Blog Accessibility and WCAG/ADA Web Compliance in 2020

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Bloggers love to look at the many different analytics and stats on their sites.

Whether it’s how many new visitors they got or how high they are ranking in the search results, it’s always a never-ending mission to get better. However, with so many different analytics and tracking platforms out there, it’s still surprising to see how many bloggers and site owners aren’t looking at one audience that is likely trying to visit and read their content daily.

And this audience would be, people with disabilities.

Now, when the average person thinks about someone with a disability, they will often think of someone that is in a wheelchair or is limited in what they can do. And if that is the case, they are right–but are also only scratching the surface.

Disabilities come in many different shapes and sizes, and aren’t limited to just everyday life off the internet. In fact, internet usage can easily affect someone that has deterioration or limitations in relation to visibility, hearing, learning, body movement and many other tasks.

I bet you didn’t know blind and deaf people are using the internet daily, and reading site content with specialized tools to fit their needs. However, if your site doesn’t have these options in place, they will leave your site right away and move onto the next.

The good news is, the internet is quickly adapting and changing with these times to make sure web accessibility is getting more attention than ever before. Thanks to the recent changes in WCAG and ADA compliance, businesses and brands now have to make sure their sites are fully compliant and accessible to all audiences as well.

In summary, online businesses must treat all of their customers the same way a local retail location would–as in, they need to provide accessibility to any and all audiences for entry and business. If not, there are some hefty fines in place and full regulation sweeping across the industry.

As reported by the Los Angeles Times, “lawsuits alleging website accessibility violations totaled 1,053 in the first six months of 2018, a number that is projected to rise to 2,000 by year’s end, up 90% from 2017.” — in short, if you don’t have a website that is fully compliant to the latest WCAG and ADA compliance terms, they could be coming after you next?

For site owners and bloggers of all sizes, this could be scary enough to stop creating content and doing business on the internet altogether. This is especially true if you were to ever look up the time, costs and efforts associated with hiring a programmer or designer to complete recode your site to meet all guidelines. And even if you were to do that, would you still be meeting the needs of all audiences? Probably not.

So what options do site owners and bloggers have to avoid non-compliance?

For the most part, the answer is to simply get compliant. But the most common question here is, HOW to get compliant.

The good news is, there seems to be a solution for everything on the internet these days. Not just as a means for getting something accomplished, but also to cater to the needs of those who lack the skills or funding to create something of their own.

A perfect example of this would be when WordPress came onto the scene in the early 2000s and completely eliminated the need for custom site designers and programmers. The same is true with that of web hosting and setting up domain names as well. Nearly all of these processes are now just a quick install or a one-click process.

With this same mentality in mind, accessiBe’s web accessibility tool for site owners, has made the process of making websites and blogs ADA and WCAG compliant a whole lot easier.

Without getting too deep into detail and tech specs, we can see the tool in action on Neil Patel’s marketing blog. Upon visiting the site, you will see a little wheelchair icon on the bottom left corner of the page.

If you were to click this disability icon, the accessiBe accessibility tool would pop up over the page.

Once this is viewable to the end user, they would then have the option to customize a number of features in relation to fonts, colors, sizing, audio, animation, keyword settings and more.

Even better, once a site is up and running with the accessibility platform pop up from accessiBe, they are then also ADA and WCAG compliant.

And back to what we were originally talking about, with the non-complexities of WordPress and web hosting these days, the process of setting up this accessibility tool is simply a matter of adding a new WordPress plugin to your site or adding a line of JS code to your site.

No matter what type of website, blog or ecommerce site you are running, this feature is ready and working in no time.

In reference to costs and pricing, site owners and brands are looking at annual plans of $490 per year. Higher end plans are available for larger brands and business with multiple sites or need further customization in place. However, it’s also important to mention that accessiBe is also offering a free 7-day trial to all new signups.

The Future of Blog Accessibility in 2020 and Beyond

With more than a billion active websites and blogs on the internet today, you can say it’s pretty crowded place. However, just because it’s busy, it doesn’t mean that your site won’t be the next one to get flagged as being non-compliance when it comes to people with disabilities and user accessibility.

It doesn’t matter if your site is getting a handful of visitors per day or millions of visitors per week, it’s still very likely that at least 1% of your audience falls into this “people with disabilities” group and could benefit from such features on your site.

After all, if there was a new WordPress theme or plugin out there that would improve how your site ranks in Google or make money, you would probably invest in that right away. Invest in the future and security of your site and the one-site usage and accessibility of your audience by getting ADA and WCAG compliant today.