With so many browsers, devices, and programs people use these days to access the Internet, webmasters must be extra cautious when building their blogs in order for them to be accessible to as many people as possible. The following is a checklist that webmasters can use to make their blogs as accessible as they can be.
The main thing that webmasters must keep in mind when building their blogs is that many individuals use smartphones and tablets to browse the web while on the go. Many of these individuals even depend completely on their mobile devices to access the Internet rather than using a laptop or desktop computer. While your content should show up on most mobile devices, the content may look different than it would on a computer. For this reason, webmasters should use smartphones, tablets, or emulator software to view how their webpages appear on mobile devices so that they can modify their layout in accordance. Some webmasters may even choose to create an entirely separate mobile version of their blog that are specifically catered to smartphone and tablet users.
In addition to mobile compatibility issues, webmasters must remember that not all viewers are using the same web browser. While content usually appears the same in most web browsers, your website may not load some of its elements when viewed on outdated browsers or browsers that aren’t geared for that kind of programming. Internet Explorer, though extremely popular, is well known for its compatibility issues with many websites. Webmasters should ensure that their websites are setup to scale the resolution of pages and elements to ensure all viewers see the same content.
Although users in the United States, United Kingdom, and other first-world countries shouldn’t have a problem accessing anything on the Internet, some countries limit what their citizens have access to. China, for example, is well known for blocking many popular websites, such as Facebook. Webmasters can get around this by running their sites on proxy servers that are setup to automatically run when a third-world citizen tries to access the website or blog.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
In addition to users, webmasters must also make sure their blogs are accessible to search engines. Although search engines automatically look for websites and their content, they may not see the content as quickly as you would like if you haven’t setup any keywords or metadata. To ensure search engines see their latest content, webmasters can also manually submit their blogs to search engines, such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing.
While devices, browsers, search engines, and legal issues are all things to watch out for, webmasters should also consider that some of their visitors may be visually impaired, whether they are completely blind or simply far-sighted. Visually impaired individuals may rely on sounds and large images to tell them what they want to know, rather than reading text. Blind individuals, for example, often use speech software that reads text to them. When a website isn’t laid out correctly, however, this software may jumble up words and make it difficult for the individual to understand what you’re trying to tell them.
Just like visually impaired individuals, some of your visitors may be hearing impaired and depend on text and images. If your site displays videos or animated characters to convey messages to your viewers, you should include a transcript on your site for those who can’t hear them.
Author bio: Edwin is an avid marketer and writer currently working at Toronto web design firm 9th sphere – An award winning company specializing in online marketing and web design in Toronto. Edwin has a passion for great design and helping businesses succeed.