Choosing Your Website Colours



Choosing the right color scheme for your new website might be the most important single decision you will make in the start-up phase of your new website.

But, how do you make sure that the colors you choose are right for your web site?

Don’t Choose The Colors that you Prefer

The best advice is to not determine the colors based on what you like. It doesn’t really matter. This is especially important if you are not part of the demographic group that you targeting.

You want to choose colors based on what sells the most or what keeps the visitors at your web site the longest and allows them to leave with a positive perception of the web site.

Overview of Web Site Colors

Let’s take a look at the rainbow of color possibilities you have for your web site.


Red is the most powerful color available. It is associated with energy, aggressiveness, passion, and danger. It is friendly and attractive. Red enhances metabolism and raises blood pressure.

Red is often used on web sites that:

Promote increased energy and enthusiasm.
Are for children.

Red is great if used as an accent color to stimulate visitors to “buy now” or “click here.”

Think of all the chinese colours RED it signifies strength and if used well on a website it works

Think of HSBC ,Qantas Virgin all of their sites revolve around the colour red.


Orange is a powerful color that is the most undesirable to women. It offers happiness, courage, and success. It is funny and bold. Orange combines the energy of red with the cheerfulness of yellow. Orange increases blood supply to the brain and stimulates thought.

Orange is best used on web sites that:

Wish to increase appetite (food products).
Stimulate enthusiasm.
Promote positive thinking.
Wish to increase creativity.
Offer relief from boredom (games).
Have a youthful audience.
Promote toys.


Yellow is sunshine, joy, creativity, cheerfulness, and intelligence. It also is symbolic of cowardice so it is not an ideal color choice for men. It is also a highly communicative color.

Pure yellow puts more strain on your eye than any other color. Therefore, it is recommended that yellow be used sparingly. If used too much on a site, it may fatigue the visitor and cause them to leave sooner. That being said, yellow is often the color that the eye will gravitate to first. Hence, it is a great color to use in banners or for “can’t miss” text.

Yellow is best used on web sites that:

Appeal to children.
Promote leisure products.
Promote improved memory.
Promote relief from personality disorders like depression.
Do not need to appeal to men.


Green reminds the user of nature. It is symbolic of prosperity, wealth and safety. It is flexible and harmonious. Green is the most restful color to the human eye.

Green is best used on web sites that:

Propose change (Surprisingly, the primary color of Barack Obama for President Barack Obama’s web site is blue.)
Give new ideas.
Offer protection.
Promise financial success.
Are for a nature group.


Blue is the color of the sea and the sky and is the most conservative choice you have for a web site color. When in doubt, choose blue and you won’t go wrong. Blue conveys trust, loyalty, confidence, and intelligence. Studies show that the color blue relaxes the nervous system and increases productivity.

Blue is best used on web sites that:

Appeal to a wide demographic of age and sex like an like a news site.
Wish to relax the viewer.
Offer new information.
Are for web design companies in sydney
Have an international audience.
Are related to clean and professional
Promote precision high-tech products.
Offer diet products (blue suppresses appetite).

Avoid using blue for any small text or thin line diagrams on a web site. Small blue print is difficult for the eye to perceive.


Purple offers a web site a sense of sophistication, dignity, sensitivity, and romance. It is admired and intuitive.

Purple is best used on web sites that:

Offer spiritual fulfillment (religion).
Want you to use your imagination.
Offer a calming effect (some vacations).
Target pre-adolescent children.


White is associated with cleanliness, simplicity, and youth. It’s hard to imagine a business-oriented web site without any white on it.

White is best used on a web site that:

Requires significant reading of text
Is high-tech, but wants to appear to be easy to use.
Promotes a charitable organization.
Sells medical products.
Sells diet foods or dairy products.


Black is authoritative, reliable, and constant.

Black is best used on a web site that:

Is formal (banking)
Is authoritative (legal)
Sells art or photography products (it will make the pictures stand out).

Choose Colors that Your Visitors Can Actually See

This seems like simple advice, but web browsers don’t have an unlimited amount of colors available to them. Web browsers can show 256 different colors; of those colors, 216 are common on all major web browsers.

If you don’t use one of the 216 colors, the browser has to attempt to mix the color that it does not support. This is known as “dithering” and the results are often less than satisfactory.

More Color Tips

Take a look at a white web site with black print. It’s the easiest to read, but there’s certainly nothing attractive or exciting about it. Start by thinking about putting a dark font on a light background.

In addition to white, another safe background choice is gray.

Extremely bright colors such as greens, reds, yellows, or blues will cause eye fatigue and chase visitors away prematurely.

Avoid mixing blue and yellow or blue and red.

It is best to limit a site to five color choices. Certainly, there should be no more than seven for a larger site. Use the same color shades consistently throughout the web site.

When using a dull color such as gray or black, make it pop by adding a bright color like orange for an outstanding effect.

When in doubt, use white for the background.

The younger your audience is, the more vivid colors you should use.

Men prefer blue and orange to red and yellow. Women prefer red and yellow versus blue and orange.

Another good color for a male-oriented site is brown. Brown promotes masculine qualities.

Color-blindness is prevalent in men. In fact, one in twelve men have some form of color deficient vision. If your web site is aimed at men, make sure your color scheme is simple and clear.

Women are far more likely than men to respond both positively or negatively to a web site based on its color. Women prefer softer pastel colors. Women are more likely to view contrasting colors negatively.

Colors mean different things internationally. White signifies bad luck in China, Japan, and India. Purple is associated with prostitution in Arabic cultures. Green, while symbolic of money in the United States, does not have the same appeal in foreign countries where money is multi-colored. The safest color that appears to not have any negative connotation in any country is blue.

Gold is another good choice for a web site color. Gold evokes feeling of prestige and quality.

Choose the Right Colors

The goal of your web site is to connect with your visitors. It really doesn’t matter what you like or what your significant other likes. What matters is what colors your audience likes. Your color scheme must be carefully selected, because choosing the wrong color scheme can adversely affect your visitor’s experience and decrease your sales.

By choosing the right colors that your audience desires, you can invoke increased feelings of a positive reaction to your web site and actually increase sales.

Your color selection is the single most important first impression that your site will give your visitors. Make a great first impression by using the best possible color scheme for your target audience.

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