Website Accessibility: What You Need to Know
Web accessibility enables everyone to achieve equal access to online content and services, regardless of whether users are disadvantaged or handicapped.
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In a world where we are more connected than ever before, everyone must have access to the same information and opportunities. Achieving web accessibility means removing any barriers that stand in the way of disadvantaged and or handicapped users accessing online content or services with the same capacity as other users.
In this guide, you will learn how to create a website that is accessible for screen-readers and SEO robots.
What Is Accessibility?
We can develop websites to work in specific tools that can be understood easily; for example, screen readers, refreshable braille displays, and screen magnifiers. Web accessibility (or A11Y) is all about providing people with disabilities the same level of access to resources and information that you would provide to those without disabilities. So, A11Y is the set of tools and practices for designing web content to be accessible for people of all abilities.
Why Is A11Y Important?
Accessibility is a broad term, but it is incredibly important. Your website should be available to people with a wide range of external influences, hence this process must be smooth and easy for the user.
Once you are able to achieve this, you will be a help to people who are visually impaired, hearing impaired, physically disabled, and those with other disabilities. All of these mentioned users use websites every day to do tasks; for example, pay taxes, apply for jobs and education, and talk with their friends and family, etc.
In direct correlation to business, improved accessibility increases your overall customer base which in turn increases the general revenue of the business. Another more important point is SEO, or search engine optimization. Google algorithms pay attention to a11y on websites. Pages that are easily accessible have higher rankings in search results. Visitors and customers will be increased with a higher ranking, increasing the overall number of users to the website.
How to Boost the Accessibility of Your Website
Here we have the most valuable and important steps you need to follow
This is the most essential step to give users a chance to use your website without a mouse. Actionable Elements should appear like this:
- input / textarea
Check out this exceptional article to get your elements focused.
Use Semantic Tags
Semantic tags come with HTML5. Even now I come across pages that have been built with only `<div>` elements. Screen readers are better at navigating on a page with a semantic structure, and SEO algorithms will place your website higher-ranked in search results in comparison to a website with no structure.
Avoid HTML layout of the page like this:
<body> <div id="header"></div> <div id="main"> <div></div> <div></div> </div> <div id="footer"></div> </body>
<body> <header> <img src="/static/logo.png" alt="Logo"> <nav> <a href="/">Main page</a> </nav> </header> <main> <article> <h1>Title</h1> <p>Content</p> </article> </main> <footer></footer> </body>
Don’t forget about heading tags:
- Use h1 tags for the title of the page. On one page there should be only one title.
- Use headings to structure your topic or article
Use ALT Attribute on Every Image
<img src="/static/cat.jpg" alt="Cat" />
Avoid Links with "here" and "link"
Provide more info about links for screen readers.
<!-- Bad --> <a href="/url" >Click here</a> <!-- Better --> <a href="/url" aria-label="About us">Click here</a> <!-- Good --> <a href="/url" >About us</a>
Measure Your Accessibility
You can't manage what you don't measure. Here is the list of tools that help you find out a11y website level.
aXe: Chrome/Firefox extension that scans your HTML page, finds a11y problems and reports them to you
Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool (WAVE): a suite of evaluation tools that helps authors make their web content more accessible to individuals with disabilities
Chrome Screen Reader
Chrome Screen Reader: the official screen reader by Google for Chrome; allows you to check websites manually and see how they can be read
The status of accessibility of pages is poor quality lacking structure and user friendly experience. The majority of sites are not ready for today’s consumers or users! However, it is shaped for the user's experience or business objectives. There are a vast amount of improvements and adjustments that the majority can implement to aid accessibility today.
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