The internet is an integral part of our lives, revolutionizing the way we communicate, work, access information, and engage in various activities. While the internet connects people and businesses across the globe, not everyone can enjoy its benefits with ease.
For individuals with disabilities, navigating the digital arena can present significant barriers and challenges. These obstacles arise due to a lack of accessibility considerations during the design and development of websites, applications, and digital content.
The reality is that approximately 1 billion individuals worldwide, constituting 15% of the global population, are unable to access the vast majority of information and services available on the internet due to disabilities. This significant percentage underscores the urgent need for change.
Recognizing this challenge, Wix, a user-friendly website creation platform, has taken a proactive stance in dismantling accessibility barriers, promoting inclusivity, and ensuring that everyone can participate fully in the digital era.
Whether you’re a web designer, business owner, or digital enthusiast, this handy guide will provide you with insights on how Wix and its accessibility features and plugins can help you build websites that are accessible and inclusive for everyone.
5 Reasons Why Web Accessibility Matters
There are numerous compelling drivers for web accessibility, each emphasizing the importance of creating inclusive digital experiences for all users. By expanding web accessibility, we can:
1. Foster Inclusivity: Web accessibility ensures that individuals with disabilities can fully engage with online content, participate in digital activities, and access information and services on an equal basis. By removing barriers, we create a more inclusive online environment that embraces diversity and empowers everyone to actively participate.
2. Enhance User Experiences: Web accessibility directly correlates with improved user experiences for all visitors. By implementing accessible design principles, such as clear navigation, readable content, and intuitive interactions, websites become more user-friendly and enjoyable to navigate. This benefits not only individuals with disabilities but also other users, leading to increased engagement, customer satisfaction, and positive brand perception.
3. Drive Business Growth: Embracing web accessibility opens up opportunities to tap into a larger customer base. With an estimated one billion people worldwide having some form of disability, creating accessible websites ensures that businesses can reach and serve this significant market segment. Moreover, accessible websites often provide better search engine optimization (SEO), leading to improved visibility and potential for increased traffic and conversions.
4. Embrace Social Responsibility: Web accessibility aligns with the principles of social responsibility and ethical business practices. By ensuring that digital platforms are accessible to all, organizations demonstrate their commitment to inclusivity, equal rights, and equal opportunities. This fosters a positive reputation and can attract socially conscious customers, employees, and partners who value organizations that prioritize web accessibility.
5. Meet Legal Obligations: Web accessibility is not just a matter of goodwill but also a legal requirement in many jurisdictions. Laws such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in the United States and the Equality Act in the United Kingdom mandate that organizations make their digital platforms accessible to individuals with disabilities. By prioritizing web accessibility, businesses can avoid legal repercussions and demonstrate compliance with the relevant regulations.
Bringing your Wix Website into Legal Compliance
Legal compliance stands out as a prominent catalyst for web accessibility, compelling businesses and website owners to prioritize inclusive design. Meeting legal requirements related to accessibility standards is a crucial driver for ensuring equal access to digital content and services for individuals with disabilities.
As governments enact legislation and regulations to enforce accessibility, organizations are compelled to take action and adapt their websites accordingly. By embracing web accessibility as a legal imperative, businesses not only avoid potential legal risks and penalties but also demonstrate their commitment to inclusivity, ethical practices, and social responsibility. Legal compliance serves as a powerful motivator to create accessible digital experiences that cater to a diverse audience and foster a more inclusive online landscape.
By familiarizing yourself with laws such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), you can ensure that your website complies with the necessary accessibility standards.
Wix provides valuable resources, documentation, and built-in features that align with these legal requirements. By utilizing the built-in accessibility features, integrating third-party plugins, and conducting regular accessibility testing, you can enhance your Wix website’s accessibility and ensure it aligns with ADA law and WCAG requirements.
Built-In Accessibility Features for Your Wix Website
When it comes to taking your Wix website to the next level, plugins are your secret weapon. A Wix plugin is a small piece of extra functionality offering a wide range of features and tools that seamlessly integrate with your site. Wix supports web accessibility by offering several features and tools to help users create inclusive and user-friendly websites. Let’s dive into some of the key aspects of Wix accessibility:
1. Complete Keyboard Functionality: From intricate elements to extensive online stores, Wix products ensure full operability using only a keyboard, accommodating users with mobility limitations.
2. Automatic DOM Order: Wix automatically arranges the Document Object Model (DOM) so that visitors using keyboards and screen readers can effortlessly navigate through your website from left to right.
3. Site Language Definition: Wix accurately renders your site with the appropriate language settings, enabling screen readers to understand and convey your content effectively.
4. Correct Semantics: Wix components come with built-in correct semantics, ensuring that people with disabilities can easily comprehend your content, improving their overall user experience.
5. Smart Focus Ring: Wix employs smart focus rings that dynamically appear when a keyboard is in use. These focus rings feature dual colors, aiding keyboard users in navigating your site more efficiently.
6. Aria Attributes: Wix incorporates pre-built ARIA (Accessible Rich Internet Applications) attributes, enriching the accessible user experience. Additionally, you have the flexibility to add custom attributes to apps and components you create.
7. Heading Tags: Utilizing heading tags in Wix helps users who rely on screen readers to comprehend the structure and organization of your site, facilitating seamless content presentation.
8. Alt Text: Wix simplifies the process of adding alt text, which provides descriptive explanations for images. This feature enhances the understanding and context of visuals for visually impaired users.
9. Skip to Content: Wix offers a “Skip to Content” functionality, allowing keyboard users to navigate directly to the main content of a page. This feature streamlines their access to the desired information.
Whether you’re a Wix wizard or a newcomer to the platform, Wix plugins can empower you to take your website’s functionality, design, and user experience to new heights where inclusivity and accessibility are at the center.
Kickstart Your Website with Wix’s Accessible Templates
Wix also provides a collection of accessible templates, allowing you to create a new site from the ground up. These templates come equipped with fundamental built-in accessibility features, including accessible heading structures and optimized color contrast. By choosing an accessible template, you lay a solid foundation for a website that prioritizes inclusivity and user-friendly design right from the start. With these pre-designed accessibility features, you can save time and effort while ensuring that your website meets essential accessibility standards, enhancing the overall user experience for all visitors.
The Wix Experience: The World of Accessibility & Plugins
With the ongoing evolution of website accessibility, there is a promising shift towards a more inclusive digital landscape. With Wix’s powerful accessibility features, plugins and resources at your disposal, creating an inclusive and user-friendly website is simple. By embracing accessibility, you comply with legal requirements and your website reaches a broader audience. You also foster positive user experiences and highlight your commitment to inclusivity, ensuring that no-one is left behind in the online world.
How can I test the accessibility of my Wix website?
To test the accessibility of your Wix website, use automated tools and conduct manual testing with assistive technology such as screen readers.
Are there any Wix templates specifically designed for accessibility?
While Wix doesn’t have templates specifically designed for accessibility, you can customize any template to meet accessibility standards.
What are the common accessibility pitfalls to avoid on Wix?
Common accessibility pitfalls to avoid on Wix include insufficient color contrast, missing alt text for images, and lack of keyboard navigation support.
Can I integrate third-party accessibility plugins with my Wix website?
Yes! When it comes to integrating third-party accessibility plugins with your Wix website, you have the flexibility to enhance the accessibility features and functionality beyond what is provided by Wix’s built-in features. By leveraging these third-party plugins, you can further customize and optimize the accessibility of your Wix website to meet the specific needs of your audience.