Website owners are becoming more and more aware of the importance of having an accessible website where all of their users can easily access and consume their content. After all, people with visual, audio, or motor limitations are equally important customers to any business, so there is no reason why they shouldn’t be able to enjoy your digital content.
To ensure each person can easily access your website, you will need to have a completely inclusive website. This means that you’ll revise all your pages, focusing mostly on multimedia like videos, images, and graphics, to be sure you provide an alternative solution if someone cannot read, hear, or click on a certain element.
To help you build an accessible website, we’ve gathered all guidelines in one article. Once you’ve implemented them, don’t forget that any other content you upload after that needs to be completely accessible otherwise your website will not be considered inclusive.
The idea of the web is that it works for everyone, regardless of their hardware, software, location, language, or ability. When a person is not able to access a website due to any of these factors, the website is considered inaccessible. As there are people with a range of hearing, sight, movement, and cognitive abilities, it’s essential to include all types of groups into your target audience.
Poor design leads to excluding people from using a certain website, so accessible website design is essential for developers, designers, and organization leaders if they want high-quality digital content that will engage their audience and establish a valuable relationship with them.
If you were wondering ‘How do I make my website ADA compliant’, here is everything you will need to know to make your website accessible to everyone, regardless of any limitations or impairments.
For any video that you upload on your website, make sure it has captions for those who have a hearing limitation or impairment. Your audio files should have captions as well. Adding a transcript also helps in cases when the internet connection is not good enough to reproduce a file, so people have a text-supported version to use instead.
Images should always have an alternative text (alt text) for people with visual limitations or impairments to have an appropriate understanding of the content on the image. Be sure to provide valuable information as people who use screen readers will only hear the words you’ve added as an alternative text.
Your heading structure must be clear and guide visitors to find relevant information. Most websites will have H2 and H3 headings, and the more comprehensive ones will have H4 headings as well.
Elements like navigation, sidebars, headers, and footers must always appear in the same place across the entire website so your visitors can easily find them when switching from one page to another. The easier it is to navigate your website, the more accessible it will be considered by those who use it – and Google.
When talking about navigation, it’s also important to enable your website users to navigate without the usage of a mouse. The alternative solution is to navigate with only the tab button on the keyboard.
Benefits of Web Accessibility
There are numerous benefits of having an accessible website, but the most important is that all of your potential customers are able to consume your content and communicate with you. This leads to building strong relationships with your customers and buyers, which inevitably leads to improved sales.
Also, Google and other search engines prefer accessible websites so they will rank them higher than the ones that are not accessible. So, if you manage to optimize your website and make it as accessible as possible, you can expect improvement in your ranking on search engines shortly.
Lastly, many governments across the world are turning accessibility into a requirement, not just suggestions. There have already been cases where organizations have been fined with a large sum of money because of their lack of website accessibility.
Take The First Step To Accessibility
It’s never too late to start making your website more accessible for your users. If you don’t feel comfortable doing it on your own, there are many companies offering digital accessibility consulting. Having a team of professionals will save you time and money, while you focus on other areas of business, and they turn your digital content into a more engaging, dynamic platform that is created for everyone, regardless of the limitations they might have while accessing your website.