You’re probably here because you’ve heard about website accessibility and wonder what it is. Or maybe you’re here because your boss or client is pressuring you to make their website more accessible. You might be wondering why this even matters. Let’s dive into that question by first looking at what accessibility means, then we’ll explore why it’s essential for your site, and finally give a few tips on how to get started with making some changes.
What is accessibility?
Accessibility is the practice of making digital content available to people with disabilities. It’s about people, not technology. Accessibility can help you attract new users and retain current ones, it’s a design principle that leads to better interfaces and experiences for everyone, it’s a legal requirement if your business has customers or employees with disabilities (and many do!), and it also has many advantages on its own merits:
- Customers are more loyal when they can easily use your site or app
- You save money on development costs
- You make your products more competitive
Why should my website be accessible?
As a web developer, you probably recognize that the internet is a big part of the world. Your website is no different—it’s one of many online resources available to people around the globe. You want your users to love using it, so why not make sure it’s accessible?
Here are just a few reasons:
- Accessibility is good for business. Users who can’t access your site aren’t customers, so they don’t spend money on your products or services. If they can’t use your website because of accessibility problems, they won’t be able to find out about what you have to offer in the first place (or know when something goes wrong). And if they have trouble using another part of their computer system (like a screen reader), then fixing these accessibility issues could improve their overall experience with technology—which means happier customers!
- Accessibility is good for the web as an ecosystem. When more sites are accessible and usable by everyone regardless of disability or impairment type or severity level—that improves how we all interact with information online over time because it provides equal opportunity access across platforms like mobile phones or tablets which may otherwise require specialized software configuration settings before those technologies become fully functional tools rather than just entertainment devices only capable of displaying static content such as videos without any audio capability whatsoever due iffy file format compatibility issues between formats like MP4 vs MOV files within certain browsers like Chrome versus Safari where Google Chrome has built-in support whereas Apple only supports its own video format called QuickTime Player but neither browser supports Flash Player which
Why don’t all websites follow best practices for accessibility?
You might be wondering why it is that people don’t think about accessibility. Well, there are a number of reasons:
- They don’t know how to do it.
- They don’t think it’s important.
- They don’t think it will make a difference in their business or organization.
- They don’t have time in their schedule to implement the changes required by accessibility standards and guidelines.
Does my site need to be accessible?
Does your site need to be accessible? Yes. Every website needs to be accessible.
And why do they need to be accessible? Well, as we’ve already mentioned: legally, morally, socially and in terms of good design practice too. So if any of these things matter to you (and who would want a legal mess or a bad reputation?), then accessibility is something that should matter too.
How do I make my website more accessible?
- A good text editor like Sublime Text or Atom will help you spot issues in your code before they become problems.
- Use tools like WAVE, Chrome Developer Tools or Firebug to check your website’s accessibility (and overall quality).
Inclusive design and website accessibility are important for maintaining a respectful digital environment for all people.
Websites and web applications can be made accessible for people with disabilities in a variety of ways. Accessibility is about making sure that people with disabilities can access the same content and functionality as those without. This means it’s important to make sure the site is usable by individuals with different types of impairments, including blindness, low vision, auditory impairments, learning disabilities (e.g., dyslexia), cognitive limitations, limited movement abilities and more.
The good news is that accessibility technology has advanced significantly in recent years — making it easier than ever before to build accessible websites or apps.
It’s time to get serious about web accessibility. Not only is it good for your users, but it’s also good for business. After all, if you want your website to be found by people with disabilities or older generations who may have a hard time seeing content online, then it needs to be accessible too. So if you’re not already doing so now then take a moment before reading the rest of this post and ask yourself: am I making my website accessible?