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17 October 2016  /  

When to use white or black backgrounds for websites?

The decision of selecting the right background colour for a website has a direct impact on the effectiveness of the website. Hence, it is important to select the right background colour for the website. Many people wonder whether a black or white background can be used for their website design. While white is the most popular background colour used in websites today, very few websites use a dark background.

To help make the right decision, here are few points to keep in mind before selecting the apt background colour for your website.

First, let’s start by understanding what each of these colours represents.


WebsiteDesign-Black& White

Black – In colour psychology, black means power and control. It relates to the hidden and therefore it creates an air of mystery. Black is also considered as a colour of sophistication and elegance among other things.

White – While the meaning of colour white is in a way the opposite, white relates to purity, cleanliness, transparency and honesty. It offers a sense of peace and calm while creating a sense of order and efficiency.

All these emotions are absorbed by the visitor in a subliminal way when he/she visits a website. So we need to have these in mind and make sure that the colour we choose relates with the content of the site and communicates the idea that we want.

A white background can work perfectly for most websites if it is designed well. Also for websites that are content heavy, a white background is best suited. But it is entirely a different story for websites with a black background.




Black being a colour of elegance and style, can work well for some websites. For example, Dark backgrounds are perfect for websites with minimum content & more visual elements. But it is important that it is used only when appropriate.


One of the main throwbacks of poorly designed websites with dark backgrounds is that they may cause strain to the reader’s eyes. Since people are used to reading black text on white backgrounds (for example – books & newspapers), they will need to make a greater effort when reading the light text over dark backgrounds.


So to sum up, picking the right background colour for a website has to be based mainly on the type & amount of content on the website. This will help in finalising the best-suited colour for the website background.

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