5 Easy Steps to an Accessibility Friendly Blog
Posted by Trindy Oakley
If we break down the content of a basic post into its various components we will usually find an image, a few hyperlinks, an acronym or two and perhaps a few headings and lists.
The steps contained within this article have a win-win two-fold effect, in that it will increase the accessibility of your content and assist with Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).
Step 1 – Include “Alternate Text” for Images!
Visually impaired people can’t see images, however the software that reads the content can read Alternate Text. Make sure all the uploaded images have a descriptive Alternate Text.
Step 2 – Create Meaningful Hyperlinks!
Hyperlinks are clickable text based links that navigate to alternate pages or websites. It is important that all hyperlinks are meaningful.
Read about web accessibility click here
I wrote an article on the importance of web accessibility (opens in a new window) within the community.
Step 3 – Set Hyperlinks to Open in the Same Window!
Why is opening links in a new window an accessibility issue? Suddenly opening new windows and tabs can disorientate or be completely overlooked by many users.
So when inserting a hyperlink be sure to untick the checkbox – “Open link in a new window/tab”
Will that mean navigating people away from your website? Never fear! If navigating to a new windows or tab is absolutely necessary, simply indicate in a text hyperlink that a new window will open; For example:
<a href=”checklist.html” target=”_blank”>accessibility checklist (opens new window)</a>
Step 4 – Always Introduce Acronyms!
Acronym usage is expanding exponentially, some having completely different meanings within different industries or community circles. It is important to introduce each acronym on each page and be sure that your visitors truly understand what you’re attempting to discuss.
…the internationally recognised Web Content Accessibility Guide (WCAG) 2.0… the WCAG
Step 5 – Utilize Lists and Dot Points!
Rather than indicating dot points with asterisks, dashes or other typed characters use the list buttons located in the toolbar. With two options of ordered lists for numbered lists or unordered lists for bullet points.
Step 6 – Format Headings Correctly!
Instead of using simple bold, italic or font sizes to indicate a heading or highlight important words, try using the heading levels:
If you are using HTML tags to create headings the tags would also be in sequential order <h3> <h4> <h5>
Website Accessibility doesn’t have to be hard work and complicated. It’s simple and beneficial to taking these easy steps and make your blog content accessibility friendly.
About Trindy OakleyI provide Virtual Assistant services to Small Businesses within the IT Industry. I care about reducing the time you spend on administrative tasks, so you can concentrate on the revenue generating aspects of your business!
Posted on March 11, 2012, in Small Business, Social Media Marketing, Website Accessibility and tagged Accessibility, accessibility barriers, blogging, content accessibility guidelines, disabilities, SEO, W3C, WCAG, website accessibility, Website content, Website development. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a Comment.