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How To Pick The Right Colors For Your Website

Color has power. Not only does the meaning you associate with different colors vary according to personal experience, but there is also an overall psychology to color.

If you have a website or are planning to start one, color is an important part of your brand. It makes a statement about your brand by sharing a message about your purpose, vision and values. Color also plays a role in how visitors and potential customers experience your services. 

Different color schemes impact customer’s connection to your business website and affect everything from the vibe you want to offer your readers to the calls to action and where people engage.

Why Does Website Color Matter?

Studies suggest that color affects purchasing decisions for up to 85 percent of shoppers. A whopping 60 to 90 percent of product or service assessment is based solely on color. And color may increase brand awareness by 80 percent.

Perhaps the most influential aspect of color relating to your website is the personality, style, and energy it communicates. But color also has a more practical component related to consumer purchasing behavior and helping a brand stand out.

If you want to inspire trust and confidence in your business, it’s important to spend some time considering the color choices for your website design.

You have four color options that make up your website’s color palate: your primary color, your accent colors, text color and white space.

Primary color:

Your primary color is the predominant color that dominates across the website design. This choice leads to the experience readers have, and it may show up as a single color or a gradient.

Accent color:

Your accent color is present less often, and should both complement your primary color and add something urgent, motivational or action-oriented to your pages. Accent color(s) appear on buttons or other website features designed to grab the reader’s eye and get them into action.

Font color:

Your font color is very important because this impacts how people read your text. Consider that not everyone has great eyes and lighter fonts are inherently harder to see. If anyone visits your website with eyesight challenges and needs software to “read” your page, accessibility standards require a darker font to accurately pick up the words on the page. 

Light gray text may feel softer on the eye, but is useless if customer’s can’t read your words.

White space:

Finally, there’s white space. Anyone who has studied web design for a hot minute agrees that white space is your friend. Cramming copy, design elements, images, or anything else on the screen doesn’t give off a vibe of calm, ease, or comfort. In fact, it does the exact opposite.

As you explore more about the psychology of color, consider these first four color palate considerations as you mix and match colors for your website.

Which Colors Are Right for My Website?

A good exercise to start with is to write out the key aspects of your brand identity and ideal client. Are you going for a fun, playful vibe, or are your services more serious or technical? What feelings are you trying to elicit in your website visitors? 

The experience you want to create for your visitors is at the heart of how to decide your website’s color scheme. Both your brand identity and your ability to convert readers into customers is tied up in the feeling you emit on your site.

Colors are often broken up into three categories: warm, cool, and neutral.

The associated symbolism is pretty intuitive: warm colors evoke warmth, cool colors bring calm, and neutral colors mix well with others and have a level of sophistication. Warm colors are also thought to convey a greater sense of urgency to act, which is relevant for a website.

Website colors are also sometimes described in terms of color scheme.

The color scheme on your website is the set of colors you choose to use consistently throughout the site to create both visual identity and to convey a specific mood or tone. Color schemes usually include a primary color and a set of complementary colors that are used for different design elements like buttons, links, backgrounds, patterns and even text.

Color schemes come in several different types, with the most popular being monochromatic, complementary, and analogous color schemes.

A monochromatic color scheme uses contrasts of a single color to create a balanced and coordinated look and feel.

A complementary color scheme uses colors that are on the opposite sides of the color wheel to each other. The idea is that opposites create balance and the right amount of contrast to be interesting and memorable.

An analogous color scheme uses colors that are next to each other on the color wheel to create a blended and natural look.

The choice of color scheme on a website can affect the overall mood, tone, and user experience of the website. A well-chosen color scheme supports a cohesive and visually appealing design that reflects your brand identity, and ideally, helps to get your audience engaged.

You have a rainbow of color possibilities to explore for your website. Below you’ll learn about six of the most popular colors and their meaning. Keep in mind that color psychology can vary by culture.

Be sure that the colors you choose integrate well with the rest of your website elements, like fonts and imagery. 

1. Blue website color themes  

Blue is a cool color that conveys trust, professionalism, and serenity. It also symbolizes communication and logic. Blue is a strong color for wellness, health and healing websites. Blue is also the world’s favorite color!

2. Green website color themes

Green is also a cool color. It has two main meanings, depending on the shade. Lighter greens tend to indicate growth, health, or the environment. Darker greens represent wealth, prestige, or stability.

Green hues work well for Eco-friendly brands, health and wellness websites, and financial sites that promote sustainability.

3. Red website color themes

Red is a warm color associated with passion, anger, and urgency. There’s a primal, intense aspect to the color red that people notice. This explains why stop signs, warning indicators, and emergency alerts tend to be red in our culture.

Websites that want to create a sense of urgency, such as e-commerce sites and event pages would do well to add red to their color palette.

4. Yellow website color themes

Yellow is a happy color that can be uplifting. It has a youthful, friendly vibe. It denotes creativity. Be mindful in choosing the right shade of yellow, as this is a color where it makes a big difference.

Yellow works well on websites that promote fun and creativity, such as art and design websites. It also works as a great accent color in

5. Orange website color themes

Orange is a warm color that is vibrant, youthful, and fun. It also alludes to its namesake and the freshness of fruit! It’s often used to highlight safety related messages and road signage in the U.S. too.

6. Purple website color themes

Purple is slightly less common, but is a power color if you choose to use it. It can communicate royalty, mystery, or spirituality. Purple is also associated with creativity and is a good choice for websites that offer artistic or creative services, such as design or photography.

It’s great for a predominantly female audience, but you want to consider the shade of purple and how it fits into the overall color scheme of the website. Dark shades of purple can convey a more serious or sophisticated tone. Versus lighter shades of purple that feel whimsical or playful.

With all color choices, it’s ideal to consider your audience before picking your website colors. More powerful or impactful colors that are also deeply emotional are often better as accent colors vs your primary color.

Getting Started Picking Your Website Colors:

Helping clients pick colors for their website is both enjoyable and deeply personal.

We begin by investigating a few important questions:

  1. What colors are you/your customer naturally drawn to?
  2. What hues within those colors do you like? Are you drawn to vibrant colors or muted or softer colors? For example, if blue is the color you’re drawn to, do you prefer a bright blue, navy blue, peacock blue or soft pale blue?
  3. Are there any colors you absolutely dislike?
  4. Do you currently have a logo with color suggestions you need to work with?
  5. Do you want a logo to serve as your jumping off point? Logo projects are easy starting points for the whole website. So whether you’re launching a totally new site or you’re working with an established site, a new logo is the launchpad for your website’s color palette almost 100% of the time.
  6. What is your website attempting to do? Sell therapy or coaching services? Sell a product or line of products? Offer information or expert opinions? Often within your niche are links to the complementary colors you want to consider for your website.
  7. Finally, images. Do you see your website with photos of nature? People? Patterns? Drawn pictures or illustrations? Neutral or monochromatic color scheme? Thinking through how vibrant you envision your blog images or other photos on your website will give you a sense of how muted or vibrant you want your background and button colors.

Answering these questions will help you (and your team) get closer to aligning the colors with your mission or vision. It’s also wise to investigate how other businesses like yours use color and imagery on their websites. The suggestion here isn’t to mirror your competition, but to gain a better understanding of how color is being used.

This will give you extra data to help as you make your decisions.

How many color schemes should we have on one website?

Once you have decided on your color scheme (see discussion above), then you can decide on how many colors you want on your website. Most of our clients decide on one main color, one or two accent colors, one font color and ample white space to help readers move through your content as easily as possible. You can add other elements to your site to help

How can I test out colors before committing to a color palette for my website?

This is the FUN part. There are many color palette selection tools online and you can lose hours playing with them. You can do this on your own, with your team or if you decide to invest in a logo, with your designer.

Here are a few free color tools you can try out:

https://coolors.co/

https://color.adobe.com/create/color-wheel

https://www.canva.com/colors/color-palette-generator/

What colors should I avoid on my website?

Great question. The obvious answer is anything that turns you off, would be culturally unkind (aka means something harsh or offensive) or is glaringly garish or off putting.

The less-than-obvious answer is you really can use whatever colors align with your brand and identity as long as people can read it. Pink text or neon text is hard to read. Avoid things like that. But if red and green are your brand colors, you can use them just be aware that customers may associate the Christmas holiday with your site.

Choose Your Website Colors Wisely 

In a world full of beautiful colors, picking the right colors for your website is an important process. It’s an exercise in practical and emotional digging to discover from your intention to your practical purposes, what colors will do for your website.

Take your time, as it is better to get it right than have to rebrand later. Ask others for their opinions as you work through different colors and website possibilities. Finally, enjoy the creative process of developing your brand personality!

Need help with your website colors or overall website strategy? Please contact us for a free consultation to explore what we can do to help.

author avatar
Melanie Gorman
Melanie Gorman is the owner and operator of Crownsville Media. She holds a masters in counseling psychology and has been in the fields of web development, SEO optimization and content creation for more than 20 years.

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