2.4.5 – Multiple Ways (Level AA)

Offer several ways to find pages on your website

All of your users benefit from a website designed with them in mind. They need a variety of ways to navigate to the pages they want to visit. Some of your users will have difficulty understanding your website, so will benefit even more from clear navigation and different ways to access your pages.

What to do

Provide multiple ways for users to find your website’s pages by:

  • Adding an HTML sitemap page (which links to every page on your website) and link to it after the ‘Skip to Content’ link from Guideline 2.4.1; and
  • Including a search function on every page (by adding it to the header); and
  • Providing a clear and consistent main navigation menu.

Tips

  • A good HTML sitemap will depend on the structure of your website. Design your sitemap so that it best reflects the structure of your website pages and contains all your pages.
  • A ‘related pages’ section (which shows links to similar pages on your website) is a good way of helping users navigate around your website.

Exceptions

  • You don’t need to provide multiple ways to access pages that users only reach after a certain process (for example, a receipt or confirmation page).
  • If your website only has a handful of pages, one clear navigation menu may suffice.

See also

  • For a small site e.g. a brochure site with half a dozen pages, the criterion can be met by just making sure that every page is directly linked from the home page.

    The important thing about search though is that it must work well, and find pages based on a variety of keywords, but also be intelligent enough to filter out search terms for common words like the, of, it etc.

    And the important thing about a site map is that it must contain all pages (apart from process related pages as mentioned above). Many sitemaps are cut down and not fully suitable for this purpose.

    • Thanks Richard, I think I’ll add that bit about small sites into the “Tips” section – that’s exactly the kind of technique I love sharing on here – one’s where it makes WCAG seem achievable!