Figuring out what the best background color for a website is takes a little time and thought. Not only do you need to consider the contrast between your choice of hues and your logo, but you want to tap into user emotions with the power of color psychology.
There is a certain psychological impact behind different colors. Keep in mind that different cultures view shades in various ways, though. Understanding who your audience is helps you see how a specific hue might impact mood.
Many factors influence what is the best background color for website design. You must think about the rest of a brand’s color palette, the tone you want to set and how the elements all work together to create a cohesive look. Here are some thoughts on the colors and examples of how other designers use the shade to create a look.
White is not only the best background color for websites, but is also one of the most common. It is neutral, so you can use it with anything. The primary concern with a white background is using darker colors for contrast. Don’t use white and a soft yellow, for example, as the text will fade into the background.
White creates a clean, uncluttered look for web designers. If the brand’s colors are a bit unique, such as a pop of neon pink, white is a good choice because it doesn’t compete with the other bold colors of the design.
Limnia uses a white background, which fades away and puts the focus on the beautiful images highlighting their products. As the user scrolls, they see pops of yellow and plenty of earth tones. Note the use of black test as a sharp contrast to the white, drawing the eye to the headlines.
Red is a power color. It conveys boldness and excitement. It’s particularly helpful for fashion brands and some industries where a fresh outlook matters. Many authors and musicians use red as a best background color for website designs.
Sports figure Filippo Inzaghi’s website has a red filter over images showing the power and boldness of this soccer player. Red is the best background color for the website of a sports figure, because it elicits excitement and energy, which is what attending a sporting event is all about.
The color blue is one of the most popular colors used in design. Both men and women like blue, and the color speaks of trust and calm. A dark blue is a common feature in many bank website designs for this very reason. However, you’ll find so many different shades of blue, it’s hard to limit it to one industry.
Blue also works best as a background color for websites about water, such as local municipalities or beverage companies. There are so many places you can use this shade in backgrounds, it’s hard to limit the options to just one or two choices.
Fiji Water is known as a brand offering pure, spring water. The use of blues on their site serves two purposes. First, it elicits trust that their water is the best like they say it is. Second, it reminds the user of water and makes one want to drink a bottle of the delicious beverage. Note how Fiji Water uses various hues of blue in their design.
Green takes one back to nature. Companies who are known as being eco-friendly would be well advised to utilize green in their backgrounds. However, you can also use this color to indicate nature, such as an outdoor gear company. Although not everyone loves green, it does contrast nicely with white elements.
As with blue, however, there are many different shades of green. Using a deep forest-green creates a different mood than a soft, pastel. For boldness, lime green pairs nicely with complementary colors, such as orange.
Green is the best background color for website design if you want to send a message of nature or the great outdoors.
Ripe Planet is a cooperative of agriculture based businesses looking to create sustainable systems and provide fresh produce to their customers. Note how they use green as the main background color on their landing page with animated geometric patterns to draw interest. The call to action (CTA) buttons on the page match the same shade of green as the user moves through the different sections of information.
Dark mode is a current trend in web and app design expected to be easier on the eyes for reading digital documents throughout the day. Medium conducted a survey via Twitter and discovered 82.7% of the respondents used dark mode. However, they do admit the survey was a bit flawed as the majority of users were tech-minded.
The general public is split on whether they like or dislike dark mode. The thing you should keep in mind as a designer is how your particular audience feels and how many of them utilize it. If you design with a dark background, the site will look better in dark mode browsers and on smartphones with the setting enabled.
Black is a powerful choice for a background but the jury is out whether it is the best background color for website design. You will have to use white or some very light color for your text to be readable. Another option is to place a text box overlay on top of your dark background so that you can still use a dark text but it will be readable. Utilizing transparency is one way to achieve the look you want without resorting to jolting white blocks of text.
The Montreal Holocaust Museum adds a bit of drama to their landing page with a dark background and images that morph into place. Even the photos have an overlay on them that sends the user into dark mode and sets a tone of somberness.
The Best Background Color for Your Website
Choosing a color palette is never an easy task. Think about the mood you want to set and how your target audience might react. What colors mesh best with your brand’s palette? Study how others integrate color into their backgrounds via images and patterns. If you aren’t happy with the results, try a different shade in the same color family or start again from scratch.