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How to Choose Website Colour Palette

Learn to choose the perfect colour palette for your web design that aligns with your brand identity and target audience. I've listed what to consider.

How to choose website colour palette

The importance of choosing website colours

Having a solid online presence is essential for any business today. Choosing the right colour palette is one of the most critical factors in creating an impactful and memorable website. With so many colours and combinations, it can be overwhelming to decide where to start. I have written this article to help you select a color palette to make the right impression for your web design.

Consider your brand identity

Start by considering your brand's personality, values, and target audience. What is your brand identity - are you a playful and fun brand or a serious and professional one? What age group are you targeting? Do you want to signal that you are a feminine, masculine or unisex brand? Your brand identity should guide your colour choices.

Sample of different website colours
Sample of two different website colour palettes - One is bold and feminine and one is relaxed, earthy and calming.

Think about the message you want to convey

When selecting your website colours, ask yourself what emotions you want to evoke in the user. If you want them to associate your brand with trust, security and calmness, include blue in your palette. If you go for red, your website will evoke a sense of passion, urgency and excitement. Green will signal an earthy, friendly and inviting brand. See the list below of other associations different colours have for people.

Typical Colour associations:

  • Red: passion, excitement, energy, love, urgency, and boldness.

  • Blue: trustworthiness, stability, calmness, intelligence, and professionalism.

  • Green: growth, health, nature, wealth, and sustainability.

  • Yellow: optimism, happiness, playfulness, warmth, and creativity.

  • Orange: friendliness, enthusiasm, confidence, and affordability.

  • Purple: luxury, sophistication, creativity, and mystery.

  • Black: power, elegance, sophistication, and exclusivity.

  • White: purity, simplicity, cleanliness, and minimalism.

  • Grey: neutrality, balance, professionalism, and maturity.

You can also look at your brand's existing colour scheme and use it as a starting point. Consider the message you want to convey and choose colours that align with that message.

samples of website colour palettes

Keep your target audience in mind

As a web designer, I have found that many clients tend to be drawn to colours of their own preference. They need to remember that the goal of their website is to appeal to their potential new clients and signal what their business is all about. Since we need to keep the reader, customer or client in mind it's essential to have a good understanding of who your target audience is before even considering which colours to go for.

Who's attention do you want to grab?

Something to consider when selecting website colours is the users you want to target. To grab their attention, you need to consider what they are drawn to. Consider using bold and vibrant colours if your target audience is young and trendy. Consider a light and airy design with pastels for a female audience, while a masculine look may be bold. 

The Importance of Contrast

If you have ever visited a website where the background colour is making it hard or uncomfortable to read the text, you know exactly how frustrating it can be. 

You'll want your text to be easy to read, call to action buttons easy to find, and people with impaired vision or colour blindness to be able to access your site. Therefore you should select a colour palette that provides enough contrast between elements to ensure your website is easy to read. High contrast between background and text colours can improve readability and accessibility.

Finding inspiration for a website colour palette

You can find inspiration anywhere - magazines, books, nature, or other websites. When you find a website you like the look of, try to pin-point what you like about it. Is it the combination of colours? Is it that it's light or dark? Do they use bright or dull colours? Sometimes it's hard to figure out precisely what you like about a design by giving it a shot and trying to get to the nitty-gritty of it.

When looking for inspiration as a web designer I tend to get lots of ideas from children's books (they tend to be very creative!) and any posters created by graphic designers. 

Web Design Colour Trends

As with colours in anything other context, colour trends in web design are constantly evolving. Staying up to date with the latest trends to create modern and visually appealing websites is important but it's also easy to fall into the trap of trends.

Choose colours that will stand the test of time and remain relevant to your brand and target audience. You should consider current design trends and let them inspire you, but don't rely solely on them. After all, the colours and design you choose may need to last for years.

Helpful Colour Palette Tools

Get help to generate a cohesive colour palette using free Online tools like Adobe Color or Coolors. You can add a base colour and select that you want to add matching colours or generate a new palette from scratch.

Something a colour palette tool can do is generate palettes using different website color schemes such as triadic (a colour palette made of three colours that are equally apart on the colour wheel), analogous (colours which lie on either side of the colour wheel) and complementary (colours that are directly opposite each other on the colour wheel).

Colour scheme samples for web design


In conclusion, choosing the right colour palette for your web design is crucial to making the right impression and conveying your brand message. You should aim for a cohesive and consistent look across all your branding materials, including your website. By considering your brand identity and message, thinking about your website's purpose and looking for inspiration, you can create a web design that is visually appealing and effective.

Camilla Hansen
SEO Specialist & Web Designer