Five Things You Can Do Today to Make Your Site More Accessible

Does incorporating accessibility into your website seem overwhelming? Here’s five quick things that will help improve your site today.

  1. A “read more” link is worthless to people who can’t see – which could be anyone depending on screen size, device, or any number of everyday circumstances. Use “read more about {post title}” instead.

  2. Use the HTML5 version of YouTube videos. YouTube has some tools to help make videos accessible, but they’re only included in the HTML5 version. Make sure you specifiy that.
  3. Include descriptive Alt tags. Treat your Alt tags like a Twitter message. Keep them short, but get the message across of why the image is being included. While there is no hard 140-character limit, it’s a pretty good guideline to follow.
  4. Change your image file names before you upload them. Files such as IMG98798.jpg do nothing to covey what the image is about. Changing that to girl-playing-in-surf.jpg not only helps visitors to your site that might be using screen readers, but it also helps search engines recognize images. Plus it makes them easier to search for and find for your own purposes!
  5. Make sure your site has the ability to “Skip to content”. Giving visitors the choice to skip over nav menus and other site info and go directly to the content is a big step in making your site more friendly to everyone. Find out more at  – http://accessibility.psu.edu/skipnav

There’s a lot more to accessibility than these quick tips, but doing these is a good place to start. Make them habits and make the web a better place for all – including you!