Cost of Making Your Website Accessible /ADA Compliant Is Workable

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(Updated for 2023)


Making your website accessible comes down 1) an audit and 2) remediation.

The cost of an audit typically starts at $3,500.

The cost of remediation typically starts at $4,500.

There are several factors that determine your price. These factors are discussed below along with recommendations to lower cost and meet your 2023 budget.

An accessibility audit is where one or more technical experts manually examine your website and looks for accessibility issues under WCAG 2.0 AA or 2.1 AA.

Remediation is where someone implements the changes necessary so that your website is in conformance with WCAG 2.0 AA or 2.1 AA.

1) The current state of the website

  • Number of unique pages/layouts
  • Is this a complete makeover situation or just a few fixes here and there?
  • Do third-party integrations need to be replaced?

2) How interactive, dynamic a website is

  • Does it have forms?
  • Is registration required?
  • Is there a checkout?
  • Are live, real-time elements in play?

3) How much manual work is involved

  • How many images need alt text added?
  • How much media needs text transcripts and/or closed captioning?
  • Do PDFs need to be remediated or converted into web pages?

Let’s talk more about the cost.

The Manual Remediation Cost

If you have a media-intensive site, a big chunk of the cost of making your website accessible is the sheer amount of work necessary.

Alt text, closed captioning, and text transcripts are simple to understand (no advanced developer knowledge needed) but can become extremely time consuming if you have vast amounts of images and multimedia (e.g. YouTube videos, podcasts) to account for.

Two other items on the accessibility to-do list that take time:

  • writing descriptive headings and anchor text links
  • breaking down images of text into actual text (e.g., infographics)

The Website Complexity Cost

Another significant price influencer is the complexity of the project.

The more dynamic your website is and the more intricate your design is, the more complex your accessibility update is going to be and the more it will cost.

Man with beard drawing a chart on whiteboard.
Mapping out what needs to happen will help with bigger/more complex websites.

For example, ESPN and FoxSports are media rich websites with lots of videos, ads, auto-plays, and live updates going on. Meeting the most important accessibility bullet points while trying to maintain a similar level of product, engagement, and profitability requires serious customization and planning.

Generally, the more interaction your site requires and/or the more media rich (images, video, audio) your site is, the more expensive your final bill will be.

Banks, hotels, universities, retailers, and news sites are good examples of webistes that would cost more.

The more information-based your site is (e.g., a blog), the less expensive your web compliance costs will be.

The State of Accessibility Cost

If your website has less to audit / fix, your quote will be lower. Conversely, if your website contains a swamp of accessibility issues, the price will increase.

How to Make ADA Website Compliance Affordable?

To lower your the cost of making your website accessible, here’s what you can do:

1. Do all of the manual stuff in-house.

Once your staff is trained in web accessibility, they can handleclosed captions, transcripts, title tags, alt text values, headings, and anchor text.

2. Don’t hand over an accessibility checklist to a web developer on freelance site and say, “I need this done.”

If you’re familiar with web accessibility elements beforehand, have had a thorough manual audit conducted ahead of time, and itemize exactly what needs to be done (with step-by-step instructions), you’ll save money. You’ll also get a more thorough and complete upgrade.

3. Get it done right the first time.

Pay a fair amount to a qualified, competent agency or capable freelancer.

Before seeking the cheapest option, consider the following bullet points can all be impacted by accessibility remediation:

  • Search engine optimization or SEO
  • Security
  • Responsiveness (mobile friendly)
  • User experience or UX
  • Conversion rate optimization or CRO
  • Design

4. For larger undertakings, hire an accessibility company or advisor.

For larger projects (such as corporate or government entities with multiple assets), consider sourcing work to a reputable accessibility company capable of handling the volume. Alternatively, contracting with an advisor can be very helpful in organizing and planning your efforts.

This is because you may want a multitude of services:

  • manual audits
  • user testing
  • training
  • documentation (e.g., VPAT / ACR)
  • consultation

Moreover, you’ll want to update your digital assets in a strategic fashion that prioritizes significant barriers and high risk issues that are frequently claimed in litigation.


Although you’re unfamiliar with accessibility and may view it as a new and unexpected cost, it can very well be a springboard for dramatic improvements for your organization.

There are numerous benefits to accessibility.