Are Wix Websites ADA Compliant?

Wix is a well-known tech company that allows users to create personal and business websites. Wix websites are popular because they’re easy to create. But there’s one big problem with that ease of use. Many of Wix’s templates and components are not ADA compliant.

The number of lawsuits for website non-ADA compliance has grown substantially over the last few years. That puts your business at risk of being hit with one. If you used Wix to create your website, your odds of being sued are even higher.

Below you’ll find more information on ADA compliance and why Wix websites are particularly vulnerable. You’ll also learn how to make your Wix website ADA compliant and avoid an expensive lawsuit.

Wix Websites and Accessibility

First, a quick rundown of what website accessibility and ADA compliance is.

No specific laws address ADA compliance and website accessibility. However, a growing number of legal cases have ruled in favor of disabled plaintiffs. These individuals took legal action when they were unable to navigate websites in the same manner as their able-bodied counterparts. The legal argument is that just as brick and mortar buildings must provide public accommodation for all visitors, websites must do the same. In most cases, the courts have agreed with this argument.

There may not be laws directly addressing ADA compliance, but there are guidelines. Websites are considered ADA compliant when they adhere to all of the guidelines established by the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI). These are Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0) Levels A and AA and they are the standard for measuring compliance.

Certain Wix templates and components are not ADA compliant. Among the most glaring examples are:

  • A lack of skip links in website menus created with Wix. Skip links are essential for vision-impaired users and those who don’t have the use of their arms. Without them, these visitors can’t access your website, making it non-ADA compliant.
  • Some skip links may not go in the correct order, which can confuse disabled users and cause them to leave your site.
  • Parallax scrolling makes a page’s background and foreground move at different speeds, creating a 3D effect. Wix boasts that this effect can make your website stand out. The problem is it can cause epilepsy and vertigo in some users too.
  • Visitors to your Wix website who use assistive technology to navigate instead of a mouse, won’t be able to do so. There is no accessible drag and drop option for those using keyboards, switches, or screen readers.

What You Need to Look Out For

When you designed your website, you probably didn’t check color contrast or include alt tags for images. Even if you used a developer, they may not have known all of the WCAG 2.0 guidelines for Levels A and AA.

Law firms use programs to crawl websites for these and other missing elements. When they find them, which they inevitably do, the owner of that website is at risk for a lawsuit for non-ADA compliance. 

ADA compliance is comprehensive. Even one inaccessible element will make your entire website non-ADA compliant and open you up to the possibility of being sued. That’s why there are no shortcuts to making your Wix website ADA compliant.

Rest assured, Wix websites can be made ADA compliant. Custom JavaScript and CSS code will have to be added to overcome the accessibility problems you’ll find.

How Can I Make Sure My Website is ADA Compliant?

The best way to make your Wix website ADA compliant is to have an in-depth, page-by-page website accessibility audit completed by a professional company that’s up to date on the latest guidelines. They can identify all non-compliant elements and correct them.

If you think you’re not vulnerable to a lawsuit because you run a small company or your business doesn’t have a physical address, you’re mistaken. Defendants across a broad spectrum of sectors have been targeted by ADA non-compliance lawsuits. The list includes everything from major corporations to well-known universities, celebrities, charities, and yes, small businesses.

Besides, being ADA compliant has its benefits. You don’t have the constant threat of a possible lawsuit hanging over you. You’ve also opened your website up to a whole new set of visitors. And as the population ages, the number of visitors will continue to grow.