Having a WordPress site that is accessible is critical, and plugins like accessiBe WordPress can help make that happen. But why does inclusiveness matter for WordPress sites? This article will answer that question.
What is WordPress?
WordPress is a web content management system that makes it easy to manage a website. It provides everything you need to create a blog, online store, forum, or any other website straight out of the box.
Why is Inclusiveness Important?
The inclusive design focuses on creating an experience that everyone can use regardless of their ability or technology. Everyone can use something that is accessible, and it makes sure the website will work correctly on a variety of devices and browsers.
What Does Inclusiveness and Accessibility Mean?
W3C defines accessibility as “enabling people with disabilities to be able to use the Web.” I’m paraphrasing here, but that’s the basic definition. Accessible websites are usable by everyone. They are also compatible with every browser and work on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. That means they will load fast, and you can use them anywhere.
Inclusiveness is defined as “the state of being open to or understanding of different cultures, lifestyles, beliefs, and values.” In other words, it is about allowing a website to be used by everyone regardless of their race, gender, or any other personal attribute. Therefore, websites that focus on inclusiveness are also often accessible.
4 Ways to Make Your WordPress Site More Accessible
Now that we know what inclusiveness and accessibility are, it is time to look at ways to make your site more inclusive. Many of these tips aim to make sure the site is accessible for people with disabilities or vision impairments, but they also help people who want to use their phone or another mobile device.
- Make the Site Compatible with Assistive Technology
There are many tools people with disabilities use to help them navigate websites. GTAGarage is a great example because it does not have any images so that screen readers can read each page out loud for blind visitors. Another example is using buttons instead of images for navigation. This option is available in every admin panel and will help people who use a keyboard to navigate the site instead of a mouse.
- Use an Appropriate Font for Screen Readers
Not all fonts are created equal, and some cannot be read out loud by screen readers like JAWS, which is by far the most common screen reader in use today. So when I design a website for a client, I ask them to provide me with a list of fonts they want to see on their home page and anywhere else they are used. Then I run those fonts past someone who uses JAWS to make sure there isn’t an issue.
- Make the Site Compatible with All Browsers, Especially Old Ones
People still use old browsers. Many people are forced to use them because their employer only allows outdated software. If you don’t make your website compatible with older browsers, it probably won’t work for them at all, or there might be limited features available. You can easily check your site visitors’ browser by installing Google Analytics.
- Provide Alternate Text for All Images
Alternate text describes an image if it cannot be displayed because of slow internet speed, a disability, or other reasons. Screen readers read the alternate text when they encounter images, so they will have nothing to say if you don’t provide one.