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Key Considerations for an Accessible Website

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Accessibility is an important consideration in web design. As a business owner, you need to make your website as accessible as your office or storefront in order to accommodate visitors who have limitations. You should work closely with a web design professional to ensure that your website meets current accessibility standards, but here are key considerations to get you started.

Content Management Systems

Your website needs a good foundation. Select a content management system that will support an accessible website. Most of the popular content management systems support accessibility including WordPress. When selecting plugins and other features for your site, be sure to look at their documentation to ensure they will be accessible to all users. For example, video players must offer close captioning and toolbars must include headings and accessible tables.

Headings

Headings will allow you to organize your content structure in a way that it is accessible to all users. Use headings to organize your website so that it is easily navigated by screen readers. Make sure you adhere to proper heading structure and don’t skip heading levels. A missing heading can cause screen readers to think there is missing content. This can cause confusion for visitors to your website who have accessibility concerns. Work with your web designer to go through your website to ensure that your headings are all correct and progress logically throughout the site.

Alt Text

Provide alt text for your images. Alt text allows screen reader users to interpret the images on your website. As a result, alt text can improve your website’s accessibility. Spend some time to make your alt text descriptive and informative. Make sure that the text conveys the message you want for the images you have used throughout your website.

Links

Use descriptive, unique names for your links. Users with accessibility concerns can use screen readers to scan for links. By using descriptive names for your links, you will be helping them to find the information they are seeking more effectively. Explain the context of the links and you will go a long way toward helping out your users with accessibility concerns.

Color

Many people suffer from color deficiencies. The most prevalent form of color deficiency is red-green deficiency. As a result, you will want to avoid using red and green in areas where you want there to be contrast. For example, many websites use red to indicate required fields. Instead, consider using another color that contrasts with your design to avoid hindering those with red-green deficiency from understanding the message you are trying to convey.

Keyboard Accessibility

All of the content on your website should be accessible through the keyboard. Keyboard accessibility needs to be as intuitive as the rest of the navigation on your website. Work with your web design professional to make your website easy to navigate directly from a keyboard.

While these key considerations are important, you need to work with a professional web designer to make sure that your entire website meets current accessibility standards. Everyone who visits your website should be able to navigate your site.

What accessibility considerations would you add to the list?

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