Accessibility is a large and important topic today among website designers and developers. Users who live with different issues should have access to spaces that are designed with them in mind. Websites can fairly easily be designed to incorporate accessibility best practices, as long as doing so is considered early in the design process.
If you are wondering what you can do to increase the accessibility standards on your current website, here’s what you can do.
Check Your Site’s Accessibility Score
There are so many great tools out there to promote accessibility. A great one we recommend for WordPress users is WAVE-web accessibility evaluation tool. Wave is a collection of evaluation tools you can use to check websites by url, in browser, or as an API for data collection. WAVE analyzes your website accessibility by Web Content Accessibility Guideline (WCAG) errors and human evaluation. This is a wonderful tool for your WordPress Site, but there are several others to consider to make your website usable for all users.
In technology, the term “a11y” is used to connote accessibility in the context of users, because the word has 11 characters between the a and y. The a11yproject.com has a lot of great tools, videos, learning content, and a checklist to peruse to ensure your site is using all available tools to include all kinds of users.
If your website doesn’t follow accessibility best practices, you still have time to make the correct adjustments. Take the time to consider others, and it will come back to benefit you in the form of traffic, users, and customers. Here are some simple guidelines.
Use conscious colors for fonts and backgrounds
We all can picture a website with poor color contrast, think lime green text on a seafoam background, that difficulty can be likened to what some websites look like to users with vision problems. Choose contrasting colors between text and backgrounds. Try not to overlay text over pictures in poorly oriented ways.
If there is an audio component that is vital to the user flow of your site, include a subtitle section or text alternative. There are alternative ways to do this as well. You can input content into an element, like text, the same way you would for other design elements.
HTML elements and organization
Use effectively organized elements. Make sure h1, h2, and p tags are organized properly and accurately.
Use accessibility tools in design elements
Aria labels, audio tags for screen readers, subtitle content — these are just a few of the options your website can include. All visual content, text or otherwise, should include the functionality to interact with a screen reader. You can activate a screen reader from your keyboard while viewing your site. Then perform your own accessibility audit.
Descriptive text and alt text
Use descriptive text, especially for hyperlinks. The same way that you would use descriptive text for images, you would use for your hyperlinks. This stops users with visual issues from being navigated to sites they are not interested in.
Use an accessibility checker
Audit your site using web accessibility tools. Google offers accessibility tools, the a11y project has extensive resources available, and there is a plugin “tota11y” that you can use in real time while you explore your site.
If you have questions about website development or website hosting, reach out to CanSpace today!