WAVE – Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool

runs as Online Service
screenshot of WAVE

If you're charged with the care and feeding of a website, presumably you want to make your visitors' user experience the best it can possibly be. You use good design techniques and test your code to make sure that it behaves the way you want it to, and is totally accessible. As a double check, to make sure everything's behaving itself, you probably run your site past some type of evaluation tool.

WAVE–the Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool–is one place you might check out. Rather than just spitting back a complicated and hard-to-read report on what it finds, this tool displays the page you're checking and in that context adds little icons and comments to show you not only what problems it has found, but also where those problems are in your page. Rather than looking at some obscure error or warning message that pertains to Line 603 on your page (Line 603 of what: the header? the footer? the sidebar?), you'll see the little red box telling you that you don't have ALT text associated with a particular image on your blog. Seeing troubles in context will make it much easier to find and fix them in your code. And if you're still building your page, you can also upload individual files, or even paste code into their form and have it checked on the fly.

WAVE is a free service. You'll need a web browser and a page that you want to check, but really nothing else.

Download WAVE

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