How to optimize your WordPress website for accessibility

Optimizing Your WordPress Website for Accessibility

Making a website accessible to everyone, regardless of ability or disability, is essential. A WordPress website is no exception; there are several ways to optimize it for accessibility. This article will guide you through the necessary steps.

1. Enable Keyboard Navigation

Using just a keyboard as an input device, users with motor impairments may find it difficult to navigate a web page. Enabling keyboard navigation will provide them access to your website:

    • Go to the WordPress Dashboard
    • Navigate to Settings > General
    • Check the “Keyboard Navigation” option
    • Save changes

2. Adjust Contrast and Text Size

People who are visually impaired may also have difficulty navigating a web page. To optimize your WordPress site, it is important to ensure that everyone can read the content on the page.

    • Go to the WordPress Dashboard
    • Navigate to Settings > Reading
    • Check the “Enable High Contrast Mode” option
    • Adjust the text size to a minimum of 12px
    • Save changes

3. Use Accessible Plugins

Accessible plugins are designed to improve the accessibility of your website. Examples include:

    • WP Accessibility: adds accessibility features such as keyboard support, high contrast mode and more.
    • ACF Accessibility: adds support for color contrast and font size settings to the WordPress Custom Fields plugin.
    • ARIA Live Announcement: adds an audio announcement of page changes to improve accessibility for screen reader users.

4. Add Labels and Descriptions

Screen reader users rely on labels and descriptions to make sense of the content on the page. To provide them with the information they need, it is important to properly label and describe all elements of your WordPress website.

    • Go to the WordPress Dashboard
    • Navigate to the page editor
    • Click on the element and add an appropriate label and description
    • Repeat for all elements

5. Add Alt-Text To Images

Alt-text helps screen reader users understand what is being displayed on an image. To add it to your page:

    • Go to the WordPress Dashboard
    • Navigate to the page editor
    • Click on the image and add an appropriate alt-text
    • Repeat for all images

Following these steps will help make your WordPress website more accessible and user friendly. It is important to stay up to date with accessibility best practices, so be sure to check for any new updates or developments.

What tools can I use to increase the accessibility of my WordPress website?

1. Install the WP Accessibility plugin to enable accessibility-focused features that can meet the WCAG 2.0 accessibility requirements..

2. Include relevant alt tags for all images on your website, as this helps visually-impaired users understand the context.

3. Make your fonts larger and use consistent styling so it’s easy to read.

4. Use contrast-checking tools to ensure that your website has sufficient contrast between text and background.

5. Use descriptive link names to make it easier for screen readers to understand the purpose of links.

6. Utilize keyboard navigation to make your site more accessible to users without the use of a mouse.

7. Add captions and transcripts to your videos and audio files.

8. Include a “skip to content” link to your website to help those using assistive technologies move more quickly through a page.

What plugins can I use to make my WordPress website more accessible?

1. WP Accessibility: This plugin adds various accessibility features to your WordPress website, such as skip links, keyboard accessibility, focus management, header improvements and more.

2. WP ADA Compliance Check Basic: This plugin helps you identify accessibility issues in your WordPress website and provides solutions to fix them.

3. WAVE: This plugin assists in evaluating the accessibility of WordPress websites.

4. Pretty EASY Privacy (Peep): This plugin helps with topics like obscurity, data protection and privacy by handling cookies and user information.

5. WP RTL: This plugin adds RTL (Right to Left) language support to your WordPress website.

6. AudioEye: This plugin allows you to add audio alternative texts to images and other HTML elements.

7. Accessible Poetry: This plugin allows you to add braille and text-to-speech support to any page on your website.

8. Font Resizer: This plugin allows your visitors to resize the font size on your website.

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