Haven’t we all felt irritated by a slow-loading website at some point of time as we attempt to navigate a mobile-unfriendly page? While these issues may be minor annoyances for us, they can severely limit internet access for those with disabilities. And, that is something to ponder about! As a business, it is your responsibility to ensure that your website is accessible for one and all and that includes people with disabilities as well.
Let us now see how to overcome such challenges. At Digital SEO, we are the best web design and development company in Chennai, if you are facing common website problems for guidance.
A Brief on Web Accessibility
According to WHO’s 2011 World Report, 15% of the global population is disabled. This covers people with physical, cognitive and neurological problems. Disability rates are only expected to rise as the population ages, and chronic health issues become more prevalent.
Web accessibility requires websites to use technology and tools to assist a person in understanding, navigating, contributing, and engaging with the site. Integrating accessibility may appear scary to people who are unfamiliar with it, but it is a critical component of user experience.
Accessibility must be incorporated into the web design during the building process itself rather than added as an afterthought. And, building a comprehensive website is much easier today, thanks to a plethora of tools and resources. Let us now take a look at the benefits you gain by making your website more accessible.
Advantages of Making Your Website More Accessible
Individuals with disabilities should have equal access to data as those who do not. Accessibility is an element of development and design that affects practically every aspect of the production of a website. Making your website more accessible can assist you in reaching a larger audience. Let’s take a look at the most important six reasons why it’s critical to make your webpage more visible to all users:
1. Broadens your consumer base and audience
Around one billion individuals worldwide are disabled. Businesses cannot benefit by excluding the vast majority of web users by making their websites inaccessible. Because there are numerous inaccessible websites on the internet, there is a lot of opportunity lying around unattended. The more individuals you can reach, the more likely you are to meet your business objectives.
2. Enhance user experience
Web accessibility standards are closely associated with best practices in web design. Every user benefits when content is simple to perceive, comprehend, and use. Here are some examples of online accessibility concerns that are beneficial to everyone:
- People with hearing impairments can benefit from accurate closed captioning. Captions are also more appealing to many users.
- Appropriate colour contrast ratios guarantee that text is visible for those with vision problems. Using sufficient colour contrast can help almost everyone reduce eye strain.
- People with physical or memory limitations may benefit from a simplified user authentication process.
- A faster login procedure will benefit all users, increasing conversions and client retention.
- People with learning difficulties can be accommodated by writing clear, succinct text. Better and clear information conveys your message more effectively.
A well-organised site is also easier to use and navigate, even for individuals with no disabilities. It is also beneficial for everyone when mobile sites or applications are easier to use.
3. Improves SEO
Methods that increase website accessibility improve SEO, whether by design or chance. It works as search engines crawl and analyse web pages using text. When the information is well-organised and understandable, it becomes more SEO-friendly. It’s also easier for persons with disabilities. For example, by adding image ALT tags, using ordered and structured headings, incorporating descriptive hyperlink text, adding subtitles to videos, creating readable, optimised URLs, avoiding interaction that requires the use of a mouse, and offering search, table of contents and site map, you improve both the website accessibility and SEO.
4. Reduces maintenance costs
Cleaner code on accessible websites means quicker loading times, lesser errors, and better search engine placement. When the time comes to add features, renew content, or revamp your site, you may find yourself spending less on design and upkeep. Starting an accessibility campaign may involve an investment, which will pay off handsomely.
5.Helps businesses grow financially
Accessible websites help in lowering the danger of expensive lawsuits, broadening the target market, and driving innovation to gain new client bases. Furthermore, an accessible website makes products, services and content available to a wider audience, including older consumers with age-related challenges and consumers with special needs. If a company decides to ignore these benefits, it may be directly dismissing the call of millions of web users, which might have disastrous consequences and harm the company’s net profit.
6. Meets legal and ethical requirements
Many countries have rules and regulations that require websites to be accessible. Even if these regulations did not exist, accessibility is something you need to provide as an ethical responsibility to the society in which we co-exist.
Most corporate and public sector organisations are legally mandated to keep their websites accessible. Although not all accessibility regulations demand WCAG compliance, WCAG Level A/AA rules are commonly invoked in legal debates and court rulings in the United States. Overall, a lawsuit can be time-consuming and costly. All of these impediments can jeopardise the smooth operation of your business and are better to be avoided.
Design Tips to Make a Website More Accessible
With a few easy design changes, your website can be globally accessible. Here are some tried-and-true methods for making your website more accessible. The WAI (Web Accessibility Initiative) strongly recommends these methods, which adhere to WCAG criteria.
- Provide alt text: Images, audio and video files must all include a text alternative that delivers your message.
- Text transcripts and Captions: Text alternatives to video subtitles and transcripts let individuals understand the material without depending on the sound.
- Organise pages logically: A proper header and footer, with heading hierarchy (preferably h1 to h4), sections, and subdivisions, aid in the organisation and navigation of your website. You can also enhance the readability by grouping stuff that is relevant.
- Create accessible navigation: People will be frustrated if your website has complicated navigation, and they might abandon your website to locate a better one that meets their demands.
- Maintain consistency: A user interface with a clear pattern can help consumers explore a website fast. The placement of your website navigation, colours, general website design, and fonts used on your site all have an impact on usability.
- Use better pictures: It is beneficial to include photographs that make visitors to your website feel at ease.
- Use ARIA roles: ARIA (Accessible Rich Internet Applications) aids in the accessibility of dynamic content.
Web accessibility isn’t the most difficult problem to solve. All you need is a willingness to learn about common issues and their remedies. A solid rule of thumb is to never leave accessibility planning till the end of the website design process. Instead, accessibility must be implemented from the beginning of site planning and creation and then into each successive project. In case of any further queries, you can always contact Digital SEO Web Design, the best web design and development company in Chennai, to improve your website’s web accessibility in the best possible way.
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