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3 ways to find the best website color scheme

Choosing a color scheme is one of the first, and often hardest, parts of designing a website. Most people have a strong emotional connection to particular colors. Pick the right ones and your site will have that certain something that keeps visitors engaged. Pick the wrong ones and people might think the circus is in town. The bad kind, with scary clowns.

To help you choose the best color scheme for your next website, here's a simple process We like to use both with clients and for our own projects.

Scenario 1: The client has a logo or brochure they like

If the client has a logo or brochure and they're happy with it, then the colors for the website are set. We start with what they give me, then We try different tones to see what looks best. We also test complementary colors to those in the logo. Complementary colors can make the logo standout in the layout and they work as a nice highlight color for headings and links.

Scenario 2: The client has a logo but they don't like the colors

In cases like this, the client usually has an idea of what they want but We have to tease it out of them. Here are a few color-related questions We ask in the first meeting:

  • What colors do you like?
    The client may already have an alternative color scheme in mind, which takes the guesswork out of the process.
  • What kind of feeling do you want the website to have?
    Here's where color psychology comes into play. Reds, oranges, and yellows for hot or active websites. Blues, greens, and purples for cooler, calmer websites. We'll walk you through our color psychology cheat sheet in a bit.
  • Do you have particular photos or images in mind for the site?
    Like a logo, the colors in pictures can direct the website's color scheme, either by borrowing colors or suggesting complementary tones.
  • Who's your target audience?
    The purpose of a website is to connect the client's product or service with the right audience. The color palette plays a big part. Age, gender, economic status, and other demographic information helps build a picture of what visitors might anticipate from a website's design.
  • What's the industry (if We don't already know)?
    There are expectations in certain fields, so We start with "status quo" colors in most cases. For instance, companies with natural products tend to use greens and earth tones. Sometimes, however, it's fun to break the rules to create a more interesting design.

Once we've worked out a basic color scheme We go back to the steps in Scenario 1 and try different shades, tones and complementary colors.

Scenario 3: "It's your call. That's why We hired you."

Once in a while We come across a client that just doesn't want to decide. They hired us to design the website and that's what they want. us to design the site from top to bottom. In situations like this, we put ouself in the client's business and try to answer the questions from Scenario 2 ourself. I find a few well-designed websites in the same field or industry to see what color schemes are common. Then we try those to see if they work with the client's logo, branding, and product colors. Adobe kuler and Color Scheme Designer come in handy when we have trouble finding the right combinations.

When all else fails, I turn to color association. The color psychology cheat sheet I promised is below. Each color includes a sample of web-safe tones along with the color's associations and the types of websites that would be a good match.


Red can create a sense of excitement and vibrancy. It's associated with strong emotions, including love and anger. Darker values create a more luxurious feel.

Websites for: vineyard, hotel, modern or edgy audiences


Orange is active and energetic. It's an informal color associated with happiness and creativity.

Websites for: food products or services, cooking, yoga


Yellow is another active, high energy color. It encourages communication and is associated with happiness (e.g. smiley faces), optimism, enlightenment, and spring.

Websites for: flowers, construction


Green is the easiest color on the eyes, so it has a soothing quality. It's associated with nature and symbolizes growth, hope, success, and money.

Websites for: retreats, environmental projects, natural products


Blue has a calming effect and, depending on the tone, can even be considered depressing (e.g. "I feel blue"). It's associated with trust, dependability, faith, and healing. Blue can also reduce the appetite, so use with caution on websites for food-based products and services.

Websites for: medical supplies and services, babies, scuba and water products


Purple is a balance between active red and calm blue. It's associated with royalty and spirituality.

Websites for: winery, fitness, products and services with a female audience (light purple)


White is the presence of all colors. It's associated with cleanliness, light, and purity.

Websites for: bridal products and services, winter resorts, cleaning products


Black is the absence of all color and makes surrounding colors standout. It's associated with power, luxury, and mystery or the unknown.

Websites for: nightclubs, photography


PageRank no longer displayed on Webmaster Tools - October 27th, 2009

Eagle-eyed users of Webmaster Tools may have noticed that the PageRank metric has disappeared from the tool set. It is certainly an interesting move by Google to clarify some points about PageRank.

Google has been saying for a long time now, not to put so much weight on PageRank. Google is looking to reinforce this by removing this statistic from Webmaster Tools. I predict that PageRank in the Google Toolbar will be the next to go. In fact, Google asked for user opinions on removing it, back in 2007.

There are quite a few reasons why Google says PageRank doesn't matter as much as some are lead to believe:

  • The PageRank we see in toolbars and site tools is inaccurate and out-of-date. For starters, the real page rank is actually a floating point number and is very large, nowhere near as simple as a 0-10 number.
  • PageRank doesn't take into account keywords or anchor text. It is possible to have a really good link from a PR:0 site, helping a site to rank much more than any link from an unrelated higher PageRank site.

It's easy if you start watching PageRank to start getting obsessed by it, and watching every link coming in and going out of your site. In reality, your time would be better served creating a better site. Try writing some really good content or provide a service people would want to use.


Online & Offline marketing using PDF documents

One of the challenges in effective Internet marketing is the fact that prospective clients aren't online and visiting web sites 18 hours a day - also, not everyone is part of the Internet surfing community - I know, it was a shock to me as well.

The latest figures I have access to, March 2002, peg the global online population at somewhere between 450 - 550 million people with regular Internet access - around 5% of the global population. In the USA, surfers are online, on average, 11 hours a month. The Internet still has a long way to go to catch up with television in terms of coverage and "participation" - if you can call watching TV that!

There's still a huge section of the population that we can't reach. And regarding those that we can, how do we get them to remember our products and services once they have gone offline?

PDF in online marketing

Using this strategy, we captured the attention of prospective clients who have a tendency to jump from site to site if they can't find the information they want within 2 or 3 clicks. Within the free downloads section was basically the entire site, all packaged in its specific service areas!

PDF in offline marketing

The benefits of this online marketing strategy translate directly into offline benefits as well. Clients who download the documents for viewing later on may also print them out. These documents are sometimes left laying around or presented at meetings. This attracts the attention of those who may not have been exposed to the product or service previously! The PDF documents might also be reproduced and distributed, creating a viral marketing effect.

Offline marketing doesn't come much cheaper than this! For the small outlay of an effective PDF creation software package, some development time and perhaps the extra bandwidth for distributing the marketing package online, your products and services can reach many more people than just having your online representation. The cost of offline distribution is zero, as your prospective clients pay for the printing and photocopying! PDF documents can incorporate images, sound and hyperlinks. The hyperlink feature allows clients to easily access other resources on your web site.

Search engine compatibility

The other great thing about PDF is that an increasing number of search engines can now "spider" (read) the PDF format, giving you more bites at the search engine traffic apple!


Top 5 Ways To Generate Low Cost Website Traffic

There is one hard and fast rule in generating income for your website: A steady flow of website traffic. If no one goes to your site, it hardly bares a chance of generating an income. Many sites have tried and failed in doing so, and these results to the sites demise. It takes money to maintain an income generating site; it also takes money to make money.

BUT, it doesn't take a whole caboodle of cash to generate website traffic for your site.

Ever wonder how does big hit sites drive traffic top their site? Most of them are spending tons of money to drive the traffic to their sites, investing in many advertising campaigns and different forms of marketing schemes and gimmickries. This is all worthwhile because, well, they are what they are now, high earning, big hitting websites.

Here I present to you the Top five ways to generate low cost website traffic that could help your site a whole lot. Even if you only get a small percentage of successful visitors in to client ratio it still works especially if you get a high number of website traffic.

Exchange Links

This is a sure and proven method. Rarely would you see a site where there is no link to another site. Many webmasters are willing to exchange links with one another so that they could produce more public awareness about their sites. You'll soon see and feel the sudden upsurge of the traffic coming in to your site from other sites.

A major prerequisite in exchanging links with other sites is having the same niche or content as the other site. They should share a common subject so that there is continuity in the providing of service and information to what interests your target traffic.

Exchanging links also boosts your chances of getting a high ranking in search engine results. It is common knowledge that search engines ranks high sites that have inbound and outbound theme-related links. With a good ranking position in the search engines, you will generate more traffic in your website without the high costs.

Traffic Exchange

This is like exchanging links but on a different higher level. This may cost a bit more than exchanging or trading links but could be made cheaper because you get to earn credits. You can use those credits when viewing others traffic, while you earn credits when someone views yours.

Traffic exchange services are the viewing of another's site or page. This is done vice versa where a site can use your sites contents and so can you to his or her site. You both benefit from each others efforts to generate traffic. The other sites visitors can go to your pages and know more about your site as well as theirs. Once again the public awareness of your sites existence is boosted.

Write and Submit Articles

There are many e-zines and online encyclopedias in the internet which provides free space for articles to be submitted. If you want to save costs, you can do the articles yourself. There are many freelance writers who are willing to write for you for a small fee, but to save money, it is wise to do those articles yourself.

Write news articles or marketing news articles that are themed along with the niche of your site. Write something that you have expertise on so that when they read it, they can feel your knowledge about the subject and will be eager to go to your site. Write articles that produce tips and guidelines to the subject or niche your site has.

Include a resource box at the end of your article that can link them to your site. Write a little about yourself and your site. If you provide a light, information-laden and interesting article, they will go to your site for more.

Make a Newsletter

This may sound like hard work because of all the articles you may need to use to build a newsletter but on the contrary, this is not so. There are many writers and sites that are willing to provide free articles as long as they can get their name in on your newsletter. This will also provide free advertising for them as well.

As your newsletter gets pass around, you can widen your public awareness and build an opt-in list that can regularly visit your site.

Join Online Communities and Forums

This only requires your time and nothing else. You can share your knowledge and expertise with many online communities as well as your website. You can get free advertising when you go to forums that have the same subject or niche with your site.

Share your two cents and let them see how knowledgeable you are with the subject. As you build your reputation, you also build the reputation of your site, making it a reputable and honest business that could be frequented and trusted by many people.

Microsoft to drop 3D, plug-in need in Bing Maps