Unlock your accessibility potential
Sun 21 Jun 2009
Accessibility isn't always demanded by those commissioning websites. Perhaps, though, it should be. Having an accessible website can bring more visitors and make them stay longer.
Recent figures suggest that there are around ten million registered disabled people in the UK today. Add to this the one in twelve that suffer from colour blindness and the quarter of the population that is now over fifty-five and suddenly you're talking about a lot of people. Unless your site is accessible, these people won't be able to get the most out of your web presence.
Using HTML (the content and structure of the page) and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets – the magic that takes your content and makes it look beautiful), sites can be built in a way that the information on the screen is clearly presented even if all the page styling is removed. People who use text based browsing – screen readers or mobile phones for example – can access the site and still find the information that they want quickly and painlessly.
It's not just people either. Arguably the most influential visitor to your site uses a text based browser – Google. Google robots scan websites with all styling removed, so by making your website accessible, you're also making it search engine friendly.
So, not only are you making your website more usable for everyone, you're making it easier to find - which means that you are more likely to get visitors to your website. And once they're there, they're more likely to stay, providing that your content is interesting.
Your site is likely to last longer as well. Accessible websites are built using web standards, future-proofing your website so that when new browsers are launched, you are left you with little or no changes with the latest release of Internet Explorer or Safari.
Luckily, with your site's longer life-span, site-wide changes are much quicker to make. A quick change to the CSS and that purple paragraph text colour which seemed like such a good idea at the time, can be changed. This frees up your budget so that you can enhance rather than maintain your site.
So why should you make your website accessible then?
- Your site will be usable by everyone, regardless of ability or the technology they're using
- Your website will appear higher in search engine rankings
- Your website will be easier to maintain…
- …and be compatible with new browsing technology.
All of which would be a great return on your investment – that's why!
Feel free to call us on 020 8249 5655 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss how we could help you improve your website.
The proof is in the Marmalade
A common myth you may have heard about accessible websites is that the standard of the design has to be compromised. Well we'd like to dispel that myth once and for all.
Digital Marmalade's newly designed has achieved an accessibility rating of AAA (the highest standard – see www.w3.org/WAI/ for more information) and we hope you'll agree is stunningly eye-catching. You can check it out at www.digitalmarmalade.co.uk
Built on Marmalade Suite CMS the site offers a wealth of information about the company, its staff and the fantastic work we have been doing for the last 11 years.
You can read about our five main service offerings in detail and related case studies. Click these links to see examples of our work in website design, interactive cd-roms, video & motion graphics, business applications and digital zzzinteractivecd.
We hope you agree that it's a marvellous transformation.
...and there's more
Other sites we've developed to an accessibility rating of AAA are:
Spirit of London Awards - www.spiritoflondonawards.com
Eurofracht - www.eurofracht.co.uk