From needing to get the codes, content and user experience nailed down, there is a lot of work that goes into making a website great. But more so than that, you also need to ensure that your website is compliant.
For many people, the topic of compliance can feel a bit confusing and the topic itself can be quite tricky to navigate for those actually building and designing the website.
In short, your website needs to be compliant because the Americas Disability Act has required that all public spaces need to be accessible to those with disabilities. And since the internet is a public space too, that includes websites!
You will have a website that is compliant if every part of the user experience is created to cater for all—including those with disabilities.
This can range from visual disabilities, hearing disabilities, physical disabilities and cognitive disabilities. The good news is that this will basically force you to simplify the user experience on your website—and simple is always better when it comes to creating a great user experience.
But you don’t have to shoot in the dark and simply guess if your website is compliant. We’ve rounded up all the tips and tricks you should follow to have confidence that you have checked off everything that would make your website compliant.
1. Invest In Compliance Software
Don’t do this all by yourself. Instead, get compliance software that is designed to help you audit your website regularly. All you have to do is install the Java code, which will give you a compliance widget.
This widget will regularly scan your content to ensure that everything is compliant and even make little adjustments automatically to enhance your website for those with disabilities.
2. Create A Simple User Experience
As we mentioned earlier, having a compliant website basically comes down to having a solid user experience. Your website should be really easy to navigate for both this with and without disability. Keep the graphics simple.
Make the labels large. Have a logical navigation bar. Use colors that support your text. But more so than this, you should always include alt-text with any visuals on your website for those that are blind or deaf. Make the forms easy to fill out. And make your website as predictable as possible.
3. Test And Evolve Your Website
No website is perfect from the get-go. Approach your website with an open mind and continually seek to improve it. By using a range of website testing tools and software, you can continually see how your website is performing, areas that need a bit more work and how the average user would experience your website.
And remember that you are not your audience, so it is imperative to get other people’s feedback who can offer a broad range of perspectives on your website and their experience using it.
4. Measure Your SEO Performance
Having a compliant website is synonymous with having an SEO optimized website. Doing the small things that make your website compliant—such as organizing and tagging your content, labeling things with alt tags and leaving breadcrumbs on your site map all equally play a role in optimizing your SEO performance.
This is important because it is one of the most beneficial tools when it comes to digital marketing and ensuring your website gets found by the right people. So by measuring your SEO performance, you can also get a good indication of how your compliance metrics stand too.
5. Keep Up To Date With The Rules
While the general principles are still there, it is important to stay up to date with the rules that go into making your website compliant.
The internet and technology us constantly evolving, meaning the standards for websites is continually growing as well. While the rules won’t change daily, it is beneficial to try to stay in the loop at least every month or so for important updates.
Making your website compliant is not as hard as it may sound. Luckily, there are some great tools that are accessible to you that can assist with measuring your compliance and provide great insight on areas you can improve upon.
In general, building a great customer experience, nailing the SEO requirements, testing your website frequently and staying informed with any rule changes are all great ways to ensure your website remains compliant.