Website Accessibility – What it takes to accomplish it.
Evaluating your website’s accessibility can seem like a huge task. If images of scrolling through page after page of your site endlessly trying to figure out what might cause visitors issues are popping into your head, then stop and take a breath. Luckily for website owners, we are here to make it easier for sites to be brought up to accessibility standards. There are sites to evaluate potential issues, ones to help you improve your WCAG 2.1 compliance, and us to help guide you along the way. Here is an easy guide to help you along the path to figuring what accessibility issues exist on your site, and why you should have us upgrade it today.
Know The Rules
The rules were created for a reason – they actually really help people. The WCAG 2.1 guidelines are filled with helpful information and ways to increase the accessibility of your website. A lot of people tend to think these guidelines are a barrier to creativity and exciting web design. Mark Root-Wiley captured the answer to this type of thinking best when he wrote, “Accessibility and style aren’t mutually exclusive, but following design trends (or even last-minute ideas) without proper consideration and testing will lead to accessibility disasters … not to mention other potential usability problems.” Accessibility is a big issue for website owners. Web design must be carefully considered and new changes thought through carefully. Otherwise, you risk alienating a large portion of your website visitors who cannot use your website due to poor accessibility.
Learn The Basics
If you’ve checked out the WCAG 2.1 rules, then you now know there are a lot of them. The tiny details that contribute to an accessible website can seem overwhelming at first. That’s why it is a good idea to start with some of the biggest issues first. Once you start learning the problems that your users may face with your site, it will motivate you to make the necessary updates and start checking those tiny details off of your to-do list. Some of the biggest accessibility issues that users face are the following:
- Color Contrast Problems – Creating a website that people can easily read might seem obvious. However, a lot of sites have color contrast issues without even knowing they exist. See why color contrast is so important to learn what updates you might need to make here. It will also point you to some free resources to check and see if your site’s colors are compliant with the WCAG 2.1 guidelines.
- WCAG 2.1 Checkers – You’re not alone in your quest for accessibility! A lot of groups have developed free (and paid) WCAG 2.1 checkers to assess the issues within your site. These sites typically scan your site and give you a report on major issues, smaller problems, and potential considerations. Learn more about which sites can help you assess your website’s current accessibility issues or simply have us do it for you.
It Takes Time
Creating a fully accessible website takes time and consideration. While most recommend building in accessibility features when a website is first created, that doesn’t always happen. However, it is important to go back and integrate these features in order to make your site accessible to everyone. If you own a website, it is your responsibility to ensure that everyone can use it easily and get access to the great content that you put out there. So start considering accessibility in everything you do, both you and your website users will benefit. With most websites, our program integrates without changing the source code.