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How To Make Your WordPress Website More Accessible

WordPress is one of the most popular web platforms available, with close to half of all websites worldwide running on it.

Its popularity can be attributed to its ease of use, scalability, the robust content management system, and customizability.

However, accessibility is not baked into WordPress websites by default. If you want to make your website more accessible to users with disabilities, you have to do the work yourself. 

This article discusses various methods you can employ to add accessibility to your WordPress website.

These include using accessible WordPress themes, adding support for screen readers, doing an accessibility audit, and installing a WordPress accessibility plugin.

Read on to learn more about making your website more inclusive to people with disabilities.

Use An Accessible WordPress Theme

One thing people love about WordPress is the wide variety of themes available on both the Theme Directory and external sources.

Many of these themes have features that make them accessible, such as high-contrast color combinations, sans serif fonts, responsive design, and support for keyboard navigation.

Some of the most popular accessible themes include Neve, Morning, Gridd, Modern, and Koji.

If you’re a theme developer, you may also create your own themes based on the WordPress Theme Handbook accessibility recommendations, which are based on the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). 

Make Your Website Screen Reader Friendly

Many individuals with visual impairments depend on screen readers to browse websites.

Unlike yesterday’s screen readers, which just read whatever is on the screen, today’s screen readers have a wide range of features that make it easier for users to find the information they need.

For example, users can ask the screen reader to locate a specific line of text or indicate the active option in a menu.

But to help users to maximize their screen reader, you have to optimize your website for accessibility.

You can start by adding alt text to your images. Alt text is an HTML tag that describes the content of an image, allowing screen readers to read out what the image stands for.

Good alt text contains a reasonable amount of detail that will allow users to tell between two slightly different images.

For example, “computer screen displaying the Quantum Mechanics home page” is more detailed than just “computer screen showing a website”.

You can also add headings and subheadings to your text content. Many content writers make the mistake of just using a larger font for article and section titles, but to a screen reader, they’re still both part of the body text and can easily be mistaken for paragraphs or sentences.

Adding heading and subheadings involve inserting <h1> and <h2> tags to the text, something you can easily do with the WordPress CRM.

These tags help screen readers determine where articles and sections start and end and give users a good way to skip to sections that are relevant to them.

Perform A Website Accessibility Test

If your website is already live, you might want to consider having a website accessibility audit performed by an accessibility expert.

This activity uses the WCAG success criteria to identify potential accessibility issues before they appear. 

Most accessibility tests combine manual and automated testing methods. Manual testing involves a user trying out a page’s features using a script.

Many accessibility audits also include testing by a user with a disability, such as a visual impairment.

On the other hand, automated testing aims to find potential issues at the code level, such as color contrast violations. 

At the end of the audit, you will get a detailed report listing the issues encountered during testing along with suggestions for improving your website’s accessibility posture.

This report will guide you as you continue your accessibility journey and serve as a reference for future additions to your website.

Install A WordPress Accessibility Plugin

Another thing we love about WordPress is the customization options it offers. Aside from accessible themes, there are accessibility plugins too.

Many of these plugins remediate the website code using the WCAG success criteria. They also offer widgets that allow users to customize their browsing experience.

For example, users can choose high-contrast color combinations, switch from one font to another, and resize the text as needed without having to tinker with your HTML code.

WordPress accessibility: Your Gateway To Website Inclusivity

WordPress is the most popular website platform and CMS for a reason: It is incredibly user-friendly, intuitive, and easy to implement.

Similarly, making your WordPress website more accessible to users with disabilities shouldn’t have to be complicated.

By using an accessible theme, adding alt text and heading tags to your content, doing an accessibility audit, and installing an accessibility plugin, you can improve your website’s user experience and make it more inclusive to everyone.

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