National Disability Day on December 3 is a day to help everyone become more compassionate and understanding of the challenges faced by people with disabilities.
In the United States alone, the truth is that one in five visitors will need some kind of accommodation on your website. As an able-bodied person, there are a lot of things that I take for granted when it comes to browsing the Internet, and I’m sure to not be alone in this.
When thinking about the design of your website, there are a lot of best practices that you can (and should!) use so that all visitors of your site have a positive experience. This post outlines some things you can do… for free!
[bctt tweet=”In the United States alone, the truth is that one in five visitors will need some kind of accommodation on your website. This post outlines some things you can do to make it more accessible… for free!”]
For Free WordPress Blogs
If your blog is on Free WordPress, unfortunately you won’t be able to use the UserWay plugin. This is a list that every blog (free or self-hosted) can do to make your page more accessible.
- Make sure you are using a readable font, you can check out this Forbes list of 10 Fonts for some ideas. Sans-serif fonts are currently the standard for readability.
- Make sure that you can access all areas of your website with your keyboard. You can do this by testing it yourself: hit the tab key and your cursor will go around to every keyboard focus (link, button, and form) on the page.
- Use descriptive names for your external links instead of saying “click here.” I am totally guilty of this, but it is way better to say “Read about us” instead of “click here.”
- Add Alt Tags to all of your images. Alt text is what displays on the page if the image fails to load, but it is also used by screen readers to “read” the picture to the visually impaired.
- Be mindful when choosing your site’s colors, keeping both colorblindness and contrast in mind. Don’t choose colors too close in the color family
- Properly use headers to structure your content (I’ve talked about how headers are not meant to be styling tools here). Not only will proper use of headers improve your SEO, but it also improves readability and flow of your page.
If you are interested in learning more tips, check out WAI Web Accessibility Tutorials.
For Self-Hosted Blogs
If you have the ability to use plugins on your blog, the best way to easily make your blog more accessible is to add the Accessibility by UserWay Plugin in addition to implementing the best practices listed in the previous section.
I added this plugin to my blog as soon as I made the move to being self-hosted. It has an incredibly easy setup and automatically appears in the user’s local language (currently 24 languages are supported). More information at userway.org.
I hope more people realize it takes very little to make a huge difference for others.
*ugly cries for a century*
— ✩ Ashley ✩ (@bubblybooknerd) June 26, 2019
I hope you found this post informative and useful! Do you have any suggestions for making your blog more accessible that I didn’t list here, or any questions?
Let’s go on another adventure together!