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15 Tips to Create Better Lead Capture Forms to Close More Sales

15 Tips to Create Better Lead Capture Forms to Close More Sales

15 Tips to Create Better Lead Capture Forms to Close More Sales

As anyone in sales will tell you, capturing a lead is the first step in any sales process. Leads turn into prospects, which turn into sales, which turn into customers. The path is clear, but how do we get started?

The right web tools give you options to create lead capture forms. You see them everywhere. Most people don’t know how to design a suitable layout to bring in new leads. “Sign up for our newsletter” is almost like white noise to us at this point. Yes, we know you have a newsletter, but we’re going to skip right over your form.

Lead capture forms aren’t hard to create. In fact, we try to find the quickest and easiest way to build them, but we usually don’t end up with a quality product. How can you take steps to create forms that convert? Here are 15 tips to get you started.

  

1. Do your research.

You aren’t the only one trying to get leads! Look at what other websites are doing. How are they approaching form creation? Remember that every website in every industry uses some sort of lead capture form to build a pipeline. Don’t limit yourself to the competition. Scour the internet for ideas and find ones that suit you. 

 

2. Find your voice.

You have a brand. You have a look. Most form creation tools let you use templates, so find one that fits your voice. Authenticity is the name of the game. When people feel a bond with you, they’re more likely to sign up for whatever you’re selling. There are thousands of possibilities for different schemes. Use the one that you connect with the most, customers will follow. 

  

3. Keep it short.

No one wants to read a wall of text for any reason. They certainly aren’t interested in a pop-up with 400 words. Keep the form short. One or two questions and/or blanks to fill out will give you everything you need to know to get started with a lead. If you need to dive further, do it on your next contact, whether it’s another form or a conversation. Don’t overwhelm leads before they get started!

 

4. Keep it simple.

Don’t ask leads for too much information. Ask yourself what you want to accomplish and design the simplest questions to get you there. If all you need to pursue a lead is an email address, stop there. If your lead qualification goes a little further, think of the most concise phrasing, and use it. 

 

5. Use conditional logic.

What is conditional logic? Conditional logic is where the customers’ answers to each question determine the next fields. For example, if the question is, “are you a citizen,” and you answer yes, you move on to the next question. If the answer is no, conditional logic redirects that person to a new field for non-citizens. This tool lets you keep your forms short by automatically skipping unnecessary questions.

 

6. Test calls to action.

The call to action may be the most vital element of lead generation. The CTA is your way to produce a desired response from the customer. “Click here” is a CTA, although it’s not a great one. Be specific to your product. “Test drive our system today!” builds more value and urgency to drive clicks. 

 

7. Automatically email signups.  

As soon as someone completes your form, send them a confirmation email. Confirmation emails serve a few purposes, aside from just letting the customer know you received their form. You can use them to start promoting products and services before your next contact point. Automatic emails can also help redirect leads to complete a deeper information dive to build on the one or two question signup form. 

 

8. Use the power of conversational marketing.

Nothing produces better results than connecting with a lead in a conversation. We’re coded to respond to usual conversational queues. I ask you a question, and you answer that one question. I don’t ask you five questions in a row and expect an answer for all five right then. Conversational marketing applies that idea to presenting forms to leads. As opposed to displaying a static, five-question form, you can ask leads questions one at a time to generate better responses. If you think you don’t know how to set up this type of lead capture tool, don’t worry. There are plenty of solutions to help.

9. Integrate your lead capture tools to other products.

When a lead fills out a form, they receive a confirmation email, but how do you know when someone submits a form? Integrations with other software products like Slack, Zapier, and Mailchimp can immediately notify you the second someone signs up. Connecting to these different solutions is straightforward since most of them are explicitly built for lead capture tools.

10. Follow up on partially completed forms.

Sometimes keeping a lead capture form short isn’t an option. That’s ok. Longer forms lead to fewer completions, though. Many people will start filling out the questions but not finish. Keep an eye on signup statuses to see where some leads began the process but didn’t finish. In many cases, you can reach out to these prospects to encourage them to finish filling out the form.  

11. Make your forms secure.

Cyber-security isn’t a buzz-word. Hackers are always trying to breach firewalls and intercept information, so putting in a “Captcha” tool can block tacit attacks that some hackers put in place. Google’s “reCAPTCHA” is completely free and provides an excellent layer of security for your site.

12. Learn about who is signing up.

Learning demographic details about your audience is every bit as important as their contact information or lead qualifications. Geolocation can help you begin to tailor your calls to action to attack a specific segment of the market or country. Lead capture forms are always evolving, so take every bit of information you can find to improve your conversion chances. 

 

13. Make your terms and conditions easy to follow.

No one likes reading terms and conditions. Most people don’t even read them. T&Cs can save your skin from a legal standpoint, so don’t overlook them as a business owner. That said, presenting them to a prospect during lead capture needs to be easy to stomach. Adding a clickthrough option or a small text box will do the trick, but adding too much information hurts your conversion rates. 

 

14. Hold up your end of the deal.

By completing a form, leads are entering an upfront contract with you. You are responsible for protecting their information and only using it for the agreed-upon means. Ensure you are transparent about what kinds of guidelines and security measures you put in place, so leads feel confident signing up. Your conversion rate will thank you.

 

15. Incentivize signups.

Everyone loves free stuff. Give leads a reason to enter their information. If offering a $25 Amazon gift card generated 2,000 new leads, and you close ten sales, that $25 is a drop in the bucket. Don’t be afraid to go big on a giveaway. Converting new leads is essential to a growing business. 

 

Summary

Shiny templates with strategic verbiage and design are only a few components of a useful form. Our list is by no means comprehensive, but at least you have a head start!

Creating and managing forms on Shamrck is as easy as picking a template and adding your content. We can make sure the leads are routed to the right location, making things easier for you to stay organized and keep all of your sales and marketing tools under one roof. Test drive Shamrck today to start getting your time back.  

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Why You Need a Development Team

Why You Need a Development Team

Why You Need a Development Team

Going it alone is hard. Business owners are well aware of this maxim because it applies to every aspect of running a company. Building and maintaining a website is no different. Website builders help users get started, but the perfect site requires more than a basic template and a few words. Resources like articles and videos help, but the most useful resource of all is a development team.

Most business owners aren’t also web developers. You don’t have time to learn how to code and create a custom website that fits your brand. Maybe you’ll find a template that’s close enough to what you want, but what happens when you’re ready to grow into something new? What happens when your simple site needs to be much, much more?

This step is where going it alone becomes more challenging. Choosing the right content management system (CMS) is critical. Content management systems come with all kinds of tools and resources. 

Development teams know exactly how to leverage those tools and resources.

 

What is a development team?

Businesses starting from scratch need to determine what approach they’re going to take to build their site. Will they use a website builder and simple templates? Some do, but general templates recycled styles don’t help a business stand out in the crowd. In today’s market, every business needs an online presence. Building a site with a fundamental website builder like Wix or Squarespace is like putting an ad in the White Pages (no one really sees it). Using a development team is like putting up a billboard on Main St.

Development teams come in all shapes and sizes, but the leading roles are web developers and web designers. People like to conflate development and design even though they’re two very different aspects of a website. Development is the construction of a site, the custom coding and creation. On the other hand, design refers to the aesthetics of the website, the schemes, and the look.

We can break these teammate roles down into a little further detail.

 

Back-End Developers

The back end of your website is where all the magic happens. Every click navigating to another page, every video on auto-play, and every pop-up happen because a back-end developer built it. Businesses need them to create custom elements that will make their website functional. These elements include site security and other applications, so finding the right back-end developer is essential. Developers also help build the kinds of flexibility that allow site owners to receive and manage user information. 

 

Front-End Developers

Front-end developers focus on user experience. The back-end developer will create the system for running searches or navigation, but your front-end developer makes it look awesome. The spinning wheels, zoom in/out buttons, and feature locations (among other things)? All of that stuff comes from on the front-end. 

Finding an excellent front-end developer is every bit as important as your back-end. The user-experience helps define your website. Visitors will judge not just your site but your entire business based on how your site behaves. An essential part of behavior is across multiple platforms. Your website needs to function the same whether someone visits on a computer, tablet, or phone. 

 

Web Designers

Web designers work in tandem with the developers, but they work on different aspects that flow together. The designer creates the look and feel of your website. Starting with the overview “template” of ideas, a designer will work closely with you to organize color schemes, create custom graphics, and help with the overall concept. Your brand is on display, and your brand is your business.

Keep in mind that designers are not developers. While they may have some experience with coding, their function is to design, not build. Working with a designer is almost an essential part of building your website, but you can’t count on them to make your site function.

 

Use a development team to make a change.

Website builders like Wix and Squarespace are extremely limited. Users start because the platforms offer attractive templates and a user-friendly dashboard. After a while, people realize their website can’t grow with their business and look elsewhere. 

If you already know there’s no future with a site builder, why bother at all?

Luckily, there are ways to migrate away from these other platforms (see our guides on Wix and Squarespace). Moving can be a challenge if you’re looking to do more than just change the look of your site. Using a development team to help you make the move removes confusion and limits mistakes. Plus, you get the bonus of expanding your current functionality by using developers to create new tools. 

 

Why you need a development team

The DIY route is challenging. As we mentioned before, you need a website. With internet traffic trends the way they are, your site needs to shine above everyone else. It has to be functional and chic. You need a website that represents your brand without sacrificing the user experience. More than anything, you need to be able to make changes. No business is the same. There is no one-size-fits-all solution, so saving the ability to build custom features is essential.

Development teams do all of that for you. You get to choose the direction you want to go, work with the team, and watch as they turn your ideas into a beautiful website. The best part? You get to focus on the most critical aspects of your company, your customers. Some people believe they don’t have the budget for a development team. There are teams for all budgets, but all you need to remember is how much time and energy you’ll spend to build the perfect website. How many hours of work will you lose while you fumble through building a site? Compare your budget against how much money you’ll drop by not running your business and see how much it really costs to hire a development team.

 

We’d love to chat with you a little more about why a development team is a perfect business solution. Reach out, and let’s get started!

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How Cheap Hosting Hurts Your Website

How Cheap Hosting Hurts Your Website

How Cheap Hosting Hurts Your Website

Cheap does not always equal value. Cheap shoes fall apart, and a low-cost computer crashes three days after you buy it. Cheap sunscreen gives you a sunburn so bad you painfully regret not buying better sunscreen. When it comes to web hosting, a cheap host can hurt your website in many ways. A bad host can cause a lot of damage from weak cyber-security to slow page speeds and everything in between.

Don’t get us wrong. Saving money is good. Opting for a more inexpensive hosting service is a plausible solution if you weigh all of the pros and cons. The problem is understanding the impact of certain inequities. Some disadvantages will severely outweigh the advantages, and your site will suffer. The best weapon you have is research. Luckily, there are some tools and resources out there to help (like this post!).

So, how does cheap hosting hurt?

 

Upkeep

A good host maintains a stable website status. That means minimal downtime for repairs or bug fixes. Websites need periodic updates to function correctly since plugins and systems are continually updating. A cheap host can lapse on essential updates that affect (possibly crashing) your website.

Worse, cheap hosts are known for terrible customer service. Your website is the face of the business. Imagine that someone locks you out of your storefront, and you have to wait three days for a locksmith. Imagine the business you’d lose! Think of poor customer service as the slow locksmith. You need your website up and running correctly. A cheap web hosting service won’t take the importance of upkeep very seriously.

Slow Page Speeds

When most people think of SEO, thoughts of keywords, and blog posts come to mind. While those are both essential aspects of optimization, page speed is one of the most crucial. The search engine algorithms look through hundreds of site attributes to rank the results, but some traits are more heavily weighted than others. Page speed clocks in as one of the most important because it shows your website is performing well. Google and the other engines will prioritize sites based on load times.

Why is that important for hosting?

A cheap hosting service may not scale well with your business. That means the more traffic you get, the slower the site loads. Slow page load times can kill your website performance. More than have of mobile users give you approximately three seconds before they leave, and the number drops every second after that. Don’t let your website take a tumble in the search results because your hosting service can’t keep up.

 

Cyber-Security

Cyber-security isn’t just a buzz-word, and your website can’t live without it. Cheap hosting services put security on the backburner because security protocols can require additional resources and bandwidth. Start with a straightforward question. Does your host offer a secure socket layer (SSL) certificate?

An SSL certificate is literally the bare minimum you can accept from a host. Malware attacks millions of sites each year, and cheap hosting services that skimp on cyber-security leave you vulnerable. Be sure to do your research because these hosts will put the security onus on you and make sure you are liable instead of them.

There are cyber-security steps you can take on your own to try to secure your website, but ideally, you’d like to work in tandem with a host that emphasizes security as well.

Less Control

Many cheap hosting services offer low price points because they limit what you can do with your site. You lose the ability to create custom coding to fit your needs because the host won’t let you make substantial-scale changes on their server. By limiting bandwidth and disk space, servers can run with less effort and cost, but you end up suffering through a mediocre website.

An excellent hosting service works with you to make sure your site, videos, animations, images, and all, work seamlessly all day every day. Limiting what you can do to build a custom site leaves you with nothing more than a template to type some words.

Hosting is worth the investment.

You can find hosting services in every corner of the internet. Some host on cloud-based servers with data centers all over the world. Some hosts are on a physical server in the back room of a dingy office building. Regardless of a hosting services’ claim of what they do and don’t offer, do your research. Ask questions about security protocols and bandwidth limitations. Learn more about their customer service team and how they handle updates.

There are qualities to some cheap hosting services, mostly, the price, but choosing who hosts your website is critical. The choice can make or break the success of your site and possibly your business. No, that’s not being too dramatic, either. A malware attack leaking customer information can land you in court, ruining your company. Slipping to the second, third, or fourth page of Google can make you invisible compared to the competition all because your pages load slowly.

Investing in a development team to build your website is a wise decision. Investing in a top-class hosting service is just good business. Don’t get sucked in by low price points and wild promises that are too good to be true. Pick a host that you can trust, even if it’s not the cheapest.

At Shamrck, we believe in value above everything else. A hosting service can be inexpensive and still have a customer-first mindset. We’d love to chat a little more with you about trusting your site to an excellent host. Reach out today, and let’s get started!

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How to Move From Wix to WordPress

How to Move From Wix to WordPress

How to Move From Wix to WordPress

Wix is one of many simple website creation tools businesses turn to have an online presence. The builder is easy to use. Users pick a template and use a straightforward drag and drop creation to construct a basic website. Wix isn’t complicated. It also isn’t versatile. That’s why users look to move from Wix.

WordPress blows Wix away when it comes to customization and flexibility. Users leave Wix once they realize they’re not building the website they want. Instead, users have to develop inside a box. Unfortunately, Wix doesn’t make a move to WordPress very easy, but we can still do it.

 

Why is WordPress Better?

WordPress is an explosion of options and possibilities. WordPress has everything someone needs to build the perfect website from premade templates and plugins to the ability to create intricate customizations. Wix starts as an attractive option because the interface is user friendly, and the templates are enticing, but as the saying goes, you get what you pay for. 

As your business grows and your needs grow, Wix’s limitations become more and more evident. The Wix app store sports a paltry 250+ plugins to improve functionality. WordPress features more than 50,000, ready-made plugins affecting every part of your site. Wix limits the ability to build and add the custom code you may need too. More than anything, WordPress has shown to be more SEO friendly than Wix sites. As users get more and more frustrated with their Wix site, they quickly migrate to WordPress.

And here is how.

 

Import Content to WordPress

Wix is closed-source software, meaning there are no direct ways to migrate your content. You won’t have to recreate your content from scratch or copy and paste page after page. However, you’ll need to do a little work to grab your RSS feed and import it into WordPress. 

  1. Bring up your RSS feed by going to your domain and adding /feed.xml to the end.
  2. You’ll navigate to a page loaded with code. Right-click on the page and select Save As, so you’ll have a downloaded version of your XML file to upload.
  3. Go to your WordPress website and into the Tools -> Import section.
  4. Find the RSS area and click “Install Now.”
  5. After a second, you’ll be prompted to run the importer tool.
  6. Choose the file you want to import. You’ll be importing the RSS feed you recently downloaded and hit the Upload and Import File.
  7. You’ll be notified as soon as your import is finished!

Your content pages will show up, but unfortunately, not your images. Importing images from Wix requires a different process.

 

Import Images to WordPress

Like with the content, the move from Wix doesn’t allow a direct way to migrate images to the new website. Still, there is a simple way to upload your images with a little legwork. In this case, you’ll want to start by installing the Auto Upload Images plugin. The plugin helps you reupload all the images without having to do them one by one.

  1. Install the Auto Upload Images plugin.
  2. Re-save all of your posts in Wix that have images.
  3. Go to the All-Posts page and click on the Screen Options button.
  4. Make sure to update the items per page blank to 999 to include all of your pages.
  5. Select all posts and choose Edit from the drop-down.
  6. Click Apply. You’ll see an edit box come up, but just hit Update, and the plugin will update your posts.

 

Point Domain to New WordPress Install.

First, you can only redirect traffic to your WordPress website if you have a custom domain. If you have a custom domain, the move from Wix is a little more straightforward than some of our other steps. 

  1. Sign in to your account and go to Subscriptions.
  2. Click the Domains drop-down.
  3. Choose the domain you want.
  4. Click on the “Advanced” tab
  5. Choose Transfer away from Wix and then Send Code.

You’ll receive an authorization email from Wix, allowing you to transfer your domain. 

 

Recreate Your Template With Divi

Wix takes pride in offering a slew of crafted templates for their customers. Many users sign up mainly for a template they liked. That’s understandable. Some of these templates are chic, original, and beautifully done. However, there’s nothing done in Wix that you can’t do in WordPress. We completely understand wanting to bring your template when you move from Wix, but unfortunately, that’s not an option. 

Instead, you can recreate the template with the Divi page builder, except now, you can create and make changes as you see fit. No template is one-size-fits-all. Moving to WordPress means opening up options for everything, including web design. You don’t need to be a graphic designer to build a beautiful website when you have the right tools. 

 

Configure Permalinks

Finally, the last step is making sure your page links line up with the Wix links. Wix tends to follow a basic .com/blog-name link pattern. Since this recipe is one of the best for SEO and the easiest to manipulate, we recommend the same. 

  1. Open the WordPress dashboard and scroll over Settings on the left side.
  2. Click Permalinks to open the options.
  3. Click the Post Name radio button. 
  4. Save changes.

You’ll want to make sure any imported posts have this link style. You can visit the posts by going to the All Posts section under the Posts menu. All of your new pages will follow the same link style.

 

Making the Move from Wix

Making the move from Wix is inevitable for many users. As your business grows, you need more space. You need more functionality. You just need…more. WordPress is the answer, and partnering up with a premium development and hosting firm like WPClover maximizes the experience. Otherwise, you’re wasting the many tools and resources at your disposal. 

Your website is the face of your company. It’s the first impression your potential clients have. Take advantage of the possibilities WordPress offers by building the perfect site. Why settle for less?

 

We’d love to take some time to talk with you more about where you see your brand. Our team of experts is here to help you make the move from Wix, so reach out and get started.

 

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How to Move From Squarespace to WordPress

How to Move From Squarespace to WordPress

How to Move From Squarespace to WordPress

Squarespace provides an easy-to-use website builder. There are some templates and drag and drop functions, but Squarespace isn’t anything special at the end of the day. Sooner or later, many users see the limitations and conclude that they’re better off moving away. If you’re looking to move from Squarespace, there are some essential things to consider. The move tends to be over to the more flexible WordPress.

 

Why is WordPress Better Than Squarespace?

WordPress is much more dynamic. Squarespace puts you in a box, and all sites are basically the same. With WordPress, the possibilities are endless. Using the right developer, you can create the perfect website designed to your specific standards instead of someone else’s. The intricate capabilities of WordPress are invaluable to a company trying to define an online presence. Squarespace limits your options to the point you can become frustrated over what should be simple features. 

The move from Squarespace to WordPress opens up a vast array of opportunities to improve your brand and increase your traffic. The only question is, why haven’t you already moved over?

 

Export Content

Of course, you already have content on Squarespace, and starting from scratch is not an option. The good news is that you can export much of your information automatically. You can easily export your blog posts and pages. Unfortunately, you can’t export everything so easily. 

Squarespace won’t let you export:

-Album pages, indexes, product, or events
-Blocks like audio or product
-Custom CSS
-Style changes
-Squarespace template

Even so, the bulk of your content can be uploaded onto your new site reasonably smoothly. Luckily, the aspects of the information you can’t bring from Squarespace is replicable in WordPress, and again, working with a design and development team will help a lot. 

To Export

  1. Log in to Squarespace and go to the “Settings” option on the left-hand side of the screen for whichever site you want to export (if you have multiple sites).
  2. Scroll down to “Advanced,” and from there, select “Export.” You’ll be asked for the export site, so be sure to choose WordPress if there are multiple options.
  3. Wait for a pop-up letting you download the information. *If you have multiple blog pages, you’ll need to choose which one to export before proceeding. 

 

Point Domain to New WordPress Install

If you purchased a domain, you’ll probably want to carry it over to your new WordPress site. The task isn’t difficult. You’ll need to change your domain’s nameservers to point to WordPress instead of Squarespace. 

The only word of caution may be to make sure you’re ready to make the switch ultimately. You can work with your WordPress host to set up a WordPress staging site. This way, you can handle any Squarespace traffic while waiting on the work to be finished for your full website. 

Remember to go to your domain registrar to change the settings too. Once you have your site built and domain pointed to WordPress, you’ll ultimately be ready to move from Squarespace.

 

Import Content to WordPress

Now that you have your .xml file, it’s time to import. 

  1. Head over to your WordPress dashboard and find the Tools menu. 
  2. When you click on Tools, you’ll see the import option below.
  3. Click import next and find WordPress at the bottom of the list, and then click Install Now.
  4. The link will change from Install Now to Run Importer.
  5. From here, choose the .xml file to import, and click the upload file and import. This step will get the upload process started. 
  6. The next page you come to will offer to create a new user for this upload, but your best bet is to select a current user from the dropdown list.
  7.  Check the import attachments box and submit!

 

The last step is to make sure your content is uploaded correctly. Check your pages and posts to ensure everything is where it’s supposed to be, and it looks good. If not, you may need to make changes page by page, or you can start the process over to try again.

 

Import Images to WordPress

We discussed at the beginning that not everything shares over flawlessly. You’ll notice some or all of your images when you move from Squarespace did not load. You have a couple of options to add them back in. First, you can go one page at a time and upload each image one by one. That method can be a little tedious, though. Luckily, there are plugins available to help with the task. 

Plugins like Auto Upload Images will find URLs in your post and automatically upload the image files to your WordPress media database. Rather than going page by page, the plugin will let you mass select posts and pages and then do a bulk action to update all of your pages. 

  1. Go to your “Posts” page in WordPress
  2. Select all of the posts you need to update
  3. Use the bulk action dropdown and click Edit and then apply
  4. A new window will appear, but you won’t need to make changes. Just click Update.
  5. All the images from your Squarespace pages should now be showing up on your WordPress pages.

 

Configure Permalinks

Permalinks are how traffic finds your website. When you posted something on Squarespace, you received a permalink resembling something like https://example.com/blog-post-title. WordPress can mimic that or other types of dynamic permalinks through a quick setting change.

  1. Go to the Settings in your WordPress dashboard.
  2. Click Permalinks to open the menu
  3. Select the Date and Name option since it’s the most commonly used.
  4. Use the custom structure to recreate something close to the Squarespace link. Since theirs is usually a date-page-post, you can create a custom structure using a dynamic link. For example .com/%year%/%month%/%day%/blog/%post%
  5. Hit save changes to lock everything in place.

 

Recreate the Template in Divi

You can’t take your Squarespace template with you, and most people don’t particularly want to. However, if you’re in love with the look, you’ll be able to recreate it with Divi. Divi’s page builder option gives you a vast amount of possibilities to effortlessly insert rows, sections, columns, text, blocks, etc. Creating the look and feel flows smoothly, and Divi offers excellent customer experience to help. 

The Divi builder makes it easy to take your current content and build it into the same type of template you had or if you prefer, a brand new look. You have options like custom CSS, responsive editing, and simple drag and drop tools, among others. If you’re not ready to build from scratch, Divi also has an immense library of pre-created options. 

 

Leaving Squarespace

The move from Squarespace is inevitable for a lot of people. The system can be clunky, limiting, and expensive for what you actually get. WordPress provides a much better opportunity to make something with more flexibility that better represents your brand and lets you grow. The change can be difficult, though. Despite the step-by-step instructions above, your site and user experience can get lost in the shuffle. 

Professional firms like WPClover are here specifically to help you make your WordPress site precisely the way you want it instead of how someone else wants it. We’d love to talk more with you about how working with us can save you time and money, not to mention all of the perks that go along with a WordPress website. Reach out, and let’s get started!

 

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How to Make Your Website Disability Friendly

How to Make Your Website Disability Friendly

How to Make Your Website Disability Friendly

 

How to Make Your Website Disability Friendly

Millions of internet users have some sort of disability. Making websites more accessible for traffic with special needs isn’t a difficult task, but it starts with understanding the challenge. There are many impairments to consider. Things like visual and hearing impairments require multiple approaches. Another all-too-common disability is photosensitive epilepsy. Websites and plugins take pride in ultra-dynamic animations and video clips, but the high-intensity sites can cause seizures for some users. Website accessibility is all about inclusion.

The list of impairments and disabilities is long. Finding ways to make your website accessible to everyone is a never-ending process. As the web evolves and you learn about more unique needs, you’ll realize your website needs to change as well continually. Fortunately, you can find guidance from several sources.

 

What Is Website Accessibility?

Website accessibility is the idea of making your website available for all traffic. Internet visitors are a broad mix of people, some with various disabilities. Standard websites may not account for those. However, taking the time and effort to make your website accessible for all users is beneficial for everyone. 

Accessibility means finding tools and resources to continue to improve your site. Keep in mind that some disabilities and challenges are temporary. Broken arms and temporary blindness (lost glasses or medical work) can make using the computer much more difficult. Some problems develop over time. Think of gradually aging into poor eyesight or hearing. Website accessibility is an understanding of how to reach everyone everywhere.

 

Why Is Accessibility Important?

Designing your website to be more accessible is essential simply to be inclusive. The internet is for everyone. Shouldn’t your website be available too? Not only is being inclusive imperative from the human level, excluding traffic can take a significant toll on your site. Thousands of people can skip over your website due to a lack of something pretty simple, like adding alt-text to images. 

Traffic is important. Your website dies without visitors. However, the growing threat is litigation. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 helps to make sure accommodations are available for people with disabilities. Websites are now being referred to as places of public accommodation, given the increasing use of sites for everything. 

Title III of the Act states: “Public accommodations must comply with basic nondiscrimination requirements that prohibit exclusion, segregation, and unequal treatment. They also must comply with specific requirements related to architectural standards for new and altered buildings; reasonable modifications to policies, practices, and procedures; effective communication with people with hearing, vision, or speech disabilities; and other access requirements. Additionally, public accommodations must remove barriers in existing buildings where it is easy to do so without much difficulty or expense, given the public accommodation’s resources.”

The rapidly growing number of lawsuits regarding website accessibility is a direct tribute to internet services’ necessity. Your website is no exception. Some countries already have laws in place to govern accessibility, so be sure to take the required steps. 

While the threat of landing in court is intimidating, making your site more accessible has other positive outcomes. By changing specific ways to navigate and updating designs, you can create a more enjoyable experience for all visitors. Customer interface and accessibility go hand in hand, so focusing on accessibility helps all aspects of your website. 

 

How can you make your website more accessible?

At the beginning of this article, we mentioned that making your site more accessible is not a difficult task. As the ADA states, your responsibility is to make changes that are without much difficulty and reasonable expense. There’s no need to redesign your entire site. Here are just a few ways to make your website more accessible.

-Keyboard Friendly: What do we mean by that? Make sure your visitors can navigate your website without a mouse. Many assistive technologies can’t use a mouse, and so, by not making your site keyboard friendly, you immediately exclude anyone needing to use an adapted keyboard. Check out WebAIM for an excellent guide to creating a more keyboard friendly site. 

-Color Scheme: Colorblindness is an all-to-often overlooked disability that substantially impacts whether or not someone can see your content. Be careful about choosing your color scheme. Ideally, you want a heavy contrast between text and background, preferably a dark background. Also, try to avoid similar colors in your design. Most colorblind people don’t only see black and white. They see colors on different spectrums. This effect makes carefully designing your color scheme even more essential.

-Don’t use automatic media: Pages that immediately launch into some kind of video can be annoying for everyone. Imagine not being able to turn it off. Visitors using a screen reader will have exceptional difficulty trying to turn off a video. Others may get confused about where the noise is coming from and immediately leave. Either way, add media wisely.

These examples are some of the bare minimum things you can do to make your site more accessible. Other steps like limiting table use and enabling resizable text aren’t challenging either. Take the time to learn ways you can incorporate some of these features into your website. The payoff will be worth the work.

 

The Internet Is For Everyone

Always remember the internet is for everyone, regardless of if you suffer from a disability or not. Our job as website owners is to be as inclusive as possible. We need to understand these difficulties affect millions of people. Taking even the most basic steps to be more accessible is the least we can do. Along with the business sense of reaching out to as many people as possible, neglecting accessibility requirements can be a threat to your business. In summary, do some research and learn more about how disabilities can affect how internet traffic browses. 

 

If you’re not sure about how your website stacks up, WPClover offers a free website health check, including a WCAG 2.1 report to check accessibility. We’d love to talk with you a little more about your site and what potential steps you can take to improve.

 

 

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