While we can’t pinpoint it, we can certainly feel when a website’s color scheme is off.
It gives us a certain uncertainty about the site – like it’s a low quality website.
A good color scheme will both (1) feel right from a color combining sense and (2) give us an intended feeling like trust, strength, or energy.
To find good colors for your website, here are two simple steps.
1. Know the feelings associated with various colors.
I wrote an in-depth article on color a while back with lots of detail.
But here’s a very shortened version:
Orange – happiness, hungry, fun, encouragement, heat
Yellow – laugh, sunshine, energy, children, active
Green – create, growth, money, nature
Blue – trust, tranquil, calm, wisdom
Purple – royalty, wealth, passion, creativity, magical
White – pure, light, good, perfection, clean
Black – authority, elegant, prestigious, strong
Red – desire, power, strength, action, love
Simply pick out the color that matches the feeling you want your site to give off. It should align with your core message.
For example, if you’re a relationship coach working with single women, then reds or purples are good choices for love, warmth, and passion.
2. Next, stick to one of these three approaches to color combining.
Here are three of the most common ways to mix colors …
The first way is to choose colors that are adjacent to each other on the color wheel – like blue and green. They work great!
The second way is to choose colors that are opposites on the color wheel. The contrast is nice.
And thirdly, use a one-color approach and just vary the tint and shading of it. As you can see below, the smaller circles are tinted darker by adding black and tinted lighter with white.
Many coaches get too hung up on visuals. While I think they are very important, they aren’t enough. In addition to a good colors scheme, your website’s structure, content and calls-to-action need to excite visitors and encourage them to contact you. I wrote about this in The Coaching Site Guide. Learn more about it.
Here are some examples …
Here’s Rachel’s site, using opposites black and white. This is like a one-color approach with shades of grey. The feeling we want is strong (black) as this is for business use. Looks good huh?
Here’s Maria’s site, with blue and green, which are colors next to each other on the color wheel. The feeling we want is productive energy, which works with the more vibrant versions of blue and green.
An example using opposites is Dr Tim Conrad’s website. He’s got a trusting color (blue) and fun color (orange) to match his personality. These colors are opposites on the color wheel.
Maybe a little tough to understand, but you’ll see that the darker blue is a tinted version of the lighter blue, so it’s still the same blue – and it works.
My personal favorite trick is to work with your professional photo as a starting point.
I often use a client’s professional photo to get a color scheme.
This helps ensure their picture blends nicely into the site, either in the header or simply as an image within a page.
So, remembering your core message and the feeling you want your site to give off, you usually pick out the color you want from the photo. If not, an opposite color will often do the trick.
For example, here’s a website coming out soon for Jan. As you can see, I’m using the green right out of her photo for the website. Green is for zest and growth.
Nifty stuff right?
Remember, the key to good colors is to choose one that gives the feeling you want and then make sure you stick to one of the basic combining approaches.