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January 31, 2015 / 11 Shevat, 5775
 
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Spruce Up Your Website for the Holidays

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Changing your website to reflect upcoming holidays, commemorations or celebrations is an easy, fun, inexpensive and engaging way to keep your site timely and give it a little personality. Adding whimsical graphics to your logo or a holiday banner at the top of your site can be an attractive accent that gets your visitors into the holiday spirit.

You don’t have to only commemorate recognized holidays. Your founder’s birthday or your company’s launch date anniversary are perfectly legitimate reasons to use a banner to commemorate the occasion. Be sure to give your graphic designer some latitude for this project. And if the reason behind the swapped out logo is to obscure, make sure your users can see the explanation in the tool tip popup when they mouse over the image (it’s good for SEO, too).

You can use the graphic to cross-market holiday or seasonal specials. You can use it as the starting point for a site-wide promotional treasure hunt, or as a link to a special video or social media contest. Use your imagination.

Since most of the Jewish holidays don’t allow the use of computers, it’s a good idea to put your logos on display before the actual holiday. A few days to a week should be enough.

One of the more complicated holiday logos I ever created was for Yideoz, a now-defunct online Jewish video site. Each night of Chanukah, a new candle that flickered appeared, and when you moused over the logo, it played a song.

The most complicated issue your programmer should have to deal with is that Jewish holidays follow the Hebrew calendar. You have to make sure that Hebrew calendar dates for holidays, such as Chanukah (25th of Kislev) and Purim (14th of Adar 1 or 2) are converted to the proper English date. Thankfully, there are simple methods to do this. In PHP, the jewishtojd() and jdtojewish() functions convert back and forth from Hebrew calendar dates to English dates. [Java has a considerably more complicated method, probably because one of it's founders wasn't Israeli.] Your programmer should be able to preset the logos or banners so that there is no need to remember to swap them every time.

Have some fun brainstorming some seasonal and commemorative tweaks to your website. Chag sameach!

 

About the Author: Marc Gottlieb is the webmaster for JewishPress.com. Marc has been crafting end-to-end online solutions for all sizes and types of businesses since 1995. You can see more samples of his work at http://www.marcgottlieb.com.   He made aliyah in 2006 with his wife and four children. They live in Gush Etzion with two cats and a hamster.   Marc's political comments are entirely his own and do not reflect the opinions of JewishPress.com.  


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