Concrete is a free, open-source platform for building and managing websites. Concrete is designed to make it easy for people without any technical background to edit web pages.
Concrete promises to deliver a ‘delightful and efficient user experience’ but unfortunately, for people with disabilities trying to access a Concrete site, that won’t be the case. The core code of the platform does not currently incorporate accessibility attributes, and there are no accessible themes or addons that you can implement on your site.
As far as ‘delightful’ goes, people with disabilities won’t be delighted when they can’t access your website’s content. If your website isn’t accessible, then important elements such as links and buttons, menus, images, videos, and really everything else that makes surfing the web enjoyable, will be inaccessible to them. In return, it will be frustrating for you when you lose customers, followers, or sales because of it.
When it comes to ‘efficient’, there’s nothing less efficient than struggling to get through a website, which should be the clearest way to display information. For example, if your website isn’t compatible with screen readers and keyboard navigation, for the blind and motor-impaired respectively, then they’ll have to tab through the element by element, link by link. In today’s digital world, no one will put up with it and they will leave your site.
But the lack of efficiency doesn’t just affect people with disabilities but Concrete users as well. In order for you to make your Concrete website accessible, you’ll have to remediate it completely by yourself.
Remediating your site manually according to the WCAG is a meticulous and long process (up to 3 months), and can be complicated even for the most experienced developers. You can outsource accessibility remediation to an expert, but keep in mind that it can cost you thousands of dollars, resources meant for your website’s main goal.
The importance of an accessible Concrete website
Web accessibility is becoming increasingly important for websites on all platforms as more people take to the web for basic goods and services, education, entertainment, etc. Whether you’re creating an online store or displaying your content, having an accessible site doesn’t just open your services to people with disabilities but also increases sales and exposure, and boosts brand perception.
Websites of all sizes are now more vulnerable to lawsuits as the Internet becomes more essential. The past few years have shown an increase in web accessibility lawsuits as people with disabilities and website owners attempt to find common ground. Since the 2018 DOJ affirmation that all websites are considered places of the public under the ADA Title III, web accessibility lawsuits have gone up by 300%.
Using accessiBe with Concrete
with accessiBe, you don’t have to choose between beauty and accessibility. accessiBe’s AI-driven, automated solution makes existing websites ADA compliant by remediating the website’s code according to the WCAG 2.1 AA. accessiBe’s solution is session-based, meaning only those with disabilities will see adjusted design elements, leaving your design completely intact.