People often think of websites as static, unchanging things. But the truth is that every time you visit a website, new images are being downloaded and old ones being deleted. And with each change to the site comes an opportunity for accessibility problems to crop up unless you are using accessibility tools such as accessiBe WordPress.

The goal of this article is to give you some concrete ways that you can audit your website’s accessibility regularly so that these issues don’t have the chance to create serious consequences for disabled users or your company’s reputation.

Understand exactly what you’re auditing for

The first step in any audit is to know what you’re looking for. In this case, there are a few different things that could go wrong on your website that would make it difficult or impossible to use by people with disabilities:

  • Blind users might not be able to access images or other multimedia
  • Deaf speakers might not be able to hear the content of your videos
  • Visually impaired users might not see certain important elements
  • People with cognitive disabilities might become quickly confused by certain interface elements

All of these issues represent potentially costly problems for your company, which means it’s in your best interest to do everything you can to make sure that your website doesn’t have any of them.

Understand how your site is built technically

The next step in the audit process involves understanding how your site works on a technical level. You can do this yourself, but it will require some patience and skill with HTML code to see what’s going on.

To have a website that has no barriers for users, you’ll need to know how it is built and what sort of code you’re dealing with. There are a few different ways to accomplish this task:

  • You can use a plugin like Dreamweaver or FrontPage to clean up the code yourself, but this will require a significant time investment on your part to learn how the plugins work and refine your process of navigating through HTML.
  • You can enlist the help of an SEO or web design professional, which may cost you money but will get you results more quickly without the learning curve that comes from using Dreamweaver or FrontPage.
  • You can hire a consultant to take care of everything for you, which will be the most expensive option but may be worth it if you don’t think that your time or money is best spent learning how Dreamweaver and FrontPage work.

Once you know what’s going on with your site by looking at the HTML code itself (and eliminating anything that doesn’t look like it belongs), you can move on to the next stage of the audit.

Understand how your site is built visually

The final step in this process is figuring out what sorts of visual problems are with your website’s current design. In many ways, this will be the easiest part: since all of these issues come from choices you’ve made about how your site looks, all you have to do is go back over what you did and see if any of it creates barriers for users with disabilities.