The first starting point for many people and organizations when building a website is drag-and-drop site builders like Wix and Squarespace. Although these tools often provide templates that take care of the visual design and functional aspects of building a site, they often don’t consider other business requirements, like accessibility.


Our comparison

We looked at each of the major website builders and compared them across a range of accessibility factors needed for meeting standards like WCAG 2.X, and ranked them against each other to see which ones made it the easiest to build an accessible website effectively.

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  •   does not support most accessibility considerations

  •   supports some accessibility considerations

  •   accessibility considerations can be met, but it will take work

  •   almost out-of-the-box accessibility

Squarespace

Overall score 2 out of 5
Requires a high degree of custom code

  • Headings Yes

  • Landmarks Partial

  • Skip navigation Partial

  • Tab index Yes

  • Visible focus ring Partial

  • ARIA labels Partial

  • Alt tags No

 

Wix

Overall score 3 out of 5
Requires custom code and some setting changes

  • Headings Yes

  • Landmarks Yes

  • Skip navigation No

  • Tab index Yes

  • Visible focus ring Yes

  • ARIA labels Partial

  • Alt tags Yes

 

EditorX (Wix)

Overall score 2 out of 5
Not fully possible within the current Wix system

  • Headings Yes

  • Landmarks Partial

  • Skip navigation No

  • Tab index Partial

  • Visible focus ring Yes

  • ARIA labels No

  • Alt tags Yes

 

Weebly

Overall score 2 out of 5
Requires a high degree of custom code

  • Headings Partial

  • Landmarks No

  • Skip navigation Custom

  • Tab index Yes

  • Visible focus ring Yes

  • ARIA labels Custom

  • Alt tags Yes

 

Webflow

Overall score 4 out of 5
Straightforward, but requires some code knowledge

  • Headings Yes

  • Landmarks Yes

  • Skip navigation Custom

  • Tab index Yes

  • Visible focus ring Yes

  • ARIA labels Yes

  • Alt tags Yes

 

WordPress

Overall score 3 out of 5
Requires extensive custom code, but all of the required items for accessibility are possible.

  • Headings Custom

  • Landmarks Custom

  • Skip navigation Custom

  • Tab index Custom

  • Visible focus ring Custom

  • ARIA labels Custom

  • Alt tags Custom

 

The winner: Webflow

Webflow is the best we tested, with ease of use, built-in accessibility features, and customizability all at your disposal when creating a more accessible website.


An as-is template isn’t necessarily enough to be accessible

Although several of these platforms have taken the time to enhance their platforms’ accessibility capabilities, it’s typically more complicated to ensure your site is compliant when using one of these platforms.

For example, to make content on your site accessible, you’ll want to make sure that you have features like a skip navigation link, landmarks on the page for screen readers, and appropriate ARIA labels when needed. Many of these features are not available on these platforms, and if they are, it may take some manual work to set them up.

The more flexible the platform, the more likely you’ll be able to add these features, but even platforms like Webflow require manual coding to add features like a skip navigation link.

A note on WordPress.org versus Webflow

WordPress is a more open-ended and complex option for building a custom site. Because of its age, and the flexibility involved, it can be a good solution for making sites that require custom features that wouldn’t be available in a typical template builder, and if you need more complex integrations like multi-language.

However, we recommend Webflow for many simpler use cases that may have previously used WordPress. Webflow solves several performance issues and other optimization issues, in addition to accessibility, that otherwise require a lot of manual testing and development work when using WordPress.

Webflow is prebuilt with accessibility in mind in its components and features, meaning less work is required to make it accessible, even when starting completely from scratch.

Making a website accessible relies on choosing a platform that allows you to make the accessibility adjustments necessary and take an accessibility-centred approach to building your website from the start.

Looking for help making your Webflow website accessible?

Check out our guide to making your Webflow site accessible.

Explore the guide

Our accessibility-focused approach

By focusing on making your site accessible across design, development and content from the start and providing resources to your team to continue these efforts longer term, our approach helps save your team from costly rework and retrofitting your site later down the line and helps guide you towards better accessibility best practices.

When a site is built with this approach, you can focus on maintaining your site’s accessibility and continually improving other areas of your website without needing to spend time fixing larger accessibility issues across your whole website.


Looking for additional support on making a more usable, accessible, and inclusive website?

Get started with our Inclusive Website Audit to uncover issues with your current website, or get in touch to learn more about our accessible website design services.

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