In general, website accessibility is known as an attempt of removing online barriers faced by people with disabilities. The goal is to provide everyone with equal access to online information and functionality.
This website accessibility issue has been broken down by the W3C or World Wide Web Compliance organization into 12 points and the accessibility requirements will continue to evolve. But, don’t worry, as you can improve the accessibility of your website by following the best practices below for web design, development, and content management to improve the user experience on your website for all visitors. If you are a web developer, this article will suit you best, so keep on reading and learn how to create an accessible web today!
How to Design for all Users?
Below are ways that you can apply to make your user interface design and visual design more accessible. These tips can be applied both to a new website and to an existing site.
Applying the Right Color Contrast Ratio
Color contrast helps people see the text clearly as it gives sufficient contrast between the text color and background color. Therefore, it is important for you to provide a good color contrast ratio. As a best practice, your foreground text should have sufficient contrast from the background colors. A contrast ratio of 5:1 for normal text and 3:1 for large text are good standards to follow and also meet the minimum requirements for WCAG 2.0 Level AA.
Avoiding Sliders and Animations
Some studies reveal that user experiences and visitor engagement are not good for conversions and can cause low engagement. Therefore, it is better to avoid using any rotating slides and carousels on web pages because some website visitors may require more time to view and read a slide, besides, rotating and moving content will only create frustration for visitors.
Utilizing WordPress for Accessibility
Since February 2016, WordPress has released WordPress Accessibility Coding Standards which provide a compliant based on which custom themes can be built, most major themes and frameworks on WordPress, like Genesis or Avada. Furthermore, all new or updated code released in WordPress must conform to the WCAG 2.0 guidelines.
Form Labels and Errors
Instead of using placeholder text, make sure all forms on your website have proper form labels. For example, the form pictured below has placeholder text for username and password, but once the form field is clicked, the user can no longer see what information should be entered into the field. This kind of form will create a hindrance for users that need extra time filling out a form.
Web Page Navigation
Another thing that you should bring to your attention is the accessibility in creating a website that can be navigated using a keyboard. This is because some website users with mobility impairments can’t use a mouse to navigate your website and rely on a keyword or keyboard-like device.
In fact, the better your page’s structure and semantics are, the more navigable and understandable it is for all users. Therefore, make sure that your WordPress developer is following the best practices in page structures by using proper heading hierarchies, enabling skip links, and using accurate semantic HTML.
How to Manage Content for All Users?
Don’t forget about content, because having an accessible website requires an adjustment in how you handle all website content going forward, so here are some of the ways that you can do.
Adding Alternative Text to Images
To describe the appearance of an image on a web page, alt text is used within an HTML. Visually impaired users rely on alt text to understand an image on a website. With WordPress interface, website administrators can easily update website content and add alternative text to images. In this case, alternative text is helpful for SEO, as search engines look for alternative text to identify and properly index an image.
Video & Audio Captions
Just like having captions on images, you should also put captions and transcripts on any video or audio. By giving captions, to multi-media, the visitors can easily enjoy and access the knowledge offered in the media. Furthermore, with captions, visitors can conveniently watch videos with the sound off. Today, it is easy to find numerous free tools available for adding and editing captions to your video and audio files.
So, whether you are creating a new website or upgrading it, it is important to protect all that work by ensuring the website is secure from hackers and security breaches. In fact, you may need to have a daily backup, not only for security, but also for breaking a component related to accessibility.
In summary, major online businesses are realizing on the importance of accessibility that is able to encourage closed captions on videos for users who are deaf and hard of hearing, so are you ready to start creating a more accessible website today? Remember that it is important to create a website that can be accessed by anyone, anytime, and anywhere.