Website accessibility is important because:

  • Building accessible sites benefit everyone!?
  • Semantic HTML, which improves accessibility, also improves SEO, making your site more findable.
  • Caring about accessibility demonstrates good ethics and morals, which improves your public image.
  • Other good practices that improve accessibility also make your site more usable by other groups, such as mobile phone users or those on low network speed. In fact, everyone can benefit from many such improvements.
  • Did we mention it is also the law in some places?

 

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Everyone uses the internet!

You want your website to be usable by as many people as possible right? Of course you do! We all want to reach our maximum audience potential but what you may not realize is that the things you do, or don’t do, on your website can have a huge impact on its accessibility.

 

Traditionally we think about people with disabilities when talking about accessibility. However, the practice of making sites accessible goes much broader than that! It also benefits other groups like those using mobile devices or those with slower network connections.

 

A recent study found that 98% of websites have at least one WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) failure on their homepage. Some examples of these WCAG failures are: low-contrast text, mission image alt text or empty links. These types of barriers make it difficult and even impossible for some visitors to use your site. This is why we encourage you to do a site audit and ensure it is accessible for all users.

 

Here are some web accessibility tips to help you get started:

 

1-Use a theme that is accessibility-ready

As web developers, this is something we are very aware of when selecting a design theme for our clients. If you are considering a website facelift make sure this is top of mind when selecting your design and choose a theme that passes basic accessibility requirements.

 

2-Choose fonts and colors that are easy to read

The fonts and colors you use are an important component of your website. They add style and personality while strengthening your visual identity online. Avoid font styles, sizes, and colors that make your site difficult to read. Also, pay close attention to contrast – the difference between the darkness of your text and the lightness of your background.

 

3-Display your site title and tagline

Many themes use a custom header image, which is a visual way to brand your site, display your blog title or promote your business name. But keep in mind that some themes may not support alternative text, the written copy that appears in place of an image should the image fail to load on your visitors screen. Instead of conveying your website title and tagline within the header image, display your title and tagline text.

 

4-Use appropriate headings when structuring your pages and posts

Having headings lets the reader know what they will be reading about. This also breaks up big blocks of text to make it easier to read.

 

5-Describe your links

It is important to link to other pages or posts on your website but remember to make your linked text descriptive. Instead of saying “click here” try something like, “apply to my workshop” or “learn more about this product”.

 

6-Caption your images

While captions may be optional, they improve the experience for all readers by providing more context. Whenever you add an image, add a description in the caption underneath it.

 

7-Add alt text to your images

Alt text is essential for people who are blind or use screen readers because they can hear the text read aloud. It is also important for people who have disabled images for speed or bandwidth reasons. Lastly, Alt text is important for your site’s SEO, helping search engines understand what your site content is about.

 

8-Make your CTA elements easily clickable

When adding call-to-action buttons to your website or posts make sure they are wide enough areas that are easy to click or tap from different devices. This applies to text links as well; tapping a linked asterisk or hashtag may be difficult for some, especially on a small screen.

 

9-Include transcripts and captions for multimedia content

Just like images, captions should also be included in your video and audio content. Transcripts are also incredibly helpful since they document speech, sound and the actions seen on-screen. This is especially true for podcasts. Just keep in mind, it is best if your content does not auto-play and the options to pause or adjust volume should be very obvious on the page.

 

We hope these guidelines give you an introduction to accessibility’s best practices. If you are interested in learning more or would like a site audit we’d be happy to help!

Visit our website intellectiualninjas.com or call 888 – 966 – 9086

A visitor decides whether they will do business with a company within the first 21 seconds of visiting the company’s website. How well does your website do at keeping a visitor’s attention?