Squarespace has established itself as a leading web-building platform, offering simplicity and stunning templates to millions of website owners worldwide. However, ensuring website accessibility remains a significant challenge. In this article, we will explore the best accessibility solutions for Squarespace sites and provide valuable tips and tricks.
What is Squarespace?
Backed by a 17-year legacy, Squarespace has become synonymous with web building excellence. With its user-friendly interface and ready-to-use templates, the platform empowers business owners to create beautiful websites without the need for coding or development skills. You can choose from over sixty templates and customize them to suit your website design preferences. Moreover, with a monthly subscription rate starting at just $12, Squarespace offers affordability alongside quality.
The Importance of Website Accessibility
In today’s digital landscape, web accessibility plays a crucial role in ensuring inclusivity and equal access for all users. Unfortunately, many beautifully designed websites often overlook accessibility. Squarespace websites are no exception. While the platform provides compliance guidelines to meet the Web Content Accessibility Guideline 2.0, implementing these guidelines may require the assistance of skilled developers.
Squarespace’s Growing Popularity
Squarespace hosts over 4 million websites globally and accounts for 18% of hosted solutions used on the internet. The platform’s reach extends to more than 250 countries, with significant traffic coming from the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and France. Its popularity is especially prominent among sectors such as computer electronics and technology, news and media, graphics and web design, eCommerce, and programming and developer software.
Common Accessibility Challenges on Squarespace
Despite its success, Squarespace is not without its accessibility hurdles. The platform’s templates, while visually appealing, still require additional customization to align with standard accessibility policies. One area of concern is text legibility, which is crucial for individuals with visual impairments. Squarespace 7.1 addresses some accessibility issues, but more work is needed.
Navigation and Semantic Markup
Navigation is a core aspect of website accessibility, and Squarespace templates often fall short in this regard. Easy navigation involves the use of landmarks and tabs that assist screen readers and keyboard users. Unfortunately, many Squarespace templates do not adequately incorporate these features without additional plugins. Semantic markup, which allows text to be converted to speech, is another area where Squarespace templates may lack compliance.
Enhancing Squarespace Accessibility with Plugins
To achieve full accessibility compliance on Squarespace, there are several plugins available that can address these challenges. Here are three notable solutions:
Userway is one of the top accessibility solutions on the market. Their Accessibility Widget, used by over 800,000 websites, ensures compliance with WCAG 2.0, ADA, ATAG 2.0, and Section 508 guidelines. The widget offers eight powerful functions, including keyboard navigation, contrast adjustment, screen reader support, and legible font options.
Squarekicker is an SEO-focused accessibility plugin specifically designed for Squarespace websites. With a wide range of fonts and an intuitive editing interface, Squarekicker allows users to effortlessly enhance their website’s design and layout while adhering to accessibility guidelines. The plugin offers a free trial plan, making it easy to try out its efficiency and effectiveness.
SquareADA is a comprehensive accessibility plugin that caters specifically to Squarespace websites. It ensures compliance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, covering various aspects such as text, color contrast, tab navigation, embedded media, and linked documents. The plugin also offers an audit tool to identify non-compliance issues and a range of features that significantly improve website accessibility.
The Future of Squarespace Accessibility
While Squarespace offers exceptional ready-to-use templates, ensuring website accessibility should be a top priority for every Squarespace website owner. By combining the platform’s design capabilities with the right accessibility plugins, you can create websites that are fully compliant and inclusive. Remember, accessibility requirements continue to evolve, so it’s essential to stay up to date and actively address accessibility concerns.
In conclusion, Squarespace provides an excellent foundation for creating visually stunning websites, but it requires additional measures to ensure accessibility. With the right accessibility plugins, such as Userway Accessibility Widget, Squarekicker, and SquareADA, you can enhance your Squarespace website’s accessibility and create a more inclusive online experience for all users.
So, if you are a Squarespace website owner, make ProgramMatek your go-to resource for enhancing your website’s accessibility in 2021.