It’s that time of year again. Creatures too vile and horrible to mention roam the streets beside vampires and pint-sized Chupacabra in a bloodthirsty search for…candy? If you’ve been wondering what can you do for Halloween, the answer is simple. You can contribute to the creepiness of the season by adding Halloween Effects to your WordPress website!
Ah yes, Halloween.
A day beloved by dentists with boat payments to make. It’s an event eagerly anticipated by ghouls from all walks of life who are cruelly forced to remain hidden the other 51 weeks of the year.
The boss came over to my desk the other day and said, “Phillips, I need a Halloween article, and I need it now! Call it…13 Ways to Add Halloween Effects to WordPress!”
He slammed his fist on the back of my chair, and ashes fell from his cigar. “Have it on my desk in the morning!” he growled as he turned and disappeared into the newsroom.
I had to wonder if he’d finally gone mad. I didn’t think there was any way I could come up with 13 (I see what he did there) ways to make a WordPress site creepy or frightening.
But I was wrong. Was I motivated by fear? Perhaps. The boss is a frightening man.
But seriously, getting into the holiday spirit is a great way to ramp up interest and engagement for a business or a website. And Halloween is one of the more colorful and non-denominational holidays to celebrate with some temporary website changes.
So let’s get down into the deep, dark spookiness of it all, and I’ll show you how to add Halloween effects to WordPress that will really float your pumpkin this year.
Adding Halloween Effects to WordPress
1 – Switch to a Spooky Halloween Theme
With tens of thousands of themes available out there, you know there have to be some cool Halloween WordPress themes. Here are a few free options to check out.
Changing your entire theme is a dramatic and drastic thing to do, and isn’t recommended for most serious business sites.
But for a fun or hobby site, why not?
2 – Get Your Site Into the Spirit Using Color
Hopefully, we’ve established that not every site can, or should, completely change its theme for a holiday. But you can go a long way toward embracing a holiday or season by incorporating some of its colors.
Halloween colors can include greens, yellows, oranges and black. Colors are festive and can propel people into the Halloween spirit.
3 – Terrify Your Visitors With a Horror-Themed Font
One of the easiest and most effective WordPress Halloween effects is a creepy title font. I say “title font” because most of these are display fonts, not meant to be used on large blocks of text.
No one is going to be able to read your site if you change all the text to Creepster, so use these sparingly.
Custom fonts are pretty easy to set up in WordPress, and the effect is worth the time it takes. Google fonts have a number of Halloween-worthy display fonts you can use, including:
4 – Add Some Holiday Decorations
Let’s move on to a WordPress plugin that can help lend a Halloween vibe to any site. It’s called Halloween Panda, and it will give your Halloween-themed header or footer bars, monsters falling down the page and popups.
You may see a notice that the plugin hasn’t been updated in some time, but I tested it, and all the elements still work fine in the latest version of WordPress. A cool batch of effects that are fun when used sparingly.
5 – Countdown to All Hallows Eve
No configuration required. Just install the plugin and use the [hcode] shortcode in a post or page.
By default, the timer works best on a page or post with a black background, but you can change the colors by tweaking the CSS for #hcount in the code.
6 – Custom Graphics
An effective and subtle Halloween effect can be achieved by using custom graphics. If you have an in-house designer (or a generous designer friend), you can have them whip up some themed images to use around the holiday.
If you don’t have a graphic designer at your beck and call, why not do it yourself? It’s easy if you use Canva. Just set up a free account, log in, and search for “Halloween.” You’ll find plenty of inspiration.
7 – Launch a Holiday-Themed Campaign
If you’re running an e-commerce site, create a Halloween sale, discount, or giveaway. If you want to be more subtle, you can get into the spirit of a holiday without ever mentioning it by name.
So instead of a Halloween sale, you can have an October Sale or a Fall Sale. Make use of the holiday color swatches mentioned earlier and the custom graphics. Say “Halloween” without saying “BOO!”
You could even go so far as to adding “treats” to packages, such as free samples or other goodies. This goes a long way to keep your brand in the mind of customers.
8 – Try a Halloween Survey or Poll
What are you (or your kids) going to be for Halloween? I’m going to be a cat, but don’t tell anyone. What was your favorite kind of candy when you were trick or treating?
People love to answer surveys and contribute to polls. Especially when the subject isn’t as serious a politics or the best rib joint in town.
9 – Invite and Encourage Halloween Image Uploads
If your site is interactive and allows user-uploads, start a post or page where people can upload their own holiday-themed images. Have visitors upload pictures of themselves or their kids in costume, parties, decorations.
If you don’t have a multi-user setup, you can still solicit pictures from your users and visitors. They can send them via email, and all you have to do is set up a post or page to show them off.
10 – Run a Halloween Picture Contest
As an extension of (or a variation on) the last idea, ask users and visitors to submit Halloween themed pictures for a contest. Post the entries and then the week after the holiday, either choose a winner yourself or let your visitors vote for a winner.
My vote goes to the picture in the previous tip.
This will further engage your audience and keep them coming back to the website. Besides, being interactive with guests is part of any great marketing strategy.
11 – Add Spooky Sounds to Your Site
Okay, granted, sounds that play on a website are a bit retro. Or, more than a bit, actually. Thankfully, we’re long past the days of midi sounds and random music coming out of nowhere, sending you reaching for the volume control (or the “back” button).
But holidays are a time for fun, and what better way to have fun – and scare your WordPress site visitors – than with unexpected creepy sounds!
You may want to limit this to a specific page or post because it really is annoying. But if you’re game, and you think your visitors would appreciate the oddball nature of it, you can use HTML 5 to autoplay sounds. And there are some free-to-use spooky sounds out there to get you started.
12 – Publish How-To Articles on DIY Decorations, Crafts, or Costumes
This can be a great attraction around a holiday if your site lends itself to DIY projects. If those kinds of articles aren’t in your wheelhouse, invite guest authors or find appropriate articles and ask the authors if you can repost them.
Projects, how-tos and other craftsy stuff draws an audience. And if you center those pieces around a current holiday, all the better.
You should also include Pinterest in your craft articles. This is because a huge audience uses the social platform to share craft ideas and pictures.
With a bit of imagination, you could even combine your products or services in crafts to add a bit of marketing to the mix. And in reality, nearly any business can do this with an imaginative marketing director.
13 – Add Creepy Videos to Posts
You could always get dressed up yourself and jump in front of the camera for some holiday fun. And thanks to things like YouTube and embedding videos to content and sidebars, you can add Halloween effects to WordPress via video content.
This is a great way to show visitors that your brand has a fun side. Not only that, but using YouTube as the video’s hosting platform lets you also target potential consumers on that platform who may not know your website exists.
So in essence, you’re targetting two different audiences from a single video.
Have Fun with the Website this Halloween!
The history of Halloween is so serious anyway. With all of the saints, ghosts and things, it’s the end of the harvest season. It’s when everything goes dormant for the winter.
But that doesn’t mean your website should be dormant throughout the holiday. Take advantage of what adding Halloween effects to WordPress can do and reach out to your audience. It’s a great way to stand out and make your site noticed.