The SCOVI Design for Inclusion Toolkit

Building a website that works for everyone: an introduction.

Where to begin?

Building or commissioning a new website can be a daunting task, especially if you've never done it before. But ensuring that your website is accessible and is designed for inclusion doesn't really take any extra effort or cost. Let us show you how!

Pros and Cons of outsourcing to an external company:

Pros:

When you hire a web development company to do the job for you, you know that the site will be fully secure, that there won't be any technical hitches in getting the site live, and that it will be designed to your specifications. If you're going with this option jump down to our important questions section to ensure your developer is designing with inclusion in mind.

Cons:

This option can be very pricey. Even for a simple website, you could be looking at several thousand pounds.

You also will be unable to make any major updates to the site's design and structure without paying further fees.

Pros and Cons of developing your website internally:

Pros:

You'll have full control over your website and the ability to update and edit it at any time without paying fees to an external company. This option is usually much cheaper, so long as you have a member of staff with the understanding of web development to take care of the project.

Hosting accounts, the "space" you rent on the internet to hold your website, are very reasonably priced.

There are many platforms you can choose to build your website on, this site was built using WordPress, a very popular option which has a lot of easy to use accessibility features. You can find out more about this website, including the full costs and time taken to build it further down this page. (Click here to jump to that section)

Cons:

You need to have someone internally that has a solid understanding, not just of website design, but also of all of the security features that need to be in place. You will still need to purchase a hosting account, and while they are very reasonably priced you need to ensure that the member of staff you have developing the site knows how to manage the site at the hosting level.


A third option, for SCOVI members:

SCOVI can now offer member organisations reduced rates on website production, implementing a site similar to the SCOVI website and providing training to staff to allow you to take control of your own website.

Get in touch with us to find out more via info@scovi.org.uk

1. Do you know about the WCAG?

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) are produced by the W3C (The World Wide Web Consortium, the main international standards organization for the World Wide Web). You can access an overview of these guidelines by clicking here.

The guidelines are long! And can be confusing if you don't have much experience in web development. But, there are many platforms out there can come "accessibility-ready" and have many of the requirements already built-in to the code. 

If you are a SCOVI member and have decided to develop your website internally, get in touch with us at info@scovi.org.uk and we can offer advice and support to ensure you meet the requirements. 

2. Have you previously built a fully accessible website?

If you're working with an external company ask if you can see an example of a site they've previously built that is compliant with the WCAG. If you're working internally, don't let this put you off, if you have some experience of web development we can help you get up to speed on what's required for a website that works for everyone.

3. Will it cost extra to have a fully accessible website?

The answer to this should always be "no"! All of the accessibility features on this website were 100% free of charge. Any developer should be able to provide an accessible website at no extra cost. 

It's important to note that even if you are using an external company you will still have to ensure that all of the content you add to the site yourself is accessible. For example, if you are adding a blog post that includes pictures you must always include descriptions for the images. Make sure your developer explains exactly how to do that. It should be an easy built-in feature, and on a well designed, accessible website it shouldn't allow you to publish a picture without either entering a description or marking the image as decorative.


Going it alone?

If you've decided to build your website internally, or just want to know a little more about accessible web development, the next page will tell you about how we built our website and what we recommend.