5 ways to improve the accessibility of your WordPress Website
Want to improve accessibility on your WordPress website? Accessibility is neglected most of the time in our effort to create more beautiful websites. This creates problems and bad user experience for people with disabilities. In this blog post, we’ll show you how to enhance accessibility on your WordPress based site.
What is accessibility in WordPress Website?
Accessibility is a term that is used to describe various design techniques that make a product accessible to its end-users with disabilities.
In the WordPress website design, there are some common best practices that experts recommend to make your websites more accessible. Some of the best practices can also be used on your WordPress site.
By making your website more accessible, you can make it easier for many people to use your website without assistance.
The problem is that most of the people who use WordPress don’t know much about web design, accessibility, or design standards. Most people just install a theme that looks great and helps them do what they want to do. We at WPBeginner are also guilty of this, but we are working to improve things on our site.
Let’s take a quick glance at how to enhance the accessibility of the WordPress based site without writing any code. If you need any further help you can take the help of a WordPress development company in India.
1. Improving Accessibility Using Plugin
The first thing you need to do is install and activate the WP Accessibility Plugin.
While activation, you should go to Settings »WP Accessibility in order to configure that plugin.
The first and foremost section is to completely remove the title attribute from the tag clouds as well as files. Some experts find this title attribute useless. Most screen readers generally ignore the title attribute and read the anchor text instead.
In the next section, you can enable the bypass link on your website. A jump link allows users to jump directly to the content. This is an extremely useful feature for people who use screen readers. Without a skiplink, they will have to listen to a lot of things, like navigation menus, before they can get to the content part.
WP Accessibility provides a variety of accessibility settings, in the miscellaneous accessibility settings section. You can review each option and see if you need it on your site.
Some of these options will be checked by default. These options are to remove the target attribute from links, force search failure on empty search submission, and remove tabindex from focusable elements.
The WP Accessibility plugin comes with an accessibility toolbar. Enabling it will add a toolbar to your website where users can change the font size or view your site in high contrast color mode.
Lastly, you will see the color contrast check tool. With this tool, you can test the contrast ratio of the foreground and background color and if they match the Accessibility Guidelines for web content. You may also want to check out our guide on how to choose the perfect color scheme for your WordPress site.
You can find out the colors your theme uses in the stylesheet, or you can use Eye Dropper, a color picker extension for Google Chrome.
To learn more about the accessibility features of the plugin, take a look at the WP Accessibility Plugins page on the WordPress Accessibility Team website.
We hope this article has helped you improve the accessibility of your WordPress site. You may also want to check out our guide on adding breadcrumb navigation links in WordPress.
2. Add Alt Tags to Images
Adding “alt tags” to your photos is one of the easiest ways to make some of your content more accessible. The alt tag allows a screen reader to “read” an image attached to it and tell the user what it is and how it fits into the context of the page.
You can easily add alt text to your WordPress images. Once you add an image to the blog post or page, you should enter a short phrase or sentence describing it in the alt text field on the right side of the editor.
Here is the field, you can also click to see helpful alternative photo instructions.
3. Use accessible color palettes
Another WCAG accessibility standard comprises the color palettes that it uses. Some color palettes can also cause problems for visitors with poor eyesight, color blindness, and similar problems. Generally speaking, you’ll want to use colors with a lot of contrast, so that your text can be seen easily.
To help you get started, WordPress has a helpful resource in its Web Developer’s Guide on the proper use of color. Also, when you are working on a WordPress website and decide to change the color of part of your text, you will receive a notice in the edit menu on the right if your choice of color may create problems.
Following these simple standards for choosing color means that your website users should have an easier time reading your text, regardless of whether they are visually impaired.
4. Organize the headings hierarchically
As we mentioned earlier, the Block Editor makes it easy to use appropriate headers and header tags. Whenever you like to use a new heading level, you can do so by selecting the Heading block from the initial Block menu.
You will have several levels of heading to choose from. However, you may notice that H1 does not appear in the block options. This is because it is better not to use H1 within your post or page content as it tends to confuse screen readers. H1s should be reserved for the main title of each page or post, while you can use H2 and below to structure the rest of the content.
5. Make your WordPress site keyboard-friendly
For a WordPress website to be truly accessible to anyone, it needs to be built for navigation with just one keyboard. This ensures that blind and visually impaired users, as well as anyone who needs an alternate keyboard or keyboard emulator, will be able to use your website.
In general, navigating with the keyboard on a wordpress website involves using the Tab key. This allows the user to jump from one linked content element to another. These areas have programmed focus indicators that can be activated using the keyboard. The sighted user will be able to see a visual change (such as outline, border, or background color) when the keyboard activates a specific area.
You can see this feature in action in the example below, as there is a visual indicator about “web accessibility”, which means the user has navigated to it using the keyboard. Also, if find any difficulty in doing this, you can avail WordPress development services as per your needs and requirements.