Advent calendars aren’t yet the trend in the blogging industry but there have been really good bloggers that have found a great use for them. One of the well-known advent calendar is 24 Ways.
They have done a good job with their advent calendar which has created a new meaning for it. I am not sure if 24 ways was the pioneer in the wave behind advent calendars for blogs but they surely have been the driving force. Today, we will try to show you some of the best advent calendars. We will discuss what makes these advent calendars stand out and how they can catch the attention of your website’s visitors.
What is an Advent Calendar?
Google the keywords Advent Calendar and you will find the Wikipedia page that states that Advent Calendars have something to do with Christmas. Advent Calendars are more like flashy archive calendars which are being used by webmasters to give their schedules a new meaning all together. Well, that is the textbook definition of an Advent Calendar. Otherwise, the term Advent Calendar has evolved quite a lot lately and it is no longer just for Christmas but anything that you want. Actually, the blogging community recently picked up Advent Calendars and shaped its definition to suit their needs.
5 Amazing Advent Calendars
1. 24 Ways
The mother of all advent calendars, 24 Ways (as I said before) was the reason behind the sudden surge in advent calendars on various websites. The quality of content and the presentation of the advent calendar with a blog made people’s jaws drop. 24 Ways is famous for topics ranging from design to development. Even discussions on business matters and inspirational articles make way into the elite list of content that is published in 24 ways. This way the website is able to target niche readers and new readers alike.
The design of 24 ways takes care of various screen resolutions which in itself is a big advantage for readers and publishers too. Also, this advantage takes care of readers who prefer to access the website on mobile devices or other platforms like tablets. 24 Ways is famous for its high quality content and the over-the-top advent calendar is enough to attract users.
You might feel turned off when you see the HTML5 and CSS Advent Calendar 2011 after 24 Ways. But, please bear with the new players in this game. 24 ways has set a standard that might be tough for the rest to achieve, but it does not mean that others will never achieve the same. It is just a matter of time. Anyways, this advent calendar was designed with a set plan. The plan was to publish a new article every day until the end of the year 2011 and looks like the webmasters behind this advent calendar did well to publish quality content.
HTML5 and CSS3 Advent Calendar is full of crazy content with amazing images and planned drafts. The final versions of articles that you see on this website will surely force you to learn something new no matter how big an expert you are in the field of HTML5 and CSS3. I wish that these guys had planned to continue even after the year 2011. But, good things always come to an end, right?
This happens to be Watershed’s annual calendar which covers the best possible short films from across Europe. Electric December 11 gives you the opportunity to enjoy 24 short films from across Europe. Enjoy the underwater bubble ride, discover secret twins, listen to unbelievable music, hug a tree or meet the prime minister.
Electric December 11 is not like the regular blogs with advent calendars. Rather, it happens to be an amazing collection of video based content with presentation skills that cannot be ignored. Do share your experiences once you are done with Electric December 11.
4. PHP Advent
Let us concentrate on websites that are more like blogs with advent calendars of sorts. PHP Advent is one such website with a simple to understand advent calendar. PHP Advent is another blog with content curated for the needs of its niche readers. The idea behind PHP Advent was to push its writers to write regularly. This is another advantage of an advent calendar. If you see a calendar right on the home page of your blog then there is this instinct to push content so that the advent calendar looks lively. This is when you learn to be disciplined and regular.
While you are at PHP Advent, you can also visit Photo Advent which happens to be the brain child of the same people who are behind PHP Advent. Similar template with niche concentrating on photography instead of PHP.
When big guns enter the arena they have to be different and better than the best. This is what Mozilla Developer Network did when they launched their advent calendar. The calendar focuses on dates that have something special related to Mozilla and its fan following. Be it just for fun stuff for its followers or ongoing developer news which can be of use to Mozilla developers, the advent calendar is regularly updated with fresh content.
The best part of Mozilla’s advent calendar is its look and its smooth display on any browser. Being a firm believer of Open Source, Mozilla has uploaded the source code of the advent calendar on GitHub. If you want something similar for yourself then you know exactly where you need to look for help. Good luck and do share your experiments with us.
Create Your Own Advent Calendar
You can either use the source code provided by Mozilla (and the two part tutorial) to create a Mozilla look alike advent calendar or jump over to if you are using a tumblr blog. With the tools provided by Advent Calendr, one can easily turn a Tumblr blog into a advent calendar. You get to choose from multiple skins which can help you create an advent calendar that stands out from the crowd.
Advent Calendr provides its users with customization options and can be customized to suit various users’ needs. One can even separate the Tumblr posts from the advent calendar to reduce the amount of confusion that tend to creep in with a advent calendar.
Lastly, it will be your own expertise when it comes to designing your own advent calendar.
There was a time when blogging was new for us. It took time, but slowly everyone dived into the world of blogging and we know how it is today. It’s the same case with advent calendars. They are still in their infancy and webmasters are still experimenting with them. It will take a lot of time before we see very polished advent calendars and they become common on a lot of blogs. Until then, let us just enjoy 24 ways!
Salman Siddiqui is an alpha geek, design guru and seasoned WordPress critic. Writing, for him, started out of ego but it has become the most luring and enlightening career option of his life. He is walking that extra mile for his freelancing dream.