Failure due to using meta redirect with a time limit

Important Information about Techniques

See Understanding Techniques for WCAG Success Criteria for important information about the usage of these informative techniques and how they relate to the normative WCAG 2.1 success criteria. The Applicability section explains the scope of the technique, and the presence of techniques for a specific technology does not imply that the technology can be used in all situations to create content that meets WCAG 2.1.

Applicability

All pages

This technique relates to:

Description

meta http-equiv of {time-out}; url=... is often used to automatically redirect users. When this occurs after a time delay, it is an unexpected change of context that may interrupt the user.

It is acceptable to use the meta element to create a redirect when the time-out is set to zero, since the redirect is instant and will not be perceived as a change of context. However, it is preferable to use server-side methods to accomplish this. See SVR1: Implementing automatic redirects on the server side instead of on the client side.

Examples

Example 1

The page below is a failure because it will redirect to the URI http://www.example.com/newpage after a time limit of 5 seconds.

<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" lang="en">
   <head>     
      <title>Do not use this!</title>     
      <meta http-equiv="refresh"
      content="5; url=http://www.example.com/newpage" />   
   </head>   
   <body>     
      <p>       
         If your browser supports Refresh, you'll be       
         transported to our        
         <a href="http://www.example.com/newpage">new site</a>        
         in 5 seconds, otherwise, select the link manually.     
      </p>   
   </body> 
</html>

Resources

Resources are for information purposes only, no endorsement implied.

Tests

Procedure

For a page that uses meta http-equiv="refresh":

  1. Check that the numerical value for seconds until refresh in the content attribute is present.
  2. Check that the numerical value for seconds until refresh in the content attribute is less than one or greater than 72,000.
  3. Check if the page qualifies for Real-time or Essential Exceptions in Success Criterion 2.2.1 Timing Adjustable.
  4. Check if the user is provided an opportunity to turn off, extend, or adjust the timing of the page refresh.
  5. Check if the page does not redirect after the duration specified in the content attribute.

Expected Results

  1. If checks #1-5 are false, this failure condition applies and the content fails Success Criterion 2.2.1.
  2. If checks #1, #2, #4, and #5 are false, this failure condition applies and the content fails Success Criterion 2.2.4.
  3. If checks #1, #4, and #5 are false, this failure condition applies and the content fails Success Criterion 3.2.5.