The internet is meant for everyone to leverage. No matter where you are accessing the web from, regardless of ability, language, or location; the internet is accessible to everyone everywhere in the entire world.
Since the advent of the internet, the web designers have made frantic efforts to create web accessibility for everyone in every location of the world. Berners-Lee Tim, one of the early web architects said, “The capacity of the internet is strictly in its universality”. Tim saw the need for everyone to be able to access the web, whether disabled or not.
For enterprises, a universally accessible site is, of course, more than awesome web citizenship. Accessible sites get more customers, larger audiences, and more beautiful results on search engine results pages.
What Do You Understand by Website Accessibility?
An internationally accessible site is one that is developed and designed to make it feasible for the disabled to leverage.
It could include accessibility to people with physical, visual, neurological, speech, auditory, or cognitive disabilities. For example, labeling colors clearly can help those with color blindness select better, and using captions on video components can help the deaf make sense of visuals. The deaf are those who have problems with hearing.
The Web Accessibility Initiative can assist individuals and enterprises with understanding the best standards and practices in coming up with a literally accessible site.
Accessible Sites Help People
If your site is designed with the intention to provide better user experience for your audience, people will find it easy to access your website on devices like Smartphones, Smart TVs, Tablets, and Smart Watches.
It is equally helpful for those in circumstances where there’s a lot of noises or bright sunlight that restricts the experience of the site. When you think about the kind of people and circumstances people use a site for, it will be obvious how focusing on better user experience will help both the physically fit and physically challenged people.
Designing with the aim to provide accessibility can enable people with poor or slower internet connectivity to access your website.
Three Easy and Fast Ways to Increase Site Accessibility
While there are numerous ways to increase the accessibility of a website, there are equally a good number of techniques that can help increase website accessibility and that most entrepreneurs can work from the comfort of their homes.
The methods below will ensure that more people can use your small business site and will help make it more navigable for everyone from every location.
1. Include Headings and Subheadings
Only few readers usually wait to read large blocks of text, particularly on the web – this is why breaking up your text into subheads (like I did in this post) ensures that visitors read and digest the content down the page.
The act of skipping through bolded areas and subheads is known as the layer-cake-pattern of reading content. In the F pattern of reading, readers normally focus on the first few words on the left-hand side of every line of text and the first few lines of the content on any given page in order to find out what a specific page is about.
When you are writing content with readability in mind (using subheads), those subheads should also be marked up in order to increase website accessibility.
Having a subhead marked up is flexible in some web tools. It comprises heading tags. You’ll observe an HTML tag at the beginning of a heading to instruct the computer system where a particular subhead belongs in the hierarchy.
Using HTML tags ranging from H1 to H6, you can sort subheads into this hierarchy. With the use of the proper tags, screen readers are allowed to scan through the content leveraging the tags, and the structure of the content with visual damage is communicated to people.
By using the proper markup, rather than just resizing the font and bolding the subheads, people who cannot use the mouse but can use only a screen reader are enabled to navigate through your pages with ease.
2. Increase Screen Divergence
Having cool divergence between the text and the background of your site is castigatory for accessibility, and it ensures your website becomes more readable to people.
For most business entrepreneurs, a black text and white background will provide accurate divergence. You’d want to keep away from a dark text and dark background. Both can make reading difficult.
3. Include Alt Text Tags in Your Images
The use of images is “Key” to several people’s web experience. However, some people have visual damage that makes visualizing difficult or impossible rather, while others turn off visuals in order to speed up the loading time of pages on their websites.
The use of alt text tags helps in several ways: it communicates to people what the image is about in case they cannot read the pages on the web – the alt text tag will be announced by the screen reader. The alt text tags tell the search engines what the image is about and is ranking for in search engine results pages. Above all, if the image cannot be loaded, the alt text tag will show up for readers to access and for search engines to index.
Literally speaking, the alt text tags are to describe the visuals clearly to both the search engines and readers, not for any other purpose. Accessibility will be enhanced if the alt text tags are kept simple and concise.
The greatest factor for determining website accessibility is content readability. And this is followed by visual accuracy. Whether a user is physically challenged or not, the site can still be accessed from any location. If a reader is suffering from blindness, the content can be accessed via a podcast. So far the content is well-written, broken up into subheads, and accurately presented, it will be read out in a clear and understandable manner.
If a user is having challenges with hearing, the visuals make the website accessible and the alt text tags will describe what the image is about. So, website accessibility is an important aspect of the web.