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12 Tips for a more Accessible Website

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Much of making a website more accessible is making it easy to be understood by technologies such as screen readers, which convert visual text to audible words. This also makes a site easier to index and be found by search engines, which will enhance SEO performance. Whether following Section 508 or WCAG 2.0, the concepts for making a website more accessible are relatively easy to understand and apply:

  1. Words on the website should be easy to read by somebody who is visually impaired and by screen reader technology.
  2. Menus and navigation need to be easily discoverable by somebody who cannot see your website and be descriptive of the topic or purpose.
  3. Content that is repeated, such as sidebars, headers and footers, should have a means of bypass.
  4. Content should be clearly written and well structured.
  5. Pictures should have words in the code (known as Alt-tags) that describe
    the picture.
  6. Videos should have captions that describe the video.
  7. Audio files should have transcripts.
  8. Colour should not be the only visual means of conveying information or a change in information.
  9. The visual presentation of text and images should be high contrast and size adjustable.
  10. All content can be accessed by a keyboard and not just a mouse.
  11. Copy is best presented as live text that a screen reader can read—or search engine—and not embedded into an image file (particularly applies to headers and buttons).
  12. Forms and fields, such as newsletter signups and contact forms, should be able to be read by a screen reader and completed through a keyboard.

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