From “Should You Use A White Or Black Background For Music Websites?”:
Usually, the color scheme influences over how long people will stay on your website. It is said that dark fonts on the light background are more comfortable to read than light fonts on the dark background. There is a detailed explanation why, but that’s not an issue now. Just state that white is the most soothing color to the eyes. As for images and colors, they also look much better against a white background. It makes them look brighter and more colorful.
I tried to comment there, but their captcha wasn’t working, so here’s basically what I tried to post there.
As a web designer and musician, I looked into this issue years ago, and I put a lot of care into my resulting decisions.
On paper (yeah, play on words apologetically intended), dark text on white paper is indeed apparently more comfortable for the reader (that’s why paper is usually white).
However, a monitor is a light, so why would anyone want the brightest part of a website to be the background color?
Images on a monitor look way better on a dark background, because they pop out without the distracting white light surrounding them. It’s the same principle that leads to movies being watched with the lights turned off.
As for reading comfort, I find the right combination of light text on a dark background to be a hint more comfortable for reading (even long texts). Some people (maybe even most) disagree, but I assume that’s due to being familiar with dark text on a light background, so the oddity and adaptation problem becomes the distracting discomfort (not the visual information itself).
Regardless of dark or light background color, it’s most important to have a sufficiently strong contrast between the text and background colors.
I use a dark or light background color for any given website, but never a white one (I prefer basically more of a beige to soften background intensity), and never black text on a light background color (I like a hint of dark blue or brown for interest, while preferring some kind of green as a link color when it doesn’t clash with the remaining color palette, simply because green psychologically usually means go).
At my journal, I block quote sources with a dark background, while I author my literary expressions upon a light background. No complaints so far, but I sure appreciate any mutually constructive feedback, because I’m curious about the potentially jarring back and forth of that otherwise intentionally nice contrast of expression.
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