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How To Use Color On The Web To
Get More Clients Than You Can Handle
by Michael Port and Beth M. Lyons
-- March 9, 2005
You only have one opportunity to make a first impression, and your website is often the first contact you have with a potential client. As a representation of you and your business, it's important to ensure it conveys the right impression.

Color can impact mood and elicit strong emotional reactions, which can play for or against you, so choose your colors thoughtfully. Choose two or three dominant colors, and choose those that represent the qualities of your service or product, or the emotions you hope to elicit, rather than choosing your personal favorites.


Michael Port

Here's a brief overview of the psychology of color to keep in mind when choosing your colors:

  • Red elicits the strongest emotional reaction, either positive or negative. It elicits feelings of love, passion, excitement, and strength, as well as those of anger, speed, and danger. Red is also often associated with bargains.
  • Blue can instill a sense of belonging and trust, reliability, coolness, peacefulness, tranquility, security, faithfulness and dignity. Blue is by far the most common 'favorite' color and is often associated with high quality.
  • Yellow is most often associated with warmth, sunshine, and happiness. However, yellow can cause eye-strain and so should be used sparingly.
  • Orange creates a feeling of playfulness, pleasure and warmth and is seen as vibrant and ambitious.
  • Green depending on the shade can bring to mind nature, healing, freshness, growth, abundance, money and freedom. It is the easiest on the eyes.
  • Purple is the color of royalty, spirituality, dignity, sophistication, and can feel luxurious.
  • Pink is soft, sweet, and feminine and can elicit feelings of being nurtured or pampered.
  • White is considered pure, innocent, clean, youthful, and mild.
  • Black most often represents sophistication, elegance, authority, and power. It can be seen as seductive, mysterious, or serious.
  • Gray is seen as authoritative, practical and creative. Dark gray instills a sense of solidity and reliability.
  • Brown is earthy, solid, reliable, affluent, effective and masculine.
  • Gold implies prestige and money, as does silver, although silver is also seen as cold and scientific.
Different countries and cultures associate colors with different meanings. Always keep your target market in mind when choosing your website color scheme, and if you have questions, do your research.

Remember, the effectiveness of your website is directly proportional to how solution-oriented your offers are with respect to your target audience. The colors you choose can affect how much confidence you inspire and whether your audience stays long enough to learn about your solution-oriented offers.

Michael Port and Beth M. Lyons
Copyright © 2005
All Rights Reserved

About the Authors
Michael Port and Beth M. Lyons are on a crusade for the success of solo-professionals...
Michael Port ( provides seminars, keynotes, training programs, coaching and a popular e-zine to solo-professionals, helping them build thriving businesses. His expertise lies in the areas of personal brand identity development, motivation, leadership, performance, teamwork and communication.
Beth M. Lyons ( has over 15 years of experience helping the not-so-technical among us get comfortable with, learn, and then master the techniques they need and want to use. She has a gift for seeing implementation and "best-use" strategies, and communicating them in 'real English.'

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