How to Make Your Website More Accessible to All
Web accessibility should be a top priority, find out how to make your website more accessible to all your customers.
Image Source: Accessibe
When you are creating a business website, you want to be able to do everything that you can to ensure that it is as accessible as it possibly can be. Essentially, this means that you should not be doing anything that is going to exclude potential clients. Otherwise, you can find yourself in a situation in which you are putting people off unnecessarily. Not only this, but your business reputation as a whole can end up suffering.
Did you know, every business website has to be accessible to people with disabilities?
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Law prohibits discrimination based on disability by places of “public accommodation”, meaning websites or brick-and-mortar facilities. People with disabilities, specifically those who are blind or visually impaired, have been filing lawsuits against businesses over website accessibility issues, and many of them were winning. From 2017 to 2018, the number of federal website accessibility lawsuits nearly tripled, from 814 to 2258, according to the law firm Seyfarth Shaw, which states that this figure is on track to be slightly higher this year.
The following blog post is going to be all about websites from an accessibility point of view. Hopefully, you will then be able to start implementing a few of the changes that you read about to make your site in a way in which more people are able to enjoy it.
1. Use Alt Text on Images
While images are a great way of bringing your website to life, you need to remember that not everybody is going to be able to view them in exactly the same way. With this in mind, it is certainly important that you add some alt text in the images. This way, you will remove the accessibility barrier that would otherwise be there to people who have sight issues or may be blind entirely. Not only is this a useful activity for those people, but it also ensures that search engines are going to be able to crawl through your site effectively, which is going to have a knock-on positive impact on your search engine optimization as well. Ultimately, it is a win-win situation in many ways.
2. Make Your Site Translatable
Next up, you can start to think about how you are going to be able to make your site translatable. This could involve using translation management software such as Smartling, which can help out in ensuring that the whole text is fully readable. To begin with, you can try putting the site in simplified English. This is useful for people who struggle to read, and it is also a good exercise in ensuring that your business idea is solidified and straightforward. Ultimately, making your site more accessible to people who do not have English as their first language can prove to be highly useful in potentially attracting them as customers, and maybe even expanding into new markets entirely.
3. Put Closed Captions on Videos
Often, people are so caught up in the main body of the website that they do not think about the other areas, such as the videos. However, putting in some closed captions here can make a big difference to people who are deaf or those who have other hearing issues. Ultimately, there may well be other customers who prefer watching these videos in silence anyway as they are not in a position that they are able to put the sound on, so this can end up making a big difference from their point of view as well.
4. Bear in Mind Contrast Sensitivity
When you are planning out the color scheme of the website, you need to think about how it is going to appear to people who have sight issues. If you make it too great or too harsh, this can easily lead to a situation in which they are not able to easily see the words on the page in front of them. As people tend to make such an instant decision about whether or not they are going to stay on a website, this can easily lead to a situation in which they decide to click off and go elsewhere at the earliest possible opportunity. Ultimately, keeping the color contrast firmly in mind is useful for all sorts of people as it really helps in ensuring that the text on the page pops out and you do not have to squint to see it all properly.
5. Add in Keyboard Navigation
Website navigation is an issue that comes up again and again across the board. Therefore, you need to do everything that you can to ensure that it is easy for people to move around the site. This should not only be the case for people who are using a mouse. As well as this, you should also consider those who are moving around the site only using a keyboard. Therefore, you need to make the site make sense from a logical standpoint. One thing should follow the next. Also, you should avoid using any links that are too vague and otherwise not really accessible such as ‘click here’. Ultimately, this is another good exercise as it helps when it comes to the all-important issue of website navigation. All users want a site to be intuitive to some degree, and they need to be able to move around it with the fewest number of potential issues in front of them.
6. Allow Font Sizes to Be Enlarged
Next up, you should consider the issue of font sizes and how they look on the page. To begin with, you do not want anything to be too small anyway as many people will be accessing the website using their smartphone, which automatically means that you could be hindering their progress through your site. However, if you give them the extra option of allowing the font sizes to be enlarged, this can really help out in ensuring that everything can be seen as the user needs it to be.
Ultimately, many of the accessibility changes that we have discussed in the previous blog post are not things that have to take a hugely long time to complete. However, they can make all the difference when it comes to bringing your website to a wider audience. Not only is this important from the point of view of attracting a wide customer base, but it can also have a huge impact in ensuring that you are able to gloat about your credentials as a truly caring business that puts the issue of accessibility right at the heart of their policy.