The countdown to Christmas has begun! As stores crank up the Christmas carols and homes are decorated with beautiful Christmas trees covered in lights, baubles and tinsel, there’s no reason why you can’t deck out your website with boughs of holly.
To help you get into the Christmas spirit, I’ve put together a fun list of free Christmas plugins – all tried and tested with the upcoming version of WordPress 4.1 and the new default Twenty Fifteen theme. All of these plugins are available in the WordPress Plugin Repository.
Let us know in the comments below what your favorite WordPress tips and tricks are to jazz up your site for the festive season.
Tribulant Snow Storm
Display snow flakes falling down your WordPress site with this simple plugin. Snow Storm allows you to configure a few simple settings, such as the color and amount of snow, mobile support, and whether it sticks to the bottom of the screen.
This aptly named plugin adds a simple snowfall effect to your site. Just install and activate the plugin and watch the gentle snow fall down your site. Unlike some other snow plugins, this one doesn’t come with any kind of configuration options and is lightweight enough that it won’t affect your site’s speed.
Improved Let It Snow!
Here’s a snow plugin you can configure. Specify the color and shape of the snow you want to display as well as how fast it falls and how much of it fills the page. You can also configure whether the snow sticks and accumulates at the bottom of the screen.
For the 24 days before Christmas from December 1, display a simple advent calendar on your site. Advent Calendar lets you release a new custom holiday-theme images each day. This is a useful plugin for publishing exclusive content in the lead up to Christmas Day.
Christmas Countdown Widget
Let Santa brighten your visitors’ day with this simple widget. Just add the countdown widget to your site and Santa’s beard will countdown the days until Christmas. If you would rather not use the provided widget, you can use shortcode to display the countdown graphic anywhere on your site.
Christmas Ball on Branch
Note: This plugin has caused issues on at least one reader’s website so please use with caution. For more details, read the comments below.
If you want to add a little Christmas cheer to your website without going over the top, this plugin display a small Christmas branch with a bauble in the top right-hand corner of your site. It even lights up! While the plugin hasn’t been updated in more than two years, it still works just fine with the beta version of WordPress 4.1 and the Twenty Fifteen theme.
Add a simple string of colorful Christmas lights to your site to welcome your visitors this holiday season. While some Christmas lights plugins look a bit tacky, this one has nice adds a quirky festive touch.
Snow, balloons and more
Someone’s put a lot of work into this delightful plugin! Snow, balloons and more lets you set up snowflakes, leaves, lights, Santa and even Christmas trees to drift down your site. Choose from 30 GIF and 40 PNG images. You can even set the speed of snow and – get this – the maximum wind strength!
Wish your visitors a happy holiday with this cute pop up message. This plugin allows you to display a message in the centre, fullwidth along the bottom or to the left or right of the bottom of the page. You can customize your Christmas message and choose from one of seven images.
WP Scheduled Styles
Schedule a different CSS file to be used on Christmas Day so users visiting your site will see your holiday inspired design for a set period of time you specify.
WP Scheduled Themes
This plugin allows you to schedule a different theme to display on your site for a special occasion, such as Christmas Day. The theme will override your existing theme on your site for the set time you specify.
WP Christmas Class
This handy plugin allows you to dynamically add a custom CSS class to your body tag during a set date range. You change the look and feel of your site during the Christmas holidays with custom CSS. There is also an option to make your date range automatically update for the following year.
Hello Christmas is a festive alternative to Hello Dolly. When activated, this plugin disables Hello Dolly and displays random lyrics from popular Christmas carols in the top right-hand corner of the admin screen.