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Is Your Website's Color Scheme Scaring Your Money Away?
by Chrislyn @ GayAw

Professionalism is the key to maintaining visitors. Your Website's colors are an important factor to imparting that image. Using color harmony, avoiding eye strain, and choosing web safe primary colors are three techniques to create a professional looking web site as well as improve visitor response.

HARMONIZE: Four Kinds of Color Schemes
Color harmony promotes a sense of order and balance, two elements of the professional image. You can achieve this harmony by using analogous, complementary, monochromatic or triadic color schemes. 

The easiest way to understand these four kinds of color schemes is to look at color wheel. Color wheels are normally found in art stores or encyclopedias. An online color wheel can be found at Visibone's Webmaster's Color Laboratory (http://www.visibone.com/colorlab/).

Analogous color schemes use related colors. For example, choose a color on the wheel you like (blue). Analogous combinations use the two color blocks beside this color (violet and azure).

Monochromatic combinations use the same color, but lighter or darker versions. For example, the colors pale dull blue (9999FF), light dull blue (6666CC), and dark dull blue (333399) represent a monochromatic color scheme. Market researchers have indicated that monochromatic combinations are the best colors for businesses, particularly when white or black are added to the site.

Complimentary colors are directly across from each other on the color wheel. In the center of the wheel you can find white (FFFFFF) and dark grey (666666). Dark Grey is the complimentary color to white. Near complimentary colors can be just as pleasing to the eye and still offer balance. These would be colors to either side of the complimentary color (light grey or obscure grey). 

A triadic combination is any three colors that form a triangle on the wheel. A popular example of this combination is red, yellow and blue, which can be found on bedroom furniture. On this color wheel, pale weak yellow (FFFFCC), pale weak cyan (CCFFFF) and pale weak magenta (FFCCFF) form this combination.

Take a moment to choose the color scheme which best appeals to you.

EYES-ABILITY: Four Mistakes to Avoid
You created your web design or chose your web template for usability. You took time to make sure that a visitor could access the pages they were looking for quickly. Your web page colors should similarly allow your visitor to read the content, or view photos without strain.

Unless you are encouraging your visitor to click through your website to earn referral fees, implement these four tips stop scaring your visitors, and your money straight to the competitor. 

First, make sure you have avoided bright yellow backgrounds. Next, make your content stand out from the page by using darker colors on light backgrounds. 

Then check to make sure you have allowed busy backgrounds and photos to stand alone. You should not write text across either. It won't get read. 

Lastly, choose larger fonts for text on dark or black backgrounds. Staring at a computer provides enough strain on the eyes. Don't lose a visitor by adding to it.

VOILA: A Color Scheme is Born
You have learned the theory and the techniques, so it is time to choose your website's new colors. You should have at least one color in mind already. If you are using a color from The Color Lab, it is already one of the 216 web safe colors. These are the colors that are almost the same on both Macintosh and IBM compatible computers.

Your next step is to see how your new background color looks on a web page. Try visiting The Color Selector (http://www.mensinghe.nl/colorDavid/). This web page has the safe colors and lists the HTML code for each color when you let your mouse hover above them. 

When you click the color you want, it opens as the background on a new web page. When you look at this page, you should ask yourself two questions, "Would I stay at a site with this color on it?" and "Do I think a website with this color is professional?" This may be a good time to go back to websites you frequent and compare their color arrangements to yours.

Once you have chosen a primary web safe color and know the code, take a look at The Color Wizard. This free tool allows you to enter the the HTML code of one color and gives you several combinations of harmonious colors with your choice. Simply scroll down the page until you find the type of harmony you chose earlier.

Another helpful free tool is the interactive Color Maker (http://www.bagism.com/colormaker/). This site allows you to view your color combinations on a web page. You can view your colors as background, text, new, active and visited links. When you decide on your color arrangements, Color Maker allows you to paste the HTML code of your creation directly from their site.

Adult webmasters often underestimate the power of color on retaining their visitors. Gay adult webmasters market to people who want to know their needs will be met consistently. With these techniques, you can use color to give that initial impression. You are only allowed one chance. Proper choices can make it a good one, and bring your visitors back for more of your content.
 
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