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How to Choose Web Site Colors that Work

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Choose Web Site Colors that Work

Choose Web Site Colors that Work

Use Colors that Draw in Those Interested in What You Offer

Web Site Colors You Choose Make a Difference

Colors can affect people in many ways.  Web Site Colors can

  • Draw people in or turn them away
  • Encourage them to explore or move on
  • Stimulate their desire to buy or have them buy elsewhere

People React to Color

So let’s start at the beginning.  Each color has a specific vibration.  We react according to that vibration.

For example, McDonalds uses bright reds and yellows in their fast food restaurants because they want you to eat fast and move on.  The colors stimulate your appetite and keep you focused on the next entry on your “to do” list.

Certain web sites are bright.  They use reds, yellows and oranges to grab your attention.  The whole page seems to shout at you.  The font is bold.  The sentences are short. You are told you must act now if you want this great price!  It feels like you are given no time to think—much like the traditional salesman.  

Check out  Notice how your eye wants to jump around because the color is so vibrant.  The background helps to tone it down some, but it creates movement.  What is your reaction to this web site?

Warm Colors

  • Red gets your blood pumping.  It would be a good color for a site about working out. This site oozes vitality and life with a gray background that keeps it from overload.  This web site illustrates a good use of Red.  However, The design on the sides creates too much busyness.
  • Yellow encourages you to feel good about yourself while making sound decisions.  I suggested it for a site that was about liability insurance.  Another color that would be good for that site is turquoise which indicates truth and reliability.  Here is a site that combines the attributes of yellow and green.
  • Orange can change your mood from depressed to bright.  This web site uses the meaning of orange very well.  Notice that it also uses the complementary color blue to bring balance to the page.

Cool Colors

Green, Blue, and Purple are cool colors that tend to allow you to breathe freely and go to a deeper place inside. 

Green, Blue and Purple invite you to stay awhile. 

  • Green is the color of physical healing. 

Here is a web site that promotes natural healing:

Notice that the green and blue/green are subdued.  This and the beige create a calming effect.  The natural waterfall scene fits the theme.  How to you feel on this web site?

  • Blue encourages open communication and great creativity.  This web site combines blue and orange.  Blue is for communication and orange is for creativity.  This is an organization of communication specialists so the square boxes indicate that everything is in order and that this is a serious business.

Purple draws out your intuition—your inner knowing.

The more White you add to a color, the more spiritual it is.

For example, uses a light shade of Purple (White added to Purple makes Violet) to attract people who are spiritual and intuitive.  Lots of white space gives a feeling expansion and openness.  A hint of gold is also a spiritual color and the yellow in it combines the practical with the intuitive.

The more Black or Gray you add to a color the more people will feel that they are solidly in their body.  For example, heather is a green shade with some added black.  You feel as if you could settle in and be pampered by this color. Here’s a web site that combines a soothing green with beige.  Your heart immediately opens to the animals on the page.  You are in your body feeling warmth and love for these animals.

Check out   Notice that the background is black.  There are several reasons for this.  Black allows the colors coming through the prism to stand out.  This emphasizes that this web site is about color. 

Black is also about transformation.  This web site is to encourages people to buy products and services that help them dissolve what keeps them stuck.  As they work with what is offered, they shift their perspective in life. That is where transformation begins.

The picture of the ocean gives comfort and flow to the page.  People are more likely to stay for awhile and explore what is offered.

More Information about Color

Here is an academic paper that goes into more detail about reactions people have to color based on their culture.  This can be important when you want to reach an international audience.

Determine What You Want Visitors to Feel

For what you have learned so far, you can see that your first job is to determine what you want people to feel on your page and why.  Then, choose colors that offer this feeling and facilitate whatever you want the visitor to do next.

A Tool to Help You Choose the Best Colors

You now have a few tips for choosing effective web site colors.  You can see why it is so important to know more about color and how it affects people.

 ColorCards is an essential tool for choosing your web site colors.   It not only gives you lots of information about the 16 colors it highlights, but it also gives you their complementary colors.  By using both colors on your web site you bring a balance so that people use both sides of their brain

If you become too blatantly commercial on your site, some people will leave.  However if you give them solid reasons for paying attention to what you are offering and you help them realize how this can touch them soul-deep, they will listen.  That’s what happens when they use both sides of the brain. 

Yellow & Purple show how the two sides of the brain work.  Yellow encourages you to be practical and clear (left side of brain).  Purple helps you expand into your intuition and hunches (right side of brain).  When both sides are engaged, the visitor connects to what is being offered.  This web site illustrates the use of Yellow & Purple.

ColorCards is a must-have for understanding the 16 colors it highlights.  From the description of each color, you will know if it aligns with what you want your visitors to feel.

In addition, you learn why you might be drawn to a certain color or why you might avoid it.  From this information, you learn more about your visitor and about yourself.

Because we are intuitive by nature, you could also pick two or three cards from the color card deck (without looking at the colors) while intending to choose the best colors for your web site.  This will give you a place to start.  If you say, “No way!” to one of the colors, there is a message there.  You are resisting that color, which means you are stuck in some way.  That may be just what is holding your business back from being all it can be.

Get Started Now!

Having determined what you want your visitors to feel and with the ColorCards at your side, you are ready.  Whether you are choosing colors for a new web site or simply evaluating the colors you have already chosen, you can get started now!

Arlene Arnold is a Spiritual Guide and Healing facilitator, Color Therapist, speaker, and author.    Her Color Therapy School now offers courses, training, and certification on line.



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