Choosing Accent Colors for WordPress Themes

WordPress themes are often minimalist and simple in style. So choosing accent colors for WordPress Themes is one way to spice them up. But how do you choose a color from hundreds of available options?

First of all, you may not have a choice. You might have to use the official color of your business or your client’s business. In that case, you don’t need to read this. But if you are starting with a clean slate, next time you are sitting there, eye dropper in hand, you may want to consider some of the following tips to help you along.

Color trends

Theme Demos

To get an idea of what’s in on the web design scene when it comes to colors, all you have to do is check out some theme demos on your favorite theme provider site. Demos are a good place to start your research, because they represent the latest trends when it comes to color combinations. There’s some hard working designers out there doing all the heavy lifting, so you don’t have to.

Here are some examples to give you an idea.

Accent color: #d64ad1 | Theme: Invictus
Choosing Accent Colors: Invictus

Accent colors: #e4406e(pink) and #eb9812(yellow) | Theme: Valenti
Choosing Accent Colors: Valenti

Color authorities: Pantone

You can also check out some of the color authorities out there, like Pantone. And see what they have to say about current color trends. The color of the year for 2014 is predicted to be Radiant Orchid. This color even got its own press release. The description reads like a perfume bottle:

Radiant Orchid blooms with confidence and magical warmth that intrigues the eye and sparks the imagination. It is an expressive, creative and embracing purple—one that draws you in with its beguiling charm. A captivating harmony of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones, Radiant Orchid emanates great joy, love and health.

That’s what I’m talking about. Let’s see if it holds up in action:
Color: # af8abd | Theme: DK
Choosing Accent Colors: DK
A color of the year may not always work on a website, but this one actually looks pretty snazzy. Can you feel the “magical warmth” rising? I thought you would.

Color psychology

If you know exactly the effect you need to achieve and the goal you want to reach with your site, you can focus on the psychological power of color. Check out your mother’s mood ring collection or dig into some psychology and design books. This is not as simple as yellow is happy, black is sad. Put those two together and you have a dynamite color combination, signaling warning and even hazard. Blue is often considered to be the best color for business, instilling trust and confidence in your clients. It’s probably because of its inherent soothing and calming effect.

So think about what you want your visitors to feel on their first encounter with your site. Don’t underestimate the subliminal message that your color choices are sending.

Go with your gut… sort of

Sometimes it helps to just listen to your instincts. Do your research, find inspiration in nature, your favorite magazines, cd jackets or packaging. And then let it all sink in and let your mind do the processing. By the end of that coffee break or that walk in the park, the right color will just ‘bloom with magical warmth’ in the recesses of your mind.

PS: if you are not a designer and wonder how to get that color you liked:

  1. A demo may allow you to see the RGB in the settings
  2. Take a screenshot and import it into any graphic software that lets you sample colors with an eyedropper.


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About Alicia Kolesnikova

Blogger & blogging advocate. An avid WordPress explorer and occasional shutter release pusher. Follow me on for extra blogging tips.

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