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  • Writer's pictureBrent D. Payne

Timed meta refresh must not exist

Updated: Jul 8

At Loud Interactive, we regularly perform a SEO audits. We often stumble upon an important issue that could significantly impact user experience and accessibility on websites.

We're talking about the use of Timed Refresh through the <meta http-equiv="refresh"> tag. Here's a breakdown of what we found, why it's critical, and how you can fix it.

The Issue:

Your site employs a timed refresh mechanism using the <meta> tag. This method automatically refreshes your page after a set period. While this might seem like a handy feature for content updates, it presents several challenges, particularly for users with disabilities.

Why It Matters:

Automatic page refreshes can disorient users, as they do not anticipate the sudden change. This is especially problematic for those using screen readers or with cognitive disabilities, as it can reset their navigation progress. Beyond accessibility, this practice can disrupt the user experience for everyone, potentially affecting your site's bounce rate and SEO performance.

How to Fix:

  • Remove the Refresh Tag: The immediate solution is to eliminate the http-equiv="refresh" attribute from your <meta> tags. This prevents any automated refresh or redirection that can hinder the user experience.

  • Employ JavaScript for Dynamic Updates: If your content needs to be updated dynamically, consider using JavaScript. This approach provides more flexibility and control, allowing users to pause, extend, or disable refreshes as needed.

  • Enhance Accessibility: Ensure that any dynamic content updates are accessible. Implement features that allow users to control how and when the content updates.

For a detailed guide on making these changes and improving accessibility, Deque University offers comprehensive resources on Timed Content as part of their HTML and CSS Accessibility course.

Further Resources:

We hope this breakdown helps you understand the importance of eliminating timed refreshes from your site. Implementing these changes can significantly improve your website's accessibility, user experience, and overall SEO performance. If you have any questions or need further assistance, feel free to reach out to us at Loud Interactive.



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