Website Accessibility 101: All the Basics You Need to Know
Making your website accessible to everyone can seem daunting, but it's not as difficult as you may think. In this article, we'll cover the basics of website accessibility: what it is, why it's important, and how you can make your own website more accessible. Let's get started!
What Is Website Accessibility?
Website accessibility is the design of a website or application so that all users, regardless of their abilities, can use it. This includes making sure that people with disabilities can access all Website content and functionality, including images, text, video, and audio.
Accessibility is not only about disability; it's also about aging. As we get older, our eyesight and hearing may decline, and we may need more time to complete tasks.
Make your website accessible to everyone, regardless of ability
Ensure all content and functionality is available to users
Increase your audience size by making your site more inclusive
Improve the overall user experience for all visitors
Main Components of Website Accessibility
There are three main components of website accessibility: design, code, and content. Each of these elements needs to be accessible inform a website to be truly inclusive. Let's take a closer look at each one.
1. Design Accessibility
When it comes to design, there are a few key things to keep in mind. First, make sure all images and videos have text alternatives so that they can be accessed by screen readers. Also, use clear and concise language throughout the website, and avoid using jargon or abbreviations.
2. Code Accessibility
In terms of code, it's important to use valid HTML and CSS code. This will ensure that all content is displayed correctly on all devices. Additionally, use appropriate markup tags to identify different types of content (e.g., headings, paragraphs, lists, etc.). This makes it easier for people with screen readers to navigate the website.
3. Content Accessibility
When creating content it's important to think about who your audience is and what they might need. For example, make sure you include alternate text for images and provide transcripts for videos.
Why is Website Accessibility important?
Nearly 20% of the world's population has some form of disability, and many of them rely on digital technology to communicate, learn, and work. By making your website accessible, you're opening up your site to a much larger audience and providing opportunities for everyone to participate in the digital world.
How to make the website more accessible?
The first step to making your website more accessible is to evaluate it. You can use a Website Accessibility Evaluation Tool, like WAVE, to help you identify areas of your website that need improvement. Here are some tips for making your website more accessible:
Use clear and concise text: Avoid using complex language or jargon that may be difficult for people with disabilities to understand. Use plain language whenever possible.
Make sure all images have alternative text: Alternative text (or alt text) is a description of an image that is used when the image cannot be displayed. This allows people who are visually impaired to understand what the image is.
Use headings and lists: Headings and lists help break up content and make it easier to read. They also help people with disabilities navigate your website.
Make sure all links are accessible: Links should be easy to see and click on, and they should have meaningful text that describes what the link will do.
Use color contrast: Make sure there is enough contrast between the colors you use on your website. This makes it easier for people with low vision to see your content.
Use a clear font: A clear font makes it easier for people with dyslexia to read your content.
Enable keyboard navigation: Keyboard navigation allows people to navigate your website using the keyboard only. This makes it easier for people with disabilities who cannot use a mouse.
Test your website: Always test your website to make sure it is accessible to all users. You can use a Website Accessibility Testing Tool, like WAVE, to help you identify any problems.
WAVE Evaluation Tool:
The WAVE (Web Accessibility Validation Environment) Evaluation Tool is a free online tool that helps you identify and fix accessibility problems on your website. You can use WAVE to evaluate your website's compliance with the WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines).
WAVE is a great tool for evaluating your website's accessibility, but it should not be used as the only source of information. always consult with an expert when making changes to ensure that they are made in in WCAG guidelines.
WebAIM Website Accessibility Resource Centre:
The WebAIM Website Accessibility Resource Centre is a website dedicated to helping people make their websites more accessible. The website includes a variety of resources, including articles, tutorials, and tools. You can also find information on disability types, accessibility standards, and how to create an accessible website. The Website Accessibility Resource Centre is a great resource for anyone looking to learn more about website accessibility.
Alternative text (or alt text) is a description of an image that is used when the image cannot be displayed. This allows people who are visually impaired to understand what the image is. To add alternative text to an image, simply enter the alt text in the "Alternative Text" field when uploading the image. You can also add alternative text to images that are already uploaded to your website. To do this, hover over the image and click the "Edit Alt Text" button.
Headings and Lists:
Headings and lists help break up content and make it easier to read. They also help people with disabilities navigate your website. To create a heading, use HTML tags h-tags (e.g., h-title, h-subtitle). To create a list, use HTML tags li-tags (e.g., ul, ol).
Accessibility is important for everyone, and it’s especially crucial for people with disabilities. Website accessibility ensures that all users have equal access to your content, regardless of their abilities.
Does Your Business Need a New Website That Actually Brings in New Business?
Remember, when creating a website you have two audiences that are equally important: Humans and Google. Most website designers stick to designing for humans. Why? Because the client wants a beautiful site first, and the designer is interested in making that client happy. But unfortunately, that’s where most designers stop. Magnified Media designs sites for both Humans and Google. Why again you ask? The reason is simple - if you don’t make your site Google-friendly, it won’t ever get seen by Humans! Interested in seeing what we can do for your business? Schedule your free Online Presence Audit now.