So you want to start a business and in your plans you want to have a website. However, a common question arises: What colors do I use for my website?

What colors do I use for my website?

Previously I have written a post about the Perception of Colors. I have summarized how colors can influence the human behavior, perception of things, how attractive something is and even the taste of food. There are too many variables that can affect this. It works very differently from area to area, country to country, city to city and even between small communities within a city.

The decision on what colors to use depends a lot on the following factors:

  1. The message you want to send out
  2. The impression you would like your audience to have of your business
  3. and the kind of people you want as your customers

Of course there could be a lot more factors that can affect this decision but this would be a fairly good place to start.

1. The message you want to send out

To figure out the message you want to send out to the public, you have to figure out your goals. However, please do not use financial goals. You can achieve financial goals via selling a piece of pebble you picked up from the street you walked by earlier. Please do go back to the problem your company or business was set up to solve. What issues are you addressing? Why people would purchase from you?

For example, an MLM business member comes to you with health products. What is he/she here to sell? A healthier you. Another example, a salesman brings you to his showroom with all the cars that his company has. What is he/she here to sell? A comfortable and private medium of transport. Another example, you walked pass a sundry shop and you see all of usual and common items on sale. What is the shop here to sell? Daily essentials for your life.

In your experience, how did these three examples portray their message? What emotions did your interactions with these people and shop evoke in you? If you don’t have any experience in even one of these, then jolly well go visit these places and people. Get the experience. Know what your customers could feel when they visit YOUR store. What message and impression did you get from this? How then can you incorporate what you learn into your business?

When you have your message thought out, you will figure out the impression you want your audience to have of your business.

2. The impression you would like your audience to have of your business

The number one rule on this is:

You cannot control the impression that your audience develops in their minds.

The only thing you can do is guide them to the impression that you want. The infographic below on Color Symbolism & Meaning only shows you a general stereotype of what colors can mean. It can guide you to a certain extend and some big companies have successfully used them as mentioned in this article by Dr. Chris Drew. Remember, it’s the users past experience with the colors that influence the meaning such color has on him/her. Armed with knowledge on Color Psychology, you can guide your audience to have a certain impression of your business.

Colors Symbolism & Meaning
Infographic: Common Color Meanings – Infographic courtesy of

3. The kind of people you want as your customers

This relies heavily on the above two factors. Once you got that straighten out, find out the people who are looking out to get what you offer and match the style they want to experience.

Key points to look out for:

  • People have an existing perception of what you could be doing and expect a similar thing – if they are your key customers, do something to improve their impression of you
  • People have their own set of Color Symbolism & Meanings – so make sure to match with them to grab their attention or guide them through your color schemes
  • Your choice of colors may make people feel comfortable or feel like going away and forgetting you – always monitor your audience behaviors and adjust your business or marketing strategies

This is Zack and I am most certainly not an expert in any of the things I mentioned in this post. These are all based on my experience and what actual experts say as linked and mentioned in post. What I suggested in this post may work or NOT work for you. So I hope this article is useful to you!

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