If you’ve followed along in April’s blog series, you’ve learned about the importance of ADA compliance for your home improvement website and been introduced to the WCAG—a comprehensive set of guidelines for maintaining ADA-compliant sites.
We know that you’re busy installing, repairing, and decorating windows, though, and probably don’t have hours to pore over complex technical guidelines for your website. So this week, we’ve put together three tips for finding out if your site is compliant and, if not, pinpointing what you might need to fix to make it so.
1. Conduct a Manual Check Yourself
How: Go through the requirements in the WCAG and note any that apply to your site. Check that your site meets those requirements.
Pros & cons: The pros are that it’s free and can help you learn a lot about WCAG and ADA requirements. The cons are that it’s time-consuming and many home improvement business owners don’t have the time or skills to handle all of these tasks.
Who might consider it: If you have a simple site with only a few landing pages, you may be able to conduct a WCAG audit yourself.
2. Use Free ADA Compliance Checker Tools
How: Use a free online tool to run an automated audit on your site. You can find a list of tools recommended by w3.
Pros & cons: Many of these tools are free and easy to use, and they can save you a lot of time. However, not all of the accessibility requirements in the WCAG can be checked by a machine, so the tools aren’t comprehensive.
Who might consider it: The tools are free, and they do make it easy to find numerous compliance issues, such as images without alt text or navigation concerns. It might be a good idea for any home improvement business to run one of these checkers occasionally.
3. Pay for a Professional Audit
How: You can pay a professional ADA-compliance auditor to manually review your website. They can address items that wouldn’t be automatically checkable with a software tool.
Pros & Cons: This is the most comprehensive way to ensure your site is ADA-compliant. It’s also the most expensive.
Who might consider it: Home improvement firms with larger sites or those that provide goods and services targeted to individuals with disabilities may want to go the extra mile to ensure compliance.