The Dos And Don’ts Of Website Color Schemes

When designing a website, one of the most important aspects to consider is the color scheme. Your website’s color scheme sets the tone for your brand, affects the user’s experience, and can even influence their behavior. With so much riding on your color choices, it’s crucial to understand the dos and don’ts of website color schemes.

First and foremost, it’s important to understand the psychology of colors and how they can impact your audience. Certain colors can evoke emotions and feelings, such as trust, excitement, or calmness. Choosing the right color scheme for your brand can help reinforce your message and create a connection with your audience.

In this article, we’ll walk you through the steps to choose an effective color scheme, use color combinations effectively, and avoid common mistakes when it comes to website color schemes.

Key Takeaways

  • Understand the psychology of colors and choose a scheme that matches the brand’s personality and message.
  • Use complementary colors effectively, create contrast for accessibility, and use color sparingly to avoid clashes.
  • Test the color scheme for user experience and update it for relevance, while maintaining a consistent look and feel and reflecting core values.
  • Do research color trends and consider the target audience, but don’t abandon the current scheme or choose clashing colors.

Understanding the Psychology of Colors

It’s important to understand the psychology of colors when choosing a website color scheme, so you don’t accidentally send the wrong message to your audience. Colors have the power to evoke emotions, influence moods, and shape perceptions.

For example, red is often associated with passion and excitement, while blue conveys a sense of calmness and trustworthiness. When choosing colors for your website, consider the emotions and messages you want to convey.

If you’re running a finance website, using calming colors like blue and green can help establish trust with your audience. On the other hand, if you’re running a fashion or beauty website, using bold and vibrant colors like pink and orange can evoke excitement and energy.

Understanding the psychology of colors can help you create a website that resonates with your target audience and effectively communicates your brand message.

Choosing the Right Color Scheme for Your Brand

You want to make sure your brand’s colors accurately reflect its personality and message. Choosing the right color scheme can make a huge impact on how your audience perceives your brand. Consider the emotions and associations that different colors evoke and choose a palette that aligns with your brand’s values and goals.

To help you choose the right color scheme for your brand, consider the following table:

Color Emotions/Associations Brands
Red Energy, passion, excitement Coca Cola, Netflix
Blue Trust, calmness, stability Facebook, IBM
Green Nature, growth, health Whole Foods, Starbucks
Yellow Optimism, happiness, warmth McDonald’s, IKEA

Remember that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to choosing a color scheme. It ultimately depends on your brand’s unique personality and message. Take the time to experiment with different colors and combinations until you find the perfect fit for your brand.

Using Color Combinations Effectively

Maximizing the impact of your brand’s personality requires careful consideration of how color combinations can be used effectively. Choosing the right color combination can help you create a cohesive and visually appealing website that can attract and retain visitors.

Here are some dos and don’ts to keep in mind when using color combinations for your website:

  • DO use colors that complement each other. Using colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel, such as red and green or blue and orange, can create a pleasing contrast that draws the eye. However, be careful not to overdo it as using too many contrasting colors can make your website look busy and confusing.

  • DON’T use too many colors. Using too many colors can make your website look cluttered and unprofessional. A good rule of thumb is to use no more than three or four colors in your color scheme.

  • DO consider the psychology behind colors. Different colors can evoke different emotions and feelings in people. For example, blue is often associated with trust and reliability, while yellow is associated with happiness and optimism. Consider the message you want to convey and choose colors accordingly.

By following these dos and don’ts, you can create a color scheme that enhances your brand’s personality and helps you achieve your website’s goals.

Creating Contrast for Accessibility

Creating contrast is essential for making your website accessible to all users, as it helps to distinguish between different elements on the page. When designing your website’s color scheme, it’s important to consider how users with visual impairments or color blindness will perceive the colors. By creating sufficient contrast between text and background, you can make your website more readable and user-friendly for everyone.

To ensure your website has sufficient contrast, consider using the following table as a guide. The table provides a range of contrast ratios between text and background colors, with the recommended ratio being at least 4.5:1 for normal text and 3:1 for large text. By following these guidelines, you can improve the accessibility of your website and make it easier for all users to navigate and read.

Text Color Background Color Contrast Ratio
Black White 21:1
Dark Gray White 8:1
Light Gray Dark Gray 4:1
White Black 21:1
White Dark Gray 10:1
White Light Gray 5:1

Incorporating Color in Your Design Elements

Incorporating color in your design elements can add depth and personality, making them more engaging for users. It’s a simple way to make your website more visually appealing. Here are some tips to help you incorporate color effectively:

  • Choose a color palette that reflects your brand. Your color palette should be consistent with your brand identity. Consider the emotions you want your brand to evoke and choose colors that reflect those emotions.

  • Use color to guide the user’s eye. Color can be used to draw attention to important elements on your website. Use color to create contrast between important elements and less important elements.

When incorporating color, it’s important to remember to use it sparingly. Too much color can be overwhelming and distracting for users. Consider the overall balance of your color palette and make sure it complements your website’s design and content. By incorporating color thoughtfully, you can create a website that is both visually appealing and easy to use.

Avoiding Color Clashes and Overuse

To prevent a visual nightmare, it’s crucial to be mindful of the combinations of hues chosen for your design elements. One mistake that many designers make is incorporating too many colors into their website. While it may seem like a good idea to add as much color as possible to make your website stand out, overusing colors can actually be overwhelming and distracting to the user.

Another issue to watch out for is color clashes. Certain colors can clash and create an unpleasant visual experience for the user. For example, red and green are complementary colors, but using them together in equal amounts can create a jarring effect.

To avoid color clashes, it’s important to choose colors that complement each other or are within the same color family. Keep in mind that the goal of your website is to provide a positive user experience, and choosing the right color scheme can play a big role in achieving that goal.

Testing Your Color Scheme for User Experience

When evaluating your website’s color scheme, you can assess its effectiveness in providing a positive user experience by conducting usability tests. One of the simplest ways to test your color scheme is by asking a group of people to look at your website and give their honest opinion.

Ask them questions like: Does the color scheme make it easy to navigate the website? Are the colors pleasing to the eye? Does the color scheme make it easy to find important information?

Another way to test your color scheme is by using software, such as heat mapping, to track where users are clicking on your website. This can give you an idea of which colors are drawing people’s attention and which colors are being overlooked.

You can then adjust your color scheme accordingly to make sure that the most important information stands out. By testing your color scheme, you can ensure that your website is providing a positive user experience and is effectively communicating your message.

Updating Your Color Scheme for Brand Evolution

Now that you’ve tested your color scheme and received positive feedback, it’s time to think about how your brand will evolve. Brands are constantly changing and growing, and your color scheme should reflect that.

Updating your color scheme can be a great way to stay current and relevant in an ever-changing market. When updating your color scheme, it’s important to keep your brand’s essence in mind. You want to maintain a consistent look and feel across all platforms. However, you also want to evolve and differentiate yourself from competitors.

Here are a few do’s and don’ts to keep in mind when updating your color scheme:

  • DO research color trends and think about how they could be incorporated into your brand’s aesthetic.

  • DO consider your target audience and what colors would resonate with them.

  • DON’T completely abandon your current color scheme. Instead, think about how you can build upon it and make it better.

  • DON’T choose colors that clash or make it difficult for users to navigate your website.

Updating your color scheme can be a fun and exciting process, but it’s important to approach it thoughtfully. By following these do’s and don’ts, you can ensure that your brand’s evolution is successful and reflective of your core values.


Congratulations! You now have a solid understanding of the dos and don’ts of website color schemes. By understanding the psychology of colors and choosing the right color scheme for your brand, you can create a visually appealing and effective website.

Remember to use color combinations effectively and create contrast for accessibility. Incorporating color in your design elements can also add an extra layer of interest to your website.

However, it’s important to avoid color clashes and overuse. Testing your color scheme for user experience is crucial to ensure that your website is easy to use and navigate. And as your brand evolves, don’t be afraid to update your color scheme to reflect these changes.

By following these guidelines, you can create a website that not only looks great but also effectively communicates your brand’s message. Good luck!