Your website’s colors are important in many ways.  Not only is it important to choose the right color scheme for your business objectives – it is important to consider what kind of feeling or mood you would like to evoke when people visit your site.

Colors and their hues affect emotions.  Different colors create different feelings.  Certain colors emote excitement, some offer serenity and others power.  Every color comes in a range of hues. Green, for example, can be pale baby green, forest green, garish lime green, or anything in between. All of these can work well in one context and not at all in another.

Red is frequently incorporated into many websites and marketing material and can add a sense of energy and enthusiasm to any business. Other shades of red can also be used to create a feeling of passion or power.

Yellow is a color that is rarely used alone in design but is a color that evokes joy and happiness, so it sometimes added to enhance visitors with a feeling of warmth and contentment. Brown is another color that seldom stands alone, but is can add credibility to your professional or personal website. Brown is a color used to emit feelings of comfort and stability. Green is commonly found in the color scheme of many business and money-making websites. Naturally, this make a lot of sense, since green is the color that speaks of money, wealth, and prosperity.

Of course, white is included in almost every website, but it is still a very important color to consider that can have a profound effect on customers. White speaks of faith, purity, youth, and peace. White can also sometimes offset the impact of bolder, brighter colors. Blue is another color that is frequently used in design, but not quite as frequently as the many shades of red. Blue symbolizes freedom, tranquility, and coolness. It also is a reminder to many of vacations, the beach, or water. Black also speaks of power, but is can symbolize elegance and mystery as well. Black is another color that is usually found in nearly every website as well, and can offset some of the calmer effects of a white background.

The meaning of colors can change depending on the culture. If your website is targeted at specific countries or cultures, learn about what colors mean in those cultures. For example, in Western cultures, white represents purity and simplicity, among other things, but in Eastern cultures, it’s the color of mourning and death.

Moods are created by the colors or groups of colors used in the overall design scheme. The idea of creating moods surrounding your particular product or service may seem a little bit of a stretch but it has been shown to be very effective in many cases.

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There are many options when building web pages today. Most people focus on what they think they should be doing – and ignore everything else. Effective design and creating the best pages also includes making sure you know about things that you would be better off without.  So in order to avoid some common issues with web pages beware of the following pitfalls:

Browser Specific Versions: Make sure your site isn’t designed for only one browser. Designing a websites that doesn’t function on all browsers properly is a bad decision.  Many people still use Internet Explorer, but many more are using Firefox and Chrome.  If you limit your pages to only working on one browser you will be eliminating a large segment of visitors from viewing your site they way it was designed to be seen.

Widespread use of Flash: Flash can be a great tool, but there are many usability issues with Flash.  Flash isn’t viewable on mobile devices and many search engines don’t index Flash content well.  Customers don’t like sites where the back button doesn’t work. This frequently happens with Flash websites.

Video that starts automatically: Most people, even if they like video on websites, don’t like it to start automatically. If you do have video and/or sound on your website that starts up right away at least have a way to turn it on and off that’s easy to find (preferably easily seen at the top of the page.)

Lastly, keep your navigation simple and visible.  Hidden or disguised navigation may seem like a clever idea, but can just frustrate users.  Turning your “about us” page link into a photo of something will just be too hard for anyone to use and figure out.  Rather than intriguing them you’ll lose them.

So remember things you don’t do – can be as important as the ones you do when designing your site.  Always take time to think about what makes your site pleasing and simple to use – for everyone.

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