5 Tools to Improve WordPress Accessibility

A higher experience

As internet designers and builders, now we have now a great deal of very important targets — from guaranteeing a website online is cell and desktop nice, to ensuring it is fast, seems to be like good, and is shopper nice. However, an very important aspect which will normally be missed is discovering the correct WordPress accessibility devices. Abilities that many individuals may take with no consideration — like being able to use a mouse to scroll or being able to see a website online appropriately — won’t be the case for everyone.

Thus, this may be very very important to make sure that our websites are optimized for accessibility so as many people can use the web sites as doable.

People who’re visually impaired won’t be able to work along with and use a website online with numerous images, or people who might need drawback using a mouse or keyboard won’t be able to work collectively appropriately collectively along with your website online’s navigation schemes. That is why the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the principle physique that develops open necessities for the online, acquired right here up with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).

This set of strategies for making internet content material materials and websites additional accessible.

The goal of WCAG is to have websites and internet content material materials embody lodging for people with seen, bodily, or cognitive impairments all through various devices, from desktops to tablets and cell telephones.

Browsing through WCAG 2.1, there are many strategies and actionable objects that internet builders ought to do, and it may seem a daunting exercise at first. However, there are a selection of steps you’ll be able to start with and take, from understanding what enhancements you may as well make, to using accessibility ready themes and plugins to improve your website online’s accessibility.

Here are 5 strategies you presumably can go about it:

1. Check current WordPress accessibility using WAVE (the Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool)

The first question is always the place to begin? You have a website online; how are you going to start making it additional accessible? Fortunately, there’s quite a lot of devices which will help with exactly that, and my favorite one is WAVE (the Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool). All you need to do is type your website online in and WAVE opens up the website online and annotates for you the place it finds accessibility and Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) errors.

Use this WordPress accessibility instrument to audit your website online sooner than getting started.

You can get a myriad of important data paying homage to detecting distinction factors (the place there could also be low distinction between the textual content material and background colors), detecting factors with numerous textual content material for images (numerous textual content material is an overview of the images or what’s displayed if images can’t load), reveals empty hyperlinks (the place a hyperlink doesn’t comprise textual content material), and additional!

It moreover tells you what accessibility choices your webpage has, supplying you with baseline to work up from. And the best half is, all of these are annotated on the webpage, so that you acknowledge exactly the place the errors are and what to restore. WAVE is a unbelievable instrument to troubleshoot your current websites for accessibility, know exactly the place the issues are, and help restore them!

2. Use an accessibility-ready WordPress theme

What about starting off from scratch nevertheless with accessibility in ideas from the very beginning? The biggest methodology to try this’s to start with accessibility-ready themes! WordPress itself has a tag for themes which could be optimized for accessibility: Accessibility Ready, which you will browse here. Before any theme can have the “Accessibility Ready” tag, it ought to meet certain requirements, ensuring it is actually accessibility ready.

Don’t overlook themes as you spherical up WordPress accessibility devices.

These requirements are impressed by WCAG and embody right heading constructions, adequately contrasting shade schemes, keyboard-navigable menus and navigation schemes, and additional. Although there shouldn’t as many accessibility-ready selections accessible from WordPress immediately as there are totally different themes normally, nevertheless you can also filter through associated accessibility-ready themes on totally different on-line theme marketplaces, paying homage to ThemeForest, and organize a website online optimized from the very start for accessibility!

3.Use WP Accessibility to add helpful choices

What if you already have a website online up and working and want to now take steps to optimize it for accessibility? WP Accessibility is the go-to plugin for exactly that, a one-stop, multi-featured plugin with an unlimited variety of devices to help make your website online additional accessible.

WordPress Accessibility Features
Here’s a WordPress accessibility instrument that gives you a ton of selections for bettering a website online.

Here’s among the many choices that WP Accessibility has:

  1. Skiplinks: WP Accessibility helps add skiplinks to your pages which will help prospects using show readers or keyboards to navigate pages to merely skip between sections of the pages they want to see. These skiplinks will likely be set to always seen or hidden till tab is pressed.
  2. Empty Search Error: Some themes return every publish/internet web page for empty or clear searches, nevertheless this may occasionally energy an error and return nothing for an empty/clear search.
  3. Link Underline: Forcing underlining of hyperlinks to help make them additional seen.
  4. Outline Elements using keyboard: You can use this to put an summary spherical hyperlinks when the tab secret is used to navigate inside an internet web page.
  5. Accessibility Toolbar: Adds a toolbar to the left of the show that allows the patron to modify the textual content material dimension and swap to a extreme distinction mannequin of the situation.
  6. Remove title attributes: These are generally redundant and show readers study every these and the textual content material in case of images/hyperlinks, thus WP Accessibility removes them to make it a lot much less cluttery.

These are just some of many various choices and devices WP Accessibility accommodates and it might be a stupendous instrument in serving to make your website online additional accessible and shopper nice than sooner than!

4. Use Accessibility Widget to change textual content material dimension

Another superior and to the aim plugin is Accessibility Widget, which allows you to add a widget in your sidebar, footer, or wherever you want to have widgets, that changes the textual content material dimension on the press of a button.

WordPress Accessibility Widget
As you think about WordPress accessibility devices, don’t overlook basic stuff like textual content material dimension.

Within it, you presumably can define which HTML/CSS tags to resize and set the guidelines of sizes to choose from as properly. Once organize, the widget appears with the predefined guidelines of textual content material sizes to choose from on the press of a button. All in all, Accessibility Widget could also be quite simple to use, user-friendly, and does the job terribly properly!

5. Use ResponsiveVoice Text to Speech to convert an internet web page into audio

Another superior accessibility plugin is ResponsiveVoice Text to Speech, which, as you presumably can probably guess from its title, creates an audio clip of the textual content material in your internet web page or publish. An extensively customizable plugin, ResponsiveVoice permits you to choose between 80+ completely totally different voices, gives you the flexibleness to select which textual content material to study out, add in an “end-of-page” message which is carried out when the patron reaches the tip of the online web page, add in an exit intent message when a shopper scrolls away from the online web page to the toolbar/sort out bar, talk out paragraphs using CTRL-UP and CTRL-DOWN keys, and slightly extra.

WordPress Accessibiity Voice
Converting textual content material to audio is a sturdy perform, thanks to this WordPress accessibility instrument.

ResponsiveVoice can be not restricted to widgets solely, nevertheless you want to use every shortcodes or HTML to have a button present in your website online, which can each be wherever on any internet web page or publish, above or between textual content material, or inside the sidebar or footer as a personalized widget itself. With this, your prospects can now get an audio clip of the textual content material just by clicking a button, making your website online additional accessible for people who could not provide the probability to study the content material materials appropriately.

Closing concepts on WordPress accessibility

These devices and plugins, although not an intensive guidelines of all doable ones which will help with accessibility, can immensely make it simpler to each get started with making an accessible website online or troubleshooting your current web sites and optimizing them for accessibility.

From accessibility ready themes to troubleshooting using WAVE and using accessibility plugins, there are a lot of actionable steps you presumably can take as an web developer to improve your web sites’ accessibility.

If you might need an current website online and would love my workforce at Abstract Hub to help evaluation and optimize the situation for accessibility, reach out to us today! Do you might need any favorite devices and plugins to share on optimizing for accessibility? Feel free to share beneath! Happy WordPress-ing!