How to Make Your Website More Accessible
According to the web standards accessibility principle, the design and development of websites should be accessible to persons of all abilities. You need to focus on two key areas: structure and content.
You need a way for all users of your website—including those who have disabilities—to have meaningful access. Here are some ways in which you can create a more accessible website for everyone.
1. Ensure Your Website Is Structured Using the Same Language as Those Visually Impaired
Some visually impaired users use computer software to create web pages. When they view your website, they may not know where to find sections that are not obvious to them. You can help them by giving your content hierarchy and structure such that it is easily accessible.
For example, you can create titles for each section; use the same color palette, and use the same fonts and font sizes. You can also consider using different languages for your content. For example, if you provide detailed information about products: ‘Buy products online today…’ would be accessible to all users of your website.
2. Design for Contrast
You need to make it easy for visually impaired visitors to see which parts of your website correspond to which elements on a page. When you design your website, you must make sure that links are separated from your content.
You can also ask your visitor to use the browser’s “text-only” mode if they are experiencing problems seeing contrasts in color. This mode removes graphics from the screen so that screen readers can read blocks of text.
3. Do Not Use Sound
If your website contains sound or flashes, then do not rely on it to communicate important information to users with visual impairments. You can assist users who are blind by providing your content in text form, or you can include the same information in another way (image, contrast, etc.).
4. Ensure Your Website Is Easy for Assistive Devices to Navigate
Some visitors with disabilities use special software that allows them to navigate your site. You need to make sure that all of the features work with the assistive devices.
For example, your website must use the same color scheme and text size to make it easy for users with this particular software. If you make changes, make sure that you check if they will affect the reading of your content in the assistive devices.
5. When in Doubt, Ask An Expert
If you are in doubt about how to provide a high level of accessibility to your visitors with disabilities, then consult a specialist. You can find help at webaim.org, accessible.gov, or you can contact your web developer for this task.
According to AudioEye, a WordPress accessibility plugin enables screen readers to read the content of WordPress pages.
6. Check Your Website’s Accessibility Before You Launch
It is not enough to go through the motions of checking if your website is accessible. It is important to check again at regular intervals—for example, once every six months. This helps you spot any problems quickly and efficiently.
For example, you can test your menus, forms, content, and other elements for accessibility. You can also check the way that screen readers interpret your text.
Making your website more accessible is a challenge. You need to plan and design with an eye toward usability for all visitors, not just those with disabilities. You can do it if you follow these simple rules and consult an expert if in doubt.