News: BCL Will Launch New Website, Partner with National Site


EAGLE - Treasure Valley's Christmas Light Authority will be getting a major overhaul, and big changes are in store for the 2020 lighting season.

Boise Christmas Lights, best known for their Christmas lights map that has been featured on numerous TV and radio stations as well as the Idaho Statesman newspaper, will be re-building their website from the ground up using a new site building platform, and a new URL.

"We got some good mileage out of the Blogger platform under the 208 Christmas domain," creator William Higginson said, "But we also learned a lot. The internet is evolving. Mobile is the new king, and we needed to keep up. Blogger did okay, but we've found something better."

The Blogger website went through multiple re-designs until it finally got to where Higginson wanted it to be. The new website will maintain most of the same ideas and features, but will be more mobile-friendly, and will have a much cleaner, modern look. It will also be located at a new domain.

"Unfortunately, someone took the good one (BoiseChristmasLights.com) already. They registered it back in 2010, long before I started this project. And what's annoying is that the .com website doesn't even direct to anything right now, and the WHOIS data doesn't help me much," Higginson says.

He instead registered the 208 Christmas domain, in hopes of expanding his listings to be statewide at the encouragement of another light mapper. However, Higginson did not have the time or resources to maintain a statewide project. Luckily, other pages have since popped up that cover the Twin Falls and Southeast Idaho areas. He has made contact with these page administrators, and is appreciative of their efforts and is more than happy to let them take care of those areas. The 208 Christmas branding will be retired as part of this transition.

Also new for the 2020 season, the Boise Christmas Lights team will team up with a new, national website for mapping Christmas light displays - HolidayLightMap.com.

"This is probably the change I'm most excited about this year," Higginson says about the new national site. "Holiday Light Map is going to make things easier for everyone - us for mapping, the owners for submitting and updating their display, and the end user for finding displays!"

Currently, if a homeowner wants to add their home to the BCL Map, they need to contact the BCL team via email or social media. The new national website will allow homeowners to add the displays themselves, and edit info at any time, without having to go through the BCL team as a middle-man. Holiday Light Map launched in 2019 as an idea from some light map creators across the United States, including Higginson.

Boise Christmas Lights will be sharing more information on the changes on their social media channels in spring 2020. They will finalize and launch the changes in time for the Halloween decorating season.