11 Easy Hacks To Make Your WordPress Website Accessible
Web Accessibility Guidelines
Web Accessibility means everyone who visits your website should be able to access everything. Even if the person has a condition that affects their capability, he/she should able to access everything on your website.
W3C (World Wide Web Cortosium) have defined the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0. The guidelines say that your website needs to be:
Perceivable: You should organize the website information & content should in a way that can be perceived by any user.
Operable: You need to design the website interface in a way that it can adapt to different circumstances & different users.
Understandable: Users must be able to understand all the content written on your website.
Robust: Website should be readable & understandable by different user agents.
Why Web Accessibility Matters?
In the USA, there is a special law for persons with disability which is known as the American with Disabilities Act (ADA). According to this law, anyone who tries to discriminate the person with disabilities will get appropriate punishment.
The very famous company Target had to pay $6 Million as damage for breaking the law. In 2017 there were 757 ADA & Web Accessibility Cases in the USA.
Now, as per the survey carried out by BOIA (Bureau of Internet Accessibility), people with disabilities represent $7 Trillion annually. It tells you that, you should give importance to Web Accessibility standards.
What Is WordPress Accessibility?
WordPress Accessibility means making WordPress website & its contents accessible to all users, including the ones which have a disability – especially those who have visual imparity.
Now, the question that would be running through your head is, What are the Tips For The WordPress Accessibility.
Are you worried? Don’t be so. Today, we’re going to provide you with a list of 11 simple strategies which would help you to make your WordPress website accessible.
So, let’s get the things underway.
Ways To Make WordPress Website Accessible
Let us see what we have in this article.
- Use Clean & Good HTML
- Using Accessible Web Themes
- Using Web Accessible Plugins
- Make Use Of Accessibility Checkers
- Watch Out For The Color Contrast
- Utilize The Image ALT Text
- Use Content Headers
- Include Text Alternatives
- Offer Keyboard Support & Input Assistance
- Implement ARIA Landmarks
- Avoid Seizure-Inducing Elements
1. Use Clean & Good HTML
The very first thing that you can do to make your WordPress website accessible is using clean and good HTML. Most of the WordPress developer generally utilize clean HTML. However, you should be careful about using solid HTML structures.
What we mean by solid HTML structure is using proper header tags, bulleted lists, alt tags, title tags, and meta description. By using these tags, you’re telling the visually impaired people what is everything and where it is. So, the accessibility of the website will increase.
2. Using Accessible Web Themes
If you’re someone who has been working in a WordPress Development Company for a long time, then you must be knowing the importance of theme in WordPress website. There won’t be any website in WordPress where you won’t find the theme.
You should be aware of the Do’s And Don’ts Of Choosing A WordPress Theme before going into the details of choosing web available themes.
Now, To make your WordPress website accessible, you should be using one of the WordPress Accessibility Compliant Themes. They are as listed below:
- Twenty Sixteen: Twenty Sixteen is the default WordPress theme that you will get with the WordPress installation right now. The theme provides a bright & modern layout, with responsive & clean HTML. A prime candidate for assistive devices.
- Author: Author is one of the Top WordPress Accessibility Themes to have arrived in recent times. It is a free theme designed especially for authors. Clear contrast, a fluid layout and focus on content are its standout features for accessibility.
- Unlimited: If you’re looking for a responsive theme which is also accessibility compliant, then you should opt for Unlimited. A minimal, clean & high-contrast design, large feature images, and a fluid layout are what makes this theme unique from the rest.
- Utility Pro: Made by Carrie Dils, Utility Pro is an easy premium child theme for the Genesis Framework. The theme consists of skip links, screen reader text, and keyboard navigation. In addition to that, it also comes with four high-contrast color schemes.
To know more about various WordPress Accessibility themes, please follow this link
3. Using Web Accessible Plugins
Similar to themes, there is also a lot of importance given to plugins in WordPress. Therefore, you need to use the web available plugins for making your WordPress website accessible to everyone. Here’s the list of Best WordPress Accessibility Plugins:
- WP Accessibility: WP Accessibility is one of the most popular WordPress Plugins For Accessibility. The WordPress Team maintains this plugin and therefore, it follows all the standards for accessibility. The plugin makes your website work well with assistive devices. It also has features like link skipping and long image descriptions.
- Genesis Accessible: This plugin helps you to create better accessibility for the website who is using Genesis Framework. In can also be used in conjunction with the WP Accessibility plugin. The plugin adds it skip links and CSS for skip links. In addition to that, it adds keyboard accessibility to drop-down menus & post-title to ‘read more.’
- Accessibility Widget: If you want to make sure that, your content is accessible for everyone to read, then you should use this plugin. The plugin adds a sidebar widget that allows the users to increase the font size. The USP of this plugin is that it is updated frequently, so you will get the latest updates as far as the accessibility standards are concerned.
- Zoom: As the name suggests, this plugin can enable the zoom feature for the pre-defined areas of your WordPress website to improve the site readability. There are more than 40 different zoom styles which you will get with this plugin. In addition to these features, the plugin also helps you to make your website more attractive than ever before.
To know more about various WordPress Accessibility plugins, please follow this link
4. Make Use Of Accessibility Checkers
If you want to check whether your WordPress website is compliant as per the Web Accessibility standards or not, then you should make use of various WordPress Accessibility Tools.
The most popular tool for checking Web Accessibility is the Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool which is also known as the WAVE tool. You need to simply put the URL of your site in this tool and the tool conduct an in-depth analysis of your site based on the accessibility parameters.
In addition to all these, the tool provides you with feedback on possible areas of improvement with a live preview of your page. Another solution for this is to use the Access Monitor plugin which runs a continuous test on your site for making it accessibility compliant.
5. Watch Out For The Color Contrast
As per the research carried out by Color Blind Awareness, there are 2.7 million color blind people in the world.
There are mainly three types of color-blindness that they’re experiencing: total color blindness, two-color vision & deficient color vision.
So, as the owner of a WordPress website, you should be careful about color ratio & color contrast set on your site.
Always use high-contrast color options such as black & white to make your site more readable. The WCAG 2.0 recommends a contrast ratio for 4:5:1 for the body text.
However, if you feel that your website needs a little bit more flair, you can use patterns or textures to increase the contrast further.
6. Utilize The Image ALT Text
The Image ALT Text describes the appearance and function of an image. It was initially designed keeping in mind the accessibility factor. The reason behind that was, many readers weren’t able to understand the meaning of pictures without ALT Text.
Nowadays, this feature has been utilized as a part of SEO strategies with the targeted keywords that the crawler can identify & recognize. However, if you’ve got a habit of using ALT Text as a way to stuff keywords into your site, then you need to stop that. The reason behind that is, it can ruin the user-experience especially for people with disability.
In short, you can say that no ALT Text is better than irrelevant ALT Text.
7. Use Content Headers
Most of people will skim your content rather than reading word-by-word. Therefore, using content headers in your WordPress website can be a great option, as it will allow the website visitors to skip the part they’re most interested in and also help you to break the large text blocks in readable section, which improves the User-Experience (UX). In addition to all these, content headers also allow the readers to determine the context of each chapter.
8. Include Text Alternatives
If you’re an owner of a WordPress website which comprises of lost of videos as well as the audio, i.e., podcasts, then you should focus on providing the text alternatives for audio and videos. What we mean by text alternatives is to include subtitles or transcripts.
This type of approach can help those who’re deaf as well as those who are in the public place and aren’t able to play the media files on a high volume to enjoy the experience. So, you should think about adopting this approach to make your website accessible.
9. Offer Keyboard Support & Input Assistance
It is another fundamental way to help all types of users get more out of your WordPress website than ever before. For that to happen, you need to offer keyboard support and input assistance to ensure that your site is not only driven by a mouse or trackpad.
What this means is that the user should be able to access your links via the tab button which will get rid of keyboard traps that you can’t navigate without another device. Another measure you can take is to provide spell check suggestions or autocorrect.
With you’re running any legal or financial website, then being able to reverse, double check or confirm submitted data will work well for you in terms of accessibility guidelines.
10. Implement ARIA Landmarks
For those who don’t know, ARIA is an acronym for Accessible Rich Internet Applications. This term describes the markers inside HTML documents that provide assistive technology with valuable information to navigate the sites as well as web pages.
For example, you can mark off page sections which will allow the users to skip the header & navigation of your website and directly jump to the main website content. The Genesis Framework has started to adopt this approach, and they’ve reaped rich rewards for that.
11. Avoid Seizure-Inducing Elements
Many website users can’t watch flashing content and fast graphics. It can induce seizures and therefore, as a WordPress website owners, you should avoid using both these elements. However, if you need it, then make sure the flashing is below a threshold of three times per second. We’re in the modern era & that’s why using GIF is a not a trend anymore.
Examples Of Websites Who’re Accessibility Compliant & Doing Very Well
There are plenty of websites which have been designed keeping in mind the accessibility aspect and most of them are running successfully. In this section, we’ll provide you with some examples of the website who’ve followed accessibility guidelines & are doing very well.
Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics: The website for the 2018 Winter Olympics and you know that this plenty of people must have visisted this website across the globe. The site has only two errors related to accessibility & there are 264 correctly labeled elements on this website.
Apple: One of the most popular and rich brands around the world, Apple has also been giving lots of significance to the accessibility factor. They want to provide the enhanced user-experience to every people, and for that, they’re taking the right steps. The website has only one error as far as the accessibility standards are concerned.
“Internet is becoming is the town square for the global village of tomorrow.”
– Bill Gates
This quote is good enough to understand the importance of the internet for everyone in today’s day & age.
Nowadays when the internet has become the need of the art for every user across the globe, it becomes the responsibility of the website owners to make their website accessible to everyone.
If you ask any Custom WordPress Development company, they would also advise you to make your WordPress website accessible so that you can reach out to a broader set of audience.
Taking this into consideration, here we have tried to provide you with a list of 11 simple strategies which will help you to make your WordPress website accessible.
If you’ve any query or suggestion regarding this blog, then feel free to ask them in our comment section. We’ll try to respond to each of your questions. Thank You.!
If you’re looking for an IT organization who can provide you with tailor-made WordPress solutions at an economical price, then feel free to connect with us. Hire WordPress Developer and avail robust WordPress Development Services which will help you to take your business to the next possible level.
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