Website accessibility is key to ensuring smooth web surfing for all users with sensory, physical, and cognitive disabilities. The accessibility of a website is enhanced by eliminating functionality barriers for all kinds of users. It includes initiatives ensuring adequate text readability and visual contrast, as well as adding closed captions to videos.
With multiple aspects of accessibility to take care of, it is important to employ a tool that helps you stick to the internationally acclaimed accessibility standards of Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) and the American Disabilities Act (ADA). To this end, businesses utilize website accessibility software that monitors, audits, and ensures compliance of website content with WCAG and ADA.
This buyers guide will take you through the important aspects of website accessibility software such as its definition, features, benefits, and factors to consider when buying. The aim is to help you make an informed decision.
Here's what we'll cover:
What is website accessibility software?
Website accessibility software is a tool that provides mobile and web accessibility solutions for owners and developers to improve the functionality of their websites for everyone. The software is designed with features such as real-time monitoring via artificial intelligence (AI) bots, WCAG and ADA compliance tracking, multi-language support, third-party integrations, and other web accessibility solutions.
With these features, the software helps its users create an inclusive website while meeting the compliance goals of international accessibility standards. This includes enhancing text readability for the screen reader, providing descriptive image captions, including video captions, and using visual links and symbols in addition to colors.
The software is used by website developers and businesses with the primary focus on increasing website traffic and leads by making the content on the website far-reaching.
Dashboard in Crownpeak Digital Experience Platform (Source)
Common features of website accessibility software
||Track and monitor the website to make sure it meets the set accessibility standards as per WCAG and ADA. Utilize the report to get a website accessibility compliance certificate.
||Scan the entire website with the help of AI bots for any errors or gaps in meeting the accessibility compliance standards.
||Prevent unauthorized access to sensitive data with a range of physical and electronic processes to strengthen security and keep your data safe. Additionally, utilize the secure socket layer (SSL) encryption to transfer data to authorized stakeholders.
||Ensure website accessibility across mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets to cater to a diverse range of users and enhance reach.
||Utilize the real-time monitoring tool to ensure accessibility compliance and maintain consistency each time you update your website or a particular webpage.
|Reports and analytics
||Get a clear and actionable checklist on the accessibility issues to know what is to be improved on the website.
||Deliver a personalized browsing experience by integrating with other apps and systems that offer advanced accessibility tools.
What type of buyer are you?
- Online product company: E-commerce and direct-to-consumer (D2C) companies mainly focus on their website to strengthen brand awareness and drive sales. This makes it essential for them to have an inclusive website that caters to a diverse consumer base regardless of impairments.
Such businesses can utilize the website accessibility software to include all major aspects of web accessibility to meet the international compliance requirements. This will help them enhance their reach in the global marketplace and cater to a variety of customers while delivering unique customer experiences.
- Social media: Social media platforms are meant for all to connect and communicate with the online community. To this end, the social media platform itself, as well as the brands utilizing it to create their profiles, should ensure that it is adapted and understood by all kinds of users.
Utilizing website accessibility tools help social media platforms to have an inclusive design that improves its functionality for users with sensory, physical, and cognitive disabilities.
- Digital media and publications: These types of businesses deliver online content in the form of articles, blogs, research papers, whitepapers, and studies to drive traffic and generate revenue. As 15% of the world population experiences some form of disability, not having an inclusive website will make such businesses lose out on a large amount of traffic.
Having a feature-rich website accessibility software with multi-language support, real-time monitoring, automatic accessibility testing, and reports and analytics is ideal for digital media and publications.
Benefits of website accessibility software
- Enhanced reach: With an inclusive website, users of all kinds get access to the website content without any barrier due to impairments. This leads to greater reach and brand awareness. However, disabilities come in different forms such as hearing, visual, or physical and so it is important to take care of every aspect of accessibility compliance at the time of optimization. The variety of features and intuitive tools of the software ensures maximum compliance at all times.
- Improved SEO: Employing website accessibility software not only makes your website inclusive, it also helps improve search engine optimization (SEO). In many cases, the goals of digital accessibility and SEO are aligned. This helps enhance visibility on search engine result pages (SERP) and strengthen the brand presence among diverse customers.
- Personalized user experience: Initiatives such as prioritizing text clarity to assist screen readers for visually impaired users, utilizing symbols in addition to colors for color blindness, adding video descriptions for cognitive limitations create a personalized user experience for each type of user.
Key considerations when purchasing website accessibility software
- Usability and integration: Businesses must strive to select a software that aligns with their website and helps enhance the accessibility of the content by running specific accessibility testing. For instance, a website with blogs, research reports, and whitepapers must focus on textual clarity through screen readers. On the other hand, a website that hosts videos will make use of closed captions or descriptions. Selecting a website accessibility software is a customized choice that businesses will make in order to meet their specific needs.
- Free demo and training sessions: Website accessibility software utilizes a robust process of auditing, optimization, and compliance management. This makes it essential that businesses are able to learn and adapt to the process of work. To this end, they should look for free demos or trial sessions and explore training opportunities, which will equip them with the right skills.
- Budget: Website accessibility software is a long-term investment for businesses. This requires close analysis of the money being spent for the solution being offered. Be sure to compare different options, and check if the features of the software align with your business’s needs. Doing this will ensure the business requirements are being efficiently met.
Market trends to understand
Here is a trend in the web accessibility solutions market that you should be aware of:
- Accessibility compliant mobile platforms: With the rapidly increasing count of smartphone users in the world, efforts are being made to make mobile platforms ADA and WACG compliant. This will help create an inclusive environment across platforms and devices, especially when working in the digital workplace.
Note: The applications mentioned in this guide are examples to show a feature in context and are not intended as an endorsement or recommendation. It has been taken from sources believed to be reliable at the time of publication.