The digital age does not discriminate. It provides equal opportunities to everyone at the same level, and in return, it ensures that the internet is easily accessible to people of all types. For websites, accessibility is an essential aspect in terms of providing a positive user experience.
There’s no such thing as a perfect website, but a perfectly accessible website is definitely achievable. You can’t stress enough about establishing beautiful brand colors, interactive plugins, appearance, and impressive content on your website. Still, at the end of the day, its accessibility determines how your visitors will judge your website.
The World Wide Web Consortium initiated a set of protocols in the form of WCAG(Website Content Accessibility Guidelines), a set of virtual laws that is a must-follow for every website on the internet. These laws are in direct compliance with ADA guidelines that prohibit any sort of discrimination against people with disabilities. Following these guidelines ensure that your website is optimized for ideal accessibility by your visitors.
There are many ways to improve your website’s accessibility, and we are here to help you guide through it!
What Is Web Accessibility?
Web Accessibility is the process of building and optimizing your website in a way that people with disabilities can access it. The information on your website must be easily understandable to visitors by traditional and alternative means.
To ensure optimal website accessibility, web developers must comply with WCAG 2.0 protocols and principles. These 4 basic accessibility principles are such as:
- Perceivable: Your onsite information must be easily perceivable by people with different disabilities.
- Operable: Your website must have alternative navigation methods to be operated by people with different disabilities.
- Understandable: Your website and its onsite content must be easily understandable to the visitor.
- Robust: Your website must be optimized to be accessed by users across different platforms and devices.
How To Optimize Your Website For Better Accessibility
Elucidating basic ways that can help improve your website’s overall accessibility.
Choose A Robust CMS
Choosing an ideal Content Management System(CMS) for building your website is the most basic fundamental towards improving its overall accessibility. Whether it’s the theme, template, or onsite content, the right CMS can give you complete freedom to manage your website. A robust CMS can also provide you with new innovative plugins that can provide alternative accessibility options on your website. Among all the possible CMS tools, WordPress is considered the best due to its complete content management and availability of thousands of plugins and integrations.
Design A Simplistic Yet Elegant Layout
Easy navigation is another important aspect of increasing a website’s overall accessibility. Make sure your website UI/UX is simple yet elegant but, more importantly, easily understandable to your visitors. Try to provide simple navigation options on your layout with a clear and understandable layout for the people and provide 24/7 troubleshooting options in case a visitor walks into an error. A complex layout will only confuse your visitor resulting in a negative accessible experience.
Optimize Your Images And Add Alt Text
Images are an important piece of media on a website. But most people need to pay more attention to the effect images can have on a website. Uploading heavy-sized images will result in longer loading times, directly affecting your website performance. Therefore, make sure you upload images in compressed format in a smaller size so it is lighter on your website without compromising on their quality.
Another important attribute in increasing accessibility is adding alt-text to every image on your website, as it helps the visually impaired translate your images through a screen reader.
Use Proper Color Contrast
Choosing the right color contrast can also help improve your website accessibility. Visually-impaired people have a low color contrast sensitivity, so you must choose the right combination of color contrasts. Try to use high-contrast colors on low-contrast backgrounds. Using different color contrasts can help people with learning disabilities to distinguish between your content.
Arrange Headings Properly
A well-organized content structure can help users navigate through your content in a seamless way. A perfect way to arrange your content is through the correct usage of headings (<h1><h2><h3>) format. For example, you can choose H1 as the primary title of the page then you can follow its subsets with H2, H3, and so on. Don’t make the mistake of skipping in between, like moving to H3 directly from H1.
Keep Your URLs Unique
One of the biggest website accessibility problems is not adequately describing URL links. For example, using “click here” as the description for a redirect link can be an inconvenience to a visually-impaired person accessing the website through a screen reader.
Providing unique and descriptive names to your links can help give users a basic understanding of the content redirection. For example, if you want your visitors to redirect to your products section, try to describe it as “Buy Now if you love our products.”
Use Keyboard Navigation
Navigating a website with a mouse can be challenging for a blind or visually impaired person and someone with a mobility disability. Making your website keyboard-friendly is a great way to make it accessible to those who cannot navigate it with a mouse. Most people use keyboard access through “tab” & “arrow” buttons, so ensure that your website content matches the visual order to be accessed by such keys. Try to break up your content links with anchor texts so the visitor can instantly skip to the relevant content of their choice.
Make Your Website Media More Accessible
A website can consist of multiple images, videos, audio, and other forms of multimedia. But not everyone can access a particular form of media due to some kind of disability. For instance, the blind cannot see images or videos on a website, or a deaf person cannot hear the audio presented in multimedia formats.
To help make your multimedia more accessible, you can add various integrations, like an audio guide to describe your videos & images. For people with hearing disabilities, you can add subtitles and alt-texts. These little things can significantly improve your website accessibility for the disabled.
Make Sure Your Website Is Consumer-Oriented
Nothing creates a more positive impression on the user than a consumer-oriented website. A consumer only visits a website looking for relevant information or services. Customizing your website content and layout according to the consumer’s interest is a good way of improving accessibility.
Build An Ideal & Accessible Website With Exemplifi
Are you looking to build an aesthetically pleasing and easily accessible website suited to modern standards? Then Exemplifi can help create a robust website representing the best of your brand with the latest innovative integrations.
Exemplifi has long-term expertise in providing holistic website development, revamping, and maintenance services to clients across different industry domains. Our designed websites are SEO-friendly and fully comply with ADA & WCGA protocols with optimal and seamless technical performance.
To learn more about our services, contact our experts at Exemplifi today!