Web accessibility, WCAG and ADA Compliance  for Site123

Site123 is a website building and hosting platform. It offers both free and paid website building and hosting packages for individuals and small businesses that want to set up a web presence in a hurry. 

Site123’s promise of ‘no designing or coding skills’ definitely does not take web accessibility into consideration. Site123 has no built-in accessibility elements and, because it’s such a simple website builder, there’s no way to edit the HTML source code. This means that you can’t add ARIA attributes, alt tags, or make other code-level adjustments in order for your Site123 website to support assistive technology like screen readers or to enable keyboard navigability. 

Supporting screen reader compatibility and enabling keyboard navigation alone make up about 80% of the WCAG 2.1 AA, or web content accessibility guidelines, which are the most widely adopted and updated guidelines for accessible websites. Needless to say, without these elements your website is not accessible.

The only option that Site123 users have is to download their free web accessibility plugin. Don’t be misled by these plugins because web accessibility is so much more than a few design adjustments and is simply not something that can be done for free. 

At best, a free plugin will offer some design features that make your website disability-friendly, such as enlarged text and better color contrasts, which cover only 20% of the WCAG. Achieving screen-reader compliance and keyboard navigation requires top-notch special attention and expertise and are typically not achieved with free web accessibility plugins.

The importance of an accessible Site123 website

When you build a website, you don’t go into it planning to deny access to a certain group of people. In fact, your main goal is to reach as many people as possible or at least deliver an enjoyable experience for those who do want to interact with your website. Without remediating your website’s accessibility, many people with disabilities cannot access your content and in most cases, will not return to try again. This can cost you customers, followers, and your reputation.

Many website owners are unaware that inaccessible websites can also lead to lawsuits. Since the 2018 DOJ affirmation that websites are considered places of public accommodation, websites must comply with the ADA Title III. According to the majority of settlements, this can be achieved only by remediating your website according to the WCAG 2.1 AA.

Using accessiBe with Site123

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.

For an accessiBe installation guide with Site123, click here.