Web.com is a website building platform that’s aimed at small business owners. It offers wraparound marketing services to help small business owners create and manage a professional-looking website while also integrating digital marketing tools.
The appeal of Web.com is its ‘built-in’ structure for everything a small business owner needs. From code and optimization to marketing and design, it’s all there. Unfortunately for Web.com users who want an accessible website, it’s too built-in. There is virtually no way to make your website accessible, whether you want Web.com’s help or to do it on your own.
Because everything is set in place for you, including the code itself which cannot be accessed, users cannot make manual accessibility adjustments. In order to make a website accessible, a website needs to be remediated according to the WCAG 2.1 AA, which are the highest standards of web accessibility. The most important back-end elements, which enable keyboard navigation and screen reader compatibility, make up around 80% of the WCAG. So without access to the code, you’re out of luck.
Many accessibility elements are design-related as well, such as font adjustment and alignment. However, with Web.com’s built-in design features, this can be tough to address. In all honesty, it’s unclear how Web.com’s platform will let users adjust the design for accessibility. While design can be changed, specific accessibility-related features or guides are not offered. Ideally, accessible-ready templates, themes, and design would be useful for users but there are currently no options and Web.com has not initiated any accessible-friendly features.
The importance of an accessible Web.com website
Accessible websites are important for everyone but for small businesses it’s crucial. As digitalization becomes more essential, inaccessible websites are being noticed more than ever before. If people with disabilities can’t access your website, they’ll most likely never come back and you’ll lose out on valuable customers. Accessible websites can also boost your reputation and improve your brand.
All businesses, especially small ones, are also at risk of web accessibility lawsuits. Since the 2018 DOJ affirmation that websites are considered places of public accommodations, noncompliant websites are being sued for failure to comply with the ADA. Web accessibility lawsuits have gone up by 300%, the majority being targeted at small online retailers.
Using accessiBe with Web.com
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 Web.com, click here.