As a start-up, you need all the sales you can get to survive the first few years in business. Most start-ups throw money away by not being accessible to users. Around 97% of business websites are not accessible to disabled visitors which leads to a bad user experience and can even end in lawsuits. In this article, we will look at some common website accessibility issues disabled users face when a website isn’t accessible to them and how you can make small changes to your website to make it more accessible.
Here you’ll also find the best website accessibility fixes.
How to improve the accessibility of your website
1) ALT tags
Visitors with visual impairments rely on screen readers to read the text on a screen back to them. Screen readers do have limitations and can’t read images or the text within those images. To help screen readers understand what an image is about you can use an “ALT tag” an ALT tag is a bit of code that is added to an image that can’t be seen by a user but gives those with visual impairments more of an idea what the image is about.
ALT tags are often abused by marketers and quite often you will see an ALT tag of an image describing the keyword they are trying to show up on Google for. This isn’t helpful to disabled users and the practice of spamming ALT tags with keywords needs to stop.
To help with accessibility problems your ALT tag should describe your image in detail. A bad ALT tag could be: “Footballs for sale” while a good ALT tag could be: “Teenage boy holding a black and white Nike Football.”
The second ALT tag is more helpful for a visually impaired website visitor.
2) Font sizes
As one of the easy-to-fix website accessibility issues, small text sizes are very difficult if not impossible for people with low vision to read. If your startup website has small fonts you may want to think about giving your visitors additional font sizes to browse your site with.
Giving your readers the ability to increase the font size on your website is going to make the browsing experience better for them and will allow them to stay on your website for longer and potentially become a customer of yours.
Ideally adding a way of increasing your website’s font size should be done within the development stage of a website, however, this isn’t always possible and a third party website accessibility solution can help.
3) Title attributes
Using title attributes on your website will allow the users to know what a link on your website is about. Some web developers don’t add title attributes to their links while others will use the same link text, don’t do this as the information is redundant and doesn’t add any value.
A bad title tag either provides no information or repeats it, an example can be seen below:
<a href=”/blog/” title=”blog”>Blog</a>
A good title tag will give more information about the link destination, an example of this could be:
<a href=”/blog/” title=”The latest news in the fashion world”>Blog</a>
4) Content management system
When building a website for your startup there are many content management systems to choose from, one of the most common choices is the WordPress CMS and when it comes to accessibility WordPress is a good choice.
WordPress allows users to install plugins that can be used to add additional functionality to their website. In the case of website accessibility, you may find that your website fails in one area, using a CMS such as WordPress allows you to search for a plugin that can help with your problem without needing to code a custom solution.
5) Keyboard friendly navigation
For many of us using a mouse to get around a website is standard practice but for people suffering from their mobility, they need to use a keyboard which makes browsing the internet far more challenging.
To make your website accessible for people suffering from mobility issues, all of the essential points on your website should be accessible via a button on your keyboard. This is usually the tab key by default.
When designing your website you should also take into consideration keyboard users as they can’t access complex menu systems making a site unusable to them.
Solving all of the website accessibility issues users may come across is too big for one article alone, and remembering these tips if this is the first time you have heard about website accessibility can also be difficult. If you would like to apply these changes and other issues that your users may face you should check out Best Website Accessibilitie’s compliance checklist which has everything you need to improve the accessibility of your start-up’s website.