We at MC-Website Design use up to 12 different colours in each of our schemes, however, this is not rigid and you can use as many colours in your web site as you would like. Rule of thumb generally is no more than 5 colours, too much colour may distract your clients from buying your product. Keep it neat and simple.
Colours are used for many different elements of your web site - backgrounds, panels, text & hyperlinks. Different colours can be used for different states of hyperlink starting off with the normal hyperlink then when the user hovers over the hyperlink or when the hyperlink has been used the colour is changed to reflect this.
Different colours can be used for different style of text as in titles, headings, footers and normal body text.
Pick Your Colours
If you are unsure what colour scheme to use here is something that you can try. Pick any three colours from your favourite photograph or picture and check to see if there is a match in our samples below. For example, if you like the banner at the top of this page then choose three colours, like orange, yellow and the dark blue. A good match to that would be sample 11.
Have a look at other websites to get a feel of how many colours they use.