Now that you have a clear plan for your site and you have acquired your content, it is time to consider your design options.  Remember to keep your original planning work in mind.  Resist the temptation to create something in the site that is your personal preference but does not serve the audience or goal you originally intended.


Color can be a major enhancement or a major hindrance to your site.  If the color choices on your site are selected randomly and without any apparent logic or creativity, it will be immediately obvious to the visitor.  Color done well on the web can send a subtle message to the viewer – it is indicative of a mood and the site’s identity.  Color can act on a subconscious level and, if used effectively, can be a huge addition to your site.

Cathy Sykora

Cathy Sykora


Cathy helps small business owners build and maintain successful businesses that improve their lives and the lives of others.

When choosing your colors, there is a system for the web entitled the “hexadecimal color system”.  This is an identifying system – a combination of letters and number for the 216 colors common within the PC and Mac system palettes.  In the past, you would only use web-safe colors in order to have your site appear the same to the viewer no matter the computer monitor depth or resolution.  This has become less an issue as more consumers and businesses have acquired higher-resolution monitors.  It is smart to start with Web-safe colors as a good foundation.

Limit your web site’s palette to 3 or 4 colors.  Any shapes, fonts, backgrounds, buttons, headers, logos, or other items should all be created or programmed in these 3 or 4 colors.  This doesn’t include color photos, artwork, or animation.  When choosing the colors for your site, consider the following color meanings:

This article is the third of a series for you, to help you set your website up and present it in a way that will provide value and best represent your brand to your ideal client.

Use the Color Quiz from Grasshopper to help you pick a color.

After selecting your primary color, go on and select 2 more colors for your color palette.  The ideal split would be 60-30-10.  If green is your main color, that should be about 60% of the color used, your second color should be around 30% and your third color should be 10%.

Your homework this week;

What are your color choices for branding?

Why did you choose those colors?

Let’s have some discussion in the comment section.