Nowadays, to attract as many visitors as possible and have a user-friendly website, it is essential to make sure that it’s accessible to everyone, including people with different limitations.
Improving accessibility is not difficult, and it is essential to understand the fundamental issues involved. You can influence various aspects yourself and make your website user-friendly for all visitors.
See the most crucial accessibility guidelines and what to do to improve the accessibility of your web page.
What is website accessibility?
Web accessibility is the practice of building a website not to contain barriers for people with disabilities, i.e., problems with sight, hearing, using a mouse, reading and understanding text, or motor skills. The idea is to make it as easy as possible to use the site.
Follow the basic rules
- Use the correct heading structure to organize content.
Screen reader users use the header structure to navigate through content. Correct (correct order) use of headings (<h1>, <h2>, etc.) will ensure that your website content is well organized and easily interpreted by screen readers.
- Include appropriate alt text for images.
Images should be provided with alt text so that screen reader users can understand the message conveyed by the images on the page. When creating the alt text, include the message you want to convey with the image.
- Links with unique and descriptive names.
When placing links in the content, use descriptive text to explain what the link leads to. The use of descriptive text properly explains the context of the links to the screen reader user.
- The right choice of colors
Choosing the right colors is crucial to enable users to understand the message. Users with limitations benefit greatly from colors when highlighting and organizing content. Tools available on the web can be used to assess color contrast.
- Content can be accessed using the keyboard itself.
Users with mobility impairments may not use a mouse or touchpad. These people can access content via the keyboard by pressing the ‘tab’ or ‘arrow’ keys or using alternative devices such as single-switch keyboards or mouthpieces.
Web pages with a lot of content should be divided by anchor links (skip lists), allowing keyboard users to navigate to relevant parts of the page without navigating through other content. It is also essential to configure menus appropriately to make all items accessible by keyboard.
- Large and readable fonts.
Use large, wide fonts and avoid narrow or typically decorative fonts. It is vital that a visually impaired person can read the content.
Visually impaired people also use computers or laptops and other mobile devices. Your website must be responsive, adjusting to the text and window. Thanks to responsiveness, the same website will look excellent and readable both on a small smartphone and tablet screen and on a large computer and laptop screen.
Validate web accessibility
To check the status of your site for compliance with accessibility standards, you can use free accessibility tools available on the web: Check the Web Accessibility Evaluation Tools List.
Validating a website using accessibility testing is essential in detecting errors and design flaws that prevent disabled people from accessing the website and its content.
Use a CMS that supports accessibility
Choose a content management system (CMS), such as Joomla or WordPress, that supports web accessibility when building a website. Ensure that page layouts, themes, widgets, plugins, and other elements comply with web accessibility standards such as WCAG.
If you’re using any of the CMSs mentioned above, consider WCAG and ADA-compliant templates, themes, or plugins. They have a correct header structure and section structure and meet many requirements. Authors of such solutions include PixelEmu, Joomla-Monster, or YOOtheme.
Use the accessibility plugin
DJ-Accessibility plugin is a set of tools to help people with disabilities navigate the site. Use its’ options to improve the accessibility of your website. You can display accessibility options in a pop-up or a toolbar on your page.
DJ-Accessibility works with Joomla and WordPress! It’s also integrated with the YOOTheme Pro Builder.
As you can see, it’s easy to make small, non-technical changes to make your site more accessible. By adapting your site according to WCAG and ADA standards for people with disabilities, you make it helpful for all visitors, not just those with disabilities.