Accessible Websites are Cheaper than Buildings (22nd October 2011)

(In response to UK case on interpretation of “reasonable adjustments” on Accessify Forum.)

What amazes me is that the accessibility of a physical premises easily costs 5- or 6-figure amounts to sort out. Multiply that by the number of premises. Yet the same companies penny-pinch to the extreme with their websites. It makes no business sense…do they spend solely because of the more visible legal threat?

Websites are amazing. Accessible websites are amazing for everyone. It is as much of a legal requirement to make reasonable adjustments to a website as it is to a building. And yet doing so for a website is much cheaper and benefits far more customers. UK business, please, put the money where it can do the most good: websites.

Economy of Scale

Throughout my career, websites have piffling budgets compared to buildings. Even though they they service hundreds of times more customers. And each transaction is tens of times more comfortable. What’s more, the margins are bigger due to the way websites scale up from a small team of experts to a humongous audience of customers.

What is wrong with UK business? Why do they still neglect the medium which offers the biggest ‘bang per buck’?

Skinflint Website Commissioners

Most clients simply won’t spend £100k on a website. Even when they service millions of customers. That budget is less than 50% of what they’d spend renovating a single building. A building to service mere hundreds of customers. It’s not rocket science. In fact, it’s simple arithmetic.

They money is being spent on the wrong channels, with web accessibility continuing to lose out. The level of independence it offers continues to be scuppered by the culture of stinginess from those who commission websites.

The ROI from accessible websites is already well-known and well-proven throughout our industry. UK business is still living in the 1900’s, as if The Internet Revolution never happened.

With that said, there are plenty of big-budget websites with lousy accessibility. Even now, with an inordinate body of advice and guidelines exists for free showing how to get it right. BSI PAS 78 helps commissioners separate the wheat from the chaff.


Good websites can service more customers than buildings. They do it cheaper and with larger margins for the business. They offer a lower carbon cost, zero travel cost, and greater accessibility available for every customer in the comfort of their own home, any time of day or night, all year round.

Websites are amazing. Accessible websites are amazing for everyone. UK business, please, put the money where it can do the most good: websites built by experts. (Such as myself!)