Unlocking Digital Doors: Your Guide to Improving Website Accessibility - Iceberg Web Design

Unlocking Digital Doors: Your Guide to Improving Website Accessibility

You Can Make Changes on Your Website to Impact Visitors Today

Website accessibility is about empowering all users, regardless of their abilities, to seamlessly navigate and interact with your digital presence. Ensuring your website’s accessibility isn’t just a matter of compliance; it’s a commitment to creating an inclusive online environment for everyone. 

Diverse group of people using a computer

However, making a website accessible doesn’t have a “one size fits all” solution. Updates and changes required to make a website more accessible vary for each website, and can be impacted by many different things: the brand’s colors and fonts, the use of images and video, and even the programming language that the website is built with. Because of this, we always start with an accessibility audit to make sure we are identifying areas we can improve on to create a more accessible experience on each unique website.

There are some common themes that come to light in many accessibility audits, and in this article we will highlight 5 things that you can do, today, to make your website more accessible. These are outlined below – along with an overview of how to make these improvements on your WordPress website.

Recognize the Importance of Accessibility

The very first step in your journey towards creating an accessible website, is to understand why your website should be accessible in the first place.

An accessible website is crucial for providing equal access and a seamless experience to all users, including those with disabilities. Accessibility ensures that people with various impairments can navigate, perceive, and interact with digital content effectively. Moreover, accessibility improves user experience for everyone. Clear navigation, descriptive alt text for images, and well-structured content benefit all users. A user-friendly site leads to higher satisfaction and user engagement.

Additionally, an accessible website often performs better in search rankings due to improved loading times and mobile compatibility, enhancing SEO.

5 Actionable Steps for Improving Website Accessibility on a WordPress Website

1. Prioritize Alt Text for Images

Images add visual appeal to your site, but they also need descriptive alt text. This text is crucial for screen readers, providing context and information about the image. Iceberg Web Design emphasizes adding informative alt text to all images.

How to do it in WordPress
In WordPress, when you add or edit an image, there’s an option to provide alternative text. Describe the image’s content and its purpose, ensuring it’s meaningful for those who can’t see it.

Wordpress Media Editor

2. Ensure Proper Color Contrast

Good color contrast enhances readability for everyone, especially those with visual impairments. Choose color combinations that provide a clear distinction between text and background elements.

How to do it in WordPress
Opt for a WordPress theme that adheres to accessibility standards. Or, work with your web designer to choose accessible colors. You may be able to adjust your theme settings, or implement custom CSS to select colors that will give your website optimal contrast between text and background.

Sample Color Palette

3. Provide Captions and Transcripts for Media

Videos and audio content should come with accurate captions and transcripts. This not only assists users with hearing impairments but also benefits those in noisy environments or situations where sound isn’t possible.

How to do it in WordPress
When adding videos or audio content, ensure you include captions. There are plugins available that will transcribe audio, or you can simply provide a transcript to post alongside your video. Alternatively, add captions directly to your video before uploading it.

4. Optimize for Screen Readers

Screen readers are essential for individuals with visual impairments. Develop your website with semantic HTML, proper headings, and meaningful link text to ensure a smooth experience for screen reader users.

How to do it in WordPress
Utilize semantic HTML tags like headings (h1, h2, etc.) appropriately in your WordPress content. Install accessibility-focused plugins like “WP Accessibility” to enhance your site’s compatibility with screen readers.

Wordpress Gutenberg Add Headline Block

5. Implement Responsive Design

Iceberg Web Design’s commitment to excellence extends to responsive design. Ensure your website adapts seamlessly to various screen sizes and devices, providing a consistent experience for all users.

How to do it in WordPress
Choose a responsive WordPress theme or work with a website developer to make your website respond to different theme sizes. Regularly preview your site on different devices to ensure proper display and functionality.

Regularly Update and Review Your Website

Web accessibility is an ongoing commitment that requires consistent attention. As technology and guidelines progress, your website should evolve to stay inclusive. This involves keeping your WordPress core, themes, and plugins up to date to align with the latest accessibility standards.

By regularly reviewing your website’s design, content, and functionality, you ensure that it remains user-friendly for individuals with disabilities. This proactive approach helps you identify and address potential barriers, enhancing the overall user experience.

Furthermore, staying updated with evolving accessibility regulations demonstrates your dedication to inclusivity and legal compliance. Real user testing during these reviews provides valuable insights, allowing you to make necessary improvements based on direct feedback.

Ultimately, maintaining an accessible website through regular updates and reviews not only ensures compliance but also fosters user trust, engagement, and a positive online reputation. This ongoing effort reflects your commitment to creating a digital space that accommodates everyone’s needs.

Incorporate Accessibility with Iceberg Web Design

Iceberg Web Design isn’t just a web development agency; we are your partners in creating an accessible digital presence. Our comprehensive two-step process – accessibility auditing followed by remediation – ensures your website adheres to the highest standards of accessibility.

In conclusion, accessibility isn’t just a checkbox; it’s a journey toward digital inclusivity. By following these 5 actionable steps and partnering with Iceberg Web Design, you can start the process of ensuring your website is a welcoming space for all, contributing to a more accessible online world.

Accessibility matters, and Iceberg Web Design is here to make it a reality for your business.

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