Are you hoping to make your website more accessible but aren’t quite sure how to do it?
Making your website more accessible will allow you to attract as many website visitors as possible. And the good news is, accessibility isn’t difficult to implement. Once you understand the underlying issues that make it difficult for people to view your site, you can take steps to make your site welcoming to all visitors.
In this post, we’ll explain how to make a website more accessible. Keep reading to learn more.
What Is Website Accessibility?
Ideally, everyone should be able to use the internet, whether or not they have a disability, impairment, or special need. This is the main tenant behind website accessibility.
By designing your website with a range of people in mind, you’ll ensure that your site is welcoming to as many users as possible. While there are a lot of conditions that can affect the way people use the internet, some of the most common ones including:
- Hearing Impairment
- Vision Impairment
- Physical Disabilities/Lack of Motor Skills
- Cognitive Disabilities
- Photosensitive Seizures
Luckily, with the right website accessibility tips, you can design a site that’s accessible to all of these users. Let’s talk about how to do that next.
- Create a Website That is Keyboard-Friendly
For a website to be accessible, someone needs to be able to use it without a mouse. In other words, someone should be able to use all of your site’s major features with a keyboard and nothing else.
This includes having access to links, pages, content, and so on. The most common way to navigate a website without a mouse is with the tab key. The Tab key allows users to jump between areas on a page that have “keyboard focus.”
This may include buttons, links, and forms. Therefore, it should be your goal to make sure that users can access all navigation and web content using the Tab key. To test this, all you need to do is use your site without a mouse.
If you find that you’re having trouble accessing certain elements, pinpoint the issues and address them.
- Include the Right Alt Texts for Images
Every time you insert an image on a post or somewhere else, it should include an alt text. This way, people with vision impairments can use their screen readers to understand the message that’s conveyed on the page.
Alt texts are especially important for informative images like infographics. When creating an alt text, make sure you write the message you want to convey through the image. Also, if the image includes text, that text should be included in the alt text.
For example, let’s say you’re writing content for an exercise blog and one of your images is of a woman running on the treadmill. Your alt text may state “woman running on the treadmill at the gym,” or something of that nature.
- Structure Content by Using Headings Correctly
Headings aren’t just a way for you to grab the attention of the reader. They also help screen readers navigate content. Make sure to use h1, h2, h3, (etc.) headers throughout your content.
Also, make sure you follow the correct order of headings. You should also use the CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) to help you separate structure from presentation.
In other words, don’t choose a header just because you like the way it looks. This can confuse screen readers. Instead, create a new CSS to help you style the text.
For example, you should use the h1 heading for the main title of the page. Once you’ve used it for the title, avoid using it for anything else. Then, use smaller headings (h2, h3, etc.) to organize and indicate your content structure. Make sure you’re never skipping headings over either.
In other words, make sure you never jump from h2 to h4.
- Choose an Appropriate Color Scheme
When designing a website, it can be easy to get caught up in color schemes that coincide with your brand. However, you need to make sure your color schemes are accessible to everyone.
The most common type of color deficiency is a red-green color deficiency. Around 8% of males and 0.5% of females suffer from red-green color blindness. Out of everyone who suffers from color-blindness, 99% suffer from a red-green deficiency.
This means you need to be very careful when using these colors together on your website. Also, keep in mind that people with certain learning disabilities greatly benefit from the use of color to help them decipher content.
To satisfy both groups of people, use color. But, make sure you also include other visual indicators to make things easy to interpret. For example, use whitespace to separate blocks of content from one another.
- Create Accessible Opt-In Forms
If form fields aren’t appropriately labeled, screen readers will have trouble interpreting them.
Each field in your forms needs to come with a descriptive, well-positioned label. For example, if you’re trying to capture a person’s name, either label the form field “Full Name” or create two separate boxes for “First Name” and “Last Name.”
You can use an ARIA property or a label tag to ensure that the label text is associated with the form field. To test your site to ensure that it’s accessible, you can check out qualitylogic.com.
Are You Ready to Create an Accessible Website?
Now that you know how to create an accessible website, it’s time to get started. With these website accessibility tips, anyone will be able to interact with your site.
Be sure to check back in with our blog for more accessibility tips.