It’s no secret that WordPress is one of the most popular website development frameworks in use today. According to BuiltWith, as of July 2017, WordPress was being used by 27.3% of all websites – a statistic that has been steadily increasing for years. While this makes WordPress an attractive option for developers and businesses, it also means that WordPress must be accessible to as many people as possible by using tools such as accessiBe WordPress.
One of the challenges of making WordPress accessible is that it is such a flexible platform. As a result, there are countless ways to develop a WordPress site, and not all of them are equally accessible. This article will explore some of the most effective ways to make your WordPress site as accessible as possible.
Use an Accessible Theme
One of the best ways to ensure that your WordPress site is accessible is to use an accessible theme. Unfortunately, not all WordPress themes are equally accessible. When choosing a theme, look for one designed with accessibility in mind.
Some things to look for in an accessible WordPress theme include:
- Proper use of heading tags (H1-H6)
- Support for alternative text on images
- A logical and easy-to-understand layout
- Use of high contrast colors
Install an Accessibility Plugin
In addition to using an accessible theme, you can also install an accessibility plugin to improve the accessibility of your WordPress site further. Several great plugins are available, each with its own set of features.
Some of the most popular accessibility plugins for WordPress include:
- WAVE Toolbar
- Deque WorldSpace
- aXe Browser Extension
Optimize Your Content
Another important way to improve the accessibility of your WordPress site is to optimize your content. When creating content, keep the following tips in mind:
- Use clear and concise language
- Break up long blocks of text with headings and subheadings
- Use bulleted or numbered lists when appropriate
- Highlight important information with bold or italic text
Add Alternative Text to Images
One of the most common accessibility issues on WordPress sites is the lack of alternative text (or “alt text”) on images. Alt-text is a brief description of an image displayed if the image cannot be loaded. It is also read aloud by screen readers, making it an essential component of accessible websites.
When adding images to your WordPress site, add alt text that accurately describes the image. If you’re not sure what to include, a good rule is to keep it simple and concise.
Use Accessible Forms
Another common accessibility issue on WordPress sites is the use of inaccessible forms. Forms are an essential part of many WordPress sites, but if they’re not properly designed, they can be very difficult for people with disabilities to use.
When creating forms, keep the following tips in mind:
- Use clear and concise labels
- Use logical field ordering
- Allow users to navigate forms using the keyboard
- Use proper form field validation
Add Descriptions to Audio Files
In addition to captioning and transcribing videos, it’s also important to provide descriptions of audio files for people who are blind or have low vision. Descriptions are a text version of the audio track of an audio file, and they can be either written or recorded.
Adding descriptions to your audio files is relatively easy. Several plugins can automatically generate them for you, or you can create them yourself using a text editor.
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