Learn How To Make Your Squarespace Website Accessible And ADA Compliant
Squarespace has been an increasingly popular website-building platform over the years. Launched in 2004, Squarespace now generates annual revenue of $754.2 million.
Currently, it hosts millions of websites, with 3.79 million subscribers across the globe. However, despite its growing popularity, Squarespace websites are still vulnerable to ADA compliance-related lawsuits.
Because simply being on Squarespace doesn’t make your website accessible. You have to add accessibility tools to ensure that your website is accessible and compliant.
Curious to learn more about ADA compliance website guidelines? Feel free to check our guide!
You can also learn about WCAG compliance by reading our WCAG guide.
That being said, let’s dive into how you can make your Squarespace website accessible for all. If you’re a website owner and want to attain Squarespace accessibility, continue reading!
Squarespace’s Commitment to Accessibility
Squarespace takes the issue of accessibility seriously. The forum considers the aspect of accessibility and puts in efforts to make its services accessible to all.
For instance, they have a detailed guide on the best practices for Squarespace accessibility. Changing these elements ensures that your website is easier to navigate.
Some of Squarespace’s guidelines include:
For Squarespace accessibility, headings are a crucial element to every website. Headings should clearly show the structure of the website so that users can navigate the website more easily.
Additionally, headings should also follow the importance of text. For instance, website owners should apply heading 1 (h1) to the most important headings on the website.
Images help enhance the users’ visual experience and help make a website more presentable. However, some users might not be accessible to some users.
That said, alt text is a best practice that you can employ to make your e-commerce site accessible for all.
While Squarespace’s guide is detailed, it’s just the first step to making your website accessible. A big part of website accessibility is the images and content that website owners upload to it.
Simply put, accessibility depends on the individuals, brands, and businesses with websites on Squarespace.
Is Your Website ADA Compliant on Squarespace?
As mentioned, Squarespace provides its users with guidance to ensure web accessibility for all. However, website owners are responsible for a site’s full accessibility and its compliance with WCAG guidelines.
As a website owner, how do you do this?
Ensuring full accessibility and WCAG compliance is achieved by performing a website audit. From there, you can opt for suitable ADA compliance solutions.
Some common ADA compliance solutions include the use of tools and resources available to you. There are many options in the market. Keep in mind that a hybrid solution is what works.
Common Accessibility Issues on Squarespace and How to Avoid Them
Squarespace websites are known for their eye-catching and attention-grabbing designs. Users can use ready-to-use templates without having to code or develop.
With over sixty options on the platform, you can choose the one suited for your e-commerce needs. Customization is also a breeze, as you can tweak the template based on your preference.
However, the problem is this: these visually appealing websites come at the expense of accessibility. Because web accessibility is a critical element of websites, it’s just right to achieve Squarespace accessibility.
If you have a website on the platform, here are some accessibility concerns you have to look out for:
Problem 1: There is unavailability of preset accessible templates and plugins.
Squarespace has customizable website templates and helpful compliance guidelines to ensure website owners personalize their web design that meets WCAG.
However, you need skilled developers to implement these guidelines to Squarespace websites. Additionally, current templates are not fully compliant with accessibility policies.
The platform also doesn’t offer plugins that you can use, so you need to find external ones to ensure full accessibility.
Problem 2: Squarespace claims to have accessible elements in some of its templates. However, these elements are too basic and can be compromised once a website owner customizes the template.
Squarespace is known as a design hub, which means that its templates allow you to adjust elements and design on your website. These include headings, fonts, and colors.
However, only 20% of accessibility requirements are related to design and UI changes. Additionally, having accessible elements doesn’t mean it’s an accessible website.
Keep in mind that content should be accessible to all without complex adjustments. Because Squarespace gives you the freedom to customize your site, that means you’re responsible for your e-commerce site’s full accessibility.
Problem 3: Most accessible elements that Squarespace templates offer are related only to the website’s design.
Like we’ve mentioned, Squarespace offers a lot of templates that e-commerce site owners can tweak to their liking. Unfortunately, these designs are not made to be fully customizable.
And while the latest version has improved, there are still other aspects that have accessibility issues. These include navigation and semantic markup, which are both important in achieving Squarespace accessibility.
How to Attain Accessibility on Squarespace
Now, say you’re done auditing your e-commerce site for accessibility and found the issues. Now you should fix them.
With this, you can find a range of well-known solutions that help to ensure that you achieve full Squarespace accessibility.
There are various compliance solutions you can choose from, such as widgets and plugins. Here are our recommendations:
AudioEye is a compliance solution that will help your website meet ADA and WCAG 2.1 compliance guidelines. It uses an award-winning automated solution but still fixes existing issues through manual remediation.
Another tool you can use is UserWay. It’s an accessibility widget that you can use on your e-commerce site to achieve Squarespace accessibility.
If you’re looking for another automated compliance solution that you can employ, accessiBe is another excellent option.
Not only will it help you comply with WCAG and ADA, but you can also receive accessibility certification for your website.
Lastly, we have EqualWeb. This compliance solution uses a mix of automated and manual remediation, making it an effective tool to attain Squarespace accessibility.
Tips for Your Website Compliance
ADA compliance is easy to achieve, especially when you know what to fix. There are also tools that you can use to make this even easier.
That said, here are some tips that you should remember to make website compliance a breeze.
☑️ Add a Website Accessibility Interface to Your Site
When you have an accessibility interface, any visitor can adjust the design of your site to cater to their requirements. For example, someone with a visual impairment can adjust the size and color of the text, while someone with ADHD can reduce distractions, making your site easier to use.
☑️ Cater to Assistive Technologies
The other step you will need to take to make your website accessible is to ensure it’s compatible with screen readers and navigation tools.
A screen reader makes it possible for visually impaired users to read all content on a webpage, including the alternative text of images. The alternative text explains what a user would see in a picture using descriptive language. Therefore, all visuals on your site should have alt tags.
Navigation tools are used by people who don’t have a full motor function – they allow for ease of movement when browsing a website. Some keyboard keys will perform specific functions, and on-screen keyboards will contain shortcuts to make navigation easier.
At this stage, you probably think that website accessibility sounds like a complex project. But with the right plugin, ADA compliance is easier than you think.
Access Exclusive Agency Discounts for Your Customers
The Audioeye Partnership Program makes developing accessible and compliant websites at a more affordable rate. Differentiate yourself from your competitors by adding ADA compliance to your agency’s offering!
The program is open to agencies of all sizes across several industries. Through this partnership program, you get access to exclusive perks and discounts that benefit your business and your clients.
If your e-commerce website is on Squarespace, it’s your responsibility to make every possible effort to ensure your site’s ADA compliance. Let’s face it: achieving ADA compliance can be time-consuming and quite costly.
However, the benefits you reap from it are helpful for business. Not only does it help you steer away from legal risks, but it’s also a way to do your social and moral responsibilities.
Above all, an ADA-compliant website is good for your brand reputation, business, and other people.
If you found this article helpful, check out our other articles on ADA compliance for websites!