Is your website accessible and easy to use by anyone, anytime, anywhere?
Web accessibility is important for everyone. Yet many websites can be difficult to use. 1 in 5 people have a disability and any one of us might have an injury or illness that affects us temporarily. Accessing the web can also be affected by our location such as a noisy room, bright sunlight or an area with slow Wi-Fi.
Simple changes can make websites more user-friendly for everyone, not only for users with disabilities.
Accessible websites are better for business
The government states that “Accessible websites usually work better for everyone. They are often faster, easier to use and appear higher in search engine rankings.”
So here are six simple things you can do right away to make your website more accessible.
1. Make your text easy to read
Pick a clear font, such as Verdana, Georgia or Tahoma, and in a readable size – at least 16 pixels, or 12 points. A small font size is more difficult to read, especially for users with limited literacy skills and older adults. Write in plain English and use simple sentences and bullets. Don’t use complicated words or figures of speech.
Make sure the contrast between text and background is strong enough to read the text easily.
2. Use headings to organise your content
Use headings to identify the main sections of your pages. Don’t skip heading levels. Use h1 to describe the main topic of the page. Then h2 to make it clear what each section is about, then h3 to break down the content into easily digestible chunks.
3. Simplify your layout
Avoid cluttered layouts and build linear, logical, well-spaced and consistent layouts.
Ensure the text flows and is visible when text is magnified.
4. Describe your images and videos
Make sure all your images have a clear meaningful written description (alt-text) that can be read aloud by screen readers, which convert text to audio. Linked images should describe the link purpose and destination, not the image content. Also use subtitles and provide simple transcripts for videos.
5. Write descriptive links
Write clear, informative links and URLs so they make sense when read out of context. The link text should clearly indicate where the link goes to or what will happen if you click it. Don’t use “find out more” or other vague link text.
6. Support keyboard navigation
Make sure your website works with a keyboard. Lots of users need or prefer, to use their keyboard to navigate web content. So, they should be able to do the same things as someone using a mouse or touchscreen.
For more information, read the W3C’s accessibility standards, which are accepted as best practice for website developers.
Two Lizards can make your website more accessible
As specialists in website development, we can help you improve your web accessibility and visibility on search engines. Do get in touch with us for more advice and information.