One thing that’s improved dramatically in the past 5 years is the ability to make a website accessible. So if your website is 5 years old or older it may be more cost-efficient to build a whole new website with accessibility in mind.
Internet technology, search engine algorithms, and website capability and features have improved by leaps and bounds in the last 5 years. However, if your website is anywhere from 3 to 5 years old, it may be outdated. It probably doesn’t use current best practices for customer conversion, customer retention, search engine optimization, or accessibility.
Accessibility is all about making your content as widely available to as many people as possible.Bet Hannon
Being Accessible Broadens Your Customer Base
With almost 25% of adult Americans having some type of disability that limits their ability to use a website, an accessible website broadens your customer base.
One of the most common conditions that limit a person’s ability to use a website is vision issues. Statistica reported that in 2020 55% of all women and 52% of all men have some type of vision issue. An even more common problem rarely considered is that people often view websites in less than optimal settings like in low light (like in bed), in bright sunlight,, or in distracting settings (like the grocery store line).
All Users Will Have a Better Experience On Your Website
When a website is accessible, it’s easier to read and navigate. If people can navigate and find what they want on your website, they’re more likely to stay on your website. When your site is easier to read, people can easily learn what you’re selling and how to use your products and services. So, you’re more likely to sell more.
One basic accessibility factor is making your website text larger and making sure there’s enough contrast between the color of the text and the background color of your website.
Want to learn more about what it takes to make your website accessible? Get our Intro to Website Accessibility Guide. This guide will walk you through some basic accessibility upgrades you can do on your site.
What Happens After Your Site Meets Basic Accessibility Standards?
Does your accessibility journey end here? No. Having an accessible website is a long-term commitment.
Techniques to make websites accessible are constantly improving. And if you’re not watching carefully, your website accessibility can be weakened just by not following accessibility best practices when posting your content.
This is where your employees and independent contractors come into play. Everyone on your website team must be committed to accessibility. It just takes seconds for a content manager to forget to add relevant alt text to the images to reduce how accessible your website content is.
How to get your team onboard with website accessibility
First, put company-wide standardized accessibility measures into place. Clearly spell out the standards you expect your designer, developer, and content manager to adopt regarding accessibility. If you have rules to follow and checklists to complete, it’s easier for everyone involved with the website to win the game of website accessibility.
Secondly, education and training quickly come to mind. If developers understand the why and hows of accessibility and know their websites are unusable, they’re more likely to adhere to the accessibility measures you’ve put into place.
Our developer Meg Miller wrote a brilliant article about how to get your website team onboard the accessibility bandwagon. Read, #SquadGoals: Get Your Team On Board with Website Accessibility
Know where your site stands
Once you’ve gotten a start with things like alt text and proper headings structure, you might want to get an assessment on how your site is doing regarding accessibility. That’s where a website Accessibility Audit comes in. An audit is a trained developer doing accessibility testing on your site and preparing a written report of the findings.
All our audits include:
- Manual, human testing in addition to the assistance of automatic scanners.
- Videos of your accessibility issues to help you understand them better.
- A 1-hour consult, post-audit, with our accessibility expert.
- We’re associated with outside consultants with disabilities for additional review when needed.
Have questions about website accessibility? Add them in the comment area. We’re happy to answer them.
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