BLACK or WHITE? 3 Reasons to Select a Black Background for your Site.

Last Update: October 26, 2020

Since the publication of my recent post on creating beautiful sites, a number of WA members asked me if a black background would work for their sites. Although there is no definite answer to this question, I came up with the following three observations which I would like to share with you.

1. Black is beautiful 🌹🌹🌹

If your site oriented towards arts, design, fashion, movies or mystery scene, black might be the right fit for you. One of the main drivers for the choise of the black background color is the dominance of images on the site. Think of Netflix - it is on black background. Some photography magazines are also using a black background color. There are also a number of tech portals with the black background. Most of them are rich in images and colors.

The reason for the choice of the background black color is that it instills a sense of drama and anticipitation. It allows for a site to stand out and draw attention.

PROBLEM: My site is rich in pictures, but feels plain and boring.

SOLUTION: Try black background!

2. Black is great for contrast

There is nothing better than a black background to provide a convincing contrast to your images and fonts. If done well, a black background has ⚡️⚡️⚡️the power⚡️⚡️⚡️to momentarily stop your visitor from scrolling and make them reflect on your message.

Black might be an excellent color for your landing page, especially if you want to instantly grab your visitors' attention and spur them to action. I have seen many successful landing pages, sometimes reinforced by video or by a strong captivating image.

In many cases, black background is the lead, a magnet, that draws the attention and magically takes your visitors to the next stage of your sales funnel.

PROBLEM: I would like to grab attention.

SOLUTION: Try black background for your landing pages!

3. Black is not for content

Even if black if great for all the things I described above, it might be just not the right setting for content rich sites. What I mean is that you have a lot of text and many articles or posts, the black background might discourage some of your readers from actually reading your content.

The reason for this is in part physiological and part habitual.

On the physiological part, some people cannot read well text printed on the black background. This is due to the construction of the eye. The black background makes our irises expand which makes the eye work harder and open wider. When this happens, the white letters can start blurring, also know as the “halation” effect. 👻👻👻

The other reason, is the habitual. We are simply used reading on white background, and shy away from unusual backgrounds. Once again, this does not apply to everyone. However, some people will simply abandon your site without reading anything on it. Do you really want it to happen after you put so much effort into writing your content?


PROBLEM: I would like people to spend time reading my content.

SOLUTION: Stick with the white background!

📖📖📖📖📖

I hope you found my post useful. Have you experimented with black backgrounds? Any lessons and tips to add? I would love to hear your views and comments!

🌟

Nellya

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1Rudy1 Premium
I agree that black backgrounds are perfect for images, photo galleries, your Netflix point exactly!

And yes, white text on a black background is annoying. Now, you can have the background black, but use white for the body, where your text content sits.

I use both, black background for my gallery and white for my text- blog and static pages.

Interesting mention that the eyes are reactive to a black background, our pupils widen to accommodate the darkness so we can see. Then the white text brightens .

Hmmm, I will bring this up with a client who has black pages for everything..

Great post!
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Nellya Premium
Thanks, Rudy, for your valuable additional insights. There are many ways how black backgrounds can be applied. However, as you correctly point out, one needs to consider the reading experience from a physiological point of view 🤓.

🌟
Nellya
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GeoffreyC1 Premium
I reviewed an electronics site with a black background and it suited the site perfectly.
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Nellya Premium
Hi Geoffrey,

Sounds like a great niche for a black background. I also reviewed a similar site (coding) - very effective!

🌟
Nellya
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Trixie-belle Premium
Certainly something to consider. Thank you Nellya.
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Nellya Premium
Hi Trixie,

You should definitely consider it. I would be happy to hear if you discover some other uses (and results) for the black background!

🌟
Nellya
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Trixie-belle Premium
Thank you Nellya - will keep you updated!
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Nellya Premium
Looking forward 😊
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JeffreyBrown Premium Plus
Very useful background tips, Nellya! Some thoughts to ponder now!

Enjoy your new week!

Jeff
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Nellya Premium
Thanks, Jeff!

A new week started, and I hope it will bring us fresh and positive ideas!

🌟
Nellya
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JeffreyBrown Premium Plus
You're welcome, Nellya, and I truly believe that it WILL!

Jeff
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Nellya Premium
Looking forward to your BIG updates! 😊

🌟
Nellya
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JeffreyBrown Premium Plus
Me too, Nellya! Me too!😎
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Isaiah14 Premium
When you mentioned the black background with content and our irises, the first thing that comes to my mind was watching a movie in the dark movie theater for a couple of hours, then stepping outside into the blinding sunlight (at least, if you left through the side exit door instead of the lobby).

But the screens have improved where it's not as bad as it used to be years ago.

Appreciate the post!

Isaiah 😊
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Nellya Premium
Thanks, Isaiah, for your relevant observations.

The black background is also used by Netflix, Apple TV and other online movie providers. They want to replicate the real movie theater experience! This means that black backgrounds DO WORK in certain context and for certain niches.

🌟
Nellya
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