What are the Benefits of an Accessible Website?
The World Health Organization estimates that more than 1 billion people worldwide live with some type of disability. A disability is a person's physical or mental condition that limits their movements, senses, or activities. In the United States, accessibility for this population is evident with well-marked handicapped parking signs, elevators, ramps, and accommodations for the site impaired with braille signage, to name a few.
Accessibility to all is essential. That also includes website accessibility, meaning there are no barriers or issues to stop a user with a disability or impairment from enjoying the website.
However, some businesses are falling behind because they do not understand the benefits of having an accessible website or are overwhelmed by the changes that may need to be made to make it accessible to everyone.
An inaccessible website could exclude up to 20% of your potential website visitors. Having an inaccessible website could open your business up to potential legal issues. For example, this could fall under The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in the United States.
Accessible website examples designed to meet the needs of an individual who is blind or partially sighted include the Jason Hunter Design website. Visually impaired visitors to our site use a screen reading device to browse the content; we have equipped it with a tool that uses speech or braille to communicate with the user about what's on their screen.
Creating and maintaining a website that is accessible is not difficult if you engage with an experienced web design professional. So, let's look at some surprising benefits of having an accessible website.
Reach a wider audience: By taking steps to make your website more accessible, you're creating an opportunity for more people to use it, which will naturally grow your audience and potentially your customers.
Increase traffic: SEO ranking is an added benefit of making your website more accessible. By taking extra care with titles, headings, and labeling images, your website has a better chance of ranking higher in search engines.
Increase trust: By making changes, you raise awareness of the importance of accessibility, indicating you care about the needs of your visitors.
Avoid legal complications: Some countries require that your website meets specific accessibility standards by law. Being proactive about ensuring your website is usable for people with disabilities helps to protect you from legal complications.
Customers will benefit: Existing and new customers will benefit from transcriptions or closed captions. For example, even if they aren't hard of hearing, users may enjoy consuming content with the sound off, especially if they do not want to disturb others in the room or simply prefer reading.
If you aren't sure if your website is accessible, check with your website designer, as this would have been an agreement between you and the designer before the website was created, as accessible design requires additional time and cost.
If your website is not, we encourage you to consider taking action to make it accessible. This helps you avoid potential legal issues in the future, but more importantly, it provides a better experience for all your website visitors.
And, as always, we are here to help. Fill out the form below to get started.