Now that you have created a good-looking and highly mobile-responsive website, you are ready to launch. Congratulations!
But before you go live, there is one overarching question that you need to ask yourself – have you made your site accessible to all?
Remember, a section of your target market could be blind, or might have some physical challenges that make it impossible for them to read content as others do.
If you don’t make your site accessible to them, therefore, you lock them out, and this could reduce the credibility of your site.
Website accessibility is big business, but the lack of it could land you in court!
What you might not know is that failing to make your website accessible could land you on the wrong side of the law. Yes, you could find yourself in court for failing to give disabled internet users access to your content.
If you don’t believe it, reports show that there were 2,285 cases filed in 2018 alone, and experts warn that the numbers could climb the roof by the end of 2020.
Therefore, if you thought that website accessibility is only for governments and institutions, you need to think again.
Below are some tips you should follow to create an amazingly accessible website:
Choose a content management system that supports site accessibility
There are many content management systems out there, but not all of them can help you create an accessible website. Some of the most recommended CMSs that support this are Drupal and WordPress.
When you choose the best CMS for your needs, get a theme or template that will complement your vision. Do a thorough research and find insights, tips, and other valuable information on how you can create accessible content within the theme.
Include alt text for images
Most website owners and bloggers don’t pay much attention to alt text for images. What they don’t know is that this section does not only help search engine crawlers understand what the images are all about, but they also enhance site accessibility.
When creating an alt text, develop a message that summarizes the message you wanted to convey with an image.
To ensure you fulfill the needs of your disabled prospects, always have detailed alt texts for informational images (such as infographics) and any other images you deem important.
Give links unique and descriptive names
If you have to include links in your content, create a description of where the link goes. Remember, visually impaired readers also use screen readers to scan for links, just like their sighted counterparts do.
To make your links accessible to screen reader users, describe where the links go. For instance, instead of saying “click here,” consider saying something like “to find out more about what we do, read our services page.”
Ensure content can be accessed with the keyboard
When creating content, ensure it can be accessed by keyboard only, so that it can be read by a section of your readers who have mobility disabilities and cannot use a trackpad or a mouse.
These internet users rely on the “arrow” and the “tab” keys to navigate through content. Also, there are some who use alternative input devices such as mouth sticks and single-switch input. To stay ahead of the competition, like the best athletes in the NBA expert picks, work with a web designer who will help make your content available to them without any problems.
For easier navigation, break your pages into jump lists. Allow keyboard users to skip to relevant portions of the page without having to pass through loads of content. Additionally, have a “skip to main content” menu at the top of every page, so that keyboard users can get to the main content without having to tab through page navigation.
There are hundreds of other ways to make your site more accessible, but by implementing the ones outlined above, you will be on the right path to ensuring that your disabled prospects enjoy the products and services you provide just like other people in the society.