Making your website accessible can be very simple depending on the size and complexity of your site.
What many people are not aware of is there are basically 3 Accessibility and Usability measuring standards that can be used to see how your website measures up.
- W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) Accessibility
- WCAG1 (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines)
- WCAG2 (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines)
These standards measure your website for accessibility for visual, auditory, physical, speech, cognitive, neurological disabilities and age (elderly) just to name a few. They also measure based on the device used from desk top to laptops, mobile and readers. There are several online tools available to access and give you feedback on issues you should address within your websites content and how it is write from a coding stand point.
For example images must have an “alt” tag as most are aware but that “alt” tag must be descriptive enough that would allow someone with a “Reader” to know what that missing image is and the relevance it has to the page content.
If you were featuring a product let’s say a chair on your website, you would not have an “alt” tag that simply says chair. You might write something like “Solid oak dining room chair”, the text should reflect what it means to the content of the page.
These tags help for visually impair people that use a reader that reads the page content or if images are turned off on a mobile device. It is also a benefit to search engines that cannot see the images and work from the text it reads for indexing your website.
If you have links to PDF files on your website these should have a “title” within the link so once someone moves their mouse over the link a small popup displays the title of the PDF document.
Here are a few online tools to measure the accessibility of your website against the WCAG1 & WCAG2 standards.
Do you know if your website will measure up to Accessibility Standards?
Excellent post Joe for those who are unaware of accessibility standards. Your example of alt tags is something I see a lot of people not doing correctly. Cheers, Ian
Thanks Ian, I see a lot as well especially the use of image1 or pic1.
Thanks to our webmaster/SEO specialist who is now my coach, we know about these standards. We have 100’s of visual products & had to learn about alt tag description early on. Most of the technical stuff doesnt interest us, but we do what we are taught & told. Many social media site designers do not really know how to effectly set up & maintain a visually dominant product ecommerce website. We learned the hard way.
Yes unfortunately many people think using a generic alt tag is fine. 15 or 20 years ago maybe but not today.
This is a great post, as I am likely not doing “alt” tags correctly based on your description. I’ve been wanting to understand more about how to label photos, without having the description show up on the image, so this is definitely helpful to me. I am sending my new web person to see if my site is meeting Accessibility Standards. I hope my original web person was very aware of this in the original design of my site. Thanks for the helpful information, Joe!
I am glad you found this information helpful and hopefully your new webmaster will not have to do any back tracking.
My website developer did not tell me about Alt Tags, Joe and by the time I finally discovered it by reading about it on the internet, I had a 2 year old website and blog and it meant going back and inserting alt tags on over 150 blog posts, which was a Herculean Task broken into byte sizes to avoid overwhelm. The good news was that by that time, I also knew about optimizing images and how to avoid right-clicks that lead to new windows with the image. 🙂
I was aware about W3C and the validator tool but not about the others. Thanks for the information on the accessibility tools. Time to go and check those too.
Going back and fixing over 150 blogs is a massive project. I hope you find the other accessibility tools useful.
I did it last year, Joe and it was a huge project. 🙂
Thanks Joe for the informational post! A little techie for me but always good to know 🙂
Glad you found it informative, your web designer should be able to clear up any question you need clarified.
Yup. This is why I have a web developer:)
You got it your web developer is your fall back and should address the techie needs of your website.
Thank you for sharing your blog about accessibility! I’ve never thought about that. But I believe it’s very important to be accessible depending on your targeting market. Great points and although I need to read this more times to learn and understand about the accessibility, it’s always nice to learn a new thing. Thanks!
It’s more that your target market, what a lot of people don’t know is almost every country and it’s government has an accessibility policy in place for doing business on the internet. In Canada not only does the Federal government have a policy in place our Provincial levels of government do as well.
This information really helped me a lot. Thank you so much for posting it.
Glad you found value in these little tips.