Website backgrounds are something that many people don’t think about when it comes to design. Typically, they pay more attention to other website components to ensure they’re usable, on brand and look great. Though background designs don’t always get as much attention as other parts of a site, they are just as important.
Backgrounds on a website were plain in the beginning. Yet, now they have a more engaging effect to keep users attracted to the look of your site. From colors to images, a perfect background makes all the difference in a visitor’s experience. However, designers must use the right techniques to keep site users returning for more.
The Importance of a Strong Background Design
A good background design is crucial for several reasons. For one, they enhance the navigability of the website. Backgrounds with strategic creations help users know where to look and what to do on a site. When a website guides visitors, they stay longer — which is great for SEO and retaining users.
Another reason that backgrounds are important is that brands need to enhance their awareness. Companies need to have a distinct look online. With all of the similar products and services offered on the internet, it can be challenging to stand out. However, branding attracts the right people — certain aesthetics or colors can serve this purpose.
Plus, different businesses need special backgrounds. An e-commerce clothing store for young girls would choose fun and colorful backgrounds. On the other hand, a bank would have something simple and professional.
Moreover, this piece of your website tells part of your brand’s story and who you are as a company. When visitors first land on the homepage, they can immediately understand what your company is all about. So, choosing the right background is essential for any business.
Different Background Design Techniques to Try
Website background designs can come in many variations. However, the one you use will depend on your business and audience needs.
1. Try a Hero Image Background
A hero image background is a large, eye-catching photo or graphic covering a website’s top part. It’s often the first thing people see when they visit a site. When people land on the homepage, the image of the background sets the mood, grabbing the attention of visitors and telling them a little about the business or website.
It’s like the cover of a book where it gives you a quick idea of the story inside. Hero image backgrounds are useful, as they effectively engage the visitor and make your site bold and beautiful.
When using a hero image, make sure it’s high quality and relates to your site’s main idea. You want to be sure you’re depicting the site’s main message clearly so you immediately show visitors who you serve.
Additionally, the image should be clean and simple. Any text or buttons should contrast well with the background. In other words, be sure the hero image complements instead of competes with your site’s content.
2. Use Gradients
A gradient background is when one color smoothly changes to another color. It could be something like the sky at sunset, where blue transitions into pink. However, you can use any color combination you desire.
Designers use gradients because they can give a website a modern, sophisticated look. They’re also useful in guiding a visitor’s eyes to important site elements, such as a sign-up button or special message. Therefore, they’re great for creating focal points for the audience.
Gradient backgrounds are great for capturing your audience’s attention, but choose colors wisely. Be sure to choose ones that go well together and fit your website’s mood. A sudden change from bright green to dark blue could be too jarring.
Yet, you also want the background to be subtle. If it’s too bright or bold, the look can distract visitors, so it’s important to let your design breathe.
3. Consider Patterns
Pattern background designs are repeating shapes. The pattern could be geometric, where shapes with different angles and lines fall seamlessly in a symmetrical line. The way the pattern looks is up to you. However, many site owners use this look because it adds depth, personality and a specific feel.
It can make a site seem elegant and fun or simple and professional. Either way, the consistency of a repeating pattern looks aesthetically pleasing to the eye.
If you choose to go with a pattern, make sure it’s simple enough that it doesn’t take the visitor away from the site’s main purpose. It’s a good idea to choose muted colors and subtle looks.
Also, it’s important that you ensure the text is easy to read. It can easily overwhelm the user if the overall design is unbalanced.
4. Bring Your Website to Life With Animation
Website backgrounds with animation are fun. They bring parts of a website to life with movement. These types of background designs make your website attractive and high-quality looking. They can make for a great user experience, too.
That’s why animated backgrounds are useful. They grab attention and make a website feel dynamic. When done right, you can immerse the visitors and make them feel like they’re stepping into a live story.
Plus, motion graphics are on trend, and they can immediately tell visitors about your brand in a captivating way.
When using animation, ensure it plays in the background smoothly. A slow-moving video provides a pleasant experience. Yet, before you launch your site, make sure you check to see how it looks and functions on different devices. Doing so ensures it works properly and creates a great user experience for everyone.
5. Go Simple With a Solid Background
A solid background is always a go-to design choice. It uses only one color without any patterns, textures or animations.
Solid background designs make an excellent choice because they’re simple, clean and direct focus. Such backgrounds ensure the site’s message or products stand out clearly without distractions. They guarantee your website’s content is legible and the contrast has the right balance.
When choosing a color for your solid background, consider the emotions or feelings you want to convey. For instance, blue can feel calm and trustworthy, while red may be bold and energetic.
Always use a color that complements the overall design and branding. You want to ensure the user can see the other site pieces clearly but still create an impression you want to give.
The Website Background Design Choice Is Yours
These website background design techniques are the most popular choices you’ll see today. However, various other options live in the design world. When creating your website, choose one that helps you stand out. Doing so will differentiate your platform from others and make it more memorable. Yet, it should also align with your brand’s aesthetics and make sense for your business goals.
About The Author
Eleanor Hecks is the Editor-in-Chief of Designerly Magazine, an online publication dedicated to providing in-depth content from the design and marketing industries. When she's not designing or writing code, you can find her re-reading the Harry Potter series, burning calories at a local Zumba class, or hanging out with her dogs, Bear and Lucy.