Top 9 Tips to Make Your Custom WordPress Site Accessible
Top 9 Tips to Make Your Custom WordPress Site Accessible

Top 9 Tips to Make Your Custom WordPress Site Accessible

From a newbie to a veteran, when it comes to owning the website, the one thing that you can't neglect is the visitor experience. Especially when you have a custom website with elements as per your requirements just to give your visitor a personalized feel upon website visit. This leads us to one of the most important questions," Is your custom WordPress website accessible?" 

If you have a long pose to answer these questions right away means you have not considered this aspect for your website yet!

Well, better late than sorry.

We have listed nine things that you can consider to ensure that your website is more accessible to all the people out there. 

Read on!

Use a WordPress accessibility-ready theme

Themes are the code that powers your website and makes it look beautiful, so it's important to choose a theme that meets accessibility standards when you're building your custom site.

In order for a WordPress theme to be accessible by default, it must meet WCAG 2.0 AA level of compliance (or higher). This means they have been built using HTML5/CSS3/JavaScript & jQuery; they support keyboard navigation; and include text alternatives for images & other content (i.e., alt tags).

If your custom wordpress web development services provider is planning on using an existing theme as part of your custom site build process, be sure they've been properly updated with these features before proceeding with any customization work on their codebase!

Pro Tip: Do not miss to explore the accessibility ready WordPress themes!

Make sure your code is accessible

One of the easiest ways to ensure your site is accessible by default is to make sure it contains valid HTML5/CSS3 code. If you're using a custom theme as part of your build process, then this should be a non-issue. 

But if you've decided to use an existing theme and plan on modifying it, then you'll need to make sure that any customizations made to that codebase will not impact its accessibility (or lack thereof).

When you're working with a designer or developer who specializes in WordPress, they should be able to ensure that your site meets the WCAG 2.0 AA level of compliance (or higher). 

This means they have been built using HTML5/CSS3/JavaScript & jQuery; they support keyboard navigation; and include text alternatives for images & other content (i.e., alt tags).

Make sure your site can be navigated by a keyboard

Is your website accessible only by a mouse?

Trust us, that's a big red flag you want to eliminate!

If you have a site that uses forms or other types of click-based navigation, then it's important to make sure that users can navigate without the use of their mouse.

To do this, use the Tab key to move through form fields and submit forms. This will allow people who cannot use their mouse well enough (or at all) to be able to fill out forms without having trouble doing so.

The Enter key should also be used as often as possible when filling out text boxes in order for people with impairments such as arthritis or carpal tunnel syndrome—among others—to complete able tasks using only one hand at a time instead of two hands simultaneously.

Install a WordPress accessibility plugin

There are many plugins available, and they can do everything from making your site usefully smaller on mobile devices to enabling users with vision impairments or motor disabilities to navigate with ease.

Examples of popular WordPress accessibility plugins include Flexslider for creating slideshows, WP Filter for allowing users who have screen readers (like JAWS) access text-based content and Easy Custom Post Formats.

It allow you to create custom post types that display data differently than standard posts or pages do.

Make sure your content is accessible

  • Easy to read: If it's too difficult for people to understand what you're trying to say, then they might not be able to take action on the information. For example, if a reader can't find an article because they don't know where it's located within site or which section of the site has more information on it (or doesn't), then they'll never find what they need.
  • Easy to navigate: During your eCommerce web development, have you thought, what if your users get lost in menus or face difficulty finding their way back through those same menus when something goes wrong? That’s where you have failed in terms of navigation!
  • Easy-to-find content sections: Your website should have well-organized navigation so users can easily find whatever page(s) interest them most about your business/service/product offerings etc., versus having everything scattered throughout different parts of your site with no rhyme or reason as far as how things are organized goes.

Avoid auto-playing videos

These are just annoying!

In addition, they can be distracting and even a security risk. If you have an auto-playing video on your site, it's best to disable it or redirect users away from the page until they click on another link (or wait for the video to finish).

Auto-play videos also take up bandwidth—which means that you'll need more powerful servers if you want all of your visitors' bandwidth to be used by playing back these videos over and over again!

Choose accessible colors

Among the several factors that the companies which provide custom wordpress web development services consider when choosing your color scheme, the first is how easy it will be for people with disabilities to see the site.

Make sure that all elements are legible and the background is not so busy that it becomes difficult to read the text.

Another important factor is the contrast between colors. You want a high level of contrast so that users can tell one thing from another easily but not so much that they have difficulty reading on screen or seeing where they're going on a page (if there's any).

Finally, keep in mind what kind of information you need to convey through color choices—do you want an interactive element? Do you need something like an alert box? Or perhaps just some general visual hierarchy for navigating around your website.

Choose accessible fonts

To make your site more accessible, it's important to choose fonts that are easy to read. While there's no set rule for the ideal font size, 16 pixels or larger is a good starting point. But if you're designing a website for users with low vision, you'll want to increase the font size even further (up to 48 pixels).

Avoid italics and all caps because they can be difficult for people with dyslexia or other challenges in reading text on-screen. 

Avoid decorative fonts like cursive italicized script or ornamental serifs as well; these may be fine on print materials but can make websites hard to read when viewed on-screen at small sizes.

Optimize icons and images with Alt text, captions, and/or text alternatives

When an image is not available, WordPress will show you a file name or URL. This can be confusing, especially if you have multiple images on your site and don't know which one to use.

To help users understand what each image represents:

  • Use Alt Text for all images with descriptive text that helps them identify their content when it's unavailable.

Alt text should be brief; its purpose is to communicate information about the image in situations where no other visual cues are available (such as when someone clicks a link).

Last but not least, test your WordPress site for accessibility

This is one of the recommendations that the website development service provider would never fail to give you.

Once you've created your website, it's time to test it for accessibility. There are many tools available that will scan your site for accessibility issues. 

The most popular is the WebAIM WAVE tool. This tool is great because it will list all of the issues with your site on one page and give recommendations on how to fix them. 

You should also test your site on different browsers and devices (phones/tablets) as well as using screen readers such as JAWS or Orca, speech-to-text tools such as DragonDictate or NVDA (which are free), and assistive technologies like magnifiers or large print keyboards.

Conclusion

WordPress is a powerful content management system. It's also one of the most popular platforms on the web, and with good reason! 

The ease of use, flexibility and extensibility that comes with WordPress makes it an excellent choice for people who want to create and publish their own sites. 

But as we've highlighted above, there are a few things you can do to make sure your site is accessible to everyone.

Further, if you have any queries or want to get consultations for custom WordPress development services, our team at Gtech Web Infotech is here to help you with it.

Author :

My name is Nandan, the Owner at Gtech Web Infotech Pvt. Ltd.. I'm also a designer and developer. I've been working in the web development field for last 12+ years. Developing and implementing small to large-scale projects and everything in between. Currently working on a lot of CMS, dev-tooling projects. Furthermore focusing on combining Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning with emerging technologies.

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