How to Pick a Good Website Colour Scheme

Why is a website colour scheme important? Did you know – most people will make a subconscious decision about your website within the first few minutes, based on color alone? A website colour scheme is one of the most important elements to the design and often misused. Colour is hands down, the strongest and most persuasive element of visual appeal.

A good colour scheme will have a positive effect on your readers. Selecting the right colours should be implemented consistently and coherently across your branded website – including logos, titles, text, and icons etc. This creates a strong brand recognition and nurtures customer loyalty.

Choosing the Right Colours for your Website

Whenever you go to a restaurant, one of the first things you notice before tucking into a meal, is the overall presentation. Using the right colours can increase your appetite! In this instance, enhance the content of your website.

Web colour schemes should be chosen to compliment your services or products using tones that work well together. If you have a poor collection of colours, visitors will leave your site – no matter how good the content may be.

What are the best color combinations for websites?

A web trend that started around 2005 was inverted colours – white text on a black background. These pages can be very difficult to read – especially if the website uses additional bright colours. Don’t get me wrong, I’m criticising the readability of the web pages and not the artistic visibility. My personal choice is to use colours that work well together, without straining the eyes.

Try reading your local newspaper or favourite novel – with black pages! The default web colour schemes for pages are usually black text on a white background. Tone the colours down. Dark grey font on a light coloured page works extremely well. This makes it easier to read, especially for those with impaired vision.

How many colors should I use for my website?

Choose 2–3 colours and use them consistently throughout the website. This creates a chromatic harmony. Decide which is going to be the primary colour.

How to Choose a Website Color Scheme?

  • Keep it simple
  • Learn the basics of color psychology
  • Remember – colors arouse emotions
  • Integrate your branding: logo, font etc.
  • Think about gender
  • Consider the age group of your target visitors

Web Colors Stir Emotions

The color you choose for your website may vary – depending on your visitors geographical location. Colors that appeal to you, may not necessarily appeal to your visitors.

Here are just a few examples:

  • Red: evokes strong emotions, passions and urgency
  • Blue: associated with peace and often used in business
  • Green: constitutes health tranquility and symbolizes wealth
  • Yellow: represents warmth and attention grabbing
  • Orange: reflects excitement and confidence
  • Purple: shows wealth, success and associated with royalty

For Example: if you’re a horticulture then you should probably go with green because it’s associated with nature. Don’t base a color scheme on your biases! Your favorite colors may be purple and black! However, adding personal preference to your website may end up costing you!

e-Commerce Website Colours

If you have an e-commerce website, de-saturate the colours. You should try to draw your viewers eyes to the items being sold. An e-Commerce site that looks like a Christmas tree is very distracting!

If you are not sure on an e-Commerce colour scheme, go with the standard black text on a white background. Add the products and decide on the colours after! You can always edit the css style sheet later. Add a colour scheme to match the content – products and images!

Safe Website Colours

Are you are looking for safe web colours? There are numerous sites that provide pallet and color combination schemes. These sites were developed to help you find the perfect colour combination.

Website Color Scheme Generators

One of my favorite websites is DeGraeve Color Palette Generator. You paste in the URL to your image and match the palette accordingly! It couldn’t get any easier!

Don’t Forget to Check Out Your Competition

Look at your competitors websites. You can learn a lot from competitors in the same industry and get an idea of what works and what doesn’t.


Whatever colour schemes you choose for your website, ensure you view the pages with a sceptical eye. Remember, if it’s hard to read your visitors will move on. If you’d like to know more about website development see our article on Website Design for Beginners.

Leave a Comment