The success of your WordPress site depends on making sure it’s accessible to everyone. Accessibility means making your website reachable to users with disabilities or limitations. Many countries, including the United States, require this as a legal requirement. Having said that, here are 7 tips to help you improve your WordPress site accessibility.
Make sure your WordPress theme is accessible
Making your website more accessible begins with choosing a WordPress theme that meets the requirements. In order to be considered accessible, a theme should include features such as properly structured headings, readable fonts, and sufficient color contrast. If you plan to use a WordPress theme for your site, do some research before selecting one.
Maintain a proper heading structure
The proper heading structure is essential because it helps users navigate your site and understand its hierarchy. You should use H1 tags for your main page heading and H2 tags for subheadings. You should avoid skipping heading levels on your site, as this can be confusing to users.
Create alternative text for images
Users with screen readers hear the alternative text, also known as alt text, as a brief description of an image. Visually impaired users can better understand the context of your images if you include alt text for them. Be descriptive and concise, and avoid phrases like “image of.”
Make Your Site Keyboard Friendly
The website should be keyboard-friendly. Users with mobility impairments or who are blind often use keyboard navigation to navigate your site. You should ensure that your website can be navigated and operated using only the keyboard, as well as all interactive elements, such as buttons and links.
How to Make Your Site Keyboard Accessible?
To make your WordPress site more keyboard-friendly, there are several things you can do:
- Use the keyboard alone to navigate your site. Users should be able to move between links, buttons, and form elements using the Tab key, and activate them using Enter.
- Make sure all interactive elements have clear and consistent focus states. A user should be able to see which element has focus, and the focus state should be visually distinct from the surrounding content.
- Users can skip repetitive content by clicking skip links. It can be especially helpful for users who use keyboard navigation to get to their desired content, as it reduces the effort and time involved.
- Ensure that all functionality can be accessed using the keyboard alone. Using only the keyboard, users should be able to complete all tasks on your website, such as filling out forms and making purchases.
- Help users understand what each element does and how to interact with it by providing descriptive labels and instructions. It can be especially important for users who use screen readers or other assistive technology.
Color Contrast Should be Sufficient
Low contrast can make your site difficult to read and navigate for users with visual impairments. Check your text’s color contrast with your background using tools like WebAIM Color Contrast Checker. If your color contrast meets accessibility standards, the tool will tell you.
Provide Closed Captioning for Videos
While videos are an excellent way to engage users, they can be difficult for those with hearing impairments. You should provide closed captioning for all videos on your site, which provides text descriptions of the audio content. The video content can be followed with ease by users with hearing impairments.
WordPress Accessibility Plugins
There are many WordPress plugins available to help you improve your WordPress site. The following are some of the best accessibility plugins for WordPress:
WP Accessibility provides a suite of tools to improve your site. There are features like skip links, which allow users to skip to specific sections of your site, and toolbar toggles, which allow users to adjust the font size and contrast.
AccessibleWP – Accessibility Toolbar
Make it easier for disabled users to use your WordPress site by adding an accessibility toolbar.
WP Accessibility Helper
WP Accessibility Helper is a plugin that provides a range of accessibility features for your site. It includes features like text resizing, which allows users to adjust the size of text on your site, and image descriptions for all images on your site.
Accessibility Widget is a plugin that provides a range of features for your site. It includes features like font size and contrast toggles, which allow users to adjust the font size and contrast on your site, and a text-to-speech tool, which reads the content of your site aloud for users with visual impairments.
AudioEye is a plugin that provides a range of features for your site. It includes features like keyboard navigation, which allows users to navigate your site using only the keyboard, and a toolbar toggle, which allows users to adjust the font size and contrast.
Communicate Clearly and Concisely
Clear and concise language is essential for website accessibility since it helps users with cognitive impairments understand your content. Use simple language and avoid jargon or technical terms that may be unfamiliar to some users.
You should also make your WordPress site user-friendly if you want to be legal. Implementing these 7 tips will ensure that your site is usable to everyone, regardless of their abilities or limitations. Remember to choose an accessible theme, use proper heading structure, add alt text to images, make your site keyboard usable, ensure sufficient color contrast, provide closed captioning for videos, and use clear and concise language. It will make your site more successful, and your users will thank you for it.
WordPress Site Accessibility FAQ
What is WordPress site accessibility?
Web accessibility refers to the design and development of websites that are inclusive and usable by people with disabilities. This includes individuals with visual, auditory, physical, and cognitive impairments.
Why is WordPress site accessibility important?
Web accessibility is important because it allows people with disabilities to access the same information and services as everyone else. It is also required by law in many countries, including the United States, under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
What are some common accessibility barriers on websites?
Common accessibility barriers include a lack of alternative text for images, poor color contrast, inaccessible forms, and complex navigation.
What are accessibility plugins?
Accessibility plugins are tools that you can add to your WordPress site to help make it more accessible. They typically provide features like alternative text for images, keyboard navigation, and color contrast checks.
How do I choose an accessibility plugin?
When choosing an accessibility plugin, look for features that address the specific accessibility issues on your site. Consider also the plugin’s ease of use, compatibility with your WordPress theme, and support options.
Are there any downsides to using accessibility plugins?
While accessibility plugins can be very helpful, they may not address all accessibility issues on your site. It is still important to have a basic understanding of web accessibility and to design your site with accessibility in mind.