A lot of the time WordPress accessibility tends to get neglected. This is due to our desire to build beautiful looking websites. As a result we tend to install themes that look good. These themes are great because they let us do what we want to do. The websites are accessible to us. But not everyone. It ends up creating problems for those with disabilities.
Today we’ll look at various methods on how to make your website accessible using WordPress.
Why Bother With WordPress Accessibility?
Accessible websites have benefits that most people don’t realize. One benefit is a wider audience. About 15% of the worlds population has some form of disability. As a result about 1 Billion people more will be able to visit your website. You’ll also have better SEO. Accessible websites also have faster loading speeds.
There are many ways to improve WordPress accessibility. The following are some common issues many web developers face.
Accessibility Approved WordPress Themes
It’s important to choose a WordPress theme that is accessibility ready. Default themes such as TwentySixteen or TwentyFifteen are good examples to follow. When developing a theme pay extra attention to the empty spaces around the page.
Create Easy To Read Content
Simple and short sentences are key. Avoid long paragraphs, small font and crowded text. All of this makes the text hard to read. Also keep information to a minimum.
Add in screen reader software. It’s incredibly useful. Skiplinks are a great example because they let the reader skip to the part they want to read. Speech synthesizer or braille display can be added as well. This enables the blind and vision impaired to read the displayed text.
Add Navigation Menus
Navigation menus should be positioned in a consistent and logical way. They should be easy to find and use. It’s also important to make sure they’re keyboard accessible.
Use Images And Links
Always optimize your images for your website. You can use WordPress image optimization plugins. The plugins will compress the pictures and make them smaller. This will load the website faster.
Make sure to provide alternative text (ALT text) for all of your images. An accurate description of the image will help a person with a visual disability understand what’s going on.
Finally, use descriptive text for links. Never use “click here” for links because it’s too vague. Otherwise the user will be confused and will never know what the link is for.
Appropriate Use Of Colours
Be sure to use an appropriate colour contrast because at least 1 in 20 people with colour blindness will visit your website.
WordPress Accessibility Plugin
WP accessibility is a multi function plugin. It identifies and fixes a lot of the common issues discussed above. Specifically it addresses issues found in WordPress themes. This is a great plugin with minimum setup.
Improving your WordPress accessibility is an ongoing process. The key thing to remember is to keep the thought of accessibility in the front and centre of your mind. Doing so will keep you on the right path of delivering an inclusive website experience. If you have a WordPress site and you want to talk about accessibility, get in touch with us today.