How to Improve Accessibility on Your WordPress Site

Do you wish to enhance accessibility in your WordPress web site?

When constructing a web site, accessibility usually will get uncared for, which might create a poor person expertise (UX). Ideally, you need your WordPress web site to be user-friendly and inclusive to all people, no matter their wants.

On this article, we’ll present you enhance the accessibility of your WordPress web site.

How to Improve Accessibility on Your WordPress Site

Why Is Accessibility Necessary for My WordPress Website?

In web design, accessibility refers to methods used to make a web site simpler to make use of for folks with disabilities. Some guests use assistive applied sciences to navigate the net, like display screen readers for folks with visible impairments and keyboard navigation for people who can not use a mouse.

There are some widespread best practices which might be really helpful by specialists to make web sites extra accessible. They assist make websites extra inclusive and user-friendly for everybody, no matter potential.

By prioritizing accessibility, extra folks will be capable of navigate your WordPress web site and discover your content material. Should you run an online store, then additionally, you will improve your probabilities of changing customers into prospects.

Accessibility can also be essential for search engine optimization (SEO). Google values web sites with good user-friendliness. Apart from making your web site extra responsive for cell units, you can too prioritize inclusivity in your net design to enhance rankings.

Moreover, in case you are a business website proprietor and the entrance finish of your web site is inaccessible, then you could possibly face authorized penalties.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) states that buyers can file a criticism if a web site doesn’t adjust to accessibility pointers. What’s extra, your popularity might get ruined, which might end in monetary losses.

How Does WordPress Make My Web site Extra Accessible?

WordPress has a number of built-in functionalities to assist customers make their WordPress websites accessible. For instance, by default, you may add various textual content (alt textual content) and title attributes to pictures in order that display screen readers can learn them out loud for customers with visible impairments.

WordPress has additionally made it obligatory for all new and up to date code in WordPress to comply with its accessibility coding standards. That is to make sure WordPress builders adjust to finest practices for accessibility when creating themes and plugins.

Aside from that, WordPress consists of options that make it straightforward for customers with disabilities to construct their very own web sites, just like the accessibility mode for adding widgets.

For extra info, we suggest maintaining with the Accessibility tag on the Make WordPress Core web page for extra info.

With all this in thoughts, WordPress is just not completely accessible out of the field. As a web site proprietor, it’s essential to take additional steps to assist your web site meet accessibility requirements.

We have now damaged down this information into a number of straightforward ideas to enhance your WordPress web site’s accessibility. You should utilize these fast hyperlinks to navigate to a particular part:

1. Get Acquainted With the Net Content material Accessibility Tips (WCAG)

First issues first, we suggest studying the Net Content material Accessibility Tips (WCAG). These are the requirements laid out by the W3C Net Accessibility Initiative (WAI) for customers to make their web sites extra accessible.

You possibly can try the WCAG 2.1 and WCAG 2.2 updates for starters. If each paperwork appear too lengthy to learn, then be happy to bookmark this quick reference as a substitute.

2. Use an Accessibility-Prepared WordPress Theme

Accessibility-ready themes have met the minimal accessibility requirements that the WordPress theme assessment workforce has set.

Utilizing an accessible WordPress theme doesn’t imply your web site will mechanically adjust to all accessibility necessities, as you continue to should make some tweaks by yourself. Nonetheless, it may give you a jumpstart to creating your web site extra accessible.

On the very least, an accessibility-ready theme may have:

  • Menus that may be navigated utilizing the keyboard alone.
  • Good coloration distinction that makes the content material readable for customers with visible impairments.
  • Semantically right HTML, which helps assistive applied sciences perceive the content material and construction of an internet web page.

If you wish to take issues a step additional, you may additionally wish to verify if the theme has ARIA attributes in it. These attributes are like additional info that enhances your theme’s HTML to make a web site even simpler to navigate for assistive applied sciences.

The simplest strategy to search for an accessibility-ready theme is by going to Look » Themes in your WordPress dashboard. Then, click on ‘Add New Theme.’

Adding a new theme in WordPress

From right here, choose ‘Function Filter’ and select ‘Accessibility Prepared.’

Be happy so as to add extra filters to search out the theme that matches your precise wants.

Selecting the Accessibility Ready filter in WordPress themes page

Now, scroll down and click on ‘Apply Filters.’

You’ll then see some accessibility-ready themes on the display screen.

Applying theme filters in WordPress

For extra theme suggestions, try our expert picks of the best WordPress themes.

3. Set up a WordPress Accessibility Plugin

A WordPress accessibility plugin provides useful options for guests with disabilities to navigate your web site.

One WordPress accessibility plugin we suggest is WP Accessibility. Among the issues this plugin can do embody:

  • Including an accessibility toolbar
  • Detecting whether or not your theme is accessibility-ready
  • Monitoring how the accessibility options in your web site are getting used so as to assess them

First, you have to install and activate the plugin on WordPress.

Upon activation, you have to go to Settings » WP Accessibility to configure the plugin.

WP Accessibility Settings

Let’s check out every part of the settings web page.

Add Skip Hyperlinks

Within the first part of the plugin settings, you should use skip hyperlinks in your web site, and this setting is enabled by default. A skip hyperlink permits customers to leap on to the content material part of a put up or web page.

That is a particularly helpful function for folks utilizing display screen readers. And not using a skip hyperlink, they must hearken to the whole lot displayed in your web site, together with your navigation menus, earlier than they attain the content material half.

In case your theme already makes use of skip hyperlinks, then you will note a notification confirming that.

WP Accessibility Add Skiplinks

Accessibility Toolbar

The WP Accessibility plugin comes with an accessibility toolbar.

If you allow it, the plugin will add a toolbar in your web site the place customers can resize fonts or view your web site in high-contrast coloration mode.

This lets your customers choose the choices they should make the web page simpler to learn.

WP Accessibility Toolbar

To allow the toolbar, merely verify the ‘Font measurement’ and ‘Distinction’ checkboxes.

There are additionally settings the place you may management the toolbar’s font measurement and placement.

WP Accessibility Toolbar

Should you make modifications to those settings, then be sure you click on the ‘Replace Toolbar Settings’ button to retailer your settings.

That is what the toolbar seems to be like on our take a look at web site.

WP Accessibility Toolbar Preview

Accessibility Fixes

WP Accessibility additionally supplies a number of accessibility fixes that might remedy potential points in your web site. You possibly can undergo every choice and see in the event you want it.

Some really helpful settings shall be checked by default. These choices stop hyperlinks from opening in new home windows, show an error once you submit an empty search submission, and take away the tabindex HTML attribute the place it’s not wanted to simplify keyboard navigation.

WP Accessibility Fixes

If you’re utilizing an accessibility-friendly theme that has already enabled a few of these options, then you will note a message confirming this on the prime of the part.

Don’t overlook to click on the ‘Replace Miscellaneous Settings’ button to retailer your modifications.

Accessibility Options

The plugin additionally supplies a number of choices to assist make your content material extra accessible.

The primary group of settings makes pictures simpler to deal with for these utilizing display screen readers.

There are additionally choices to display summaries on the prime of your posts and pages. This permits these with display screen readers to listen to a abstract of the content material earlier than deciding to hearken to all the article.

WP Accessibility Features

Should you change any of those choices, then please keep in mind to click on the ‘Replace Accessibility Options’ button.

Testing & Admin Expertise

Subsequent, you’ll find some settings that allow you to enhance the accessibility of your WordPress admin area and assist with testing.

This part is extra technical, so be sure you seek the advice of the plugin’s documentation earlier than checking the bins.

WP Accessibility Testing & Admin Experience

Ensure you click on the ‘Replace Accessibility Instruments’ button to avoid wasting your modifications.

Take away Title Attributes

This part allows you to take away the title attribute from tag clouds.

The title attribute is taken into account to be ineffective by some accessibility specialists. Most display screen readers often ignore the title attribute and as a substitute learn the anchor textual content.

WP Accessibility Remove Title Attributes

This setting is enabled by default, however in the event you change it, then be sure you click on the ‘Replace Title Attributes Settings’ button.

4. Examine Your Web site’s Colour Distinction

Colour distinction means the distinction between the textual content coloration and background color. It’s an important a part of web site accessibility as a result of it could possibly have an effect on how readable your web site content material is for folks with poor imaginative and prescient and coloration blindness.

To fulfill net accessibility requirements, common textual content ought to have a excessive distinction of not less than 4.5 to 1. This implies the textual content must be 4.5 occasions brighter than the background.

For bigger textual content, the requirement is a bit much less, at 3 to 1. This implies a barely decrease distinction is suitable. The identical rule applies to graphics and person interface parts, akin to type enter borders.

The WP Accessibility plugin has a built-in coloration distinction checker that you should use.

Within the plugin settings, merely scroll right down to the Colour Distinction Tester part and select a foreground coloration (the colour you’ll use on your textual content) and its background coloration.

Then, click on ‘Examine Colour Distinction.’

Checking color contrast using WP Accessibility

The plugin will then inform you if the colours cross or don’t cross the distinction take a look at.

Right here’s what the consequence seems to be like:

WP Accessibility color contrast test results

Alternatively, you should use the free WebAIM Contrast Checker. As with the earlier instrument, you’ll solely want to pick a foreground coloration and a background coloration.

This instrument not solely exams your coloration distinction but additionally reveals you what the colours might appear to be as regular and huge textual content, in addition to graphical objects and person interface elements.

Free WebAIM Color Contrast Checker

For extra particulars, you could prefer to see our information on how to pick the perfect color scheme for your WordPress website.

5. Add Various Textual content to Photos

Apart from being helpful for search engines like google and yahoo, alt textual content is useful for display screen readers to explain pictures to people with visible impairments.

Adding a title to an image in WordPress

Beforehand, we talked about that WordPress has a built-in function for including alt textual content. The method is fairly straightforward, and you may learn all about setting it up within the following guides:

Professional Tip: If you wish to mechanically set a constant alt textual content format for all your pictures, then you should use All in One SEO’s Picture search engine optimization instrument.

6. Add Labels to All Kind Fields

When you have forms on your website, then you’ll want to just be sure you use the suitable labels for every type aspect. This consists of type fields, buttons, menus, and so forth.

Adding checkout date and time fields to a form

The WCAG recommends including labels to all type parts to make it simpler for assistive instruments to determine and relay details about every one to customers.

Moreover, including clear and descriptive labels is an efficient net design apply. By serving to customers perceive what every type subject is for, person errors are much less prone to happen, and extra folks will be capable of submit their kinds.

If you’re unsure create nice kinds, then we suggest trying out WPForms. It’s one of the best WordPress type builder that makes it tremendous straightforward to customise kinds to your precise wants, together with bettering them for accessibility.


You possibly can learn extra about WPForms in our WPForms review. Additionally, try these guides on create kinds in WordPress:

7. Use Correct Heading Tags in Your Content material

Heading tags are HTML tags that may mark the titles or subtitles of an internet web page. This fashion, your content material is way more organized and simpler to comply with.

These tags additionally assist instruments like display screen readers generate a navigable define for customers with visible impairments. This can permit them to leap between sections and perceive your content material’s general construction.

If you’re unsure make the most of heading tags, then you may learn our information on how to properly use heading tags in WordPress.

8. Use Descriptive Anchor Textual content

Anchor or hyperlink textual content is mainly the clickable phrases or phrases in a hyperlink. You possibly can often inform which textual content is linked as a result of will probably be in a special coloration.

Typically, bloggers will use the hyperlink textual content ‘click on right here’ or ‘learn extra’ to direct guests to a web page.

This isn’t apply for accessibility as a result of it doesn’t give any details about the place the hyperlink goes. This makes it onerous for folks utilizing assistive applied sciences to grasp the aim of the hyperlink.

That’s why it’s finest to make use of descriptive anchor textual content as a substitute. This implies utilizing phrases that describe what the content material is about once you click on the hyperlink.

For instance, let’s say that you just wish to add a hyperlink to an article about one of the best WordPress internet hosting on this sentence: ‘Observe this information to study one of the best WordPress internet hosting providers available on the market.’

As an alternative of including the hyperlink to ‘Observe this information’ or anyplace else in that sentence, you must insert it into ‘best WordPress hosting services.’ This fashion, the person will get an outline of what they may discover within the linked content material

For extra details about hyperlinks and anchor textual content, see our beginner’s guide on linking in WordPress.

9. Add Captions or Transcripts to Video and Audio Content material

One of many principal struggles for customers with listening to disabilities is the lack to grasp spoken content material in movies and audio. That’s why quite a lot of video content material creators and podcasters add captions or transcripts.

At WPBeginner, we strongly discourage you from uploading videos to your own website as a result of they will gradual your web site down. As an alternative, it’s finest to make use of providers like YouTube or Vimeo, each of which have built-in instruments for including captions.

As for audio content material, you could wish to think about using a transcription service to transform speech to textual content simply. This fashion, you gained’t must manually create a written model of your audio content material.

Take a look at our checklist of the best transcription services for extra info.

10. Do Usability and Accessibility Testing

When you have carried out all the guidelines from this information, then the ultimate step is to do usability and accessibility testing in your WordPress web site.

This testing might help you determine any remaining points and aid you make your web site user-friendly and accessible to everybody.

WebAIM has a Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool (WAVE) that you should use free of charge.

Merely kind in your web site’s domain name, and the instrument will determine any accessibility-related points for you.

WebAIM's Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool (WAVE)

You can even use an accessibility scanner. We suggest trying out Accessibility Checker by Equalize Digital. It additionally comes with a free plugin version to scan limitless posts and pages in your web site.

After putting in the plugin, you may merely go to the block editor of your web page or put up. Should you scroll right down to the meta field part, you’ll find an Accessibility Checker that identifies your accessibility points.

Example of what the Accessibility Checker plugin does

An alternative choice is to carry out a UX audit, which mainly means checking your web site to see if it has person expertise. Simply head over to our UX audit guide for extra info.

Final however not least, we encourage you to ask on your person suggestions. Whereas testing can get you outcomes, getting suggestions from precise guests who use your web site’s accessibility options can present way more correct insights.

UserFeedback is one of the best plugin for this job. It allows you to create surveys to gather your customers’ opinions and ideas. There are additionally templates for web site design suggestions, so that you gained’t should create the survey from scratch.

UserFeedback plugin

For extra info, simply see our information on how to get website design feedback in WordPress.

Professional Guides on WordPress Accessibility

Now that you understand how to enhance accessibility in your web site, you could prefer to see another guides associated to WordPress accessibility points:

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