Top 7 Techniques to Make Your Website More Accessible

by Calvin on July 18, 2021

in Articles

 

Attracting more visitors to their website is every website owner’s goal. To achieve that goal, specific imperative measures need to be taken to make the website accessible for millions of users. If taking the time to understand a customer’s needs is not done, everyone will miss out on a lot of income.

Luckily, accessibility isn’t that hard to implement. It is essential to understand the underlying problems that make a website difficult or impossible to use by all people, including those with disabilities. Once these issues are identified, one can implement necessary steps to avoid those mistakes and make sure the website development service makes it welcoming to all visitors.

In this article, we’ll see how one can enhance accessibility to cater to all kinds of online customers. Let’s begin!

1. Keyboard-Friendly site

Although laptops are being predominantly used, there is a considerable population who use desktops. A site should be capable of easy navigation and functioning without the use of a mouse. The keys must be sufficient enough as many assistive technologies depend on keyboard-only navigation. It contains accessing the entire pages, content, links, and others.

The most common navigating button is the Tab key that jumps between various page segments with “keyboard focus.” It includes links, forms, and buttons. 

2. Ease of Content Accessibility 

Ensure that all content displayed on the web page is accessible. It may not be a critical problem, but it could pose some difficulty in the case of dynamic content. It can change without the page being reloaded, and it doesn’t inform the assistive tools of the change. It causes the users to miss the new content. 

ARIA – Accessible Rich Internet Applications helps communicate the roles, properties, and states of user interface elements. It helps to make navigation more straightforward.

3. Adding Alt Text to Images

While using WordPress, one could have come across this field Alt text. The alternative text for an image can be added here, which acts as a replacement whenever the image fails to load. Therefore, this field gives context to users who would probably miss it.

Also, alt text helps to enhance the website’s SEO by providing more information for search engines to crawl. Writing descriptive lines of every image and including keywords whenever applicable can do a great deal.

4. Choose Colors and themes carefully

Color blindness is more of a spectrum as several people see colors in unique ways. So, making sure that the colors on the site contrast well enough for everyone to distinguish among different elements on the page is crucial. The vital point for easy reading is that the text should stand out against the background and not merge into it. Preferably, a dark background color against a light one helps a lot. 

5. Use of Headers for Structuring Content 

Another vital task is structuring the content to make the site accessible by using headers aptly. It makes the content simpler to perceive and also improves the flow. Moreover, clear headers can support screen readers in interpreting the pages. It makes in-page navigation a breeze for the readers. It is a simple task and ensures the correct use of heading levels in the content. For instance, one H1 per page as the title can be used, followed by H2 subheadings, nested further with H3, and so on. 

6. Enable Resizable Text 

Many browsers and devices will allow users to resize text. It is beneficial for those with visual impairments. But, if the site is not built to support this feature, resizing text can undoubtedly break the design and make user interaction difficult. Therefore, it is best to avoid absolute units, like specifying text size utilizing pixels. One can use relative sizes in its place, which enable text scaling based on screen size and other content.

Also, make sure that the user scalability is never turned off as it can be problematic for users to resize the text. To validate the site, test the font sizes by increasing the zoom level in the browser. If the content becomes hard to read, pixelated, or challenging to navigate, one must undertake remedial measures.

7. Avoid Automatic Media and Navigation

Playing media files automatically has always been a bane. It tends to annoy the viewers as it can have incidental music playing or videos starting when a page loads. In terms of accessibility, it is a significant issue. The unexpected jolt and figuring out how to turn the media off can be difficult for a screen reader. Therefore, it is best to avoid including such elements that begin without prompting the user first.

Also, one can avoid automatic navigation like carousels and sliders as it can frustrate the viewer when the information moves on to the next section before being able to grasp.

Final thoughts

Ideally, any website on the internet should be accessible to all. The fact is that hundreds and thousands of internet users have special needs or impairments that can be a significant hurdle for them to use certain kinds of websites. Any condition that hinders their capabilities to use hardware and software should not be a restraining factor. It is the central ideology behind the web accessibility concept. Website development services should be undertaken with such challenges in mind to ensure that the site is welcoming and the users get what they want.

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