How To Make Website Accessible — Tips And Examples
Welcome to the web in 2023 where accessibility is no longer optional — which is a good thing. Modern websites strive to be as welcoming as possible, but how to make website accessible? And what are the best examples? Let’s find out.
How to make website accessible
We hear a lot of criticism of the modern web: websites are “boring” and “samey,” and basically worse than before. We disagree: the modern web is more organized, optimized, and, yes, accessible. And accessibility limits the scope of artistic freedom, but in the end, we get sites that people with visual, motor, and cognitive impairments can access.
Accessibility also concerns people without any disability as it benefits elderly people, people using devices with small screens, people with a slow internet connection, etc.
What makes a website accessible?
First of all, let’s start with the main thing — Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). Every web developer knows WCAG well; it’s a set of guidelines that help make the web a better — and more accessible — place. The guidelines cover various topics, including image contrast and keyboard navigation. If you want to make your website accessible, be sure to get acquainted with the guidelines.
Of course, there are a few other standards, such as EU Web Accessibility Directive. As per web-directive.ea, “the directive aims to make public sector websites and mobile applications more accessible, and to harmonize standards within the EU, reducing barriers for developers of accessibility-related products and services and providing persons with disabilities with better access to online public services.”
Tips to make your website more accessible
- Use alt-text for images to describe what’s on them. This is one of the easiest ways to make your content much more accessible
- Make sure your contrast is high enough to distinguish between text and the background easily
- Make sure your website can be navigated with keyboard only
- Use clear headings for easier navigation
- Ensure all your links are descriptive
Examples of accessible websites
When looking for inspiration, you take a look at government websites. Mainly all of them comply with WCAG guidelines: they might not look like much, but they are a good example.
- ZARA’s website — who knew? With one button, the website lets you choose any third-party accessibility tool, change navigation styles, and contrast settings.
- Apple also does accessibility really well, from their operating systems to websites.
- BBC is easy to navigate, has high contrast, and works great with the keyboard alone. The company has always cared about accessibility, and it shows.
- Amazon, the biggest eCommerce company in the world, also does accessibility right. Its services support captioning, screen readers, and various settings for the website.