Website Colors

How important is your choice of website colors?

Your choice of website colors is one of the most important decisions you will make in designing and building your website, apart from your words and content of course. 

The Internet is primarily a visual medium and color is the easiest and most advantageous way to get your message across to your visitors.

Understanding color psychology and the subconscious and subliminal  effect of color on the emotions, can help you make an informed decision on your best choice of colors in the creation of a better website to capture the attention of your visitor, and potential customer, and add meaning, simplicity, clarity and power to your website design.

Here is a list of the major points to take into account in choosing your website colors:

1. Understand the psychological meanings of your choices for website colors

  • Red is attention-getting

  • Orange is adventurous and affordable
  • Green is balancing and reflects nature
  • Turquoiseis clarity of thought and communication
  • Blue is honesty and trustworthiness
  • Indigo in integrity and sincerity
  • Purple is individual, creative and inventive
  • Magenta is compassionate, spiritual yet practical
  • Pink is loving, compassionate, understanding, youthful and romantic
  • Whiteis simplicity, cleanliness, order and the new slate to write upon
  • Black is authority, power and control
  • Gray is neutral, refined and contemporary
  • Brown is comfort, dependability and friendliness
  • Silver will appear as gray on a website so read the information on gray to endure that is the message you wish to send
  • Gold can appear as a dirty yellow which is not positive for any business. Adjust gold on your website to a golden yellow and read the meaning of the color yellow to see if it imparts the message you want to send

More on meaning of colors in business....

2. Have knowledge of the impact of your website color choices on other cultures

With the worldwide influence of the Internet, cultural meanings of color are no longer as important. Western meanings are slowly becoming more accepted all over the world. Still, it would pay you to be aware of any cultural differences in meaning if you are selling to a particular country or ethnic group.

  • Red is the color of good luck and celebration in China but a color of mourning in South Africa
  • Yellow is sacred and auspicious in China and India, but the color of mourning in Egypt
  • Green is associated with wealth and prestige in Saudi Arabia but traditionally a forbidden color in Indonesia In Belgium
  • Blue, in Belgium, is traditionally the color for baby girls, while pink is for baby boys; in the rest of the world it is the opposite, pink for baby girls and blue for baby boys

For more on the cultural meaning of colors and color symbolism……

3. Find the best website colors to attract your target market

Different colors appeal to different markets. Men tend to prefer different colors to women, children prefer brighter and simpler block colors to adults, teenagers have their own preferences, some are appropriate to corporate businesses, some to beauty shops, some to gift shops and some to fast food outlets.

  • People in tropical countries prefer brighter and warmer colors
  • People in countries with cooler climates prefer cooler colors 
  • Young children prefer bright primary and secondary colors 
  • Well educated people prefer tertiary colors and more sophisticated colors with unusual names

More on target markets...

4. Choose the best colors for your text, links and images

If you understand the messages your website colors are sending, you can use color to your advantage to direct your visitor around your web page, to encourage them to make a purchase decision, to create unity and coherence on your website and to create a unique brand for your business.

  • Red calls for action to be taken and directs visitors around your site
  • Green assists decision-making
  • Blue suggests credibility and honesty
  • Indigo implies sincerity and integrity

5. Choose the background color for readability of all text written on it

  • The best choice for background color is probably white as it provides the most readable background for most text colors, except yellow and very pastel colors 

  • Pastel color backgrounds work well with darker text, or you may choose a pale neutral background such as gray, beige or cream 
  • If you choose a mid tone background color, use stronger, darker and brighter colors for your text, links, images and accent colors to keep a balanced look 
  • Dark background colors can work well if you have very bright or very pastel color accents and maybe white for the text 
  • Whatever your choices, be sure to understand the messages the colors are sending to the viewer and check for readability of the text

Read about the psychological meanings of color in business to choose the best colors for your text and background.

Remember to:

  • Keep your website simple and clear by limiting the number of colors you use.
  • Choose 2 to 3 main colors and use shades and tints of these colors to make your website look interesting.

While this is not intended as a 'how to' for your website, this information will give you the knowledge to make an informed decision regarding your color choices.

At the least, if you are using a web designer, with the knowledge available on this website, you can work in conjunction with them to find the best colors to communicate your message.

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