As an online business or brand, there are plenty of things you need to worry about. From getting business and brand established online, to making sure you have a social presence, and don’t forget the massive amount of content creation and marketing that brings it all together… it’s quite the task and ongoing journey to create a successful business online.
Even with all of that in place, there are still going to be new obstacles that continue to pop up on a daily basis. With most of your focus set on improving your site traffic and overall sales and revenue, it’s easy to miss other big changes and movements happening within the industry.
One of the most important trends to keep an eye on, is the continuing focus on website accessibility and making sure it’s compliant for all audiences. And no, we aren’t just referring to making sure your site loads correctly on mobile devices and is responsive across all viewing devices–we are referring to ADA/WCAG compliance, which is making sure your site caters to the needs of all website audiences, no matter what disabilities, restrictions or limitations they might have in place.
Does this sound like something completely new to you and your online business? If so, you best pay attention, as compliance regulations are coming… along with many hefty fines and legal complications for anyone who might not be prepared.
Read on to learn more about web accessibility and compliance regulations on the horizon and how you can start protecting your brand and business today.
ADA/WCAG Compliance is Coming…
When it comes to website accessibility, it can really be summed up into two regulations, which are getting a lot of attention lately through major news and media outlets, while also continually being a point of discussion in entrepreneur and business owner communities.
These points of discussion would specifically be about the ADA and WCAG compliance regulations. ADA stands for Americans with Disabilities Act, and WCAG are the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines that all websites and businesses are expected to run by.
The bottom line and takeaway here, is that your site needs to cater to the needs of every individual that comes to your site. Specifically, for anyone with a disability, such as vision loss, being hearing impaired, having epilepsy or ADHD.
If for any reason someone was to visit your site and not have the proper functionality or customization to complete necessary tasks or read the content you’ve made available, you could be held liable.
It’s one thing to be compliance, but it’s another to have lawyers sending demand letters your way. In some of the worst-case scenarios, regular websites and brands have been issued unexpected lawsuits that result in heavy fines and have caused in excess of $20,000 in legal fees just to address the situation and make it go away.
The good news is, if your site isn’t 100% ADA compliant or you have no idea where or how to get started, there are several ways to get started before it’s too late.
How to Get and Stay WCAG Compliant
In order to make your website compliant, you must first understand what falls under the and WCAG compliance guidelines. This would be pretty much in reference to visiting and using your site, which includes the reading of content, using contact and ordering forms and also the ability to contact support.
With all of this in play, how could a site owner or business make their site accessible to every site visitor, while also meeting their special needs? The real answer is, you can’t — at least not from a manual work perspective.
The better solution is to use an AI tool to automate the whole process for you, rather than a manual approach. accessiBe, a leader in accessibility and WCAG compliance has quickly become the standard for most websites in the US. Through the use of their machine-learning and computer vision technologies platform and application, site owners and business can become 100% compliant within as little as 48 hours. And they even have a free site compliance checker on their site.
To kick things off, it’s a good idea to visit their site and run a free audit to see where and why your site might not be compliant. Such testing metrics and factors include everything from site layout, color and font usage, and how individuals with different disabilities might interact with your site.
Here’s a quick breakdown of how the setup and install process works.
- The accessibility interface instantly appears on your website
- Platform AI starts scanning and analyzing your website
- After up to 48 hours, your website is fully compliant and certified
- Every 24 hours, the AI scans for new and revised content to fix
In addition to everything else mentioned, by using an automated solution not only will you save the time and money associated with hiring a custom design and programmer, it also allows your site to be compliant should any new changes in regulation come up.
Make Your Site an Enjoyable Experience for Everyone
Having read through everything discussed in the article above, not only are you now more aware about the current and pending regulations in reference to web accessibility, but you should also have a much better idea on how to cater to the needs of your audiences with disabilities and visual or hearing limitations.
The important thing to realize about website accessibility and moving forward, is that it’s not something that you need to be afraid of. Instead, it’s all about addressing the issue now and making your site and business experience better for everyone.
Be sure to implement the recommended tips and suggestions in this article to keep your business safe today, and more accessible to visitors and customers for years to come.