When writing for the web follow the checklist below to make your content more accessible to everyone.
These rules apply to both web page content and digital PDF documents and follow WCAG level AA accessibility guidelines.
Writing accessible text
- Keep line length short. 66 characters of text are comfortable for everyone to read, that's about 9 words.
- Keep sentences short. Sentences of 11 words are considered easy to read, while those of 21 words are fairly difficult. The maximum sentence length should never exceed 25 words, aim for 15 words where feasible.
- Use a single space after full-stop, never use a double space for digital content
- Avoid special characters and symbols (& %) and write the word instead
- Avoid using a slash between words, write 'and' or 'or' instead
- Avoid abbreviations and acronyms. Instead of eg. use 'for example' or 'such as'.
- Always use plain English
Formatting accessible text
- Avoid block capitals and italics, use bold instead to emphasis text
- Always align text left, never justify text
- Minimum text size of 18pt for websites and 12pt for documents
- Use 1.5 line-spacing
- Always use descriptive links. Instead of 'click here', always tell the user where the link will bring them, for example 'Download our annual report here' or 'Read more about our activities here'
- Ensure sufficient colour contrast between text and the background colour
- Use a clear and legible font, avoid decorative fonts
- Embrace the use of white space
Images and videos
- Always add an alternative text description (alt text) for images
- Avoid text as part of an image
- Where overlaying text on an image check there is sufficient colour contrast so the text is legible
- Always caption videos
How we can help
Path offer bespoke Web Accessibility training and toolkits for teams responsible for creating and updating web content. Contact Karen at firstname.lastname@example.org or 01 6799212 to learn more about how we can help improve the accessibility of your website.