Making your website accessible ensures that all internet users can easily use your site without experiencing any difficulties. This includes anyone who has visual, motor, auditory, speech, or cognitive disabilities. Nearly 1 in 5 people have a disability in the US, so it is clear why a website owner needs to consider the importance of accessibility (much like a business owner). Not only this, but accessible websites can rank higher in search engines, reach a bigger audience, have faster download times, and have better usability for all, so you must think about accessibility when building or editing your website.
These are the main features that your website will need.
- Color Contrast
Using contrasting colors is helpful for those who are visually impaired and will help to ensure that your text is clear and readable. This will be beneficial for those with a wide range of visual impairments, such as color blindness, which can make it hard to distinguish different elements on a website.
Making your website keyboard-friendly is hugely beneficial because many assistive technologies rely on keyboard-only navigation. This means that a user should easily be able to reach the different areas of your website without the use of a mouse; this is usually with the tab key. Additionally, focus indicators should be used to help people to know which aspect of the website has the keyboard focus.
- Alt Text
When adding images to your website, you should always enter alternative text for an image that will act as a replacement if the image fails to load. It is also helpful for those who are using screen readers, which allows them to “hear” a website.
Headers can be used to structure the content on your website, which will make it much easier to understand. They will also be effective for those using screen readers to interpret the content that is on the page by making in-page navigation more manageable.
- Accessible Forms
Many websites have forms that allow a user to input data, and this could be for any number of reasons. Again, this can be problematic for those using a screen reader because it might be challenging to match a label to the corresponding field or option. You can make your forms accessible by making sure that each field is clearly labeled and providing instructions on how they can fill out the form.
- Accessibility Testing
Finally, you should use an accessibility testing service from a specialist like digivante.com. They will test your website to see if it is fully accessible for any user that requires accessible features. Any potential issues which you might have missed will be uncovered so that you can take action to make the website accessible for all.
Make sure that your website includes all the above, and it should be usable for anyone that requires accessible features. You need to make sure that everyone can use your website if you are to reach a wider audience and achieve your website goals.