Thursday , 20 July 2017

How to Optimize Your Site for Accessibility

Creating a website, buying a domain and blogging comes under the easy part of owning a website. Now a day, the difficult part is to drive traffic to your website which actually earns the money for you. Whenever we build a website and start promoting it, we forget the most important thing which can actually become the coolest feature of your website. You need to focus on those users on which others are not focusing and that is what makes you different from the crowd. Almost 15% of our world’s populations have some kind of disability which means over a billion people. Focusing on every user on the earth is not possible so why not focus on those users who can’t access the internet. These are the users who cannot read or see due to visual defects or those who are not able to hear properly or those users who cannot navigate your website due to organ disabilities. There are many less websites available which are really optimized for disabled users. So optimizing for Accessibility can be the turning point for your website.

In order to make your website accessibility friendly, it should be designed correctly and edited to make its functions accessible to all. Website Optimizing for Accessibility can be a little tough if you have no idea where to turn. So here, we are going to share some quick and useful tips to optimize your websites for the differently abled audiences based on accessibility international standards. Improve your website traffic and with all good reasons.

Website Accessibility Optimization Tips:

optimizing for Accessibility

CMS, website design, and page structure

There are many CMS platforms available in the market which allows you to create an accessibility friendly website and allows you to choose widgets, plug-ins, and modules according to the standards of accessibility. Make sure you read theme’s documents to check if it follows the guidelines for accessibility or not.

Also when you are designing you website, make sure your format and page structure is easy to access. Always try to choose the right header tag as screen readers use these header tags to navigate the page. Do not try to add all the features into your website, it will be a mess. Try to incorporate those features which will help users with a disability to easily access your website.

Image Alt Tags

Using image alt tags is a great move in terms of SEO and for Optimizing for Accessibility. It should cover the points which you are trying to convey with your image or hyperlinks. It will help the screen readers to better understand the motive of your content.

Use of Images and Videos

optimizing for Accessibility

One cannot read images or videos with the screen reader but if you add text descriptions and captions along with them will help the visually challenged users. Also if someone has weak eyesight who finds it difficult to read, then for such users, using videos and images to elaborate your content is a wise choice.

Use of Magnifying Feature

If you are designing your website or taking help from developers then you can make use of jquery and can add text magnifying features while hovering over the text. This can need a little more coding but can be very intriguing for visually challenged audiences.

Also, you can add some plug-ins which can allow users to magnify the text. You can also add keyboard shortcuts so that navigation can be made easy for disabled users.

Color Combinations

If you are targeting visually impaired audiences, then it is very important for you to keep in mind that your website should have colors that are of high contrast and easily visible. This can help colorblind users as well as those users who have weak eyesight.

Numberings and Font Sizes

We recommend you to use small lists rather than going for a mega list. Avoid using nested lists as it is difficult for screen readers to make it readable for users.

You can also provide font size control to your users so that the users with visual acuity can easily access the content available on your website. This can easily be done using plug-ins or through CSS.

Sitemaps

optimizing for Accessibility

Sitemaps are generally used for search engines, but you can perfectly fit it with accessibility as it makes navigation easy for the users.

Skip Button

Whenever you create content, you should be able to incorporate your idea and motive in the first paragraph itself so that your user can get the main content idea at the beginning. Also, add a skip button to skip the unnecessary part and directly land to the main content of the website. This will generate traffic as well as save user’s time. This majorly helps the screen readers as they read from left to right and then top to bottom.

Avoid Usage of Tables and Unnecessary Effects

If you are using tables on your websites, let us tell you that accessibility devices or software are not able to read its data due to its non-linear arrangement. Try avoiding table and unnecessary effects on your websites. When you use flashing effects and animations on your website, it can trigger seizures in some people. It also makes audiences dizzy, so it’s better to avoid any unnecessary effects.

 No Automatic Feature

It is always not a good idea to add automatic features like automatic video playing or image sliding or playing audio clippings. This can be really hard to use for disabled users as they may need extra time to access those videos or images. There is a probability that they will miss your content and might find it hard to play it again. So it is better to give them the control over playing.

optimizing for Accessibility

So these were some of the tips you can follow to create accessibility optimized website. Also if you are optimizing for Accessibility, you will not need any certification for the website. But you need to comply with guidelines made by WCAG 2.0. There are many online tools available through which you can check whether your website is compliant with accessibility or not. We hope these tips will help you create your accessibility optimized website.

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