How Colors Can Help and Harm Your Website

Color is a major part of our lives. It is one of the first things that we start identifying during our formative years. Most of us are of the impression that color matters only for selecting dresses and painting houses; however, we are not correct in such thinking. Whether buying a car, buying a phone, designing a house, or designing a website, color plays a major role.

Let’s talk about the role of colors when designing a website. Although you might be very sharp with color selection, you might make some common blunders when selecting color schemes for websites. The web world or the internet world is one of the more promising businesses today. Ranging from small business holders to giant entrepreneurs, everyone uses websites or the ecommerce world to generate traffic, revenue, and branding. Although not all businesses utilize ecommerce, they maintain websites to generate traffic and for branding purposes, generating revenues if not directly, then indirectly.

Currently, whether selling shoes and belts or offering courses and books, the web market has spread rapidly. Talking about websites, let’s talk about the color factors that we face in our daily usage of the internet. We see hundreds of websites each month; we like some and don’t others. The former can due to various reasons, such as effective design, structure, good navigation, and quality information. We might dislike websites for the opposite reasons. One significant factor for websites is colors. Imagine how many times you have bounced back from a website due to the extra bright colors and hard-to-see text. This happens with a lot of people. People visit a website and as soon as they land, they face a bizarre mixture of colors; although the website might provide quality help, due to the design colors, its impression makes people leave, misinterpreting its value. This is obviously something that you do not want your business to face. The first thing that people notice about your website is design and color scheme—before content and product; therefore, you need to always make sure that you are being nothing but the perfectionist while choosing color schemes for your site. This article discusses the common mistakes people make when choosing a color scheme for a website and techniques to use to avoid such silly blunders. Let’s first look at the mistakes.

Using a Host of Bold Colors

One of the most common mistakes that web designers commit when choosing color schemes for websites is using a host of bold colors. No matter how much of a fan you are of loud and bright colors, when it comes to designing a website, always keep it subtle. Using one bright color or at max two bold colors is enough to highlight your website with correct balance. Anything more creates a bizarre look for the website. You should not make your users feel that they need to put on sunglasses in order to visit your website. When using bold colors you should be more careful about choosing the correct match and a lighter background to complement it. Choosing bold colors is not a bad idea, just make sure to match the perfect lighter shades, which is a big challenge to deal with.

Using Overly Timid Colors

Just as using overly bold colors are not a great idea, using overly timid colors can serve as a disadvantage as well. Using too many bright colors might make your users miss their sunglasses while browsing your website; your users might feel sleepy if you use too many timid colors. Web designs should invoke interest in your product. If you are trying to avoid bold colors, you might end up committing another error of using too many dull and timid colors. While avoiding bright and bold colors, you should not end up designing a dull and boring website that makes your users leave your site as soon as they enter. Your design should “pop” and create an effective impact on your user. It should have the capability to stand out as a design without being too subtle or too loud. Thus, the secret behind creating a well-designed website is developing a perfectly balanced use of colors.

Using Overly Saturated Colors

As previously mentioned, you can use bold colors by matching them with other lighter shades for your website. Too much boldness is not good for your website. At times the mistake is not with the brightness of colors, but with their saturation. Oversaturated colors not only look awkward for the website, but also are not physically soothing. Therefore, it is always important to balance the saturation of the colors that you are using. Bright colors should be used more carefully, saturation should be adjusted wisely.

Using too Many Colors

Unless your website owns a business for paints, using lots of colors together will be a bad idea. You need to understand the fact that your website is not a garden. You cannot put all variations of colors in the same space. You might have come across various websites that offer great examples of this error. As soon as you enter such a website, you feel as if you have entered a circus with all sorts of colors swirling around you. It is critical for you as a designer to select colors that complement each other and try to use fewer colors overall. Choose one or more colors that match each other perfectly when choosing the color scheme for your website. Too many cooks spoil the broth and too many colors spoil a design. Therefore, it is always better to keep it simple when choosing a color scheme.

Color and Target Audience

Designing a website does not mean just creating a website with a cool look and feel. If you think that web designers do not need to be aware of the business products and the target audience, you should think again. Designing colors should always move along with the audience’s choice. Creating a professional forum type of website with orange and red colors might be a very bad choice. Similarly, creating a kids’ website with beige and grey will be a terrible idea. Identify your target audience and then select the colors for the website from their perspective. For example, if you are hosting a children’s games website, you need to choose bright colors such as yellow, blue, and orange while still keeping in mind the first mentioned error. On the other hand, when it comes to professional websites or article sites, it is always safer to use beige, white, or any lighter shades for design. This helps users to read the content clearly without hurting their eyes. Therefore, when choosing a color scheme for website, always make sure that you are keeping your audience as the first priority. After all, you are creating the site for the audience; dissatisfying them would not at all be a good idea for your business.

Color and Hosting Product

Another essential factor to keep in mind when designing a website is the product being sold. Choosing a mismatched color with the product is a big “no no” when it comes to designing a website. The color that you are using should go well with the product that you are selling. Suppose you are hosting a photography-related website and to give your website a cool effect you use blurred or hazy shades of colors. Your product and website color are completely mismatched. Similarly, if you are hosting an energy drink product and the color of your website is dull and absolutely light, both will together look bizarre. Therefore, you should always make sure that the colors chosen for your website design complement your product.

Color and Brand

You website is the epitome of your business; you cannot keep the two separate. Although you might not deal with an ecommerce business, choosing a color scheme that matches your brand color is a good idea for branding your website as well as making a stronger connection with the brand. Here, brand color means the logo or the banner that shows up when it comes to your business. The color that you have chosen should complement the logo of your brand. People should be able to identify and feel the connection between your website and your business. Imagine your audience seeing one thing offline and something extremely opposite online; how can you expect them to recognize the connection between you and your business? The website of your business and the business itself are not two separate things; they are part of the same family. The color schemes for both should clearly signify this factor. Moreover, matching color with your brand helps your users easily remember your site.

Colors and Pages

Your website can have an infinite number of pages, but it is always important to maintain uniformity in your website. You might be promoting different products, but that does not mean you should keep shifting your color choice from page to page. There should be uniform basis of colors across your website. You might be tempted to choose different colors and experiment while designing new pages for your website, but you should realize the fact that choosing a different color for your new pages will mislead your customers who are used to your regular template. Moreover, your customers might misinterpret it as a different brand due to varied colors; thus, you might lose your customers’ hard-earned trust. Imagine Wikipedia having different colors of pages—bizarre, isn’t it? Therefore always be sure that you are maintaining uniformity in selecting colors for your pages. This not only helps your customers connect with your business, but also enhances their user experience while navigating from one page to another. Thus, choosing uniform colors for multiple pages of the same website is an effective and useful practice in web designing.

Color Clashes

One of the most common and frequent color blunders committed not just by amateur designers, but also experienced designers is color clashes. One should have the ability to judge color combinations when designing a website. Website design is different from fashion design. Yellow might go well with green when it comes to designing a dress, but the same may not be a case with websites. When designing a website you need to first understand the motif of your website and the idea behind its creation. Undoubtedly you want people to visit your website and collect information or ideas or buy products. To fulfill this goal, your customer should be allowed to explore your website and read the content clearly. In that case, a color clash might be a great disadvantage. You should be able to judge whether the background color is not at all highlighting the font color, making it difficult for readers to read your text. Florescent colors might make it very distracting to read the content. Thus, you need to be very sure about the color choice. Color clashes do not always mean background colors and font colors. There can also be color clashes between the header and the center, between the background and the foreground, and so on.

Too Much Pink

Despite of the worldwide debate about girls liking pink and boys liking blue, one fact that a designer needs to understand is people believe this distinction. Anyone, regardless of gender, who lands on a page with pinks will consider the website to be a baby care or beauty website. Unless you are branding either of these products, avoid pink. We do not at all mean avoid pink completely. If your business moves on well with pink, there’s no harm in designing your website with it. For example, a website for interior design and floral designs might include some pink; however, too much is overkill. Therefore, even if you use pink, do not make it look like a Barbie house unless you are branding one.


Avoiding these common mistakes when choosing color schemes will help strengthen your website. Now, let’s take a look at some of the best techniques that we can undertake use to avoid such common mistakes and create a subtle and elegant colored website.

  • Thematic color design: One of the common mistakes previously mentioned is choosing a color that goes against your brand or product. A color that doesn’t go well with your logo and brand will obviously look awkward on you website. Therefore, one of the best techniques for choosing the right color for your website is selecting a thematic color that complements your design, logo, and header and together looks elegant.
  • Color combinations: When designing a website, you can use either complementing colors or contrasting colors, being careful with both. If you are using complementing colors, you can use different shades of the same color in your design. This works very well for article websites and professional websites. If you are using contrasting colors, you can use them to highlight important things on your website. However, you should make sure that when contrasting colors you are not making it too loud as a design. A little carelessness might make contrasting colors a mess.
  • Background colors: When designing a website, it is always preferable to use light color shades—beige, white, or pastels—in order to highlight your text and products clearly and visibly for visitors. When based on the product and brand, the selection of loud background colors is acceptable, but the central color should contrast and still look elegant against the background color.
  • Font colors: Choosing font colors is also a very important and a major factor that creates an impact on the entire color scheme selection of websites. You need to understand that the sole motif of your website is to make your customers read your product information available on the website. Just as the size and style of font are important, the right font color helps ensure visibility for users. The standard text color used across websites is black. Designers usually use black except when highlighting links and important headings and subheadings. However, if your website deals with kids or fun elements, you can also use other bright colors complementing your background color in order to make it move well with the theme while still being visible and readable.

In addition to following these important and effective techniques when designing a website, browse professional and popular websites to understand the effect of color combinations and use of complementary and contrasting colors. You can also get an idea of how background and text colors are used to complement each other and how some other colors are used to highlight important factors of colors. You can derive inspiration from popular websites, but always remember that copying or replicating a good website might be a great disadvantage for your particular website and business. People might misinterpret the two, and you might lose business as well as respect among users. Therefore, exploring other websites for color knowledge should be done for inspiration, not mimicry. You should also refer to psychological connections of color. Colors invoke emotions and have to do a lot with people’s psyche; therefore, gaining some knowledge on color indications and symbolism will help you better in your web design work. Along with an understanding of color, symbolic knowledge of color will be helpful when designing websites. All these aspects are essential and should be kept in mind when choosing color schemes for creating a well-designed website.

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  1. Thank you for this post. when I work with graphics design or web design, I fall on hesitation . this post is very helpful for me. thank you thank you so much for this post

  2. “Anyone, regardless of gender, who lands on a page with pinks will consider the website to be a baby care or beauty website. ”

    That’s a pretty grand and sweeping generalization. Thanks for categorizing all the products, brands, brand personas and markets of all the world for me. And with such CONFIDENCE, too!

    So let’s recap.
    1) Redundant writing
    2) No examples
    3) sweeping generalizations about “right” and “wrong” solutions for brands, typography and design.

  3. Lots of good info. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Nice article. The colors play an important role and all the colors have their own importance in web design.

  5. really good article

    We would like to have a colourful design
    do not include in the design
    memorable and simple
    we would like the logo to be iconic enough to stand on its own as recognizable
    hint at painting, sculpting, artwork, artists…any of these
    may consider a mascot to represent as well

    plz contact my skype” rechal.lynn

  6. Marketers have been citing the importance of colors on purchases for decades. Though there are not a lot of academic researches to back up this claim, I say color does have an effect on people. While we cannot say for everyone that color affects them as well, true believers (like me) will believe on the power of colors. I came across this interesting infographic from KISSMetrics in It explains how color affects purchases. It’s an interesting graphic, so go check it out.

  7. I would definitely be interested in getting that set!

  8. Great information but as a Human Factors engineer I try to influence designers that contrast is most important. You should always test the character to background to ensure enough contrast. there are tools available for this testing. I have found designers using colors that only offer 1.32 to 1 contrast and this just does not work. The Web consortium suggests that you use either the AA or AAA levels of contrast. I frequently recommend the AAA contrast ratio so all can see easily and read. Black on white is roughly 18.8 to 1.
    The use of gray as this site uses would not pass muster I imagine. Gray is a fuzzy color that force the mind to work hard to separate it from the background and them make it sharp for easy viewing.
    Many of my peers hate the gray color as I do. It is a designers way to push things into the background, but if you put words on the page they should be readable and easy. This site also uses a smaller font in some places.

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