WordPress is a free and open-source blogging tool and content management system written in PHP. WordPress now powers over 60 million websites, with more than 19% of the top 10 million websites using it as their publishing platform. But one issue WordPress sites face is better accessibility for the disabled. Plugins like accessiBe WordPress can help, but here are some do’s and don’ts to consider.
Do: Use a high contrast theme.
Don’t: Make it complicated – use a plugin instead!
Since WordPress 3.7, the default themes have been using a much higher contrast, perfect for those with vision issues or who may prefer to install a High Contrast theme from the start. Using this method is especially better since themes are easily updated with new features and bug fixes at the click of a button.
Do: Make sure images have alternative text.
Don’t: Rely on alt tags for description.
Alt-text is one of the most important things to consider for accessibility. Still, it’s easy to rely on the existing alt text rather than reading it and updating it if necessary. For example, if you have an image of a dog, the alt text might say “Dog,” but I may be able to see that image perfectly fine, so now it says “Dog (no description).” Of course, you can always use WordPress plugins like WP Alt Text Lite for this purpose.
Do: Use pictures where possible.
Don’t: Use long paragraphs with no breaks.
Long lines of text can be difficult to read for some people, so consider using tables to space things out. If you’re writing articles with multiple images per post, try not to use too much copy-paste within the body, or your post may soon become unreadable, especially if someone is reading in a smaller resolution on a mobile device or if the physical text itself is too small for them to read.
Do: Avoid using dark backgrounds with light text.
Don’t: Assume everyone has 20/20 vision.
Light text on dark backgrounds can be difficult for some readers to read, even those with perfect eyesight, so consider using Lyrics Script instead, which allows you to select a light text color on a dark background.
Do: Use buttons for links.
Don’t: Assume everyone knows what links look like
Using descriptive text within an image or adding an underline beneath the link can help make it more obvious for some users that there is a link within the post. In addition, you can use plugins like WP Hypertext or add code to your theme’s stylesheet.
Do: Use headings and lists where possible.
Don’t: Assume everyone has read everything before on the page
Using short paragraphs and headings makes it easier for users to scan down the page and find the information they’re looking for. If someone is just scanning down a page, there’s no need to include huge amounts of meta or other data in the body copy itself, so an unordered list is more than enough.
Do: Use color sparingly.
Don’t: Assume everyone can see all colors equally.
Using color can help draw attention to something, but if you’re using bright red text for your links or highlighting something, it becomes difficult for some people to follow the information. Using just black text with an underline is often enough, but you could also try using darker tones of grey instead.