Accessible WordPress Design
Accessible WordPress Design
Build Your Next Accessible Website with WordPress
Now that you’ve committed to building a new website, or updating your current site, you may be still considering platform options. There are many possible solutions out there but our team at AKEA Web Solutions recommends WordPress.
Along with a vast library of plug-ins, easy-to-use forms and templates, greater capability with photos and media, as well as simple steps to follow when publishing, WordPress is also the easiest Content Management System (CMS) to ensure your website follows web accessibility standards.
WordPress is the Ideal Tool for Building Accessible Websites
We could go on about the many reasons that we love to use WordPress, but when it comes to accessibility, WordPress makes it pretty simple for companies to get on board. If you’re looking to build a website, WordPress makes accessibility a priority in the process. And if you want to upgrade an existing site that isn’t currently on WordPress, it can be fairly simple to move it to the WordPress platform and then use WordPress to ensure your site is accessible to users.
The truth is, if you’ve already committed to WordPress, then you’ve eliminated a lot of the compliance problems that tend to arise with other Content Management Systems. That’s a significant reason why we use it so often – and why 50,000 new WordPress sites get launched each day.
WordPress Focuses on Web Accessibility
In focusing on accessibility for your website, your goal should be to create a site that is as inclusive as possible. WordPress addresses accessibility for its users in many ways, including:
WordPress Follows Web Standards and Best Practices
WordPress is constantly building new features and themes to continue to allow developers to create sound sites and blogs. All of these follow the industry’s accessibility standards.
WordPress has an Active Developer Community
It’s not possible to be 100 percent accessible because of evolving standards and technology. However, the WordPress team is constantly monitoring as technology changes and is willing to look at specific improvements and suggestions that could benefit all WordPress users.
Mobile Options are a Priority for WordPress
The WordPress platform has also focused on ensuring websites on mobile devices are accessible, by offering mobile-specific themes. Considering how often we use our phones and tablets, this option is a no-brainer.
Building Accessible WordPress Websites
The WordPress team also keeps up with best practices for designers and businesses, to help them make their sites accessible to everyone. There are WordPress communities to join, as well as ideas and tips offered by WordPress directly to their users. Some of WordPress’ basic suggestions include:
Make sure images have descriptive captions that are creative and engaging for those people who physically can’t see the pictures and those who don’t have the proper technology for the images to load. The more descriptive the better – these captions will help the user “see” the image without actually seeing it.
The same goes for links. Be as descriptive as possible to allow all users to understand the purpose of the link, while also driving them to click on it. Our team at AKEA is well-versed in this aspect of the build and can add in these necessary details.
Choose Your Website Theme Wisely
Not all WordPress themes are considered accessible; however, some are more complex than others, which could inhibit the experience for some users. For example, visually impaired users may have difficulty with certain colors. Depending on your audience, the theme you choose can make a significant difference.
WordPress offers many accessibility-ready themes, but knowing your audience and messaging can help you narrow your focus to what will work best for your company or organization. Additionally, WordPress offers countless plugins to add features and functions to your site, beyond the template. These plugins are already compliant, which helps in streamlining the build process.
Some of these plugins include: contact forms, calendars and directories.Choosing which themes and plugins would work best for you can be overwhelming if you don’t really know what you are looking for, or what you want. That’s where the experts at AKEA Web Solutions step in. Our team will ensure that your entire design is accessible and we will code your website so that you are compliant with industry standards.
Always Review and Test Accessibility Compliance
Different types of organizations have different standards and requirements to follow. For example, education websites must follow the Section 508 Accessibility Guidelines. While WordPress cannot guarantee accessibility, users can test compliance using tools and by using the most accessible themes offered on WordPress and header text instead of images.
Learn more about accessibility, accessibility on WordPress and how AKEA Web Solutions can help.