Light backgrounds for websites are a ubiquitous trend, as, according to a lot of research, people find it more attractive and it comes with better readability. It’s hard to disagree, so… Are there any advantages of using a dark background on a website?
In general, white website design appeal to a broader audience, as well as the HTML and CSS come with white background as a default. This is why many developers stick to it, without even thinking of making any changes. Have you ever wondered why books usually have white pages with black lettering? Exactly, it seems so natural that no one questions it. But we all know that there are exceptions to every rule.
Why are white backgrounds so popular in web design?
Let’s get back to books for a while. It’s beyond question that dark letters on light background reduce the cost of printed materials and improve the readability, so web designers started to copy this trend. However, dark web design is getting more and more popular among web designers and, when used properly, it can have an elegant and creative appeal.
The thing is that darker backgrounds require a lot of experiments to find the right balance and keep it attractive to the website visitors. Using white font on a black background can bother users’ eyes, as it’s not that easy to read. On the other hand, the same goes for light grey font color placed on a white background. It’s all about aesthetic and a nice contrast between the background and the font used. This, of course, requires more time spent on design, so it can generate issues, especially when you don’t want to miss a deadline.
Let’s be honest, white backgrounds are so ubiquitous because it’s easier for designers and many business owners believe that it will look more trustworthy in their potential customers’ eyes. Moreover, the white color is often associated with western culture, with sincerity, excellence, purity, and goodness.
Another reason for picking a white background is because it is a neutral color. It doesn’t affect other website elements so it’s easier to put all of them together. When a designer wants to use a wider color palette, it requires to run more experiments which equals more time and money spent on a project. Overall, using a white background makes the entire process less complicated.
So, if you don’t want to experiment or you’re not sure if you’re good enough, use a light background, but you can also take a risk and make change work for you.
Benefits of a dark background
Dark backgrounds are not suitable for every website and not every designer finds it easy to create a good-looking site with darker color schemes. It is because of less readability and having to experiment more to find a balance between background and other elements of the site. However, with a few proven tricks, they could express your creativity and create a website that comes with an enjoyable experience.
So, what are the reasons to use a dark background on your website?
One of the main reasons is that it’s easier to browse websites with darker backgrounds for a longer time, as it doesn’t strain eyes, especially in the evening or during the night. It doesn’t cause the disruption to the body's natural cycles that many people experience when using mobile phones near bedtime. This is why popular platforms, such as Twitter and YouTube, have noticed the problem and now offer an option to switch to the dark mode. It can also save the battery life.
Darker colors are a better choice for certain industries — just think about most of the gaming companies. The same goes for, say, a metal band. And now think about the Netflix website, can you imagine how it would look like with a light background? Did you know that black is often associated with elegance, prestige, and power? Overall, dark background usually works better for interfaces based on graphic elements rather than content-heavy websites.
There are many ways darker design may be used to emphasize the nature of the business and its purpose. The thing is to use colors with high contrast between the text or pictures and the background. You need to put some extra effort to ensure that the final product will have good readability.
Choosing the perfect background for your site
As you can see, there are proven advantages of using darker backgrounds and you know why white backgrounds are so ubiquitous nowadays. Choosing an appropriate background plays a vital role in your website design, so think twice before you make a final decision. Still, a dark background is not that popular but, when used properly, can help you stand out from the competitors and create a website that will attract a number of new customers.
Now you know strong and weak sides of dark-colored design for websites, so it’s up to you which background you’ll choose for your project. Think of the goal and effect you want to achieve. Keep in mind that the darker colors can help you attract a younger audience, and remember that dark doesn’t always mean black.