Making your website easy to access
This FAQ will help you to make your website easily accessible to visitors.
When you rely on your website to turn your visitors into customers, you need to make sure that you have the best website possible. Making sure that it's accessible to as many people as possible, with as many different needs as possible, is a key part. If people can't access or use your site, then they won't use your company.
Obviously, when you’re creating a website, you’re going to want to ensure that as many people as possible can see it and use it. Specifically, you need to ensure that people with specific accessibility needs can still access and use your site; otherwise you may be losing out on business just because a potential customer is struggling to interact with your site.
Making sure your text is legible is obviously a key factor in the creation of any website; if your visitors can’t read your text, then they aren’t going to stick around. There are three key areas you need to focus on here: size, colour and style.
- Size – Although most web browser’s come with zoom functionality these days, you should endeavour to ensure that the size of your text, by default, is a sensible size. Your main body text should be no smaller than 10pt, although even that may be on the small side, you may be better off with 12pt.
- Style – When selecting font you will naturally be limited to a select number of fonts as most web browsers are designed to only render a select few by default. While your choice may be limited, you should still make sure you pick the correct option. Cursive, overly fancy fonts can have their uses, but when designing your site, you should try to pick a clean, clear typeface, which will be far easier for your visitors to read and understand.
- Colour – Make sure your writing is in a colour that you can read – this means no bright orange on a yellow background, or dark blue on black. The colours you pick should complement each other, dark text on a light background or vice-versa. The reason why danger signs are black and yellow is because it makes the text stand out, and studies have shown that they are the easiest colour combinations to read.
As you can see on 123 Reg.co.uk, we’ve ensured that all of our text is of a good size, style and can be easily read against the background, using the colour palette our logo provides us.
When used properly, video can be a useful tool. If you choose to add video to your site, you should take some steps to ensure that it is useful to all visitors, or that the content is available to those who can’t view the video, or to those who can’t enjoy it completely.
For example, you’ve created a website for your new business, and as the business owner, you’ve recorded a video explaining who you are and what you do. You want this video on the homepage of your website, and for it to be the first thing people see when they visit your site.
First you must consider that there may be some people who are visiting your website that can’t watch the video, perhaps their internet connection isn’t strong enough, or they’re viewing on a mobile device – commonly mobile sites do not use video and heavy images, as they are far too intensive for a mobile connection. In this case, you will want to ensure that the content of your video can be found quickly and easily.
Perhaps you can add a transcript of your video underneath, or maybe, if your video is promoting a specific product or service, include a button directing the visitor to a page that will help them to learn more about the service.
If you are creating the video yourself, and uploading it to YouTube, you may consider using one of YouTube’s features to tailor your content to the hard of hearing. When uploading a video to YouTube, you can now create and add your own subtitles, which can then be activated by the viewer, allowing them to enjoy the video. You can also use automatic captions, but these can be prone to error.
Creating your own captions has the extra benefit of allowing you to add subtitles in different languages, which is perfect for companies that have a strong presence in different locations, or for those in areas with more than one prominent language.
Like video, images can be a great way of imparting information without using huge amounts of text – however, a website made up primarily of images can have its own issues.
Firstly, a website that is very image dependant will be very resource dependant, which can mean that people with slower internet connections – especially those trying to view your site on mobile – may struggle to load and view your site, and if people can’t see your site, they won’t be buying your products.
Secondly, making a website primarily out of images will mean that those with poor or no vision will not be able to utilise screen readers to view your site. Screen readers are software that will read your website aloud to whomever is attempting to view it.
The problem in this instance is that the software can only read words that exist in the code of the website, which means that any words displayed in an image (for example, your logo) will now be read. This is true also of websites that use images for buttons and navigation bars – although if you are using Website Builder you will be able to use the navigation tools and buttons found there. This is also true of websites that are comprised of one or two large images.
Having a responsive site is a great way to make your site as accessible as possible. A good responsive site will allow for users on all devices, meaning every user can find and access all of the content on your website.
Another benefit of a responsive site is the fact it adjusts to the zoom level your visitor wants to use. When zooming in or out on a responsive site, you will see that the content of the page adjusts to fill the space available; so instead of then having to scroll horizontally across the page to read text, you can just continue to scroll vertically as normal – give it a go on 123 Reg.co.uk.