In my last post, I provided a number of useful online resources for stock photography because visitors tend to make very quick decisions as to whether they’re going to stay on a site based on aesthetics.

Another important aspect to an appealing website is using the right colours. Fortunately, there are lots of great online tools and resources for discovering and choosing them.

Here are a few:

4096 Color Wheel

This nifty tool allows you to select colors using a color wheel and then provides the color in three versions: a web-safe version, a web-smart version and an unsafe version, giving you the ability to choose which one to use based on your needs.


If you need to match colors, just select a preferred color using ColorBlender and it will automatically generate a 6-color matching palette.

For designers using Photoshop and Illustrator, it even allows you to download Photoshop Color Tables or Illustrator files containing the palette. provides a useful tool that lets you test various color combinations before you make a decision on which one to use. It also provides a great library of existing color combinations.


This free software program is a dedicated color picker that I love and that SitePoint called an “absolute gem.”

ColorToy 2.0

One of many color scheme creation tools available on the internet, ColorTool 2.0 offers a slick Flash interface that provides eight complementary colors when you supply it with one.

Norman Koren

Although this website and its tutorials are geared towards photographers and printmakers, it has two very useful articles for those who want a deeper understanding of color theory.

The Light and Color article details how light and color interact and the Color Management introduction explains how color management is crucial to reproducing colors consistently.

Screen Color Tester

This bare-bones tool changes the page background color as you move your mouse around the page, displaying the current color’s value in the lower left-hand corner of the browser window.

Although it’s simple, I find this tool to be useful because a workable color scheme does not always prevent the usage of colors that are unpleasant on the eyes when used as website backgrounds.


Technicolor not only helps you choose colors for your website design, it displays a small preview of what the color scheme would generally look like and automatically generates the CSS required to implement it.