Your website is the reflection of your online business. 75% of website credibility comes from the accessibility of your site. 89% of consumers tend to get help from your competitors after having a poor user experience with your website. All in all, your online business has higher chances of tasting success when it has a well-accessible website.
Designing accessible websites is tough and challenging. But, with the right tips, you can develop a 100% accessible website without any hassle. Here are the top nine effective strategies for building accessible websites for a robust online presence.
1. Add Alt Text to the images
Alt-text is used within an HTML code to describe the function and appearance of an image on a web page like Bibliography maker. Thus, if your website images don’t load on your visitor’s device, the alt text will let them know what that image is about.
3 reasons to use alt text in your images:
- Alt-text aids accessibility for your non-visual readers.
- It provides better image descriptions to search engine crawlers, thereby boosting your online presence.
- Its purpose is to describe the images when your readers aren’t able to view them on your website.
Adding an alt text to an image is easy. It should be specific and relevant to your image or the message that you want to convey through the image. Consider the image mentioned below for an example.
2. Make your dynamic content accessible
Dynamic content is the type of content that changes as per the user’s behaviour, preferences and interests. Booking.com, for example, changes its content based on the number of hotel rooms booked or flight tickets booked. Thus, you have to make sure that the dynamic content is accessible to your users according to the new details they enter on the page.
How to make dynamic content accessible?
The best way to make dynamic content accessible is through ARIA landmarks. The landmarks are just tags that you add to the content to define all the elements present in that content.
These landmarks help the readers understand the content as it changes based on their preferences. The ARIA landmarks also let you get to the main content directly. So, you can also use it to make the navigation of your website more straightforward.
3. Pick a CMS that supports accessibility
There are many content management systems, such as WordPress and Drupal, to choose from for your website. No matter which CMS you choose, make sure it supports accessibility. Choose a template or theme for your website only after reading its documentation notes for accessibility. The same documentation will also consist of tips for creating accessible layout and content for that theme.
Questions to ask yourself before choosing a CMS:
- Is there a forum where you can post your queries related to accessibility?
- Can people with disabilities access the interface?
- Is it possible for you to add any accessibility fixes to the CMS by yourself?
Do not forget to check the accessibility of other elements such as video toolbars and editing toolbars while building your website. Editing toolbars, for example, should have options for accessible tables. Video players should consist of closed captioning. CMS administration options such as posting a comment or creating a blog post should be accessible as well.
4. Choose colours that contrast well
Different people have different ways of perceiving the same colour. So, you have to ensure that the colours of your website highlight the essential elements on your web page. The colour you choose should have enough contrast between its background and the text colour. This is also known as the luminosity contrast ratio.
Why should you use colours with good contrast?
Good contrast colours are helpful for:
- People with colour blindness who find it difficult to distinguish between certain colours
- Older people with low contrast sensitivity.
5. Label the forms on your website appropriately
Inappropriate labelling of forms can make it difficult for people with visual impairments to access your forms. They may not understand what type of content to enter into the form fields. Thus, you need to include a well-positioned and descriptive label to make each form field accessible to everyone.
Importance of well-labelled forms:
- People with cognitive disabilities can understand the form and complete it better.
- Accessible forms also improve the layout structure of your website.
- Website visitors using speech input can use the labels through voice commands and focus on the fields they have to complete.
Let’s say your form asks your users to enter their name. So, it should be labelled as ‘Full Name’ or as ‘First Name’ and ‘Last Name.’ In case of similar or related fields, you can try grouping them with fieldsets. The ‘Date of Birth’ and ‘Full Name’ could be grouped as ‘Personal Information.’
A well-accessible website is essential if you want to achieve your online business goals. Keep the strategies mentioned above in mind to build an accessible website for all kinds of users and a robust online presence. Choose the text colours in contrast to the colour in your background. If you are using links, make sure you describe what the links are about. Add alt text to the images on your web page.