Updated: Apr 21
By nature, backgrounds do not get enough attention - but any designer will tell you that they are an important part of creating a website. Website backgrounds set the tone for your design, and serve as an integral part of the user experience and overall success.
In this article, we will go through popular types of website backgrounds and the impact they have on visitors. In addition, we will provide expert tips on how to choose one and use it in a way that will result in an impressive website design.
Website Background 101
In web design, background is one of the most basic elements of a website - so basic that its meaning can often be overlooked. But in reality, it is a powerful tool that shapes how visitors experience your site, and choosing the perfect backdrop should be a thoughtful process.
A web page background can be an image, a color or a pattern used on a web page, while other web page elements are in the foreground. More than just a visual resource, a web page background is a great tool that can help you highlight certain aspects of your website, set the tone for your brand and enhance the user experience.
As you browse through the different styles described below, keep in mind these two main approaches:
A body background is one that encompasses the entire screen. This includes photos, video, solid colors, etc.
A content background, on the other hand, is when the background design does not take up the entire screen, but surrounds other important content such as images, which affects the site's layout.
Types of web page backgrounds
As web design trends continue to evolve, so do background possibilities. There are many to choose from, and it's exciting to decide what's best for your own design. Below we will go through each of these by pointing out the individual benefits along with examples to visualize the potential of your design.
Gradient website backgrounds
Gradient backgrounds are part of an ongoing trend, with roots in the aesthetics of the 90s. By gradually mixing a combination of colors, gradients create an engaging and modern visual experience. One of the added values of gradient design is the versatility - sometimes mixing similar shades of the same hue, or alternatively using completely different complementary colors.
Whatever gradient style you choose, this type of background means that the focus of your design is color. You can add unusual shades to create a unique layout, or create a gradient of your brand colors to add strategic flavor to your site.
Website backgrounds with solid colors
Solid colors = a solid background choice for the website. When you use this type of website background, you provide little opportunity for visual clutter. A solid background will ensure a clean and organized web design, and will likely help users with readability.
You can choose any color of the rainbow, a classic white background, or choose a dark website theme using black. Either way, make sure your colors are in line with your site's brand identity. If you are an established brand, freelancer or blogger, you want this color to complement your personality as much as the rest of your design.
Animated web page backgrounds
Decorating your site with movement will definitely keep visitors on your page longer. Whether it's adding high quality videos or moving graphics as the backdrop to your site, the interactive nature of these lively visual tools can enhance your site's design and provide an attractive user experience as well.
Since motion is easily overwhelming, you should carefully consider how your background can engage users without distracting them. Using a video background, for example, is a great way to introduce visitors to your brand, while motion graphics provide a trendy and captivating effect when properly implemented.
Pro tip: If you do not want your background to be fully animated, but still want to influence with movement, you can try to include effects such as parallax scrolling. This web design technique, where the web page background moves at a slower pace than the foreground, results in an immersive 3D effect that subtly enhances the user experience.
Graphic website background
Aside from their alluring nature, graphic backgrounds provide the opportunity to complement the content of your site. From graphic images to abstract designs - this type of background can help tell a story that represents your brand.
With so many graphics to choose from, it's important to find one that matches the overall theme of your website design so that you do not confuse visitors. With the development of graphic design tools, you should have no problem implementing a high quality graphic background that enhances the impact of your website.
Website backgrounds with patterns
Patterns are a long-standing choice for website backgrounds, and combine motifs and color choices to give design an aesthetic edge. There is something about the consistency of repetitions that is also a delight to the eye.
One of the benefits of choosing this type of background is the variety of styles available in today's web design world. Patterns range from minimalist themes to designs that include photorealistic images. As always, it is important that your background is not too busy. When going for a more sophisticated pattern, consider using muted colors that will keep the overall design of the site in balance.
Textured web page backgrounds
A textured web page background is one that resembles a tactile surface. Because of this quality, using this type of background is a great way to add a new dimension to your website without taking design risk or distracting visitors.
Web textures provide contrast, and facilitate an engaging experience. When choosing one for your own website, make sure it complements the elements in your foreground - when done correctly, textured backgrounds can attract attention and help users focus on your message.
Photographic website backgrounds
A classic choice on some of the best sites, an eye-catching photographic background is one that will make a striking impression on visitors. This type of background is best suited for an event website or for creating a blog, when it is important to provide clear visual representation to follow the website's written content.
There are some unique aspects to consider when choosing a photograph as the stage for your design. First, it should be of high quality to ensure an excellent visual experience and fast loading speed. Then you can consider how you want to place your wallpaper - it can be attached to follow users as they scroll, or set as a hero image where it will be visible above the visible part.
To select the image file itself, you can always upload one of your own. When creating a website with Wix, you can use wallpapers in the editor, or integrate one from Unsplash or Shutterstock.
Wallpapers for full-screen web pages
A full screen website background will emphasize the visual properties of the website. Free of margins can have a strong impact on your design, with a captivating result. Implementing this can work with all the other types we have mentioned above.
We can think of a few tips for a full screen background that ensures you get the right effect. Like all website elements, quality is first and foremost. And since this background will be the main part of the site's visual experience, make sure you highlight elements such as text and buttons so that they do not (literally) disappear into the background.
What Makes a Good Website Background?
How should you choose which website background is right for you with so many choices out there? By using the following tips and principles, you will gain a better understanding of what to aim for in the final results. Of course, web design is a trial and error process, so do not hesitate to try out different designs when adding a background to your site.
Follow the principles of design
When considering the background of the website, it is always important to pay attention to the principles of design. Your background choice will play a role in visual qualities such as balance, contrast and hierarchy. Thinking about the impact on these aspects will help you make a more strategic, creative decision, resulting in a unified website design with a great user experience.
Readability is a must in web design, and affects the website's accessibility and the overall user experience. Website backgrounds that use images, bold colors and animation have the potential to negatively impact visitors by distracting them from content.
Pairing your background with the right style and font size is crucial to achieving this. In addition, using a color scheme or adjusting the background contrast and opacity can help you achieve the readability your visitors want.
If you are creating a business website or website for a personal brand, your background is a great opportunity to support your brand identity. In general, the color scheme of your website should already include your brand colors, and connect to the overall look of all branding. Your background - whether it is a picture, pattern, color or video - should complement this palette.
Make it mobile friendly
It is no surprise that over 50% of global internet traffic comes from mobile users. That said, it's crucial to give browsers on the go the same effective experience as those who visit your site on your desktop. When it comes to the background of your website, this means that you choose an image that will scale nicely to the small screen without losing quality or distracting visitors on mobile devices.
Pay attention to quality
We've said it before, and we'll say it again - whether it's videos, photographs or graphic images - make sure the background of the site is of high quality so that it does not appear stretched or pixelated. For wallpapers, the best file format is JPEG, while SVGs can be useful for resizing and ensuring scalability.
Of course, high-quality photos and video are heavier than usual, so you may need to compress the file to maintain speed and functionality.
Freddy Fix borrowed from Wix