The Importance of Accessibility: Why Your Website Needs an Audit

Web Accessibility is important for All Users, not just disabled people

Equal access to the web isn’t just about legal compliance, although that is important, it’s also about ensuring everyone, regardless of their ability, or their disability can enjoy access to your online content and services. Disabled people, like everyone else, rely on websites to access information and services—and often the online option is the only option. The reason your website needs an accessibility audit is to ensure it can be navigated easily and your content is easy to understand.

The Benefits of Conducting an Accessibility Audit to Identify and Address Barriers

An accessibility audit is an important first step in identifying and removing any obstacles that prevent disabled people from using your website. It is not just a box-ticking exercise to keep you free from possible litigation (i.e. if you are not complying with The Equality Act 2010); it’s about understanding the issues that are preventing you from creating a seamless accessible and easy-to-use experience for your visitors. The benefits of a more accessible website include:

  • Identifying and fixing accessibility issues makes your site more user-friendly for your visitors.
  • Your content becomes available to a broader audience, including the elderly and those using assistive technologies.
  • Accessibility improvements are proven to boost search engine rankings.
  • You are demonstrating a commitment to accessibility that helps foster trust and loyalty among your users.

Examples of Accessibility Issues Commonly Found on Websites and Their Impact on User Experience

The following are examples of some common accessibility issues that can turn away users:

  • A lack of alternative text descriptions for non-text content. Visitors to your site who are screen reader users can’t see your images, so, you need to add alternative text descriptions via the alt attribute that is connected to your image. Generally, this can be added via your content management system’s image gallery. Without descriptive text for images, screen reader users do not get the same information your sighted visitors get.
  • Low contrast between text colour and background colour can make reading difficult for visually impaired users. The WCAG 2 Guidelines provide minimum contrast ratios. You can check if your colours meet those rations using the WebAim contrast checker (
  • Ensure that all of your link text descriptions will make sense when read out of context – because that’s precisely how most screen readers users will encounter them. Screen reading technology can summarise all of the links on a page as a list for the visitors to your site – so they can jump to the link they are interested in. So, avoid generic link text like “click here” as it provides no context for screen reader users and this hinders navigation.
  • Ensure your form fields have proper labels and appropriate instructions that help visitors to fill them in.
    The Potential Legal and Reputational Risks of Inaccessible Websites

Ignoring web accessibility can lead to serious legal and reputational consequences. Laws like The Equality Act 2010 in the UK that mandate that websites be accessible, and non-compliance can result in lawsuits, fines. Moreover, an inaccessible website can tarnish your brand’s reputation. Users are likely to view your business as neglectful or uncaring about the needs of disabled peopole, leading to negative publicity and a loss of trust.

Your Website Needs an Audit to Help Improve Usability, Reach, and Legal Compliance

An accessibility audit examines your website to ensure it is accessible to all visitors and meets WCAG 2.2 accessibility guidance. From October 2024 WCAG 2.2 is the default guidance used by the UK Government and most other governments. This process helps:
By addressing barriers, your site becomes more usable and easier to navigate for everyone.

An accessible website opens your website up to be used by a wider audience, including disabled people and elderly users.
An audit ensures your site adheres to legal standards and guidelines, reducing the risk of legal issues and showing your commitment to inclusivity. By investing in an accessibility audit, you not only enhance the user experience but also position your business as inclusive and forward-thinking, benefiting both your brand and the broader community.

Jim Byrne Accessible Design and Auditing can provide you with a comprehensive WCAG 2.2 accessibility audit of your website to help you attract more visitors/clients and stay clear of brand-damaging complaints. Get in touch today to chat about how an accessibility audit your website and documents can help your organisation/business.

Why Your Website Needs an Audit

Tel: 07810 098 119

Contact Jim Byrne now


07810 098 119

Accessibility Testing - feedback from clients



"We contacted Jim and his team to audit our old website in preparation for a brand refresh and website redesign, and to do an accessibility audit after the redesign process. From the beginning of our collaboration, Jim was thorough and clear with his findings and provided additional support and advice where we had questions or follow up. His expertise and passion for accessibility came through in each step of the process. We’re thankful to Jim and his team for their support in ensuring our new website can be accessible to all and for setting up our organisation to continue producing accessible content going forward.

Katie Northcott (she/her) – Communications Manager AMPLIFYCHANGE


University of Strathclyde ...

"Jim provided us with auditing and training services to help the University’s websites and applications meet new government regulations on digital accessibility. His reports were extremely thorough, and have provided an excellent basis for the University to offer better services to students, staff and the public. The training offered gave our staff an excellent insight into designing and developing for users with special requirements"

Ralph Mackenzie, Front-End Website Designer/Developer, University of Strathclyde


Sealed Envelope Ltd ...

"Jim at extremely short notice kindly provided us with an informal audit of one of our web-based demo randomisation systems. The audit was extremely comprehensive, clear and demonstrated his expertise in the area of accessible web design. From our initial contact Jim was professional, extremely helpful, attentive, responsive and a pleasure to work with. Jim is extremely knowledgeable and skilled and we would highly recommend him."

Peter Madden, Project Manager, Sealed Envelope Ltd

Get in touch for a chat about your accessibility needs

If you have been thinking about a new accessible website or getting your website checked to ensure it is accessible and compliant with equality legislation, get in touch. Jim Byrne has been working with non-profits, charities, voluntary and public sector organisations and social enterprises for over 20 years. He fully understands the needs of this sector.

Get in touch today to take advantage of unrivalled experience and skills relating to accessible website design and WCAG 2 auditing. A website designer based in Glasgow but with clients all over the UK.

See list of clients and what they said about working with Jim Byrne Accessible Design.