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Choosing the right colours for your website

Choosing the right colours for your website

Choosing colours for your website is often a science, if you know your market, then you can do one thing to create an attractive website that will bring attention to potential customers/members.  It should be stated that you should not spend too much time worrying about what your website looks like and more time on making the site is functional and providing value in a way that people find easy to access.  Google loves content, so if your website is new do not spend months with a live website that has no content.

You should always try to be consistent with your websites design, you should try to pick 3-4/5 colours and stick with them, try to create a logo and theme which compliment each other.

There are lots of different people who use the internet for different reasons. What might these people be wanting to find?  How do they want to find it?  How can we make it easier for them?  What would make them want to come back to our site?  How can we make the website relate to their interests?


  • Young children Bright saturated colours, as in picture books and cartoons
  • Elderly May have poor vision and see distorted colours due to cataracts, etc.
  • Busy professionals Want information quickly and simply displayed. Business professionals don’t want to waste time playing around with fancy graphics, they want to get to the “money”.  Or get what they are looking for without fuss.  They want sharp and clean vectors, facts and figures, info-graphics are advised.
  • People knowing what they want, like to find things fast and see what they are going to get.  Test and images go well together, this could be to attract attention, for example ‘half price – limited time’. A lot of text will only be read by some users. For example, ‘Model B32/1 – price £6.57 inc. VAT’, which may be irrelevant to 99% of visitors. Such information should be understated and easy to find by position rather than colour.
  • Shoppers Similar to the above, but probably know what most things look like and don’t need images of everything. Want rapid and easy navigation between thousands of items. Colour can help structure the information, e.g. emphasising product classes. Warm and cool colours can be deployed, e.g. frozen foods versus roasts. Susceptible to impulse purchase – high colour contrast can be used to attract attention (for example, see Figure 34).
  • Club and society members might want colours which reflect their interests, e.g.:
  • Hikers might like pastel greens and cool colours
  • Bikers might like saturated ‘shiny’ metallic colours
  • Use variants of the same colours
  • Knitters might like many hues and levels of saturation
  • Militarists might like tunic-red, breeches-blues, and gunmetal grey
  • Pale colours are often easy on the eye
  • Lovers may like pinks and reds
  • Roboticists might like futuristic saturated colours against dark backgrounds
  • Educational websites want information clearly laid out on web pages and across sites.  Essential information should stand out clearly, and can be highlighted by boldness, or varied colours/sizes. Using colour to identify different kinds of information can be very useful, you should use it consistently across you website and, ideally, consistently throughout the studies/courses or guides. Essentially the student/reader becomes accustomed to a certain way of the information being displayed.

Colour associations:

  • blue – trust, reliability, coolness
  • orange – playfulness, warmth, virancy
  • purple – Royal, dignity
  • Gold – Prestige, Royalty, expensive
  • silver – scientific
  • Green – Nature, Fresh, Cool, Growth
  • Red – Excitement, danger, passion, strength
  • Pink – Soft, Sweet, Girly, nurture
  • Black – Mystery, seduction, sophistication
  • White – Pure, Clean

In summary:

  • Be consistent
  • Use 3-4 colours
  • Keep your logo and theme similar colours (perhaps variants on the same colours)
  • Use boldness and different headlines to attract attention
  • Choose a colour scheme and stick to it
  • White backgrounds are often best
  • Do not complicate your website with too many colours or images
  • Be concise
A helpful website for colours:

I hope this gives you some ideas as to how to choose a great colour scheme for your website!

Written by OIiver

Oliver is a 20 year old web-enthusiast and entrepreneur from the UK. He enjoys Marketing, SEO, Technology and Business.