How to improve Accessibility on your WordPress Website?
Owing to the developing technology, every company needs to have its website. A website has become so common that we can find tons of websites for the same product on the internet.
How is WordPress related to the websites? WordPress is an open source that helps to create a website, i.e. it is a website creation tool written in PHP, which is available online. It is free and is used to write interesting blogs through its open-source Content Management System (CMS) based on PHP and MySQL.
Usage procedure of WordPress is simple. One needs to install it on a web server and the features which include a plug-in architecture and template system.
Its popularity is reaching new heights every day with 30.6% of the 10 million websites as of April 2018 are using it already. Thus it has become the most popular website management or blogging system in use on the web, supporting more than 60 million websites.
Quality tips, tricks, and hacks that improve the accessibility on WordPress site:
Accessibility can be simply understood as how easily people with disabilities can perceive, understand, navigate, and interact with the web (or) in other words accessibility is visiting and optimising the site by the largest number of people possible.
WordPress Accessibility is not that difficult as it has all the tools needed.
- Assistive technologies
Such as screen readers, keyboard-only navigation, and voice control.
- Using clean and good HTML:
Good HTML structures contain header tags, bulleted lists, alt tags, title tags, and Meta descriptions. Highlighting all these give the visitor a clear picture of what is present in the content prior to his reading of all the content. Thus the visitor can easily go to the point he/she is searching for and save their time. Hence the visitor will be satisfied in a short period as reading all the content is tiresome and irritable especially when it doesn’t contain what the visitor exactly wants.
- Keyboard support should be incorporated.
The visitor gets bored using the mouse every time and sometimes keyboard is more comfortable to tab to the links they want to visit. Hence website owner should make sure the site is also accessible through the keyboard. It is also useful when the mouse of the visitor is not in working condition, and the problem will not stop him/her from accessing the website.
- Provide text alternatives for every item.
Though not all, some visitors like to read the description before opening the multimedia item to avoid buffering of videos which are of no use for them. Providing text alternatives will describe the website more clearly and make the access easy.
- Time-limits should be small or increase the number of chances.
If the graphics of the website can be paused and replayed as many times as needed, it makes the visitor use it according to his comfort. For example, a visitor might be noting down the points mentioned in the video, and then it needs to be often paused.
Next, if the website contains some portions like quiz or test then giving a small time limit is not advisable as some visitors might not be born-genius. If not time-limit, the increase in chances might help them to solve the quiz and rate your website. Hence multiple chances are advisable.
- Flashing the content is not necessary.
It is not mandatory that the visitor requires the content that is flashing. Then the flashing becomes a hurdle for the visitor while accessing the website as the block opens up now and then and the visitor has to close it every time, and it is obvious that this annoys the visitor.
Duration of a slideshow of the images should be minimum 10 seconds and maximum 30 seconds.
- High contrast option.
Visitors with visual impairments can be benefited with this. High contrast design may be selected for this, but if it seems too bright, providing a button that toggles on and off high contrast mode is good.
- Accessible Rich Internet Applications (ARIA)
Including ARIA landmarks in the websites helps the visitor to know where he is on the page and what to do next. These applications must be utilised fully.
- Separate the site’s structure and the site’s content.
This is done to avoid the cutting down of any layout, content, or navigational elements. It gives all simplified and manageable version of the website that omits all or most CSS.
Accessibility Ready WordPress Themes:
There are many Accessible WordPress Themes available that makes a great WordPress website. Some of them are mentioned below.
- Apex: with a simple and eye-catching layout, it is easily recognised by assistive devices. Manageable on all screen sizes it is popular for simple business sites and personal blogs.
- Author: it is known for its fast-loading feature on any device thus making it suitable for presentable and easy-to-read content.
- Founder: using Noto Sans, Google’s multilingual font it is perfect for translation hence gives a highly professional look to the website. This theme is accessibility-ready, with proper HTML structure, clean code, and attention paid to contrast.
- Tiny framework: this theme comes with full documentation like footer widgets, awesome font icons, Google fonts, custom action hooks integration, a custom site logo, and a sample child theme.
WordPress themes tutorials:
- Comment privacy opts-in checkbox.
This helps the citizens to take control over their data.
- Smooth background colour change effect.
A specific area or the whole page automatically changes the background colour through this effect giving a beautiful view, gaining the viewer’s attention and thus improving the accessibility.
- The button that loads more posts.
This helps to include more information on the website, and many popular platforms use this feature.
- WordPress navigation menus.
WordPress navigation menus can be customised to change their colours and appearance.
Contact Ananyoo to learn more about our website accessibility Compliance services. We can develop your site against WCAG 2.0 or Section 508 standards and deliver a report that will clearly detail our findings, as well as recommendations to make your site more accessible to meet, and even exceed, the current standards.
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about the author
WordPress and Accessibility Lover. I realize that a Website or an Application is a constantly developing project and requires long-term assistance to make it perfect. Let me blend my accessibility skill with seamless design and development integration using WordPress to make a perfect website for you. I can be your team or become part of your team or let me help when you have a tricky design or development issue and need support. Whatever it is, I will be there to make your things beautiful, accessible, and functional.