There are approximately 159,000 general dentists and around 43,000 dentists working in specialties in the U.S. While not every single one of these dentists runs an independent practice, a great many of them do.
With so much competition out there and an ever-increasing dependence on the internet to attract customers, every dentist running their own practice must give serious thought to their website design.
For example, they should embrace best practices like clear navigation, image optimization, and mobile readiness. Yet, in the midst of all of these other concerns, it’s easy to overlook the crucial element of color schemes for websites.
If you didn’t give much thought to color palettes for websites or you’re getting ready to build one, keep reading for some key tips on the best colors for your dental website.
What Is a Color Scheme for a Website?
Before worrying about the best color scheme, it’s often helpful for website owners to get a brief refresher on color schemes. After all, it’s probably been a few years since those high school or college art classes.
In essence, a color scheme is simply a set of colors that a designer or website owner picks for the website. Those colors will get used over and over again for different elements of the site.
For example, the website owner might pick blue, green, and orange. Blue and green can serve as the main colors, with orange providing sparks of contrast here and there on the website.
Ideally, the designer and the website owner will work together to select the colors.
Meanings of Colors
At some point, you probably ran across the idea that colors have specific meanings. A common example is that blue helps generate a sense of calm.
While there is some research to back up the idea that people generally associate certain colors with certain things, that doesn’t always hold up across cultures.
For example, while orange is a color that many western cultures associate with the fall season, it’s a color for love or happiness in Japanese culture. Green is often associated with nature or prosperity in western cultures but can signify infidelity in some eastern cultures.
Granted, the odds are good that you cater to a traditionally western culture. With that being said, there are plenty of cultural pockets spread out across the nation. Make sure you know what community your practice will serve when deciding on color ideas for your website.
In many cases, a business owner will have brand colors chosen before they ever get to the website stage. Those colors turn up on their logos, their brochures, and even their letterhead.
When in doubt, brand colors are often a safe choice for a business to use on its website. If you’ve been in business for a while, those are colors that your customers already associate with you.
While it’s not always conscious, using those colors on your website can help create a sense of continuity that subliminally reassures your customers.
It’s a visual signal that they are on or have found the right dental clinic websites.
Analagous Vs. Complementary
Assuming you don’t already have brand colors picked out to make the decision for you, there are alternative methods for picking color schemes. Two very common choices for website designs are analogous color schemes and complementary color schemes.
If you ever look at a color wheel, you’ll see that similar colors are positioned near one another on the color wheel. For example, blue and green sit next to each other, much as red and orange sit next to each other.
An analogous color scheme employs three colors that appear next to each other on the color wheel. So you end up with color combinations such as:
- Blue, green, and yellow
- Blue, purple, and red
- Red, orange, and yellow
These color combinations look natural to the viewer’s eye.
The other approach focuses on selecting complementary colors. These are colors that appear opposite of each other on the color wheel. With this approach, you see color combinations like:
- Red and green
- Blue and orange
- Yellow and Purple
Using these colors provides a sharp visual contrast, although the contrast is typically pleasing to the eye if the design picks appropriate tones, hues, and shades.
Either option is valid, although analogous colors often prove easier for designers to work with for your website.
One of the things you hear about occasionally in website design is the idea of visual hierarchy. While this can apply to several things, color is high on the list.
The core of the idea is that you use certain colors for certain design elements. For example, you’ll use the same colors for important text and secondary text every time. Mind you; this doesn’t apply to the basic text you see in things like blog posts but to things like headers.
By the same token, you should select a color that serves as the main focal point color for your site. So, let’s say you go with an analogous color scheme of blue, green, and yellow.
You’ll want one of those colors to show up more often and much more prominently than the others. If you’re catering to a traditionally western community, you might adopt blue as a focal color since western societies associate that with calm and stability. These are traits that most people want from medical professionals.
Color Schemes for Websites and You
Picking color schemes for websites often proves challenging for website owners. The good news is that if you have brand colors already, those are your go-to colors. No decision-making is required because you want to maintain consistency with your brand.
If you lack brand colors, it will take more consideration about things like color meaning, analogous vs complementary colors, and visual hierarchy. If art and color selection isn’t your bag, though, don’t despair. While you should give some input, you can often foist these decisions off onto a designer.
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