Picking the Perfect Color Palette for Your Website - A Simple Guide

A fun color wheel to introduce the topic of color palette selection in website design.

Today’s topic is a fun one! Let’s chat about one of the key aspects of design, color! Choosing the right color for your website is like putting together the perfect outfit for a special occasion. It’s all about creating an impression and an inviting atmosphere for your visitors.

But Does Color Really Matter?

Great question! Yes, it does. Now, let’s chat about why.

  1. First Impressions: Just like when you met someone for the first time, your website’s colors create an immediate impression. Your opportunity to set a welcoming vibe!
  2. Reflect Your Brand: Truth be told, your website is an extension of your brand. The colors you choose should reflect your business’s identity and values.
  3. User Experience: Colors affect how visitors navigate and engage with your site. The right color choices can lead to longer visits and greater conversions.

Getting Started with Your Color Palette

Believe it or not, you’re already well on your way! It starts with brainstorming and this part is super easy. Start by thinking about the colors you like as well as the colors you dislike. That’s it, easy, right? This is the foundation of your color palette. The next step is to consider your visions, goals, and the clientele you serve. Are you aiming for an uber professional and corporate feel? Maybe something more creative and artistic? Establishing your goals will guide your color choices.

Color Theory

Next, let’s go over the basics of color theory to help further guide the color palette for your website.

The Color Wheel

The color wheel is a tool to understand the relationships between colors. Three primary color schemes:

  • Analogous: Colors that are next to each other on the wheel (blue, green, teal)/
  • Complimentary: Colors opposite each other on the wheel (yellow & purple)
  • Triadic: Three evenly spaced colors on the wheel (red, yellow, and blue)
The color wheel displays the concepts discussed regarding color palette selection
Color Psychology

Now, let’s talk about our feelings! When you think about colors, think about the emotions and feelings they evoke. Some common color and emotion combinations are listed below. For more on this, check out this site.

  • Red: Passion, excitement, urgency
  • Blue: Trust, Calmness, professionalism
  • Green: Growth, nature, health
  • Yellow: Happiness, optimism, energy

Crafting Your Color Palette

Now that you’ve gathered insights from your client and understand color theory basics, let’s create your perfect color palette.

Brand Colors

If you already have brand colors, this is also an easy step. Since consistency is key in brand identity, pulling colors used in branding is a great place to start and should be included in your color palette.

Fill out the Color Palette

With the basics covered, you’ll want to round out your color palette to ensure variety for background, font, links, and button colors.

Test Color Palette Accessibility

Having good variety in your color palette will ensure you have contrasting colors which is essential for accessibility. There are many online tools that can help you check this. One that I like is colora11y. You can test a webpage or color pairs.

Putting It All Together

Now that the hard work is behind you, it’s time to put your color palette to work! If nothing else, this will help you discover color combinations that are pure harmony and weed out what doesn’t work. Here’s how:

  1. Use it: Create documents, mockups, etc. with the color palette. This provides a great visual and you’ll likely find that there are 2 colors that are just magic together. You may find some are also tragic, which brings us to the next point below.
  2. Refine it: After using the colors, you may have realized that you just don’t like some of them. If this is the case, don’t be afraid to make changes (preferably before you have a 5-page website built!).
  3. Implement it: Now is the time to put your color palette into action on your website. Whether you’re DIY’ing your design or you have a web designer helping you, after seeing your colors in action, and refining them, you’re ready to implement them throughout your design.

Conclusion

Choosing the right colors for your website may not require a Ph.D. in design, but it’s an essential step for building your online presence. Some key takeaways – reflect the brand identity, your color likes / dislikes, consider basic color theory and psychology. When you combine these things, you’ll be well on your way to a stunning website. I hope this guide helps you narrow down one step of the process. If you need more assistance, please feel free to reach out at hello@paintcreekdigital.com