The thought of updating your website for accessibility can be a bit overwhelming at times. It is a legal requirement, and you fear that you might face a lawsuit if your website is not ADA compliant. On the other hand, it can take a lot of time and cost you thousands of dollars to reprogram your website or make one from scratch.
The good news is that you have taken the first step and started searching for options to make your website accessible. Many business owners start looking for web accessibility solutions when they face a customer complaint or a demand letter from ADA. If you are being proactive about optimizing your website accessibility, you have made the right choice. But before you decide on the option that is best suited for your needs, there are some factors you must consider.
Have You Tested Your Website for Accessibility?
You must have the details of the problem if you want to find the right solution. Similarly, if you want to know how to make your website accessible to people with disabilities, you must understand the challenges faced by such users. There are many free tests available to find out whether your website is accessibility compliant or not.
accessiBe is one of the market leaders in web accessibility and has a free ADA testing tool. The test is designed to focus on WCAG 2.1 compliance and give you a complete analysis of the accessibility issues of your website. You only need to enter your domain on the testing tool to get the detailed website accessibility reports and scores. You can also download these reports to share it with your designers and developers.
The Usual Types of Accessibility Issues
There are some common types of accessibility problems that can be present on your website. Some of these problems can get fixed by your content team. They can provide alt texts to the images on your website. Some parts of your website might not have the optimal color contrast required for many visual impairments. Your designing team can fix these problems to ensure that the website gets optimized for accessibility.
But some issues might need a more technical intervention. Your website might not get optimized for use with assistive technologies, such as screen readers or head/eye pointers. The website might have structural issues that can seem normal to you and your team but can be difficult to access by people with cognitive disabilities. These problems cannot get rectified easily, and you would need skilled developers to fix these issues.
The number and extent of issues can also be a deciding factor. The quantification of problems can be subjective. You can see if a lot of pages have issues or just a few of them. It is also possible that there are a few types of accessibility problems that have been repeated multiple times on the website. The test reports and scores might be indicative factors to select an ideal accessibility solution.
Is It Time to Redesign Your Website?
All websites need to be redone periodically to keep up with market or business requirements. Your website could be missing out on some of the latest trends. Or it might not be as productive for the business as it used to be. With that being said, you have to redesign it with the accessibility guidelines in mind.
On the other hand, you should not think of redoing your website just for the sake of accessibility. If you are perfectly happy with it in all other aspects, there is no reason to spend thousands of dollars on a new website. Remember that even if you decide to redesign your website, it might need skilled technical intervention to make it accessible. That means there will be additional costs.
The Best Possible Solution
The software also affects the user experience by providing an accessibility interface. The interface is designed to modify various aspects of the website to make it accessible to people with different types of disabilities. The user can adjust the interface to suit his or her needs. The accessibility interface also provides integration with various types of assistive input devices. At the back end, the AI-powered solution runs automated tests every 24 hours to find out if there are any issues with the fresh content published on your website. It also works with 3rd party content without needing access to their source code.
So as we see, making an accessible website is both feasible and necessary and can be implemented on your existing website just as easily as a new one. So whether you want to build a new website should depend on business factors rather than accessibility. However, it’s critical to choose a website building platform like WordPress that allows you to integrate a tool like accessiBe as an add-on solution.
Photo is from Shutterstock
Guest Author Bio
Bitan has been a business consultant and a writer for the past seven years. He is passionate about empowering entrepreneurs in their endeavors to achieve success in their enterprise. Bitan also moonlights as a photographer and a chef sometimes.
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