Making your website easy to access
This article will help you to make your website is easily accessible to all your visitors.
When you’re creating a website, you need to make sure that it's accessible to as many people as possible. Specifically, you need to ensure that people with certain accessibility needs can still access and use your site. Otherwise, you may be losing out on potential business.
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 browsers allow you to zoom in and out of a page, you should make sure that the size of your text is a sensible, legible size by default. 12pt is usually a good starting point.
- Style – When choosing the main font for your website, you will be limited to a certain number of fonts since most web browsers are only designed to render a select few by default. Although cursive fonts like ‘Dancing Script’ and ‘Petit Formal Script’ can have their uses, you should try to pick a clean, clear typeface which will be far easier for your visitors to read and understand.
- Colour – the colours you pick should complement each other – i.e. dark text against a light background or vice-versa.
When used properly, videos can be an incredibly useful tool for promoting your brand. For example, you could record a video explaining who you are and what you do, and set it so that it’s the first thing people see when they visit your site.
However, you should take a few steps to ensure that the content is available to those who can’t view the video, or to those who can’t enjoy it completely. First you must consider that there may be some people visiting your website that may not be able to watch the video – mobile users (which constitute approximately half of web traffic worldwide) often experience difficulties loading videos and heavy images, as they are far too intensive for a mobile connection.
If your video is promoting a specific product or service, then why not include a button underneath directing the visitor to a page that will explain more about that 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. In particular, 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 that consists primarily of images can have its own issues.
Firstly, a website that is very image-dependant will also be very resource-dependant, which can mean that people with slower internet connections (especially those trying to view your site on mobile devices) may struggle to load and view your site. 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 within the code of your website, which means that any words displayed in an image (for example, your logo) will now be read. This is also true 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 of ensuring anyone can access your site, regardless of what device they’re using, as the content will automatically adjust itself to suit their screen format.
Another benefit of a responsive site is the fact it will adjust 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.