Step One: Update The Color Palette
This is possibly the quickest and easiest way to really transform a template and make it feel unique to you, your brand and your own unique style. If you decide not to change anything else within the template (sans installing your own content into it, of course), this one step will still have a massive impact on the overall look of your new site.
[Bonus!] It is also the least risky update that you can make. You won’t “mess up” your website template if you want to try a few color palette options out before finally settling in on one. So have fun with this step and take the time to find a color palette that really resonates with you.
Of course, if you already have an established brand with a color palette, you’ll simply want to apply those colors to your website to maintain brand recognition.
To apply a new color palette to your ShowIt website template, simply pop into the Design Settings on your ShowIt dashboard (look: top left) and input the HEX codes for each color field in place of the existing ones. Click “save”. Your new color palette will automatically populate across your site.
[Fast Win Tip: Upload your new color palette from darkest tone to the lightest tone, keeping slot (1) a black, charcoal or dark tone useful for body copy/text and slot (8) for pure white or your absolute lightest color within the palette]
Of course, you’ll want to comb through each page of your website template to see how those colors have been applied. There’s often a few places where you’ll want to manually change the color. But don’t worry, it’s simple and easy to do just that! Simply scroll over to the color settings on the right side of your ShowIt dashboard and select the updated color.
A Few Thoughts On Applying Color to Your Website
Since you’re likely not a brand or website designer by trade (though you should definitely pat yourself on the back for learning and doing it yourself!), there’s a few things you may want to consider when applying new colors to your website.
01. Include Contrasting Colors and Tones
If you’ve paid any attention to my personal brand and aesthetic taste, you likely know how much I love a good, solid neutral color palette. But, in order for any color palette to really bring life to your website and make it feel warm and inviting (not flat and cold), you need contrast. So be sure to not only choose colors that work and pair well with one another, but ones that have deeper or richer tones to compliment what otherwise might on its own be soft and light.
So for example, in my own brand, I generally stick to lighter beige or grey tones. But, I bring in the warmth through a rich caramel tone and a muted olive color. This not only brings balance to my color palette, but helps the user better experience my website visually because it’s utilizing contrast in a way that effortlessly draws the eye in on what matters most.
02. Background & Text Color(s)
Generally speaking, you’re going to want to stick with a lighter background overlaid with darker text. This doesn’t mean black on white all of the time. But it does mean that you steer closer to those light, neutral tones for your background canvases and utilize a charcoal or your darkest tone/color for any text.
Of course there may be a canvas here or there where you want to create some impact and so you reverse it: white on black, for example. But the main thing here is to keep readability front of mind. And readability is at it’s best when the text is easy to read (especially on scan, when someone is literally just scrolling and quickly catching key pieces of text) and easy to read text is and has always been, ‘black on white’. So don’t try to create something that might be pretty/cool/interesting with color that then actually disrupts readability and the user experience.
03. Where To Use Your Brightest Color
This one is really quick and easy, but has high level impact when you do it! Apply your brightest/boldest/most noticeable color(s) to your Call to Action buttons and/or text. We want the eye to gravitate easily to these buttons. After all, this is what you’re working SO hard for! You want the user to purchase your product, subscribe to your list and hire you! So make it easy for them to find that button and click it. Color is the quickest, most efficient way there!
And if you’re just generally not sure about color or how to incorporate it, here’s a few of my favorite tools for curating color palettes and exploring options:
Rather get a designer made color palette?
Here’s the thing: we know color can feel scary. Or intimidating. Or just totally outside of your comfort zone. And let’s be honest: once you choose a color palette, you’ve got to commit to it. It’s the one visual piece of your brand that works to make your brand memorable (Don’t believe me? What brand comes to mind when I say the color emerald green?).
We also know that you may not be ready to invest in a full branding package with all the works (though if you are, we’ve got some pretty great packages for you here). That’s why we’ve created a Brand Basics Kit that is going to give you just that: a color palette and font system that’s going to get you moving forward in the *right* direction from the beginning. No more testing out a hundred different Pinterest color palettes only to find yourself wanting to change it again in a month.
We’re here to hand you what you need at this crucial stage of creation! And hey, if you already have a brand, but think it could use a little refresh, this Kit is perfect for you too! It’ll add more tools to your brand toolkit and give your brand that little burst of new life and energy you’ve been looking for.