christmas Countdown Clock is easy to install as well. Download the plugin and go to your widgets. drag the widget into your sidebar, click “edit” and select your size, text color, background, and time zone. And, it has a fun rollover feature. Mouse over the clock and it flips to the Dec 25 date. Bottom line? It won’t affect it. One might say its all Flash, no substance.
In the final analysis, we got: A football
If you’re looking for a quick and simple way to convey the holiday spirit, consider Xmas Lights. Like the snow plugins above, it requires no configuration. Just upload and activate. Its simple, unobtrusive and strangely attractive, not unlike the soft glow of electric sex.
In the final analysis, we got: A leg lamp
Merry Christmas Everyone is great in concept as the settings allow for one to play a holiday mp3 as Santa skiis across your browser. However, I found it to be very distracting as the character stops, starts and jerks across my homepage. I cannot see a jerky Santa helping to spur on shoppers to spend. rather, I see them leaving with holiday fatigue.
In the final analysis, we got: Bunny pajamas from Aunt Clara
Last but not least is Holiday Message. It’s a pop-up and my default reaction is to say “I double-dog dare ya!”. That being said, if you have the stomach for WordPress experiments, this plug-in is easy to use. Upload and proceed to “settings” in the left sidebar of your WP dashboard. Choose from a few less than attractive holiday themed graphics and add a custom message. Select your background color, position, and enable snowfall effect (or not). Then save. It places a cookie so as to only display once to a unique visitor, so the chance of alienating a regular reader lessens, in theory.
In the final analysis, we got: A visit from the fire department
That’s my Christmas Story and I’m stickin’ to it. If you find a plug-in that you like that has boosted your seasonal conversions, please feel free to share it in the comments below.