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How to Make Your Website Accessible
At FirstPage Marketing, we strongly believe in the power of digital marketing to connect people and businesses. A crucial part of this connection is making sure that your website is accessible to everyone. But what does website accessibility actually mean, and how can you make your website accessible? Follow our simple guide below to help make your website accessible for everyone.
What is Website Accessibility?
In simple terms, website accessibility means designing and developing your website in a way that everyone, including people with disabilities and even search engines, can use, understand, and navigate it easily. Here’s an easy-to-follow task list to make your website more accessible:
1. Choose Contrasting Colours
Choosing contrasting colours can make your website easier to read. This is especially beneficial for users with visual impairments. Avoid colour combinations that are difficult to distinguish. For instance, using light yellow text on a white background can be a strain for many people, even those without impairments.
2. Provide Alt Text for Images
Alt text is a short description that you can add to the images on your website. This is particularly useful for users who use screen readers, as these tools can read the alt text aloud. If an image doesn’t load for any reason or users are visually impaired, the alt text can give users an idea of what they’re missing.
3. Use Descriptive Link Text
When adding a hyperlink to your website, use descriptive text instead of vague phrases. Everyone likes to know where they will be taken after clicking the link and the link text should give users a clear idea of that. This helps users decide if they want to follow the link or not.
4. Make Your Website Keyboard Friendly
Not everyone uses a mouse to navigate websites—some people rely solely on a keyboard. Making your website keyboard friendly ensures that users can easily tab through the different sections and elements of your website using only their keyboard.
5. Ensure Easy Navigation
Make sure that your website has a logical, easy-to-follow structure. This helps all users, but especially those using screen readers. Your menus should be clearly marked, and each page should have a title that describes its content. You should try to have up to three levels of main menu navigation at the most.
6. Provide Transcripts for Audio and Video
If your website includes audio or video content, provide transcripts so that users who are deaf or hard of hearing can understand the content. This also greatly helps search engines crawl and understand what your audio and video content is about.
7. Avoid Automatic Media and Navigation
Media that plays automatically when a page loads can be disorienting for some users, especially those with cognitive disabilities. The same goes for navigation elements that move or change without user input.
8. Use Clear, Simple Language
Keep your language simple and clear. Avoid jargon and complex sentence structures. This helps all users understand your content, but it’s particularly important for users who might have reading difficulties or for whom English is a second language.
9. Regularly Test Your Website
Finally, the key to maintaining an accessible website is regular testing. This helps you catch and address any accessibility issues that might arise as you update and change your website.
Here are some signs you might need a new website.
Implementing these changes might seem like a tall order, but the rewards are worth it. A more accessible website means a more inclusive experience for all users, increasing your reach and connection with your audience. At FirstPage Marketing, we’re committed to guiding and assisting you through every step of this process, making your website as accessible as possible. Get in touch with us to learn more about how we can help you.