Website Colour Analyzer

In January I published Colour, a simple app that analyses the colours used in a website and suggests ways you can merge the colour to make the design simpler.

I don’t know if it’s an age thing, or a generational thing, or if I’m just late to the game, but in recent years I have learnt to appreciate simplicity. I like things that are simple. Not just simple to use but simple in design – and consistency is a big part of this.

I’ve been running Pro Theme Design for a little over 10 years now, and I feel like only now am I finding my design voice. A style that is mine, that I can work with consistently. But that means that older themes don’t have those design traits. In particular the ones I made where I collaborated with others.

One of the things I enjoy doing is going back to the older themes and simplifying their designs. Improving consistency. Things like making sure margins and padding are consistent. Or colour choices are minimised. Or fonts styles used are just the ones needed. To be honest many of these changes are small tweaks that most people won’t notice. But put together they make the theme feel more harmonious. Having consistent colours, spacing and fonts helps the design hold together better and feel more professional.

These days with preprocessors it’s a lot easier to minimise colour usage (just use the ones in your styleguide/ library) but in the good old days of handcrafted css it was a lot easier to just make up a colour on the spot. And that’s the problem I had.

Whilst trying to work out a simpler way to solve this I found a website called Colorfy that lists all the colours used in a site. This helped me to see what colours were involved, but I wanted to reduce the colours used so I then had to go through and work out which ones to replace/ merge. Then I spotted that Colorfy has an API.

So I made Colour, a single page web app for Pro Theme Design that analyses the colours used in a website and suggests colour combinations to merge to simplify the design.


Making it

The initial build was quite simple. I considered using this as an opportunity to learn React/ Vue but instead decided to stick to what I know. I didn’t want this to be a long project so I used FlightPHP as my PHP framework, and jQuery for all the javascript bits.

For the CSS I used Tachyons and this was new to me. I had read about it a few times and conceptually liked the sound of it. Having now used it however, I don’t think I’ll use it again. There were things I liked, in particular with regards consistency, but in general it felt a bit too convoluted. I didn’t like having all the css classes littering my html, and I found it hard to get started with. The documentation is thorough but not entirely logical, at least not until you learn the logic of Tachyons.

Colour usage tips

For me the most useful part of Colour is the replacements tab. This gives you a pipe separated list of colours to find, and the colour to replace them with. This is useful because you can turn on regex find and replace in your IDE and then use the piped content to find all instances of the colour and replace them. It’s not perfect, for example it only finds #eeeeee and not #eee, but this can speed up the process considerably.

Was it good/ useful/ a load of old rubbish? Let me know on Mastodon, or BlueSky (or Twitter X if you must).

Link to this page

Thanks for reading. I'd really appreciate it if you'd link to this page if you mention it in your newsletter or on your blog.

Related Posts

20 Mar 2013

Mastering the Psychology of Colour Theory in Web Design

As an aspiring or established blog writer, you will probably be thinking of how you can attract more readers to your blog. Of course, there are many ways to build a loyal audience, but one aspect which is often overlooked...
01 Apr 2015

The State of WordPress Themes #wcldn

I recently spoke on a panel at WordCamp London 2015e. Lance – who used to be the Theme Team lead at – asked me if I wanted to speak on a panel with him at WordCamp London 2015. I’ve...
12 Mar 2008

Pro Theme Design and Mimbo Pro

The last couple of months I have been spending my free time working on a new website and premium theme.The website is called Pro Theme Design, and the theme is Mimbo Pro.Pro Theme DesignPro Theme Design is a WordPress theme...
29 Nov 2012

CSS Highlight Colour

When I design a website I really like to add small touches that most people won’t notice. In fact there’s a blog I follow that is dedicated to these small areas of delight. One of the things I like to...
13 Oct 2016

Lessons Learned from 20 Theme Releases on

In 2007 I partnered with Darren Hoyt to release Mimbo Pro, one of the earliest premium WordPress themes. In 2012 Mimbo Pro was published on Last week – on October 5th 2016 to be precise – my 20th theme...
19 Dec 2023

My Creative Process

In writing about creativity and AI recently, I started reflecting on my own creative process. While I love making things, I’ve always questioned whether or not I’m truly creative. However, I’ve come to realize that my creativity stems from gathering...