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Do you prefer Light or Dark Backgrounds on Blogs?

Posted By Darren Rowse 7th of April 2009 Reader Questions 0 Comments

Over the last few days we’ve run this poll in our sidebar.


Feel free to share your reasons for your answer in comments below.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. It really depends on the blog for me, I prefer text to be on a light background, but the main background can be either depending on the design. Image heavy blogs with little text work well on dark backgrounds.

  2. Light background are much easier to read IMO. Dark backgrounds make me squint and squinting causes wrinkles, so I just get right back out of those dark blogs.

  3. As long as the only important aspect of the blog is met, the content, the Blog always ends up read in Google Reader. The background color does not make any difference to me.

  4. A few blog themes pull off the dark background look fairly well, but most of the dark themes I have seen are almost unreadable. On the whole, I much prefer light backgrounds. That said, the right dark theme can give images extra pop.

  5. i prefer light backgrounds because it looks beautiful. but it ain’t mean always white.

    it looks simple with light backgrounds and gives strong message on what i write.

  6. White (or light) writing on a dark background is just too hard for me to read.

    If the blog is a photo blog, or some other topic that is highly visual (and doesn’t need me to ready too much), then I can tolerate a dark background.

  7. For me it depends on the blog. One thing I don’t really care for is black background behind the text. It kind of hurts my eyes.

  8. I prefer light backgrounds. Dark is ok for a photo blog.

  9. Dark is too personal, though it’s less tough to read.

    I think not too light would be okay (like light green or blue)

  10. I prefer light backgrounds — white, preferably. Dark backgrounds with light lettering are hard to read, especially for older people.

    As the general population ages, and there are more and more elders online, it is very important to consider readability. Some older people will not even attempt to read a dark background blog!

    White backgrounds for better readability every time!

  11. I much prefer dark backgrounds. I find it easier to read light text on a dark background. #EEE on #111

  12. Backgrounds make no difference. Text background does.

    I highly prefer very light colored text backgrounds.

  13. Preference to light background for me. I have very poor eyesight – too much exposure to LCD (lol).

  14. I’m quite particular on the background color. But it all depends upon the nature of the blog itself.

  15. I prefer light for text blogs and dark for photoblogs

  16. I wasn’t sure what you meant by “background”, but I answered “Light Always” assuming you mean the background behind the text. As far as the main background, I don’t care at all.

  17. I agree with all the commenters who find black or dark text against light background more readable. Maybe ’cause I’m also of the age of book readers. Black or colorful backgrounds push me away. True of Websites generally.

  18. Usually light backgrounds are quite easy to achieve since it is easy to build professional looking themes with them, while creating dark themes is a lot harder.
    Btw: anybody knows some good resources on designing dark themes?

  19. Well, I differ from most every body else here. I don’t like light backgrounds. They’re too stark and have a cold clinical feel. All the light hurts my eyes, and makes it hard to read anything.

  20. I read somewhere that dark backgrounds w/ light lettering is actually easier on the eyes (i.e. causes less strain b/c it’s not as “bright”) …but most people still prefer a book-like look (white background, black lettering) because it’s such a familiar set-up.

    That being said, I tend to like light backgrounds. :)

  21. I prefer lighter backgrounds to the darker ones as the aesthetics would pretty much be comfy for the eyes too.

    The contrast that the darker backgrounds create would not be pleasing to the eyes when placed inappropriately. As I still tend to move on the blogosphere, I prefer to go slow and then move on to the darker things later on.

    Thanks for the poll Darren.

  22. There really is a reason books are printed on white pages after all then!

  23. Dark backgrounds with light fonts burn my eyes when I look away.

  24. I’ll go for light backgrounds.

  25. Page background or text background? Page background I don’t care to much. Text background I prefer a dark text on a light background.

  26. I always prefer dark backgrounds. I’m often sitting in a dark room and I’d rather not have a white screen glaring at me. My blog uses a dark background.

    However, in the future I may provide an option for my readers. It’ll still default to the dark background, but there will be an option to switch to a light background.

  27. I’ve tended to use dark backgrounds because I personally liked the way they look. When it came to my attention that certain people find dark backgrounds harder to read I converted all but my photography blogs to a light background.

    Luckily the present theme I’m using makes changing the whole look of the blog, including colors, background images, headers, color of text links etc extremely easy. Usually all it takes is the click of a mouse. I can even save the old settings as a CSV file and restore the original settings when I want to revert to the original theme. eg at the moment I’ve got an Easter theme but next week it will revert to my normal look.

  28. The human eye is trained to read black letters on white paper. School books, newspapers, almost everything we read growing up was black text on a white background.

    This makes it a lot easier for most people to read very dark text on very light backgrounds.

    I personally prefer light backgrounds, especially for the content area, where the text is displayed.

  29. I prefer light backgrounds becauseI find it too hard to read on dark backgrounds. If I come to a blog with a dark background, I don’t even try to read it. I immediately click out.

  30. Personally I use dark around the edges and white background with black text on the content area. That way it’s easier for my readers to see the text.

  31. Areas with a lot of text work better with a light background. In almost every case, a white background with black text looks best. Photo blogs work with a dark background, but not if they’re text heavy. It’s too much of a strain on the eyes to read it otherwise.

  32. If the blog is providing tutorials, How to articles or something you need to forcus on content. I prefere white(light) back ground with dark letters.

    If it s fun reading. Stories, news and stuff I dont really care the background colour.

  33. Light backgrounds are easier on the eyes (at least mine)

  34. I prefer light backgrounds – not sure I can explain why except I find it much easier to read – the pages also seem to load quicker on my mobile phone when browsing on the move!

  35. Dark backgrounds light text, is actually easier to read and strains less on your eyes.

    The problem comes when you close that page and view another that is probably light background, dark text – your eyes aren’t used to it and it bloody hurts.

  36. Text heavy blogs should definitely have a light background. The only time a dark background works is on photo, or image rich, blogs. I disagree that light text on dark background is easier to read. I squint lots when viewing websites like this.

  37. It depends upon the blog for me, I like light backgrounds if it’s full of writing content, but I will prefer dark backgrounds if my blog contains of many pictures.

  38. I guess we are used to read black text on white surface because of the white paper, which was dominant before the virtual revolution and is still dominating our daily life (books, newspapers, just paper everywhere..).

    There are few books printed on black paper.

  39. Using Light Backgrounds is always good for me. So i like light.

  40. I think it does depend on your site and what you are blogging about but I think you can always test your own individual site to see what works for your readers with split testing. I have used split testing in the past and it has always really helped me understand my readers and work with them.

  41. Light backgrounds and black text is much easier to read and less tiring for the eyes than vice versa. Although black background are more interesting for showing pictures.

  42. I personally do not mind dark or light backgrounds as long as there is sufficient contrast between the text and background (and on a side note , but not only that but a suitable font size, too small and I can not see the text clearly enough to read quickly, but too large and its hard to easily read sentences; look how hard it is to read those Ebay auctions where massive fonts are used. This is worse in my opinion than a site with bad layout (too narrow or wide columns).

    Another thing I have noticed is that sites with white or light backgrounds tend to degrade better when CSS and/or images are disabled and also when printed, which I still do on a regular basis.

    I have noticed various websites state that white background and black text is better for accessibility, but only personal experience of working with someone who was partially sighted, he said that black background on bright yellow text with slightly larger than normal fonts was easiest for him to read.

  43. White background is cruel on the eyes, eggshell (0.2 density) is light and easy on eyes. / dark is better to frame art (photographs not pictures)

  44. Voted “always light”, but would ideally have opted for “depends on the blog, but usually light”.

    As others have pointed out, it all boils down to eye fatigue. Dark text on a light background is a lot kinder on the eyes for any extended reading period.

    Light text on a dark background can be effective, but it’s a lot harder to create a design that can sustain readers. Image-heavy/text-light blogs can usually get away with it, but not the other way round.

  45. I do prefer white background, it comes from my feel.
    I’ve changed a few blog themes, as long as the content column is white background with black word, then everything will be okay. As long as I can read the word clearly. :)


    Light all the way!

  47. I prefer light blogs so that I can read the text properly.
    I mean, if there’s a black background there must be light text… And that’s soo hard for me to read. My eyes doesn’t like it :)

  48. I really can’t stand reading sites with black backgrounds. I find them very difficult to read.

  49. I voted white because I’ve made it a point to look at blogs which are impressive and/or informative which catch my eye. Almost all of them have either white backgrounds, or just a shade or two off white.

    If a blogger uses black for a background I would think it’s for a specific reason, but I haven’t found too many that I can discern the reason.

  50. RSS feeds negate this question to a degree, but I still prefer light backgrounds. I’ve seen a few blogs with grayish or other midtone backgrounds that worked, but can’t recall any with black backgrounds that I regularly visit. And of course the accompanying color scheme does make a difference too.

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