Accessibility is important for many reasons. In fact, it is required by law in many countries. Accessibility allows many people to be able to access the web and use it just like we can. With a little extra work on your part, you can make sure your website is accessible which will go over well with everyone. And if you are capable of hiring someone else for this task, it’s definitely worth it since there are numerous benefits to making your website accessible. Here are some of the basics – 5 reasons why you need to make your website accessible
1. It’s the law
In many countries around the world creating inclusive and accessible websites is required by law. In fact, there have been cases where users have successfully sued businesses because they were unable to use a website and felt discriminated against.
In the UK it is a requirement that public sector and charity websites are accessible to the WCAG 2.1 standard with an AA pass as a minimum requirement.
Not having an accessible website could open you up to fines from your government or being directly sued by a customer you excluded.
2. It makes business sense
Nearly 10% of people in the UK have a disability. That’s 1 in 10 people!
Not everyone with a disability will have difficulties accessing websites and digital services however these numbers only account for permanent disabilities – some people have temporary or situational accessibility needs.
Imagine your business has a shop on the high street and you decided you would stand at the door and turn every tenth person away. You wouldn’t right? But that’s what can happen if your website isn’t accessible.
3. It will improve your ranking on Google
Making your website accessible makes it not only accessible for people with accessibility needs but it also improves the experience for everyone.
If your website is accessible, it’s usable, and if it’s usable then Google will look favourably on you and this can improve your search engine ranking.
4. Bad sites can cause real-time harm to your users
If your website can’t be used by someone because it’s inaccessible then this excludes them. If your website is a critical service or provides an exclusive experience or access to products not available elsewhere then users with accessibility needs can’t use them.
If your website has a form that needs to be filled out to get access to specific funding but users with disabilities can’t navigate the form properly then those users won’t be able to access the funding. This could lead to serious hardship.
5. It will make users happy
If everyone can use your website, regardless of the tools they use to move around it, then customers will be happy. Good experiences are experiences that don’t create barriers and simply work.
If your website is accessible when so many others are not then your brand and website is likely to remain in a customer’s mind for a long time. Repeat customers are valuable.