8 Crucial Website Quality Assurance Factors (and how to test for them)

When we talk about “website quality assurance,” it is usually in regards to the checklists of items and steps which go into creating a functional website before it gets launched: code standards, authoring tools,  validation methods…  But what a lot of people don’t realize is that website quality assurance is NOT over after you launch. Quality assurance is something which should be happening on a constant basis. As Mike Rastiello at Business2Community points out:

QA and testing is never over. If you update a link on your site, or change content or make any changes to the site you need to test them. Click on every link. Make sure every image shows up.

Website Quality Assurance and Online Marketing

We get it. After your website is launched, you want to focus on marketing so you can get those leads and turn them into sales. But the truth is that you cannot have online marketing without regular quality assurance tests of your website.

Keeping up on website quality assurance can mean a big difference between a dazzling conversion rate and a high bounce rate.

How fast is your website responding for mobile viewers?

Are your visitors getting 404 Error messages from broken links?

Is your contact info wrong on a critical page, meaning leads can’t even get in touch?

Remember, a good online marketing strategy (whether it is SEO, SEM, PPC, email…) always factors in how real leads view and use your site.   Having tons of traffic isn’t going to do diddly squat if leads can’t sign up because of a broken link.


How Often Should You Test Website Quality Assurance?

Of course, this is going to vary depending on the size and nature of your website. However, a good rule of thumb is to check website quality assurance once per week. This will allow you to catch any pertinent issues, such as broken links or missing H1 tags, before they take a big toll on user experience or affect your SEO.

Which leads us to the problem of how do you check website quality assurance?

Luckily, it is getting a heck of a lot easier to check website quality assurance. There are now tools, Monsido being one of them, which automate the data collection process. With Monsido, the tool scans your website each week (or you can click “scan” at any point) and sends a report to your inbox with any QA issues which need to be fixed.   This is a heck of a lot easier than trying to go through every single page of your website and check each link and image individually. Even if you have a really tiny website, manually checking website quality assurance just isn’t possible.


The 8 Website Quality Assurance Factors Which Need to Be Tested

This could be a huge section, and there have been entire books written on website quality assurance factors and testing checklists.   However, for most webmasters with small to medium websites which have already launched, there are actually only 8 quality assurance factors which need to be regularly checked to ensure the website is delivering the best possible user experience.


1. Broken Links

One of the worst quality assurance issues you can have on your website is broken links. It might seem harmless to have a broken link here or there. After all, some broken links are bound to happen when an intern changes the URL of a page or an external page you link to disappears. But broken links are NOT harmless. Broken links destroy your website by disappointing visitors and harming your credibility. In some cases, the broken links could also harm your bottom line when the link is to a opt-in page, sales page, or other important page for conversions.

Make sure you never disappoint another visitor by using the Monsido quality assurance tool to check for broken links on your website. The tool makes it incredibly easy on you. Every week, your website will be scanned. If any broken links are found (including image links!), you will be informed of them in the weekly report.


2. Missing or Incorrect Content

If you have a really small website, it might be possible to keep track of what content is on each and every page of the site. But, once your website starts to grow, it becomes difficult to keep track of everything. Are you absolutely sure that your company’s old address and phone number isn’t on any pages? Or what about outdated products or services?

Customers are going to lose all confidence in your business if they find inaccurate information, or if they can’t find certain critical information at all.

An easy way to keep track of content on your website is with the Monsido tool Policies feature. You can set up policies for certain words or phrases and find out exactly which pages they are located on. You can also mark policy violations as Error Finders to find a page which doesn’t contain a word or phrase.

Another feature of the Monsido Web Governance Platform for monitoring content quality is that it will note pages with too-short content. Remember, neither Google nor users like product pages or blog posts with just a few sentences. This feature is a good way to make sure you are delivering enough content to meet users’ needs and stay on top of SEO.


3. Website Speed and Uptime

With the widespread integration of mobile, website speed has become more important than ever.   According to a report from Gigaom, a load time of over 1 second on mobile is enough to break a user’s flow. This is disconcerting considering that recent study by Trilibus found most responsive websites take over 4 seconds to load on mobile; 31% of the sites took 8 to 48 seconds to load! And let’s not forget that Google factors in website speed as a ranking factor in both desktop and mobile searches!

So how do you know whether your website is up to speed? The Monsido Uptime Monitor can help with this too. Just open the dashboard and you will be able to see a chart showing your average response time and Uptime Report.


4. Spelling Mistakes

Want to make your business look disreputable? Then leave a bunch of spelling errors all over your website. Think about it. Would you hire a law firm to handle your personal injury case if they couldn’t even spell litigation correctly? Or how about trusting a dentist with your root canal when that dentist is careless enough to misspell enamel on a webpage?

Content management systems do an okay job of picking up on spelling errors, but they simply aren’t designed for that task. Monsido has a spell check feature which scans through every single word on your website for spelling errors. You can customize the dictionary to include words specific to your industry.


5. Missing Meta Data, H1 Tags, and Title Tags

This information usually isn’t considered part of website quality assurance, but rather a SEO factor. However, in this case, the SEO factors do affect QA. As talked about in our post about Title Tags and H1 Tags, Title Tag and Meta Description (which are shown in the search results and social media shares) tell the user they have found a relevant page which meets their needs. The H1 Tag (which appears on the webpage) then reassures the user that the page is relevant while introducing the content to them.

If you are missing any of this information, you aren’t going to be delivering the best quality experience for your users, and will also have a low CTR (which affects SEO). The Monsido tool scans your website and alerts you if you have any missing Meta Data, H1 Tags, and Title Tags. It also alerts you to duplicate Tags so you can reduce errors and confusion.


6. Missing Image ALT Tags

ALT tags, also called ALT text, are lines of text which describe the images on your website. If an image fails to render for some reason, then the ALT text will display instead. ALT tags are generally talked about for their importance to SEO, but they are also an important part of website quality assurance. Should your images fail to render (such as if users have images disabled or the user is vision impaired), you don’t want a line of text reading something like img2930582.jpg to show up and break the flow.

When the Monsido Web Governance Platform scans your website, it will find any images which are missing ALT tags so you can quickly fix this serious issue.


7. File Optimization

Depending on the nature of your website, you might have all sorts of files on it: image files, PDFs, archive files, javascript files, CSS… These files could be harming your website quality assurance if you aren’t careful.   One way they harm QA is by causing pages to load slowly, which is frustrating for users and bad for SEO. Maybe you have some old, outdated files on your website which users or employees are accidentally landing on. Or maybe you have custom CSS files which are bogging down your site and creating a poor user experience.

With the Monsido file overview tool, you can get an immediate overview of every single file on your website. The files are broken down by type and can be easily browsed through so you know what is there and can keep things clean, organized, and up-to-date.


8. Contact Info Is Available and Correct

The final website quality assurance factor in the checklist is that your contact info is available and correct. You’d be surprised how many small business websites forget the vital step of putting their phone number of address on their website (one study found that 60% of SMB don’t have their phone number on their home pages!). You do want leads to contact you, right?

This problem can easily be avoided and fixed by using the Monsido Policies feature to do an “Error Finder.” You simply type in your phrase (such as an email, address, or phone number). The Monsido tool will then scan all your web pages and mark each page which doesn’t contain the phrase.   Solve the website quality assurance problem by adding your contact info and never miss out on a lead again.


Ready to improve your website QA and increase conversions?  Sign up for a trial of the Monsido Web Governance Platform today.  It is completely free and you will immediately get a report sent to your inbox.

Are You Using These Web Governance Principles?

Web governance is all of the policies and procedures which go into maintaining and managing a website. All websites have a system of web governance in place.  When done right, your web governance system can catalyze business growth.  In order to make your web governance work, you need a clear model which outlines how activities will be completed and with what resources.  But, just as importantly, you need clearly-defined web governance principles.

Difference between Web Governance Principles and Rules

We probably shouldn’t need to differentiate between principles and rules.  However, in a lot of discussions about web governance, the term “principle” gets thrown around a lot when the person is really talking about rules.

A principle is an internal motivator.  It drives you to do what seems good or right for the organization or business.

A rule is an external motivator.  It compels you, through threat or punishment, to do the things that someone else has deemed good or right.

There has been a lot of talk about the principles vs. rules debate in the world of accounting.  Proponents of the principle-based approach site benefits like:

  • Principles provide guidance that can be applied to the many variations in circumstance that arise in everyday practice.
  • Principles are flexible and can quickly adapt to the rapid changes that modern businesses experience.
  • Principles prevent the development of the mechanistic “box ticking” approach to decision making
  • Principles focus on guidance and encourage responsibility in the exercise of professional judgment.

This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t set clear web governance rules which apply to certain tasks or procedures.  Rules are guidance on principles!  But don’t make the mistake of setting web governance rules without first setting the underlying principles.

With this in mind, here are 7 web governance principles to adopt in your business.

1. Confidence in the Website is Necessary for It to Reach Its Potential as a Driver of Business Growth

When NETmundial met in Sao Paulo, Brazil in 2014 to identify a set of universal principles to be promoted worldwide, one European Commission contribution discussed problems with confidence in the internet.  Problems like identify theft, fraud, and other cybercrime have caused users to lose confidence in the internet.  Without confidence, the internet will not be able realize its potential for growth.  Thus, clear governance is needed to address issues so users can regain confidence in the internet.  For example, no one would buy things online if they didn’t feel confident that rules about online payment processing are effective.

The same applies to your website.  If users don’t feel they can trust the content on your website, your website will not be able to help your business growth.  An extreme example would be if you have downloadable content with malware in it.  If users download what seems like a useful PDF but really get a virus, they aren’t likely to download anything from you again.

A more common example of lack of confidence would be if you have broken links in your content.  Users click the link thinking they will be taken to something useful or relevant and instead get a 404 error message.  The effect isn’t as severe as the malware example, but it still deteriorates the users’ confidence in your website.

2. Websites Must Be Underpinned by a Website Business Plan

Unfortunately, many websites are built as an afterthought to the main business. This is unfortunate because, to be successful, a website must have its own business plan.

Use your website business plan to define success. Once you have defined success, you will find that the other areas fall into place more easily – like the steps which need to be taken to manage the website and measure and evaluate its efficacy.

Most importantly, when you have a website business plan, you will provide direction to everyone working on the website (content creators, designers, developers, etc.).  As Edward Baldwin says in his article about content governance principles at Gather Content,

“You, or anyone creating content, should always be able to answer one question: why am I making this? This not only ensures you’re not contradicting other content being produced, it creates opportunity to cross-pollinate and draw from the full breadth of expertise across your company.”

3. All Websites Need a System of Accountability and Monitoring

As content strategy expert David Poteet of Inside New City says, “Everyone needs an editor.” No matter how good of a writer you are, you still need someone to review your work and help you make it better.  And any large institution needs a “central managing editor” who can establish a content strategy and override lower-level decisions if they are counter to the institution’s goals.

We can take this further.  It isn’t just the content creators who need an editor. Anyone who works on the website – whether their job is blogging, SEO, or design – needs someone who oversees their work.  Even the managers need a central manager.

This can be achieved by mapping out your website governance structure so roles are clearly defined. As we talk about in our article about What Is Web Governance, web management is not the same as web governance. However, having this structure in place ensures a clear system of accountability.  At the top of the structure is one manager or committee which ensures all of the objectives of the website are being met.

How does the central manager or committee ensure that all objectives are being met?  This is where reporting comes in.  Information must be available, and it must be regularly analyzed in order to make decisions about improving the website.  One example (shameless plug here ;) ) is the graphs in the Monsido web governance tool.   The graphs show the health of the website over time.  These graphs make it easy to see how team members are doing in terms of maintaining the quality of the website and SEO.

web governance reporting

4. All Websites Should Adhere to the Latest Standards and Legislation

This web governance principle specifically applies to Accessibility.  Approximately 15% to 20% of the world’s population has some form of disability, yet only a small percentage of websites are designed to be accessible to disabled people.

Many nations have now stepped in and made it a legal requirement for certain types of websites to be accessible.  Aside from legal compliance, there are many reasons to improve web accessibility, particularly because it increases your audience and also improves website quality.

Learn more about what is web accessibility and why it matters for your website.

5. Web Governance Is an Ongoing Process

Web governance isn’t something that you only think about during a once-yearly cleanup of the website or during a redesign.  While your principles, procedures, and policies may not change (often), the governance should actively continue.

If a city was having a problem with crime, you wouldn’t expect the mayor to hire some more police officers and then forget about the issue, right?  You’d expect the mayor to monitor crime levels to see whether the increase in the police force was having any effect.  Likewise, your website needs to be carefully monitored.

Rather than trying to fix everything at once, content strategist and marketer Josh Tong suggests using the small content strategy.

“Small content strategy asks, “What is a minimum viable approach for making important changes happen right now?” The idea is to identify a minimum viable approach, execute the approach within a relatively short period of time, evaluate your progress, and then repeat the cycle. Instead of attempting to develop a comprehensive content strategy through one waterfall process, you could perform a subset of these tasks to make short-term progress while keeping your eye on a long-term goal.”

In order to do this, you will need to identify your resources (people, tools, processes, budget) and work on strengthening one or all of them.

6. Training is Essential to Web Governance

This goes with the previous principle.  Since governance is an ongoing process, you should also expect to invest in ongoing training to improve outcomes.  Everyone involved on your website should not only understand the principles guiding the website, but feel empowered to work on it effectively.

7. A CMS is Not Web Governance

A CMS is one tool which can help you carry out your web governance model.  However, your CMS cannot enforce policies, review effectiveness, or drive your website in the right direction.

This applies to other tools too.  At Monsido, we make a web governance tool which can do wonders in helping you helping you improve website quality and SEO, manage users, and assess results.  Our tool can also help you free up resources, such as by saving your staff valuable time.  However, we are ultimately a tool. It is up to you to establish a web governance model and determine how the tool will be used as part of the ultimate goal.


Want to learn more about how the Monsido tool suite can help you with web governance?

See Monsido’s features here.

6 Ways Web Governance Helps SEO

6 Ways Web Governance Helps SEO

Before we get into all of the ways that web governance can help improve your SEO, let’s clarify that web governance is not the same as web management.  As we talk about in our post about What Is Web Governance:

“Website management is all of the tasks which go into running a website, such as posting new articles or updating product pages. By contrast, web governance is all of the policies and procedures which say how management should be done. It is the supervision behind the management.”

Coming up with a clear web governance model isn’t exactly the most thrilling part of running a website.  However, when you take the time to establish a solid web governance structure with well-defined policies, standards and procedures, your entire website benefits – including your SEO in these 6 ways.

1. Web Governance Means All Content Creators Know What the Goal Is

SEO is often treated as a goal in and of itself.  However, as any good SEO will tell you, simply increasing traffic shouldn’t be the goal.  Good SEO strategy is all about generating targeted traffic.  In order to do this, your content creators need more than a list of keywords and on-page SEO tactics.  They need to know what the ultimate goal is.

When your web governance system is in place, you will have mapped out a clear structure.  At the top is a “central manager” or a committee which is in charge of steering the website in the right direction.   Each department may have different goals with SEO, but good web governance allows them to come together cohesively.

You will know that your web governance is working when all content creators are upholding brand message and voice.  All content creators will know who the intended audience is, including how the audience thinks and speaks about the subject.  They will then create content which is structured in this way, such as using the right keyword terms.  Doing so will improve your SEO for the right type of traffic so you meet your larger goals.

2. Web Governance Allows for Better Keyword Management

Most large institutional or enterprise websites are well-designed and may have great features.  However, when it comes to content planning and organization, they usually fail miserably.  This is a major problem for SEO.

One of the first steps in SEO is to do keyword research.  A large institution may be given a list of 500 words to target, of which 20 of them are considered “golden” and will provide the best conversions.  Content creators then start creating content based on the golden keywords.

Here is where things get sloppy and require better governance.

  • You end up with a bunch of articles on the topic of Keyword A but no articles on Keywords X, Y, and Z.
  • Duplicate titles and H1 tags abound.
  • Internal linking gets very messy.
  • Users get confused.  So do search engines.

Jesper Astrom does a good job of describing why this is just a big problem in this article about keyword property rights.   He uses an analogy where a friend tells you that, “The answer to all your questions is inside this building.”   You enter the building and find a million doors.  On each door, you see a sign saying, “The answer to your questions are inside.”  Yes, the answer to your question may be inside the building, but you don’t have time to open every single door looking for the answer!

Instead of opening each door to find your answer, you get the heck out of that building.  On your way back to your friend, you see another building.  It has a sign which says, “The answer to your question is inside.”  You decide to give it a chance.  When you enter, you also see a million doors.  The difference is that all of the doors except on says, “Not in here.”  Only one door says, “Come on in, here is your answer.”

In the analogy, the friend is a link and you are a search engine spider.  If a search engine spider can’t figure out where to go, they are going to get out quickly.  No amount of links can save the website!  You must be able to make your content unique and specific so the search engine spiders know where to go.

Astrom recommends assigning important keywords to individuals in charge of parts of the website.  That person can then decide where, when and how the keywords are used.  If anyone else wants to use the keyword, they need to ask permission.  This can only be done if you have a clear web governance model mapped out.

3.  Web Governance Means Content is Structured Clearly

A big part of web governance is establishing procedures and standards.  This includes the SEO steps which must be taken before publishing any new content on the website, such as:

  • Optimizing titles
  • Using heading tags
  • Adding ALT text to images
  • Making sure content is adequate in length
  • Adding relevant links to content

All of these steps help search engines better crawl your site and understand what pages are about. The better they can do this, the better they will be able to rank your website for the appropriate keywords.

Usually these web governance procedures only need to be established one time and aren’t changed.  Once they are established, hiring new content creators and editors becomes much easier because you can provide them with clear instructions on how to best optimize their content for SEO.

4. Web Governance Means that Your Website Stays Fresh

Your teams are doing a great job of creating killer content that search engines and audiences love.  They are following all of the best practices for SEO, like setting meta tags and optimizing titles.   So, you don’t have anything to worry about – right?

The problem is that the web is constantly changing. And chances are that your business goals are changing too.

Content which may have been fresh when it was posted may be outdated by the time a user finds it through a search engine a year later.   At Monsido, some of the most common issues that our customers see are:

  • Broken links
  • Content which mentions products or services which aren’t offered anymore
  • Old phone numbers, email addresses, or other outdated contact info on pages

Fresh content is incredibly important for SEO.  Not only do search engines favor fresh content, but having a high number of crawl errors sends signals tells the search engine spiders that your website is of a low quality.  Even broken outbound links may harm SEO.  Further, if you’ve got inaccurate info or 404 errors on your website, you’ll have a higher bounce rate.  This is bad for your conversions, and is also bad for SEO.

Over at Moz, there is a good article about how to deal with outdated content, such as delating the old content and then redirecting it to a fresh page. In order to take these steps, you must have clear web governance system in place.  Your web governance procedures and policies will outline when and how your website will be maintained, who is in charge, and what should be done with the different types of outdated content.

Unless you have a really small website, chances are you won’t be able to revisit every single page on your website to check for freshness and broken links.  This is where web governance tools like Monsido come in.  Monsido scans your website on a weekly basis looking for broken links, quality assurance errors and other signs of old content.  You can even set your own policies, such as to search for an old product, to make sure it isn’t found anywhere on the website.  Yes, this is a shameless plug ;)   You can learn more about Monsido’s features here.

5. Web Governance Means Better Interdepartmental Communications

When creating content, one of the goals may be to get more leads through search engine visibility.  But chances are that your content also has many other goals – such as when content is used as part of social media marketing campaigns, for increasing conversions, or for brand image.

Unfortunately, few organizations excel at interdepartmental communications.  In some severe cases, they even compete for resources and funds.  Many issues also arise when different departments rely on each other, such as when your social media marketing and SEO departments rely on your content department. Instead of focusing on their individual goals, each department needs to be made aware of the larger enterprise goal and actively participate in helping to achieve these goals.

Think of it like a dance troop where each dancer is doing their own routine on the stage.  Sure, they each might look good on their own, but the entire scene looks chaotic.  What they need is a choreographer to put all of the movements together in a cohesive way.

Web governance is the choreographer which pulls everything together. At the head of the web governance structure, you have a central manager or committee which establishes goals.  Each department below this level is given its own goal and clear procedures on how to achieve them, as well as the procedures and resources they need for communicating effectively with other departments effectively.

6. Web Governance Creates a System of Accountability

Web governance means having clearly defined goals, resources, and roles.  Collectively, this makes it possible to analyze how effective your methods are so you can see what is working – and what isn’t – and adjust your strategies to get the best results.

Over at Diffily, there is a good article which talks about how to audit web governance.  Here are some of the questions that Diffily suggests asking when auditing your website and creating accountability:

Did the issue arise because the policy was ignored?
For example, if there are H1 errors on your website which are negatively affecting SEO, is it because an employee was negligent?

If not, then did the issue arise because a process isn’t being followed or because the process isn’t up to scratch?
If the H1 wasn’t the result of negligence from an employee, was it because the policy wasn’t clear.  For example, do you have a clear policy as to how to use H1 tags versus Title tags?  If this is the root of the problem, then you need to make a clear policy for the issue.

If not, then did the issue arise because of inadequate resources?
If you don’t give your employees resources like tools (such as a good keyword research tool) or adequate time, then you can expect issues like H1 errors.  You may need to shift your resources around to fix the issue.

If not, then did the issue arise because of another problem with web governance?
When the issue isn’t caused by any of the above, you may have a severe dysfunction in your web governance structure.  A big cause may be lack of authority.  Without a central manager or committee to steer the teams in the right direction and facilitate communication between teams, issues are likely to arise.

You can see how this auditing system could be applied to achieve SEO benefits.  All content would be created in a way which follows policies about keyword use, Title tags, linking, etc.  If a SEO issue occurs, you’d be able to identify the reason it occurred.  Was the SEO error made because a staff was lazy?  Was the SEO error made because the policy isn’t clear?  Are staff members missing resources like time or tools?  If you can’t answer these questions in regards to SEO issues appearing on your website, then your web governance needs improving.

4 Reasons to Improve Web Accessibility

If you have an audience which widely suffers from disability (such as if you are an ophthalmic surgeon and many visitors are visually impaired), then it obviously makes sense to focus on web accessibility. Yet, what many website owners don’t realize is that improving web accessibility can benefit your website in numerous ways.   Here are the 4 big reasons you should improve web accessibility.

improve web accessibility

Web Accessibility Increases Audience

An estimated 15% to 20% of the world’s population has some form of disability. There are also temporary disabilities, such as if a person were to break his/her fingers or arm. As the world population lives longer and gets older, we are likely to see more age-related disabilities such as vision impairment.

Do you really want to shut yourself off from 15-20% of potential website visitors?

Unfortunately, only a very small percentage of websites are accessible by people with disabilities. If you take the step to make your web accessible, you might find yourself with a big edge over the competition. As W3.org points out, people with disabilities are particularly likely to be loyal customers of websites that work well for them, and word-of-mouth marketing can be significant among these groups.


Legal Compliance

Depending on the nature of your website, you may be legally required to comply with web accessibility standards. Several nations (including Canada, EU, and UK) currently have web accessibility laws. It is likely that we will see more countries adopt such accessibility laws, especially for websites in the public sector.

Not complying with these web accessibility laws could cost you. In 2000, a blind man sued the Sydney Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games and won because the committee had failed to make their website accessible to blind users. In 2008, Target paid $6 million in damages to the National Federation of the Blind for failing to put ALT text on their product images and other accessibility issues.  These are just some of the legal cases involving web accessibility issues.


Web Accessibility Improves Website Quality 

Following web accessibility standards won’t just help people with disabilities, but makes your website more accessible for ALL users, and may have SEO benefits as well.   For example:

  • Using ALT Text: ALT text helps visually-impaired users understand images, but it is also very important for SEO, people using Image Search, and for when images fail to render. Read more about ALT text here.
  • Simpler Website Designs: People with cognitive disabilities have trouble understanding complex web designs and navigation. But simpler website designs also can reduce bounce rate, improve conversions, and make mobile browsing easier for users.
  • Including Transcripts: Video and audio transcripts are important for people with hearing disabilities, but it is also good web practice to include transcripts for people who prefer to read or who may be in a situation where they cannot listen to audio (such as when using the web at a café or library without headphones).
  • Removing Flickering Content: People with seizures and neurological disorders can have serious problems with flickering content, such as automatic animations, and this type of content should be removed. Removing flickering content also is good practice for all users, as it is generally considered annoying and distracting.
  • Allowing More Time for Tasks: People with physical disabilities often require more time for tasks such as filling in forms, so you should allow more time before the page times-out. This is also good practice for all users and can improve conversion rates.
  • Including Multiple Contact Options: If your only method of contact is a phone number, this can be problematic for people with hearing disabilities. But it is also good practice to include multiple methods of contact, as studies show people prefer having options like phone, email, and Live Chat.


Building an Accessible Website is the Right Thing to Do

For centuries, people with disabilities were pushed out of society and didn’t have access to basic services. Even today, with many laws and regulations for accessibility, disabled people can still find themselves excluded from society and it can be difficult to participate in daily life.   The web has opened many doors for people with disabilities.

Thanks to screen readers, blind people are now able to read newspapers. A quadriplegic, for whom going to a shopping mall can be a strenuous task, is now able to easily purchase a gift for a friend by shopping online. People who are unable to speak can still participate in debates and discussions in online forums, chat rooms, and communities.

Web accessibility is the moral thing to do. And, because it has so many other benefits for your website and overlaps with other website quality issues such as mobile design and SEO, there is no reason why you shouldn’t improve accessibility to allow disabled people to take full advantage of what the web has to offer.

Learn more about how to improve your web accessibility here.

Image credit: “web accessibility word cloud” (CC BY 2.0) by  itjil