Benefits Of An Accessible Website: Part 2 - The Business Case

The DDA (Disability Discrimination Act) states that service providers must not discriminate against disabled people. A website is regarded as a service and therefore falls under this law, and as such must be made accessible to everyone.

Some organisations are making accessibility improvements to their websites, but many are seemingly not making the accessibility adjustments. Disabled people don't access their website, they say, so why should they care?

There are, however, two very good reasons as to why businesses should start taking these issues seriously:

1. An accessible website will make you more money
2. An accessible website will save you money

There are seven explanations for this:

1. Your website will be easier to manage

An accessible website separates the content (the words and images that we see on the screen) and presentation (the way that these words and images are laid out) of each page. Each web page has an HTML document that contains the words and images for that page (the content), and calls up a CSS document that includes the presentation information - this CSS document is shared by all the pages on the website.

To adjust the layout of your website, you only have to make changes in the CSS file, saving considerable time (and therefore money).

2. Your website will be compatible with new browsing technologies

In the near future, the use of PDAs, mobile phones and in-car browsers will all regularly be used to access the Internet. The people making use of these new technologies are generally high-income individuals. In order to reach this lucrative target, you'll need a website that is accessible to these machines. To test your website, try using it with the Wapalizer (http://www.gelon.net), which shows how your site will look on a mobile phone.

3. Your website will appear higher in the search engines

By making your website more accessible to web users, you're also making it more accessible to search engines. Search engines cannot usually understand images, JavaScript, Flash, audio and video content. By providing alternative content to each of these, all areas of your website will be accessible to search engines, who'll then be able to have a better understanding of its purpose.

The more confident a search engine is of your website's purpose, all other things being equal, the higher it'll place your website in the search rankings.

4. You won't have to incur legal fees

The RNIB (Royal National Institute for the Blind) and the DRC (Disability Rights Commission) have been exerting pressure on companies and the government to make their websites accessible. Indeed, the DRC has now published their findings from their accessibility investigation of 1000 websites. They've warned firms that they'll face legal action and the threat of unlimited compensation payments if they fail to make their websites accessible to people with disabilities.

5. The download time of your website will be significantly improved

Accessible websites generally download quicker than websites with poor accessibility. Just 25% of web users in the UK are connected to the Internet via broadband (source: http://www.statistics.gov.uk/pdfdir/intc0504.pdf). You can be sure that if your website takes much longer than ten seconds to download then many of your site visitors will be clicking away and you'll lose their custom.

6. The usability of your website will be enhanced

There is a certain amount of overlap between web accessibility and web usability. It's been shown that a usability redesign increases the sales/conversion rate of a website by 100% (source: http://www.useit.com/alertbox/20030107.html).

7. You'll gain good publicity

Make your website accessible to everyone and you can tell the world about it.

This article was written by Trenton Moss. He's crazy about web usability and accessibility - so crazy that he went and started his own web usability and accessibility consultancy ( Webcredible - http://www.webcredible.co.uk ) to help make the Internet a better place for everyone. They offer fantastic accessibility & CSS support packages, which you can read all about at http://www.webcredible.co.uk/support .

In The News:

Web Application Developer  Charlotte Agenda
Free training course on web development  The New Indian Express
The Future of Web Development  Business 2 Community

Have You Got Your Ear To The Ground Or Your Head In The Sand?

What happened on your website yesterday? What about last week... Read More

Revealing the Firefox Secret Used by Top Web Developers and Power-Browsers

Profiles are one of the best kept secrets around regarding... Read More

Web Sites ? Should I Learn or not?

A common dilemma most small and medium businesses face when... Read More

7 Questions to Understand Your Customer Better

Customer service questionnaires can help your clients better understand their... Read More

What is SQL?

What is SQL? SQL stands for Structured Query Language and... Read More

The Two Most Common Mistakes That Scare Away Web Visitors

Can you imagine the hypocrisy of spending thousands of dollars,... Read More

5 Essential Traits Of A Home Business Website

So you've decided to start an online work at home... Read More

Guide to Internet Business - Website Setup

After planning the design and content of your website, it's... Read More

How to Handle Web Surfers Who Disabled JavaScript

There are hundreds of millions of Web surfers today. Each... Read More

PHP Redirect

A PHP Redirect automatically transfers a web user from one... Read More

What YOU Should Know Before Getting A Web Site!

Everyday thousands of new businesses make the leap and take... Read More

Planning Your Website for Success

Most people know they need a website in order to... Read More

Web Accessibility: The Basics

What is web accessibility & why is it important?Web accessibility... Read More

Achieving Differentiation With Your Website

Internet Marketing is not a miracle marketing strategy ? competition... Read More

Seven Daft Things Not To Do To Your Website

1. Splash pagesMost of the time splash pages are uncalled... Read More

Web Designer? You Dont Need No Stinkin Web Designer!

RIVERSIDE, CA August 4, 2004 ?- "Historically, small business owners... Read More

Abandonment - Why Visitors Don?t Turn Into Customers

Every good Internet business understands the value of conversions versus... Read More

10 Tips For A Successful Website

Have you ever thought the secret behind the success of... Read More

Creating Compelling Content , Write It and They Will Come

In a previous ezinearticles.com article,"I Need real visitors, Not Search... Read More

3 Reasons Why You Need URL Rewriting Module To Enchance Your Web

URL rewriting are major needs for your sites that produce... Read More

Art, Artists and the Web: Part 4--What to Do After a Website is Designed

What to do if you are an artist after you... Read More

Why do I Need a Website?

Cost Effective Advertising. Online selling. Increased geopgraphic range. Wider... Read More

Why a CSS Website Layout Will Make You Money

Although CSS layouts have been around for years, they haven't... Read More

Learn to Build a Better Online Business Website Using Keywords and Content

Are you aware that 90% of the websites on the... Read More

Duplication vs. Individualism

How can we add Word Rich Content to our Websites... Read More