How do I identify the Colours Used on my Website?

Matching colours can be tricky. There are at least four different ways of identifying a colour:

RGB is based on the projection of light.  It is a colour model in which red, green, and blue light are added together in various ways to reproduce a broad array of colours.

A hex colour is a six-digit hexadecimal number used in website coding and other computing applications to identify a colour. The bytes represent the red, green and blue components of the colour.

Therefore hex colours and RGB are methods of identifying on-screen colours. There are different methods for identifying colours for print.

Pantone is a system for matching colours, used in specifying printing inks, it is generally used to identify corporate or brand colours.

Although a significant proportion of the world’s brands identify their colours using the Pantone system, the majority of the world’s printed material is produced using the CMYK process; this is done by mixing various amounts of 4 colours cyan, magenta, yellow and black.  Most of the Pantone system’s spot colours cannot be replicated using CMYK, the Pantone system uses 13 base pigments plus black and white mixed in specified amounts.


All of this underlines the fact that colours on screen and in print do not necessary correspond and exporting one to the other can cause issues. Pantones don’t necessarily work for digital print or for websites, and RGB and hex colours are unreliable ways of identifying a colour for print.

Some pantones do convert to CMYK, so you should ask your graphic designer to ensure to use one of those colours when they are creating your logo and brand identity, you should also ask them who to supply Pantone and CMYK details at the time they are working on your brand identity, so that you can to use them as references when printing, depending on what method of print you are going with.

Free Tool to Identify Colour Used on a Website

So how do I identify the hex colour used on a website?  I use a great free tool to for this. It is a toolbar extension called ColorZilla, it is available for Firefox and Chrome, here is the link to it in the Chrome store will give you the RGB and Hex colour used on any website and much more to boot.

I hope this article was useful, feel free to leave your comments on our Facebook Page if you liked it!

How to Re-Size an Image

This is a straightforward process for many of us but for small business owners who are trying to manage images on their website using a CMS, it is only straightforward once someone has shown you how it’s done!

First of all I use Microsoft Office Picture Manager to resize my images. It is available in most recent versions of Windows and the process of resizing an image is simple and straightforward.

Step 1: Find out the size of the image that you require in pixels. If you are unsure but know it needs to be the same size as other images in the CMS you can usually navigate to your website, hover over a similar image, right-click with your mouse and view image properties. Write down the size. Lets use 600×400 as an example. Width is listed first.

Step 2: Open your image using Microsoft Picture Manager. To do this locate the folder that your image is stored in. You may need to night click on your mouse and select open with Microsoft Office Picture Manager.

open with screen

Step 3: Once the image opens in Picture Manager select ‘edit pictures’ from the menu on the top of the page and then ‘resize’ from the menu that appears on the right hand side once you have selected ‘edit pictures’.

edit pictures screen shot

Step 4: Enter the dimensions that you require into the custom width and height field. Then check the size setting summary. As you can see if I resize this image to 600pxiels wide it will only be 325 pixels high, which is too small. This means that I need to do some cropping.

resize screen shot

Step 5: Set dimensions to the minimum size that will allow cropping from only one of either the width or height dimensions, but not both. In this instance when I set height to 400 width defaults to 737. As you can see I had to play around a little with the width to get the height to the 400 pixels that I was looking for.

Step 6: Select OK when you have the crop-able width or height that you are looking for.

corrent dimension screen shot

Step 7: Select edit images from the top menu again and then select crop from the menu on the right hand- side.

Step 8: Crop the image to the size that you want and reposition the crop line to display the optimum section of the image.

Step 9:Select OKAY

Cropping screen shot

Final step: Go to file and save as. Save the image under a different file name so that you don’t lose the original high resolution image. This is because images can’t be successfully sized up in the way that I have outlined.

I hope this helps!

What is Google Hummingbird?

Google Hummingbird is a new search algorithm announced by Google as part of their 15th birthday celebrations at the end of September 2013.  The salient part of the previous sentence is a new algorithm; this is a totally new departure and potentially affects over 90% of searches. Interestingly, the algorithm was changed about a month before the announcement and received no noticeable negative feedback from users – a sure sign of success!

Why a new algorithm?

Users’ searches have been getting longer and more specific over time. As search queries became longer and more conversational in style Google had to understand the meaning of those queries and to adapt search results accordingly. As always it was about giving the user the information that they wanted.

Give me an example

Google wants to understand what you mean when you type in a search term. First off an example: Think of some interchangeable search queries – say ‘the best ice-cream shop in my area’. You could also mean ‘the best ice cream parlour in my area’ or ‘where to get the tastiest ice-cream in my area.’  These are all long tail conversational style queries, and Google needs to know the best pages to return as a result. Hummingbird is the new algorithm that Google hopes will provide the solution. First off they need to know where you are, which they do if you have set your location.

How does Google Hummingbird Work?

To put a very complex process in simple terms, Hummingbird uses Google patents to re-write queries using synonyms, and by paying attention to all the words in that query and how they relate to one another Google Hummingbird hopes to provide the most relevant search results based on that particular query.

In other words, ice-cream and ice cream mean the same, tastiest and best probably mean the same, and shop, parlour and where to get all mean an actual place.

Here is an excerpt from one of Google’s patents:

A search query for a search engine may be improved by incorporating alternate terms into the search query that are semantically similar to terms of the search query, taking into account information derived from the search query. An initial set of alternate terms that may be semantically similar to the original terms in the search query is generated.

Hummingbird ties together the query re-writing patents that Google has filed and also builds on the latent semantic indexing that is the discovery process for finding related terms and phrases. LSI plays a key role in what is returned on search engine results pages (SERPs), learn about LSI in my earlier blog – Why content is king, the science behind the statement.

What does Hummingbird mean for me?

It seems clear that Google is working towards returning the most relevant content to any given search query. In practical terms this means that Google will continue to reward good quality content. Having a content strategy based around long-tail keywords, and paying attention to the 5 W’s (what, where, when, who and why) will pay dividends in the long term.

Bill Slawksi,  Rand Fishkin, The Moz Blog.

Google Patent Examples:
Search queries improved based on query semantic information
Synonym identification based on co-occurring terms