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What are Website Backgrounds?

Your website background sets the tone for prospective customers. Learn best practices for selecting a background for your site and find free sources for background downloads.

First impressions are everything. Whether it is the first impression made in a face-to-face meeting with another person, a telephone call, a text, a social media post, or a website, judgment is made based on the information perceived immediately. Website backgrounds, the color splashes, images, and designs of a website, are part of an initial introduction of your business, and can set the tone for your prospective customer.

Whether you have a startup or established business, you need a website to solidify your branding and reach potential customers. Users leave a website within 10-20 seconds if they don’t like what they see. So, you need website content and backgrounds that grab attention. To help with the design of a website, Mailchimp provides a complete guide to building a website. This guide provides tips on how to create a business website from start to finish, including how to create a design that keeps visitors engaged.

Components of a website background

There are two types of website backgrounds, body and content. The body background is the area of a webpage that covers most of the screen. This is where you place graphics, colors, shapes, and other elements. The content background is the area that fills in around the images or text. It helps delineate different sections.

When creating an eye-catching, captivating website background, it is important to think about color contrast. Some colors work against one another making it hard to see or read text. When choosing a color block or gradient colors for the body background, it is important to make sure the colors do not distract the reader or make it difficult to read any content. Using website background images add a layer of branding that snags a reader’s attention. Ensure the graphics used aren’t busy and distracting, but add to the overall content of the website and complement your brand colors.

Website Background Examples

There are a variety of options when it comes to using website backgrounds on your website. Choose from these examples to create the look and feel you want your brand to represent:

• Content on body background

Instead of placing content on a background of its own, you can place it directly on the body background. You may find it difficult to make sure your content shows up legibly in every area if the background has assorted colors or textures. This option works best with subtle patterns or solid background colors. So, properly test every page for easy readability.

• Layered content background on body background

This is the background style used by most websites. The body background for content overlays the website background. This adds depth and prevents distracting backgrounds from making it hard to scan content. Layered content backgrounds allow for image and pattern placement on the body background. In this case, you can put content on a solid background that lies in front of images on the main website background. This configuration makes the content easier to format and read.

• Header Background

The header background is a background that highlights information at the top of the website. This allows you to create an eye-catching area on the website without disturbing or taking away from the main content flow.

What makes for a good website background?

You may not know how to create a website for your business. When considering backgrounds for websites, there are several options that can help drive traffic to your website, and truly the sky's the limit. From static imagery to videos, there are plenty of ways to make your background pop.

When choosing a background, try one of these:

• Geometric Shapes

Geometric shapes give the background of a website a contemporary feel when paired with a minimalist color pallet. The various shapes can also give the website a high-tech feel or sci-fi vibe. A geometric design can give your audience a subtle understanding of the products or services you offer.

• Gradient Colors

Gradient colors are ones that move from one color subtly to a new color. Using this design gives dimension and adds an element of depth to a website. You can achieve gradients in a variety of ways. The colors can move in a linear fashion where there are two colors at opposite ends, and they gradually transition into each other. There is also a radial gradient that begins with one color in the middle and morphs into the next color as it radiates out.

• Solid Colors

Designers use solid colors to go with a branding color or to add a certain feel or quality to a website. Some designers leave the background solid white to give a feel of cleanness and simplicity. Other designers choose darker colors to add an elegant ambiance to the website. In either case, solid colors add consistency and balance, especially if you have busy website content.

• Website Background Images

Using website background images is a terrific way to personalize a business website. It can also highlight products and services provided by the business. Using images requires choosing just the right ones to enhance and not detract from the content of the website. That’s why Mailchimp provides a cheat sheet getting ad images right as well as any other images used on a website.

When using a background image website design, you can use a still, high-resolution image, or a carousel design to allow for multiple image displays. For example, travel industry businesses utilize images to offer a variety of images to highlight a travel destination.

• Textures

There are multiple textures to choose from for a website background. Textures offer a depth and dimension to the background that can make an impactful statement to a visitor. Textures work to highlight the content of a website and create a certain atmosphere to impact the branding of the business.

What size should a website background image be?

The maximum file size of an image for a website background is 1MB. You should avoid images larger than the content area or chosen template. Depending on how you will use the website and whether the content has a different template style, you may want to experiment with different sizing. In situations such as designing templates with hero images, choosing images around 640 pixels wide for email images.

Where to find free website backgrounds

Finding the perfect background for a website is exciting but can cost a lot of money if you don’t know where to find quality free images. You may not know exactly what you want. Using websites that offer free website backgrounds is a fantastic way to browse backgrounds and try them on your website until you find the one you want. Try websites such as:

1. Unsplash

Unsplash has a wide variety of high-resolution images to use for a website background. They offer images in any orientation and any color. They have images in colors, textures, images, and other categories that will work perfectly with your website and branding. These images provide an alternative to taking your own images for your website or paying a large fee for a professional to take photos to promote your business.

2. Subtlepatterns

If you are looking for patterns for a website background, Subtlepatterns has a variety from which to choose. They have subtle designed patterns as well as bold patterns to add to your content. The patterns can be used to give the viewers an inside look at what your product or service is through the pattern chosen to highlight the website.

3. Transparent Textures

This website allows you to define the color and pattern of a background you want and then provides their available backgrounds to allow you to choose them easily. They are available through a quick download.

4. Cool Backgrounds

Cool Backgrounds allows you to browse for website backgrounds with triangles, particles, gradient colors, and layered shapes. It also has tools and color schemes to help you individualize the backgrounds you choose. Their color schemes and contrasts are already paired taking much of the guesswork out of the process.

Selecting or designing your website background

Selecting a website background is important to attracting customers. It is also important to your brand as a business and to the interaction customers have with the content you provide on your website. Selecting and personalizing a website background is simple if you follow the steps outlined above.

Mailchimp offers all the tools and guidance you need to help you create a website you can be proud of. With our expert assistance and easy-to-use templates, you can create a website that attracts customers and lets them know your brand and what services or products your company provides.

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