Website accessibility is an important factor that all businesses, website owners, and developers need to consider. It allows everyone to access, navigate, and use the website irrespective of their disabilities, physical conditions, technical limitations, or any other external factors.
But many websites fail to meet the standards of web accessibility due to lack of proper knowledge and awareness. So in today’s post, we will explain what website accessibility is, how it benefits your website and your business, why you need to improve it, and how you can do so.
What is Web Accessibility?
Website accessibility is the process of making your website accessible to anyone and everyone irrespective of any disabilities or limitations that they may have. In most cases, this term is mainly used to describe the practice of making your website easy to use for disabled or differently-abled people.
But website accessibility issues are not just limited to people with disabilities, and there are many other factors as well that must be considered, such as:
- Adjusting how the surrounding affects the experience of a person browsing the website. For example: Is the content of the website visible in both bright and dark surroundings? If the site has any audio content, is there an alternative for it in case the viewer is in a noisy environment?
- Making the site accessible to people of all age groups. Can anyone from young teens to old aged people browse the site without any problems?
- Optimising the site to load its content even with slow internet speed.
- Optimising the site for all types of devices and gadgets.
So, web accessibility is all about making your website accessible under all these circumstances, which we have discussed above.
What Is The Importance And Benefit Of Making Your Website More Accessible?
Websites are a major source of information in today’s world. So if you have a website on the internet, it’s the right of every person to access it (unless local regulations don’t allow it). As a site owner or developer, it then becomes your responsibility to ensure that your site can be viewed, browsed and interacted with by everyone no matter regardless of any other factors. That’s why it’s important to make your site more accessible so that it’s inclusive of:
- Disabled and older people.
- People in all areas and regions, be it a well-developed city or a rural village.
- All types of devices and varying internet speeds.
But web accessibility is not just a responsibility that you must adhere to. It benefits your website too, as you open up the possibility of getting more traffic by including all types of people and external factors. It also boosts the online reputation of your business.
If your website is more accessible than your competitor’s, it’s obvious that you will get to enjoy a higher number of visitors, which may also increase your revenue. Further, enhanced accessibility will also translate to a reduced bounce rate.
So now that you understand what web accessibility is and why it’s important, let’s take a look at four ways to make your site more accessible:
4 Simple Ways To Make Your Website More Accessible
Include Captions, Transcriptions, And Subtitles Wherever Applicable
If your site has different forms of audio-visual media such as images and videos, you should always add captions and subtitles to them. Captions provide more context on how your image is related to the content. People with visual impairments such as color blindness who can’t perceive images properly will also be benefitted by captions.
Similarly, subtitles and transcriptions help people with hearing disabilities or those in noisy surroundings to understand what a video is about. You can also make use of a website accessibility checker to get more insights on this.
Choose Simple And Easily Viewable Colors And Fonts
Colors and fonts both improve your website’s design and are important visual aspects of your site. When choosing a font, always opt for simple ones over fancy ones. For the color settings on your site, you need to keep a few things in mind, such as:
- Always create a contrast between the background color and text color. If the background is dark, the text color should be bright and vice versa. Here is a good example.
- Have a dark/light theme for your site where viewers can switch between both bright and dark background colors depending on their surrounding light.
- Avoid a lot of vibrant colors as they can be distracting and make it difficult for some people to focus on the content.
It is highly recommended to discuss all these aspects with your web developer for better insight.
Implement Accessibility-Ready Themes On Your Site
You might have noticed many themes on WordPress bearing an “accessibility-ready” tag. It simply means that such themes are designed with various accessibility factors in-built in them, such as the ability to fully control the theme with keyboard, large and clear buttons, optimal color schemes, and much more. So we recommend that you always use accessibility-ready themes on your site.
For example, Canyon Themes have a lot of well-designed accessibility-ready themes that will instantly improve a few accessibility factors on your site as soon as you implement them. Their themes are quite versatile in terms of colors and layouts, and they are working on making more of their reams ready for website accessibility standards.
Make Best Use Of Categories, Headings, And Alt Texts.
Categories and headings help to break down your content into easily understandable sections. It gives coherence to your article and even assists people with attention disorders to follow through your content. Always divide your website content into appropriate categories and headings.
Alt texts are the descriptions of images on your site. Due to a bad connection, images may sometimes fail to load, or some people may have disabled images on their browser. In such cases, the alt text is displayed in place of the image.
When people with blindness or other visual impairments use a screen reader for your website, they also hear the alt text being read, which lets them know about images on the site. Due to all these reasons, categories, headings, and alt texts are essential for your site’s accessibility.
Website accessibility allows everyone to benefit from your website content regardless of any obstacles or conditions. In return, it also boosts your site traffic when you make your site inclusive of people with disabilities, using different devices, living in different regions, and varying internet speed.
Of course, there are many different ways to make your site more accessible, but the four methods we have listed will give you a good start. We recommend you implement them on your website right away, to benefit both your viewers and your business.