What is Web Accessibility & Why Does it Matter?
You’ve likely got a clear picture of the type of audience you want to attract to your website. But what if the idea customer arrived ready to purchase, but was unable to use your website? Web accessibility is about making sure that the information on your website can be accessed by everyone.
One of the greatest things about the internet is that it allows any person with internet access to search and use information regardless of their disability or cognitive function. As in most countries around the world, New Zealand has created its own web accessibility standard, the New Zealand Web Accessibility Standard 1.0, based upon the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines or WCAG.
The WCAG 2.0 is an international standard which sets out four key principles which make accessing web content easier. They state a website should be:
- Perceivable – to be able to be seen and perceived
- Operable – to be able to be used by anyone, including assistive technologies
- Understandable – the content needs to be readable and understood
- Robust – the content needs to be able to be interpreted by many different users and assistive technologies
In New Zealand, all public and non-public service websites must conform to the NZ Web Accessibility Standard 1.0. To do so, all publically available web pages and all internally facing web pages created or redesigned since July 2014 must be web accessible.
However, even non-governmental websites should ensure their sites are also meeting the NZ and WCAG standards. That’s because as a business owner, you want your products or services available to everyone within your target market, not just the able-bodied.
What Are the Benefits A Site Being Web Accessible?
There are many benefits from ensuring your website is accessible by a wide variety of people, including:
- Enabling people to use your website to find information, purchase products from or contact you
- Having a website which is easy to use and navigate
- Being easier for search engines to crawl and index
- Creating a positive public impression
- Increasing sales by being inclusive to all
- Avoiding discrimination and its legal implications
- Improve usability for visitors
The best time to focus on website accessibility is right at the start of the creation of a new website. As web developers, we understand what a website needs to be accessible, with the sites we create, meeting the New Zealand Web Accessibility Standard 1.0.
We’re more than happy to chat with you about how we can improve the accessibility of your website, or simply create one from scratch. Contact us today and let’s begin the process of developing you a fully accessible business website!