Website Accessibility In today’s digital age, having a website is essential for business success. It allows you to reach more customers and showcase your services or products to a larger audience. However, there is one important factor to consider: making sure your website is accessible for everyone.
Accessibility means making sure that your website is easy to use for people with disabilities. It ensures that everyone can access your website and engage with your content, regardless of their physical limitations.
Fortunately, there are plenty of tips, tools, and resources available to help make your website more accessible to everyone. Read on to learn more about how to make your website more accessible.
What is website accessibility?
Website accessibility is the practice of designing and developing websites that are easy to use for everyone, including people with disabilities. It’s about making websites usable for people of all abilities, so no one is left behind.
Website accessibility focuses on people with disabilities as the main users, but it also benefits people with limited mobility, people who are deaf or hearing impaired, and anyone using older technology. Website accessibility is a crucial part of civil rights and has been recognized by law since the 1990s. Websites can be made accessible with simple and inexpensive design and coding changes.
Website accessibility is important for a number of reasons. First, it’s required by law. Website accessibility is part of the American Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA states that “whenever a public accommodation [business] or commercial facility [such as a website] provides goods or services to any individual, it shall provide such services to any individual with a disability.” In other words, if you have a website, it must be accessible to people with disabilities — otherwise, you could face penalties.
Website accessibility is also important because it makes your content more accessible to more people. It allows people with disabilities to engage with your content and, therefore, your business. This, in turn, could lead to more conversions or sales, which is especially important if you’re running an eCommerce website.
Tips to make your website more accessible
If your website isn’t accessible, you’re missing out on opportunities to reach new customers. Thankfully, there are plenty of tips to make your website more accessible to all types of users. Here are a few suggestions.
Use semantic HTML tags - Using semantic HTML tags will help you create more accessible content. Semantic HTML tags are those that describe the content they contain, as opposed to tags that don’t have any meaning. For example, a p> tag is semantic and is used for creating paragraphs whereas an IL> tag isn’t semantic because it doesn’t describe anything. When you’re creating your website, use semantic HTML tags to create content that is more accessible to all users. Use alt tags to describe images - Images are an important part of any website, but they can also be problematic for people with disabilities.
For example, someone who is blind can’t see the image, but they can read the alt tag. For example, if you use an image of a woman on your About Us page, the alt tag could read “A young woman surfing.” Visitors won’t be able to see it, but they’ll be able to read it. This will allow everyone to understand your website and what you’re trying to convey.
Create a navigational structure - One of the best ways to make your website more accessible is to create a navigational structure for your various pages. When you have a navigational structure, you can indicate the relationship between each page and provide visitors with links that will take them to the desired page. When you have a navigational structure, you can make your website more accessible to people with disabilities because they’ll be able to understand your website and link to the content they want with ease.
Use semantic links - When you’re creating links within your website, you need to use semantic links. Semantic links use anchor text that describes the destination of the link. This is different from using “click here” as the link text because “click here” doesn’t describe where the link will take you. When you’re creating links within your website, use semantic links.
This will help make your website more accessible. Avoid dynamic content - You may want to create a dynamic website where the content is always changing. While this could be a good idea, it could also be a problem for people with disabilities because they won’t be able to access the latest content. To make your website more accessible, avoid dynamic content and create static pages instead.
Provide an alternative navigation for mobile devices - When you’re designing your website, you need to consider the various devices people use to access it. For example, many people use smartphones to visit your website. If you don’t create an accessible mobile experience, these people won’t be able to access your content.
To make your website more accessible for mobile devices, you’ll need to provide an alternative navigation. By doing this, you’ll ensure that all visitors can access your content. Provide captions on video content - Many businesses are creating video content to share with their audience.
Unfortunately, some of these videos may not be accessible to everyone. To make your video content more accessible, you need to provide captions. This will allow everyone to understand your video content, regardless of their hearing abilities.
Use the right colour combinations - Color is an important consideration when you’re designing your website. You want the colors to reflect your brand, but you also want to make sure that they’re accessible to all users. When choosing colors, you want to make sure that they’re easy to distinguish and won’t cause any confusion or problems for people with disabilities.
Web accessibility tools
A good way to ensure that your website is accessible to all users is by using web accessibility tools. These tools will help you identify any issues with your website. They’ll also let you know if there are ways to improve your site to make it more accessible.
There are many web accessibility tools you can use to test your site, such as: - W3C’s accessibility checker - WebAIM’s visual browser - WAVE - GW-iWAB Whether you choose one of the above tools or another one, it’s a good idea to run a website accessibility audit every now and then to make sure your site is up to par. You could even set up a recurring task in a project management app like Trello so you don’t forget to do it on a regular basis.
Resources for website accessibility
Building Accessible Websites - This article from WebAIM explains the importance of website accessibility and offers many tips for making your site more accessible. - Accessibility Compliance Explained - This article from Blue Acorn explains what you need to know about accessibility compliance. - Website Accessibility Tips - This article from W3C offers a ton of tips for making your website more accessible. - Website Accessibility: An In-Depth Look - This article from CPW Group dives into the details of how to make your website accessible. - Website Accessibility Audit - This guide from Basecamp will help you conduct a website accessibility audit. - How to Make Your Website More Accessible - This article from MashHub offers tips for making your site more accessible. - 10 Tips for Making Your Website Accessible - This article from Contently offers 10 tips for making your site more accessible.
Website accessibility laws and policies
If your website isn’t accessible, you run the risk of violating a wide range of laws and policies. Here are a few examples: - The Americans with Disabilities Act - W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines - Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act - The Australian Disability Discrimination Act If you violate any of these laws, you could be fined or even face jail time. With that in mind, it’s important that you make your website accessible to everyone. If you need help with this, make sure to contact a web accessibility company like Blue Acorn.
Website accessibility best practices
Create an accessible design - When you’re designing your website, you need to make sure that it’s accessible to everyone. Make sure to use a font that’s easy to read, avoid using too many colours, and don’t use patterns or designs that could be distracting to some users. - Use simple language - If you want your website to be accessible to everyone, you need to use simple language.