Have you been thinking that it is time to improve the accessibility of your website? Oftentimes, we don’t want to add accessibility because it affects the site design and beauty. However, not adding accessibility creates a bad user experience for people with disabilities.
And that can alienate a lot of potential users.
For example, did you know that 8% of men are colorblind? If your website is not readable by these people, that’s a lot of potential traffic lost. Thus, you need to take the proper steps.
In this article, I will show you how to easily add WordPress website accessibility for people with disabilities in an attempt to make it easier for them to view the content.
What Does WordPress Website Accessibility Mean?
Basically, using the term WordPress accessibility in this niche means that you are trying to describe design techniques that make a product more accessible to users with disabilities.
Oftentimes this is overlooked, but it is very important to give users with disabilities better WordPress theme accessibility in order for them to be able to experience your website the correct way.
By making your website more accessible, you decrease the probability of users with disabilities needing assistance to use your website. It can be little things, too. Of course, there are a number of things you can implement on your quest for better WordPress website accessibility, but even the smallest things can have an impact. You would be surprised as to how big of an effect website colors have. Consider other details that you need to make more accessible.
- Font Resizing
- Keyboard Navigation
- Site Colors
All of these and more are things you may want to consider adding to a website to make it more accessible.
Let’s take a look at how you can easily add WordPress theme accessibility to your website without having to deal with any code.
Impact on Design
Unfortunately, making your website more accessible can sometimes impact its overall design. However, it is completely worth it and I would argue if your website cannot be enjoyed by anyone, it wasn’t very well designed, to begin with.
But, this can be upsetting for many beginners who have their hearts set on a certain layout. For this reason, I strongly suggest identifying the areas of your website that visitors struggle with and collect feedback.
This can help you not only help disabled users that access your website, but improve the overall experience. After all, sometimes it really is just bad design.
Improving WordPress Website Accessibility
The easiest way to add accessibility to your website is to add a WordPress accessibility plugin. The one I recommend is WP Accessibility Helper (WAH). The WP Accessibility Helper (WAH) plugin adds a little pull out accessibility icon to your website where a number of functions can be utilized for someone that needs to use them.
Simply put, this WordPress accessibility plugin provides basic tools and helps your site be much more accessible to those with disabilities.
The first thing you want to do is to install and activate the plugin.
Once activated, you will see the “Accessibility” icon in your left WordPress menu. Simply click on it and the option will open up the settings and configuration portion of the app. This is where you will go to set all your configuration options.
Once in the settings, a configuration area of the WordPress accessibility plugin you will be presented with a lot of great functions that will allow you to set up your accessibility how you see fit.
Aside from the main Global Settings of the plugin, you will also be presented with:
- Font Settings
- Contrast Settings
- Style Settings
- Link Settings
- Content Settings
Most of the settings are just toggle boxes with an On/Off option, with a few boxes being made available for text input. Setup is very easy.
Note: There is a pro version with additional options. These include a lot of useful features that you may want to consider like a larger mouse cursor.
From here, you can click around and see that there is a “widgets order” area that allows you to change the order of the widgets that display. There is also an attachments control area and a landmark and custom CSS field section.
Front End Website Display
Once you get the options and settings configured to your liking and save everything, you are ready to see it in action.
Head over to the front end of your website. You will now see that there is a little accessibility icon on the top right. Visitors simply need to click on it to pull a WordPress theme accessibility menu out. It provides user options to help them view your website.
A user can now click on that icon and all the WordPress website accessibility options you made available in the settings area are now available for them to use.
Note: I highly recommend letting your user base know of the existence of this button. It is very easy to miss and that defeats its purpose.
Congratulations on setting up the WP Accessibility Helper plugin. While this plugin will help many users, it does have one flaw, no colorblind options.
Consider Color Blind Users
One of the most forgotten about groups during website design is those who are colorblind. Friendly color blind design can completely alter the appearance of your website because you cannot put colors on top of each other.
In fact, web designers utilize a color card that shows how certain colors will be viewed by both normal and the most common color blindness.
A great tool to utilize is the color blindness tool by Toptal. This tool allows you to enter your website’s URL and apply different color blindness filters. This will help you see what your website looks like in their eyes.
However, it isn’t just the main design of your website that may be the problem. Instead, the smaller icons are normally the biggest issue.
For example, if you rely on displaying a green dot when something is good and a red dot when something is bad, some cannot tell the difference.
To fix this, you should add symbols as well as colors. In this case, you should add a checkmark in the green and an X in the red. This ensures that even if the visitor is colorblind, they can see the difference as most will recognize these universal symbols.
Collecting feedback from users will really help you identify problem areas on your website. So make sure to do so.
A Website For Everyone
WordPress website accessibility is important for everyone because you want visitors to be able to enjoy your site the way they need to. However, it is very challenging to make a website accessible to everyone without compromising your design.
For this reason, you do need to spend time and research common problems people have with certain disabilities. What do they encounter when trying to view websites? In many cases, the smallest changes are all that you may need.
And in most cases, it makes it easier for everyone.
Since reading this, have you used this WordPress website accessibility plugin? Did you already have accessibility in place using a different technique?
Author: Jeremy Holcombe
Growing up in Hawaii, Jeremy started his freelance writing career doing resumes, business plans, article writing, and everything in between. He now specializes in online marketing and content writing and is part of the Content Marketing Team at GreenGeeks.