The Ultimate Guide to WordPress Accessibility, and How it Can Boost Your Platform

WordPress spelled with scrabble tiles (image)

Making a website accessible means building a platform that maximum people can share and find reliable. That’s why WordPress Accessibility is so crucial.

by Rosie Brooks – Read this article in its entirety HERE on Colorado Biz’s website

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More than 45.8% of websites across the globe will be powered by WordPress in 2023. The figure was 43.2% in 2022. Whether you want to create a simple or complex website for your business, WordPress can create the most trusted, versatile and user-friendly platform for your business goals. However, while working with WordPress to build a robust and customer-centric website, you must be careful about its WordPress accessibility. 

READ: Beyond the Basics — 7 Innovative Apps to Help Scale Your Business

What is web accessibility?

Web accessibility means exactly what the name suggests. When a website is designed and presented to its audiences in such a manner that they can easily access and navigate the website, it becomes an accessible website. The entire process of user interaction with various features and segments of the site becomes easy, time-saving and efficient. 

The more accessible your website, the more people you can pull towards it. Hence, you cannot ignore the significance of WordPress website accessibility when you wish to create a customer-centric platform for your business.

It is necessary to understand that a completely accessible website should be user-friendly for all types of people; even for users with cognitive, visual, auditory or neurological disabilities. Usually, when creating a website with WordPress plugins for accessibility, people with such disabilities are the main concern for most companies and web developers. Nonetheless, a fully accessible website does not target only people with disabilities, but also includes:

  • Users with a mobile device and competitively smaller screen with different changing input modes.
  • Aged users with limited vision, mobility and dealing with understanding difficulties while handling modern gadgets.
  • Users with temporary injuries or illness.
  • Users with limited internet bandwidth or poor connection issues.

Laws and standards for website accessibility

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), there are strict norms for website accessibility for people with disabilities. Sites that do not follow these norms can face legal consequences. As a website owner, you should be aware of these consequences and associated risks of having a non-accessible website while running a business in the USA.

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has designed and published Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), which are broadly accepted as the standard. The latest version, WCAG 2.1 includes thorough guidelines for creating accessible websites for people with a vast range of disabilities, and you should follow these guidelines to avoid legal hassles as a website owner. 

The main aim of this law is to wipe out any discrimination between users regarding gaining information about a business, service, or product when it is available on the internet. That user can be your employee, customer, potential client or a general internet user seeking information on a general topic. Here’s a brief rundown of the legal requirements:

  1. Your website must be easily navigable to disabled users with the help of assistive technologies. Every page of your site must be compliant with ADA guidelines. 
  2. Your website pages need to have “text equivalent” graphics and images. That text must have description and information provided in a certain image or graphics for people with visual disabilities. 
  3. All the nonvisual information that appears on your website must be accessible with keyboard navigation. The nonvisual content of your site must be available under one “tab” on your keyboard or menu structure.
  4. If a person has difficulties navigating your website with the help of the mouse, then there must be shortcut keys on the keyboard through which each page can be easy to navigate while collecting information. Using short pages that do not need to be scrolled down or text alternatives for buttons can work best in such cases.

There are about 80 million people in America who find it difficult to access various websites because of their disabilities. If you want your business to grow and reach as many people as possible, then you must stay out of this queue and build an accessible website for all types of users.

READ: Mastering Customer Retention Strategy — The Key to Sustainable Business Growth

Easy tips to make your WordPress website accessible

  • Use Heading Tags logically and in an organized way to make the entire site easy to navigate for every user.
  • Always add Alt text to your images so that visually impaired users can understand what you want to tell through that image.
  • Try to use descriptive link text instead of just one “Click Here” button so that all types of users can understand why they should “Click” on a sudden button.
  • Be careful while choosing the color palate for your website. You need to avoid colors that can create issues for people with color blindness. Use enough contrast between the background and the text color of your web pages so that all users can read them easily.

Benefits of improving WordPress accessibility

  1. An accessible website means greater reach and more traffic.
  2. For SEO, accessible websites are the best to obtain a higher ranking on SERPs.
  3. WordPress has specific plugins that can make a website more accessible than before regarding design standards.
  4. WordPress supports software like screen reader by allowing alternative texts to images.
  5. With WordPress, keyboard navigation can be possible for people with visual disabilities. 
  6. WordPress has plugins for SSL certificates, including multi-domain SSL options. By implementing a multi-domain SSL certificate, ensure a safe and trustworthy online environment. This extra layer of security is crucial in protecting user data and preventing online fraud.
  7. WordPress also allows the developers to get perfect color pairing according to the guidelines of WCAG 2.1 mention the contrast ratio of 4.5:1 for each web page.

READ: What are Your SEO Content Gaps? Plus, 3 Ways to Fix Them

Let’s make the digital world more accessible for all

Making a website accessible means building a platform that maximum people can share and find reliable. This is highly imperative to run a successful global business in today’s scenario. This may seem challenging in the beginning, but the more you go deep inside the idea of inclusive design, the more you can reap all the benefits. 

Thus, you should pay attention to WordPress website accessibility to avoid legal issues and obtain a better search ranking. 

Rosie Brooks is a Content Creator with a strong technical background and more than a decade of experience with high analytical writing skills.

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