WordPress is the simplest and most sought-after way to make your personalized website or blog. It is so popular that WordPress powers 40 % of the websites on the internet. It gives you the power to design your website completely to your needs and liking. However, When designing your WordPress site, you should keep in mind that not all your visitors are the same. Some users may not have access to a mouse or have the ability to see pages. Hence, optimizing your WordPress accessibility becomes vital.
In this post, we’re going to discuss techniques to optimize your WordPress site and make it more accessible to all your potential visitors.
What Is WordPress Accessibility?
WordPress Accessibility means making your WordPress site accessible to as many users as possible, including visually impaired people who rely on assistive technologies. Unfortunately, many websites tend to focus less on WordPress accessibility over beautiful design. Although a beautiful design is very important, ignoring accessibility features leads to issues that become very problematic for people with color blindness or dyslexia.
Why You Should Care About WordPress Accessibility
If you have a website, you would want to attract attention to it. Thus, if your website is not navigable nicely, people will avoid it no matter how much good information is put in it. Therefore, to give a friendly and convenient experience to the users visiting your website, you should focus on accessibility issues. Additionally, suppose people with visual impairments, older people, and people using small devices use your site for a convenient experience. In that case, it means you are catering to more audiences, thus increasing the site’s popularity.
Making Your WordPress Website More Accessible
There are various ways by which you can make your WordPress website accessible. For example, you can use WordPress accessibility themes or install a plugin to specifically change certain aspects of your website such as colors, contrast, greyscale and content headers to make it more accessible.
Install the WordPress Accessibility Plugin
There are also many other accessibility plugins that you can choose from – both paid and free. WP Accessibility Plugin is the best amongst the free plugins and also the most popular one. accessibe on the other hand is the best premium plugin. These plugins provide users with many features like the ability to use skip links, i.e., internal links that can help you jump entirely to the sub-topic you want to look into. This specific feature is primarily helpful for screen readers. These also allow you to change your website’s font size, contrast, and grayscale, which is useful for people with visual disabilities. These WP Accessibility Plugins also offer you to put an outline around essential elements so that you can focus on those parts. More features are available for you to able to improve your website.
See other WordPress accessibility plugins here.
Adjusting the color contrast and also choosing the right color combinations are very
important for your website. Some people visiting your site might suffer from visual impairments like color blindness, burry view, dyslexia, trembling view, and others. Colour blindness alone makes up for 2.7 million people. Those people also use the web for research and other reasons. So, to make sure that you let these types of people you’re your website peacefully, make sure that the design and patterns in your site work well with or without colors. Try adjusting color ratios and contrasts.
Image ALT Text
Putting Alternative text for your image which describes the image is also very important, especially for screen readers. It is needed to tell what the image contains shortly. So, make it a habit of putting alt texts every time you include an image.
Content headers are of most importance as they determine for a viewer whether they want to proceed reading or not. Thus, a relevant and compact content header will attract people to your website.
For websites containing videos and audio, it is important to have subtitles. This is to help people know what is in the video or audio if they are in a position where they cannot listen to it. It also helps deaf people, and also putting subtitles in different languages may help reach a greater audience as many people do not know major world languages like English.
Fonts and text size
While choosing Fonts and text size, you have to be very wary too. Your text content on the website should neither be too bold nor too small. It should be resizable. It is beneficial for older people and people with hypermetropia. This way, they would be easing able to adjust the sizing according to their needs.
Keyboard Accessible Links and Menus
Some users may have motion disabilities or are momentarily not able to use their mouse or touch-sensitive devices. In this case, having an alternative helps a lot. Thus, providing visual keyboard focus on navigation through the site and menus and forms is essential. In addition, every content and link should be approachable through the keyboard. So, it would be best if you also tried to keep the single shortcuts key rather than requiring multiple keys, as the former is much more user-friendly.
Test for WordPress Accessibility
After going through your website and changing many things with a lot of effort, how would you know that those changes are implemented correctly and helpful to people?
For this purpose, you can download disability stimulator extensions and navigate through your website using only a keyboard. Or you can download Google chrome extensions such as WAVE (Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool) to check your website’s accessibility quickly.
Examples of Websites doing Accessibility Well
Websites of Scope, BBC, Apple, GOV.UK, SSE Energy, and Monzo are few examples that are doing a great job managing the accessibility of their websites. For instance, the BBC website shows four errors while the Apple website shows only one error when tested through WAVE. This shows how much Apple has focused on the accessibility of its site along with the design.
With the advancement of technology, the internet is used for various things. Even the most basic requirements like buying medicine or grocery shopping are through the web. So, it is essential to make sure that more and more people can use the web conveniently. When it comes to WordPress, making the website accessible is not a very simple task. Thus, you have to minutely check for every small change to tackle the accessibility issues. This way, more users will enjoy viewing your website, and your website will be sought-after.