Color choosing tools. Guest post by Steven Snell.

As new visitors arrive at your blog, color is one of the most important design aspects for creating a positive first impression. Last week Michael wrote about the importance of making your blog template unique. Effective color modifications can be a quick, easy way to help your blog stand out from the crowd, especially is you are using a very common theme.

Fortunately, there are a number of free tools available online that can help with finding the right color combination. We’ll take a look at a few of them and hopefully you’ll find something that you would like to use for your own color decisions.

Color Schemer Gallery

The color scheme gallery is a resource that allows users to submit color schemes that they have created. Visitors can then browse through the schemes and find something they want to use (and they can also rate schemes on a 1 to 5 scale). This provides a quick way to find a color scheme that you like, as opposed to old-fashioned trial and error on your own design.

The scheme gallery can be sorted by rating, date of submission, or number of downloads. Schemes also have tags that allow you to search if you have a particular style you are looking for. At the time of this writing there are over 2,700 color schemes in the gallery, and more are constantly being added.

This can especially be a great tool if you are starting from scratch and you have no idea what colors you want to use. Find a few that stand out to you and see how they work with your blog theme.

JavaScript Color Picker

If you want to get an idea of how color combinations will look in a design without making a lot of changes to you CSS file, try the JavaScript Color Picker. With this tool you’ll select a background color, text color, link color, and visited link color. Your selections will immediately appear in the frame so you can see how they look together. You can then make adjustments be changing one or more of the selections.

Although the display you are seeing on-screen with this tool is very basic, it will still give you a good idea of how the colors work together. You’ll still have to try them out in your blog theme to make sure they work well together, but this tool can save you some time by eliminating combinations that just don’t look right.

Color Palette Generator

A different idea for deciding on the right color combination is to find photos that display excellent colors that you would like to use in your design. The Color Palette Generator at will allow you to enter the URL of an image, and it will show you the colors, along with their HTML numbers, that appear in the image.

Try this tool with a few images that you like and you may just find the right color combination for your blog. If the image you want to use resides on your computer but is not online, try What’s Its Color?, a similar tool that allows you to upload the photo you want to use.

I Like Your Colors

Have you seen another blog or website that uses a color combination that you really like? I Like Your Colors is a tool that will give you the HTML numbers of colors used on a particular website. Just type in the URL of the page and it will quickly check the page and its CSS file and display the results.

Be careful not to copy the exact colors used by another website, rather use it as a starting point for creating your own color combinations.

Hopefully with these tools you’ll be well on your way to customizing your own blog theme that will help visitors to remember you and to stand out from the competition.

Steven Snell is a web designer for Vandelay Website Design. His blog is updated regularly with articles on design, marketing, SEO, and blogging.

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