Tag Archives: web standards

Web Accessibility: Providing Descriptive Titles for Web Pages

The objective of this technique is to give each Web page a descriptive title. Descriptive titles help users find content, orient themselves within it, and navigate through it. A descriptive title allows a user to easily identify what Web page they are using and to tell when the Web page has changed.
W3C Working Group Note

Having a descriptive title for web pages is vital for many reasons, but according to the W3C Working Group Note, it is especially important in regards to web accessibility practices and guidelines.

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WordPress Words: HTML

HTML, or Hypertext Markup Language, is a markup language used to describe the semantic content of web pages. It is usually used with CSS and/or JavaScript. WordPress renders web pages to conform to the HTML5 standard. The standard is set by the World Wide Web Consortium.
W3C.org

The term HTML stands for Hypertext Markup Language. This is the language that the browser understands in order to bring you the contents of you web page. According to the article “HTML- HyperText Markup Language” on Webopedia, “HTML defines the structure and layout of a Web document by using a variety of tags and attributes.”

HTML consists of tags that hold the design and structural elements of a web page such as the header, headings, lists, images, and content in general. CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) hold the instructions to design the HTML architecture of a site, influencing colors, positioning, size, and design elements.

HTML in WordPress

HTML is the underlying architecture of a web page. In WordPress, HTML is found in WordPress Themes, holding the PHP and WordPress code to generate and display the web page.

HTML is generated when creating a post or Page in WordPress. The user has two choices when creating content in WordPress, using the Visual Editor that hides the HTML tags, or using the Text Editor that displays the HTML tags.

In the post or Page Edit Screen, there are two tabs above the content and toolbar area to the right labeled Visual and Text. The Visual Editor is where you can type in what it is you would like to say, and then WordPress does all the code for you automatically. The Text tab is the “behind the scenes” of what you’ve written in the visual editor. This will show you where all the tags that are surrounding your tags and giving them certain attributes.

Visual display of where the Text editor and Visual editor are located within WordPress

Screen shot of how the entities show up in the Text editorAdding Some Style

HTML allows you to build a base structure of how you want your page to look. You can think of HTML as the bones of your website. However, without Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) you’re websites appeal may fall flat.  wrote an article for ClarkWP about what CSS is, and what it can do to give your site the extra push it deserves.

More information on HTML

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The Story of The WaSP

The Mission

The Web Standards Project (WaSP)  was founded in 1998 by George Olson, Glen Davis and Jeff Zeldman. It began as a grassroots effort by a group of professional web developers as an effort to encourage the main browser makers at the time, Microsoft and Netscape as well as Opera and others, to ensure that they adopted and adhered to an across-the-board standard for HTML, XHTML, CSS and related scripting. Continue reading The Story of The WaSP

Web Builders’ Guidelines for Government Websites

Many website developers may not be aware that, if they do any sort of work with or that represents the United States government or any of their agencies, there are a set of rules and regulations they must comply with. You might think to yourself, “Well, what are the odds I’ll work with the government?” but the answer might surprise you.

The government outsources many programs, and the contractors that receive those jobs may, in turn, outsource that work.

If you are doing work that ultimately is going to be used by the U.S. government you need to be aware of the following standards that they require by law.

Access for People with Disabilities (Section 508)

All federal public websites* must comply with the requirements of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act (29 U.S.C. 794d), which is designed to make online information and services fully available to individuals with disabilities. Organizations should review Section 508 and accompanying guidelines to ensure that their public websites meet the requirements.

To comply simply follow the P.O.U.R. Principles to ensure your website is as accessible as possible.

Access for People with Limited English Proficiency

OMB Policies for Federal Public Websites states that “your agency is already required to provide appropriate access for people with limited English proficiency by implementing Department of Justice guidance for Executive Order 13166, ‘Improving Access to Services for People with Limited English Proficiency.’ Continue reading Web Builders’ Guidelines for Government Websites

How to Code POUR-ly

Web accessibility is huge; especially with such a large percentage of the world’s population being considered “disabled” it is important to make your website as accessible as possible. Lack of patience for a few extra lines of code is quite lazy, when the end result is so critical. Here’s a few tips on how to code POUR-ly and make your website accessible!

Let’s look at few things you can do specifically in the code of your site.

  1. Properly formed HTML links: All links and URLs should be wrapped in anchor tags and have a title.
  2. Proper Image Formatting: All images should have an alternative text for screen readers to describe the image. They should also have width and height parameters in the IMG HTML tag so that the page loads accordingly even if the image cannot be displayed.
  3. Emails are Mail-to Links: Your email addresses listed on your site should be mailto: hyperlinks, not just plain text.
  4. Proper Text Formatting: Bold text should be made so with the “strong” tag and italic text should be made so with the “em” tag. If you want text to be bold or italic but not be read different by screen readers you can use a “span” tag with the “text-decoration: bold” attribute as an example.
    Continue reading How to Code POUR-ly

American Disabilities Act (ADA) lawsuits rising against website accessibility

This is a photo of a wooden gavel hitting the wooden plate with a white background.

The amount of lawsuits being brought against an Internet website for the lack of accommodations for the disabled is growing. It has now been termed Cyber Accessibility Claims in the courts, and the cost of litigation has been grossly under appreciated.

The Target Corporation paid out 6 million dollars for a lack of website accessibility in a class action lawsuit representing the visually impaired. There isn’t a clear law for internet website accessibility due to the fact that the technology continues to grow at a rate that the law cannot keep up with year after year. However, even without clear website law, there is still ADA compliance that needs to be met or your website could be at risk for a lawsuit. Continue reading American Disabilities Act (ADA) lawsuits rising against website accessibility