Most people think of accessibility to make sure that everyone can use their website, regardless of any disabilities they may have. However, accessibility is about far more than just accommodating people with special needs. Making your WordPress site accessible by using tools such as accessiBe WordPress can benefit everyone – including those without any disabilities at all. Here are some ways that accessibility affects your WordPress site and how you can improve things for all users.
A Better Online Experience
One of the best things about WordPress is that it makes it easy to create a great online experience. Anyone can publish their content, and visitors can find sites they are interested in without any difficulty. However, this ease of use assumes that everyone who uses your website views your pages using similar hardware and software.
For instance, if you run a WordPress blog on your site, you likely view your posts using a desktop or laptop computer with a large monitor and high-speed Internet. If you’re viewing the pages in this way – or even on a mobile device like an iPad – then everything works perfectly. The problem is that not everyone views pages in this way.
Users with Low Bandwidths
The difference between viewing a website on a high-speed connection versus one that’s quite slow can be dramatic. For instance, if you visit the same web page using a mobile 3G connection instead of broadband, it will take much longer to load – and the page might not even appear at all.
A site that loads quickly on high-speed connections will frustrate visitors with slower Internet speeds, particularly if they use mobile devices where speeds are typically slower. For example, you may not notice the loading time containing one image – but it could take several minutes to load on a more sluggish connection.
A Slow Connection Is No Good
Another issue with low speeds is that if a page takes too long to load, some users won’t wait for it. They’ll move on to another site instead – and they might not come back. Even if they return later, trying to view the same content again could be problematic – they may find that the page isn’t available at all, either because it’s already been removed or was never actually there in the first place.
A User-Friendly URL is Important
When you create a site on WordPress, you choose an address for your pages – known as a ‘URL.’ This might seem like something only technical people are concerned with – but it’s far more important than you might think.
When users visit a web page, they use the address in their browser to find the site. This might seem like a minor point, but it’s vitally important. If your URL doesn’t make sense or is hard to remember, then users will likely just give up – especially if they’ve tried several times unsuccessfully to land on the site by typing in the wrong address.
Having simple URLs for your pages makes them far easier for users to find and remember. You can also make it much easier for visitors to link to your site and search engines such as Google – which use the address as a primary indication of whether your pages are relevant for particular searches or not.