Our World Wide Web is evolving at a lightning speed and wants to be accessible to people from all walks of life. To ensure the inclusivity of all kinds of visitors, website development is done by following specific guidelines. These accessibility rules are made to assure that websites are available to everyone, including people with disabilities, those with socio-economic barriers, those facing low network connectivity and more.
Benefits of WordPress Website Accessibility
By following these guidelines for WordPress development, businesses and companies can reach out to more visitors and potential customers. It’s a simple fact that if any website is accessed by more people, then there are additional chances of spreading the business. Also, it helps people leverage the products and services of the website owner. Therefore, it is a mutually progressive way of connecting the world and doing business.
Common Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)
When we speak about web accessibility guidelines, it should be clear that these are rules that need to be followed throughout the website development process. It will help web developers to create the right text, images, sounds, mark-up language and structure of the website so that it is easily accessible to everyone, including people facing diverse challenges like physical or network issues.
Commonly called the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2, these sets of rules are formulated in cohesion with individuals and organizations that share the common goal of creating a technical standard for web content accessibility. The rules are designed through the W3C process and are followed to make websites more user-friendly. The guidelines are based on four principles including robustness, perceivable, operable, and understandable.
How to Make WordPress Websites More Accessible?
Talking about WordPress websites, it is clear that they are already aligned with accessibility tests. Whether it is the designer, developer, content writer or tester, they all are acquainted with these rules and are expected to create websites that are in accordance with these guidelines.
A broad view of WordPress Website Accessibility guidelines is as follows…
- Images – Website images should be visible to one and all, including those with visibility challenges.
- Descriptions – The image description should be in accordance with the context of the image on the webpage and not random.
- Color – Color combination of the website should be chosen to suit the visibility of people with poor vision or color blindness. Be it the image, button or text, everything should be placed in colors that create optimum visibility. Tools like WebAIM Contrast Checker can be used to see if the site is color balanced or not.
- Text – The font and size of text should be decided in a way that they are readable by people who see them or read them through hearing aids.
- Interactive elements – Website menus, forms, buttons, checkboxes, labels, videos etc. should be easy to access and comprehensible by all kinds of visitors.
- Visual cues for ease of website navigation help to connect more visitors.
With the evolution of WordPress sites, this content management system advances, keeping most of the accessibility factors.
Some of these factors are reckoned by the following WordPress development practices:
- WordPress’s latest themes are designed with all the web accessibility features
- Developers come up with development tools that refine website accessibility
- More and more plugins are designed and developed to push web accessibility forward
This clearly proves that WordPress website development is all-inclusive and comprehensive enough to consider the fact that the site reaches maximum users. Also, the open-source community keeps coming up with new features, extensions and themes that take accessibility to the next level. Therefore, it is always better to choose WordPress as a development platform to create sites with a wider reach.
Although the WordPress community is delivering great results at times, it falls short in the accessibility test. This should be a watch-out point for WordPress developers, who can substitute missing elements of a theme or development platform with plugins. They can incorporate WordPress plugins and extensions to create a more functional and accessible website.
Top Five WordPress Accessibility Plugins are as follows
A highly comprehensive plugin that addresses and fixes many accessibility issues. Developers don’t need to code for these individual elements. They are taken care of by this plugin. The most highlighted one is the Skip Links feature, which allows a visitor to jump from one area of the webpage to another without playing much with the navigation menus. These links are available only when activated with certain keyboard actions or through some supporting devices.
The extension can also specify the language of the page to facilitate those using screen readers to check the website. Long image descriptions are incorporated through this plugin to check graphs, charts and more. Overall, a very useful WordPress website plugin!
Another very powerful plugin, this one supports the incorporation of skip links, ARIA landmarks, font resizing, changing color contrast as per need, the addition of links to a sitemap and jumping to other pages like the help menu. It also makes the site more SEO friendly and visually accessible to more users.
This extension allows admins to modify accessibility features from their dashboards. With this they can change page styling, color contrast, animation features, font resizing and more. It is a freemium plugin which charges around $99 for its premium version. The premium version includes monochrome mode, accessibility to widgets and pop-ups, provision to WPML and more.
This SaaS-based extension uses AI to scan the back end as well as the front end for accessibility issues. It figures out the main purpose and context of the website. Followed by this, it modifies the Alt tags, icons, forms and other attributes to deliver a better user experience. It even changes the page structure to make it accessible by keyboard keys. Daily scans for content changes are done to create an updated, user-friendly website.
Again, a plugin that offers AI-assisted scanning of the website to fix accessibility problems through automation. It helps with keyboard–only navigation and sorts out basic issues like color contrast, navigation hassles and more.
These are the top five WordPress accessibility extensions and there are more like WP ADA Compliance Check Basic, Accessibility Widget, WP Accessibility Tools & Missing Alt Text Finder, wA11y etc. WordPress developers can use any of these to create a more inclusive, user-centric website that serves all types of visitors.
If you are looking for WordPress development or customization using WordPress plugins or revamping an existing site to a foolproof WordPress website, then KrishaWeb could be your best partner. We have a solid team of WordPress developers with a high success ratio. We have many successful WordPress projects in our portfolio.
Give us a shout-out for consulting on your WordPress Website Development…