ACCESSIBLE WEBSITES: Test Your Content for Readability

Happy smiling little girl reading interesting book in the park.

How readable is your website?

Users with learning disabilities, reading disorders, or who speak English as a second language may have a difficult time understanding your content.

Typical factors that affect readability include:

  • Average sentence length
  • Syllable count
  • Percentage of multi-syllable words
  • Average word length
  • Familiarity of words
  • Complexity of sentences

For better readability, follow these basic tips:

One idea.
Be sure each paragraph focuses on one idea. This makes content easier to remember and digest.

Shorter line length.
Design for a line length between 45 and 75 characters. This makes the text easier to read on the screen. If the line is too long, folks with cognitive issues may lose focus and stop reading.

Simple language. Complex language can pose problems for users, especially those with cognitive disabilities or who aren’t fluent in the language.

Tools for testing readability

Hemingway Editor

Screenshot of Hemingway Editor Home Page

The Hemingway Editor is like a spellchecker, but for style and readability. This free online tool reports your content readability issues by highlighting content sections in different colors.


Readable Logo uses tried and tested readability algorithms, as well as proprietary scoring systems, to analyze the readability of your website or text and recommend ways to improve upon it. This is a paid service, but you can take the tool for a test drive by requesting a demo of how it works.


WEBSITE ACCESSIBILITY TESTING & REMEDIATION SERVICES: Mary Gillen is an experienced Website Accessibility Compliance Auditor and Remediator. She can test your website to determine if it meets accessibility standards:

WCAG 2.1: 312 checkpoints covering A, AA and AAA W3 accessibility guidelines
Section 508: 15 US federal guidelines covered by 59 accessibility checkpoints

Find out more about Mary Gillen’s Accessibility Testing & Remediation Services: Websites, PDFs, Office Docs & Videos