Just as it’s important for brick-and-mortar retailers to maintain buildings that are accessible to all customers, it’s equally important to make your website accessible to all users. By following a few best practices and using a website accessibility checker, you can ensure that your site is as inclusive as possible for every visitor.
Run through the list below to make sure your site is up to par:
- Choose colors wisely. Loud background colors and fonts, large blocks of text, and long menus can be hard for visitors with vision impairments to read and navigate. The Web Accessibility Initiative suggests using contrasting background and font colors that are easy to read as well as providing clear navigation options. You can also choose from one of WordPress.com’s accessibility-ready themes to ensure accessibility on your site.
- Provide alternatives for audio media. A user who is deaf or hard of hearing won’t be able to experience media like audio recordings on your site. The Web Accessibility Initiative suggests providing an alternative whenever possible — for example, you can post a text transcript of an audio interview along with the audio file.
- Use headings to organize content. According to UC Berkeley, screen readers rely on the written information you provide in headers to convey the content of your site to visitors with limited vision. Always write headings within the right class (<h1>, <h2>, etc.) to clearly indicate the hierarchy of information on your site.
- Write descriptive alt text for images. Detailed alt text describing the content of each photo on your site will help users with limited vision get the full experience while they browse your site.
- Write descriptive hyperlinks. When you’re linking to other sites, avoid generic text like “click here” for your links. Instead, write hyperlink text that clearly indicates where the link is headed.
- Use language that is respectful and inclusive. Whether you’re penning a blog post or an FAQ page, be mindful that your words are respectful and inclusive of differently-abled individuals. When in doubt, refer to the Disability Language Style Guide from the National Center on Disability and Journalism.
- Use a website accessibility checker to see how your site measures up. With the help of a third-party tool like the Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool, you can evaluate whether your site’s accessibility is up to par or if you still have room to improve.
By using a website accessibility checker and following the tips above, you can be sure your website design and content are accessible and inclusive toward every visitor.
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