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Secret Benefits of Accessibility Part 2: Better Search Ranking

One of the main benefits of Web accessibility is that a Website that’s more accessible to people is also usually more accessible to search engines. The more accessible your site is to search engines, the more confidently they can guess what the site’s about, giving your site a better chance at the top spot in the search engine rankings. Not all of the accessibility guidelines will help with your search engine rankings, but...

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Using Accesskeys is Easy

Quite a few Web developers still get a glint of terror in their eyes when someone suggests they add accesskeys to their sites. Well, don’t be scared. This article is very short for a very good reason. If you want to use them, accesskeys are so easy to add, you’ll wonder why you never did before. Accesskeys Defined So, what are accesskeys? For the uninitiated, they are a means for people to jump immediately to a specific...

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How To Sell Accessibility

By now, we’ve all heard about Web accessibility and how important it is to us Internet users. You may think so, too. But how can you persuade your client, or your boss, that accessibility is worth it? There’s always the argument of legal requirements for sites to be accessible, but, unless they’re Yahoo! or a business of equal stature, it’s pretty unlikely that this will ever affect your client. After all,...

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The Lost Art of Conversation - Encouraging Contact Online

The Web industry is abuzz with topics such as cross-browser compatibility, usability, accessibility and the like, but are many Web designers overlooking one of the key functions of a Website: starting dialogue? Yes, we’re all very careful to ensure that every image has an ALT tag, every page renders nicely on various browsers, and our visitors can get to our product or service information easily, but are we ever putting ourselves...

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Case Study - Ford For All! Embracing Diversity in Design

A few weeks ago I was asked by a colleague to look into diversity issues on a number of our client’s UK recruitment Websites. These issues had been brought to the forefront by the intervention of an independent expert (Mike Brading of Insite International), who pointed out that some of the sites concerned would be virtually unusable for people with impaired vision. I am pleased to report that three of our clients, Land Rover,...

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Do-It-Yourself Accessibility

If the World Wide Web is to ever become a truly universal medium, then changes have to be made to make it accessible to everyone. Nowadays, most television programmes have subtitles for deaf viewers, buildings are made accessible to wheelchair users, and books are recorded so that people can listen to them. Now it’s time to apply these same principles to the Web! Accessibility – Who Cares? Accessibility simply means...

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W3C Accessibility Guidelines

Accessibility can be thought of as "providing access regardless of the situation or circumstances." In the context of the World Wide Web, accessibility is a measure of how easy it is to access, read, and understand the content of a Website. Accessibility is complicated by the fact that a Website is not a published piece of work so much as a living document that can be interpreted in different ways by different browsers and on different...

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Tried Surfing The Web With Your Eyes Closed?

To publish information for global distribution on the Internet, a globally understood language is required, one that all computers can potentially understand and interpret. The publishing language used by the World Wide Web is HTML (HyperText Mark-Up Language) and using this anyone can produce at least a basic webpage. As a result, more and more content is appearing on the World Wide Web daily, created by the average user, without much...