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Accessibility, SEO and Joomla

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Trying to get clients or stakeholders to see the need for accessibility is hard, people still see it as alot of extra work with rewards that are hard to provide a ROI. However web spiders/crawlers are our biggest blind user on the web, in essence alot of what works to increase SEO will increase the accessibility of your site. Lets take a look at some site building and development tasks we can perform that provide a tick to SEO and a tick to Accessibility. If we can take this approach we can see that the cost of Accessibility is actually bundled with the cost of SEO and not an additional burden to the project.

This talk looks at the state of accessibility in Joomla and shows how accessibility is intrinsically linked to SEO performance from a development perspective. We will also look at some new tools to help check and test for accessibility throughout the development process, and how we can add these into a CI/CD approach.

Whilst this talk is aimed at all audiences it will be focused on development and management of the development process. With time permitting and depending on the audience questions/experience level there may be some tech demos utilised to help illustrate concepts.

*All accessibility guideline discussions will be based on Australian Government Standards http://www.australia.gov.au/accessibility

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Accessibility, SEO and Joomla

  1. 1. Accessibility, SEO and Joomla Aimee Maree Forsstrom aficionado.tech Aug 29-31, 2016 @aimee_maree
  2. 2. Who am I? Aimee Maree Forsstrom CMS Developer and Solutions Architect Web Accessibility Engineer and Advocate Open Source Industry Australia Board Member Someone who wants to help people Problem Solver! and that I think is the most important
  3. 3. Accessibility and SEO Why?
  4. 4. Accessibility Matters Estimated 15% of worlds population live with some kind of impairment - 2011 WHO World Report on Disability Ageing population Increase in diagnosis of cognitive differences (ASD, ADHD, Dyslexia) Time Poor Because we make websites for People to use Increased Market Share as you cater for wider audience
  5. 5. SEO Matters Number one way people search the web is “browsing” Majority of people look only at the first search results page New ideas need a way to get in front of people Increase Google page ranking Web is a large part of the marketing strategy for companies Because the Client wants it
  6. 6. Webspiders are blind Webspider will read your site like blind reader It will take your title structure, meta tags, image alt tags to populate web page / image / video searches Any text conveyed in images will not be read by a screen reader or a webspider Accessibility enhancements will help a webspider index your site Accessibility will improve your SEO ranking Start seeing webspiders and webcrawlers as one of your users
  7. 7. SEO mods are Accessibility mods Meaningful use of headers not used for styling Tabular data stored in a HTML table not DIV Use explanatory text links “more about Charles birthday” Ensure images have alt-tags where you can include descriptions Main Content Before SideBars - generate “maincontent” first then “left” and “right” sidebars Place a “Skip to navigation” at top of page
  8. 8. So SEO is Accessibility? No But Accessibility enhancements will help your sites page ranking So Design/Content/Development changes needed for SEO will add accessibility features to your site Why? Because Webspiders access your site the same way as a screen reader would
  9. 9. State of Accessibility in Joomla https://www.joomla.org/accessibility-statement.html Covers the basics Accessibility Forum no longer used, active slack channel/s In NEED of some JOOMLA LOVE
  10. 10. Accessibility and Joomla Core themes have accessibility needs built in Image alt tags and descriptions Navigation tool tips Site information – populates meta tags Per Page meta tags
  11. 11. Vanilla Joomla Joomla provides a lot out of the box Check what features you have in core before seeking an extension Always think, can I do this in core?
  12. 12. Accessibility Extensions? Pretty dismal – but hey its not that simple Eight extensions – two really cant be classified as accessibility extensions Most deal with font resize and text to speech audio buttons MUST think of the theme/extensions your using for compatibility Can provide a nice quick fix if timeline and/or budget is tight
  13. 13. Lets take a quick look J Font Size – increases font size on web page, sets maximum and minimum G Speech – audio of text on the site, applies a button to allow user to have page read to them, allows for customisable event calls, bonus here is for internationalisation Screen Reader – includes Dyslexic font, focus elements, high contrast option, plugs into internationalisation MU Text to Speech – FREE, english support only, only reads text from Article
  14. 14. continued... B-Accessibility – Very basic, changes font size, control contrast, keyboard navigation, underline in links Mu Contrast – adds a high contrast CSS into Joomla (only works with certain themes) Anything Float Scrolling – helps position sticky/fixed – not sure why this is included Zoom – increases zoom view for HTML elements – not sure why this is included
  15. 15. Things to think about? Forget font size increase tools the browser is the standard Two minds on audio buttons – most people will use the built in reader tool, are a quick fix for lack of budget/time for WAI-ARIA calls High Contrast – this is always a huge bonus Font Choice – Dyslexic fonts, baseline font size Colour Contrast – something often left out Mobile vs Desktop – Don’t hide mobile content
  16. 16. Theme has the last say? Your theme will have the final say (some extensions can modify theme elements but not all themes will work) How has it been coded? Does it use correct HTML elements? When selecting a theme, run it through webaim test before deciding Always use Native HTML elements in your theme – don’t use nested divs to display tabular data use a table
  17. 17. What you See is what you get? Third party extensions and themes might not meet your standards of accessibility WYSIWYG code can be full of nasties use features with care People adding content? Formatting of content is important for maintaining accessibility
  18. 18. What can we do? Build accessibility into your release cycle There are accessibility frameworks for testing Use HTML/CSS validation Run online accessibility checks Think about inclusivity of your website or app at the design stage Train people
  19. 19. Accessibility Testing? Build accessibility into your release cycle There are accessibility frameworks for testing Get Developers to use a web checking tool as they develop to catch any small gotchas Add HTML/CSS validation checkers into your development lifecycle
  20. 20. Check your websites wave.webaim.org HTML w3c validation CSS and HTML W3C validation Check the site in text mode using Lynx lynx.isc.org/current Read up on accessibility information www.accessiq.org www.w3.org/TR/UNDERSTANDING-WCAG20
  21. 21. Automated a11y Testing No specific tool for Joomla CMS there are PHP/HTML/CSS checking tools you can use tenon.io – Accessibility testing framework for PHP CMS, allows creation of API tests in dev workflow SASS/LESS builders have validation tools to add to the build process – reject non validated CSS/HTML No real simple answer
  22. 22. Accessibility compliance needs People Only so much can be found through automated testing Screen Readers need human testing Human testers are needed to confirm the workflow and labels make sense Accessibility audits and testing can cost a lot of money this can be needed for sites that MUST meet WCAG2.0 tis factor should be added as a seperate cost for the budget
  23. 23. Budget Worries Use what Joomla has out of the box Accessibility as a first thought not an after one Consider a third party extension Purchase a template that contains accessibility elements Go for quick wins Accessibility = Better SEO = Budget Win
  24. 24. Check your budget and requirements What are your clients needs? Any legal requirement? Cover SEO = Cover baseline accessibility needs Online validation and checks by developers Couple SEO costs with Accessibility Aim for WCAG 1.0 Learn Extension weaknesses Select themes that mention accessibility Create your own theme that meets accessibility needs
  25. 25. The Stakeholders We build websites for people to use Expanding our user socio demographic is always a win People pay us to build websites for people to use These people have a vested interest in the outcome
  26. 26. For the client... Accessibility Changes help address SEO Accessibility increases Google Page Rank Widens the user socio demographic Future proofing for aging population Addresses possibility of legal/usability complaints
  27. 27. For Designers and Content Design and content changes for Accessibility ARE Changes for SEO
  28. 28. For Joomla engineers... Code changes for Accessibility ARE Changes for SEO
  29. 29. for our budget... Budget Cost for changes needed for Accessibility ARE The same Budget Cost covers SEO approach
  30. 30. So then... Accessibility = SEO
  31. 31. Budget Approach When Accessibility is not asked for? Show Accessibility and SEO as a combined cost Explain to client it is a competitive advantage offered by your consultancy MUST explain that you are covering basic Accessibility requirements and not WCAG2.0 compliance – if this is not outlined in your documentation clients could perceive more then your offering aka full WCAG2.0 AAA compliance
  32. 32. Budget Approach Is WCAG2.0 compliance required? YES > add extra cost onto budget to cover third party audit costs and for internal resource to manage audit company plus extra hours for any corrections needed by development NO > third party not needed however add additional testing hours to perform a webaim audit. It is recommended to write a short report for the client and internal development staff
  33. 33. Where to from here Depends on the budget Purchase themes that cater for accessibility Develop a theme that caters for accessibility Implement some easy fixes Think about accessibility at the Design phase
  34. 34. Cookie Cutter Solution Content Management Systems are awesome because we are not creating the wheel each time They allow us have a foundation to build new websites Each website we build with this foundation adds to the knowledge base We can then streamline our development process and reduce build time and worker onboarding Joomla is a CMS once we get the process right its a matter of repeating it and streamlining it
  35. 35. So is it finished now? No Accessibility is Dynamic Website can meet WCAG 2.0 AA then your content people can break that compliance by adding content Ensure to have an accessibility clause in your contracts and to cover the reality of continued testing to ensure WCAG2.0 If WCAG 2.0 is required and your providing support have a clause to cover extra work and areas of responsibility
  36. 36. Take away No simple solution to perfect accessibility We can meet a lot of key criteria for WCAG when we apply good SEO Get to learn what Joomla Core has to offer first Extensions can add a quick fix solution but also require maintenance and updating Accessibility is dynamic you can never sell a website that will “always” meet accessibility But you can creep accessibility techniques into your development process without it being a hindering cost
  37. 37. Questions? Aimee Maree Forsstrom @aimee_maree aimeemaree.com aficionado.tech

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