You want every single website visitor to have a positive experience on your website. In order to make that happen it has to be accessible by everyone. Here are seven easy strategies to make your website accessible.
1. CAPTCHA – If you use a CAPTCHA to verify that a user is a person and not a computer or a program, you may be eliminating some folks from a user experience. Those who cannot read the CAPTCHA code may be unable to enter it correctly. Thus they won’t have access to the information. You can add an audio element to your CAPTCHA so visitors can hear the code and then successfully type it into their computer. You receive verification. They receive access. Win/win!
2. Tagging photos – If your images don’t load properly or a user has them blocked, they’re missing out on part of your website. If you simply add an alt tag to your images, then everyone is able to experience your website fully. An alt tag tells your visitors what the image is if it cannot be displayed or viewed. The Americans with Disabilities Act dictates that all images must have an alt tag.
3. Small files and quick download/upload times – Large graphics and files slow a user’s ability to upload your website. Their system may simply not be able to access your site. If you have large files you’re therefore making your site inaccessible to many. Make sure your website images, files and graphics are all as small as they can be. Quick upload times are appreciated by all.
4. Standard files – Make sure any content published or available on your website is available in a readily accessible format. For example, PDF documents are easily viewed by any system. MS Word files or WordPerfect files are not.
5. Accessible navigation – Make sure each button, category, or action step is easy to find and understand. The more straightforward your website navigation, the easier it will be for each and every visitor to access your site’s pages.
6. Label all form input elements – If you have a form for visitors to fill out, make sure each element of your form is labeled. This will ensure your visitors know what information is supposed to go into the form.
7. Make links obvious – If you have links for visitors to click on, make sure they are obvious. Text links, embedded or otherwise, all need to stand out from the rest of the content. Consider bold, underlined or colored formatting to set them apart.
The more accessible your website, the better your user’s experience. Make sure each and every visitor, regardless of their ability or technology, can experience all your site has to offer.