The background of your website is like the color of your bathroom walls: boring, but important. After choosing the layout for your website, it’s one of the very first decisions you’ll make with your web designer. Many of the later decisions will be significantly affected by the background color and texture you pick now. As an aged Templar once said, “You must choose. But choose wisely.”

What will be your dominant color? Royal blue? How about austere, Apple-like white? Or maybe you’d prefer hot magenta. Unfortunately, the web design process isn’t like picking crayons from a box of 64. Good web design will limit your options by considering color theory and two practical factors: your logo and the main idea of your website.

It should go without saying, your website should match your brand. Your designer will make an effort create a website that would look good next to your sales brochures and vehicle wraps. Anything less will be jarring and break their attention. Customers who get your web address from the side of your truck should see a site that’s an extension of what’s on the truck. This means web design elements like navigation bars and buttons will pick up the same colors established in your logo. If your logo is red and you’ve never used yellow before, you probably won’t have a yellow website. Approach a new web design as one part of an integrated communication plan built out from your brand identity. Now is not the time to introduce new colors.

The thing is, you might hate your logo. Many clients decide they need to have a better website and discover their logo needs work too. At Roundpeg, we encourage clients in this situation to prioritize the logo work and put the website on hold. A new website will stretch your brand, but it won’t fix your branding problems. If your small business branding is wilted, it’s better to refresh the roots than splash water on the trunk and branches.

When you’ve got solid brand standards in place, doing a web design is so much easier. Every brand has a dark color or two and at least one light color. Those brand colors become your choices for backgrounds, buttons, bars, and icons. Whether your background is light colored, dark or white depends on the main idea of your site. Is it a simple webpage for consumers? Go ahead and make it colorful, if that’s your brand. However, if you have web pages full of technical information, keep things minimal and white. You never see textbooks with white text and and orange paper right? Be kind and lay off the rainbow when your customers are trying to read. Balance the need to show your brand colors with the purpose of your website.

Even if your background is white, color plays an important role in your website. Have you ever thought about color theory? Young artists learn the color wheel so they know which colors complement each other and which clash. Color theory is also about emotion. For logo design (and web design too), we must understand that color has a significant effect on human emotions. Colors cause burning tempers, big smiles, mellow thoughts and more. Blue and green tend to be calming, whereas the experience of red creates anxiety. Watch this fun video from PBS to get up to speed on the effect of color. You might never consider yourself an artist, but your business depends on smart color choices. Use it to persuade customers to click here, call this number and start a relationship with you.

While picking out colors seems boring, remember that you’ll be staring at these walls for years (or at least months). How you color your website will have a significant impact on they way people feel. Take the time to make sure they match your brand and match your main idea for the website.