Why Your Wedding Industry Website Should Be ADA Compliant

by Brian Lawrence

The wedding industry is becoming more and more mindful of inclusive business practices and strategies with regard to gender and cultural diversity.

However, disabled communities are often overlooked in the conversation about inclusivity. Many wedding businesses are not addressing the needs of disabled customers. This neglect is present in many industry-related websites, making it more difficult for disabled customers to take part in various aspects of wedding planning.

Industry Inclusivity

Overall inclusivity is vital to wedding industry businesses, including public venues and formal wear shops. A well-designed website improves the user experience and increases your credibility with customers. However, people with moderate to severe disabilities might still find navigating even the most optimized websites difficult. For example, if someone who is sight impaired tries to independently learn about your business, they’ll need audio aids. Federal law provides protections for the disabled in physical locations and now even on websites. Providing extra software features for the disabled helps your business website satisfy ADA compliance guidelines, strengthens your reputation, and protects you from legal liability.

What is ADA Compliance?

In July 1990, President George H. W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) into law. The landmark law cemented protections for disabled people throughout the U.S. ADA protections apply to any public space including websites and are not considered optional. Specific features your business can implement to make sure websites are ADA-compliant include:

  • video captions
  • alt text on images
  • color contrast
  • adjustable text size
  • text reader
  • speech input

Your business is not limited to any number of accessibility features. However, it’s in your best interest to include a wide range of features on your website that cater to people with different disabilities.

Benefits of ADA Compliance

Social Responsibility

When you embrace inclusivity, your business opens to a wider range of potential customers who might otherwise find it difficult to obtain your services. ADA compliance shows you’re serious about making socially responsible decisions that benefit underserved communities.

Google Rankings

An accessible website improves your business’s trust factor with Google and can aid your overall SEO efforts. For example, your website should already have simple SEO features like image alt text that benefit blind users who need a screen reader. ADA compliance is not a specific ranking factor in SEO. However, Google may penalize websites that lack accessibility options because poor accessibility promotes a poor user experience. Any effort to increase your website’s user experience will improve searchability and positively affect rankings.

The true impact of website accessibility has been difficult to prove over the years with little data available. Recently, SEMRUSH and AccessibilityChecker.org conducted a study of over 800 websites, showing real evidence of how website accessibility improves SEO efforts.

Data showing improved traffic for accessible websites

To conduct the study, SEMRUSH used a tool that detects different technologies on websites. The tool found 847 websites that used accessibility software and identified trends in web traffic before and after the websites improved accessibility. Analysts determined that 73.4% of the websites saw a 12% increase in overall traffic after implementing some form accessibility software. Of the websites studied, 66% saw up to 50% growth in organic traffic while 7% of the websites saw more than 50%. Furthermore, AccessibilityChecker.org looked at the numerous accessibility software providers and found our solution to be highly effective.

The data is clearer than ever. Accessible websites are far more likely to see higher traffic and rank higher in search engine results pages.

Consequences of Not Being ADA Compliant

Damage to Reputation

Without a website that adopts ADA guidelines, you can damage your reputation and cause difficult times for your wedding industry business. Disabled visitors who cannot navigate your website might seek out alternative options. In addition, socially conscious customers who learn of your website’s lack of accessibility might take their business elsewhere or leave negative reviews.

Legal Liability

ADA compliance is not only important for the social health of your business; it’s the law. Disabled website visitors who cannot access your services have the right to take legal action. Any legal action against you or your business can cost thousands of dollars in addition to harming your reputation.

How to Comply with ADA Guidelines

There are innovative ways to increase your website’s accessibility beyond traditional optimization features like alt tags. We have an easy solution to help websites fully comply with ADA guidelines. It combines real-time UI adjustments with artificial intelligence to provide instant changes for disabled users.

We can install it on many of the major CMS sites, including WordPress, Shopify, Square Space, and Wix. Once installed, this clickable icon will appear at the bottom corner of your website:

small white stick figure representation of a person, inside a bright blue circle

Clicking the icon will reveal accessibility adjustments that cater to various disabilities:

accesibility adjustment options for accessibility application accessiBe - Overall settings control list with options including "Seizure Safe Profile" and "Vision Impaired Profile" with on/off toggles

The accessibility adjustment window allows users to instantly customize website features, including visual and audio enhancements.

Scrolling down gives users even more ways to alter content, color, and orientation features on your website:

content adjustment options for accessibility application accessiBe - pale blue boxes with small black image representations above small black text sharing the name of the feature, like "Content Scaling" and "Adjust Letter Spacing"
color adjustment options for accessibility application accessiBe - pale blue boxes with small black image representations above small black text sharing the name of the feature, like "Dark Contrast" and "High Saturation"
orientation adjustment options for accessibility application accessiBe - pale blue boxes with small black image representations above small black text sharing the name of the feature, like "Mute Sounds" and "Reading Guide"

Embracing Inclusivity

With this impactful tool installed on your website, you can take comfort in knowing you’re fully complying with ADA guidelines.

Embracing inclusivity doesn’t just satisfy legal requirements. It expands your reach to vulnerable customers and cements your business as a leader in socially responsible marketing. Above all, it’s the right thing to do.

Don’t leave your website at risk of lawsuits due to non-compliance for another moment. Take our ADA Compliancy Test and stay ahead of accessibility trends.