WordPress, being the top website builder and most demanded CMS, holds a crazy percentage of total active websites. Irrespective of what competitors say every other day, WP has always come up with crazy features that no one has any answer for.
However, that doesn’t mean your WP is perfect. WP understands that a huge market of people have vision-impairing issues. This automatically drops the viewership and boosts the bounce rate, resulting in poor analytics for any website. Plus, the American government has released legal rules for making websites friendly to vision-impaired people.
But, you can solve it through WP only. And we’re going to show you How.
Importance of Curating Your Website for Vision-Impaired People:
Optimizing your website for vision-impaired people automatically increases your user retention. This helps them understand your website in-depth and helps them to explore the services your website offers to them.
Moreover, any such optimisation to a website is a legal direction mentioned in ‘The Americans with Disabilities Act’. It protects disabled people from discrimination and has guided websites to follow certain modifications to their layout.
1. Use an Accessible WordPress Theme:
WP has hundreds, if not thousands, of themes in its library. Some of them are highly advanced and offer a complex user interface which almost seems like a game. While some go with a simple structure and easy readability.
There are special accessible themes available in WP. These WP are specially created accordingly and serve the purpose of supporting vision-impaired people.
Instead of choosing a fancy theme, go for a vision-impairing, accessible theme by using the Accessibility Ready Filter Feature.
2. Make Some On-Page Modifications:
Conceptually, the technical term for this goes as Accessible Codes. This includes several on-page adjustments to your web pages.
- Use Semantic HTML arrangement for your website content. Use H1-H6 for your headings and ‘Paragraph’ or <p> for writing paragraphs and <ol> for listing.
- Use easy language to write your content. Using slang, idioms, and complex sentences will create issues. Moreover, if you have to use such words, mention them beforehand.
- Using ARIA landmarks and ‘skip to’ links will help you define the sensitive areas of your website and make it accessible for vision-impaired people.
- Use ‘Alt Text’ while uploading images.
- Create easy & clearly visible contact forms. Also, suggest what kind of input is needed.
3.Create an Easy Navigation:
Create an easily accessible navigation system on your website. This will help them to access all the websites easily with arrows or hardware clicks or tabs.
4. Maintain Accessible Colours:
More than 300 Million people are partially or completely color-blind. For such a case, the best way to make your website accessible is by using the contrast formula.
Colour contrast formula by WCAG suggests a 4:5:1 contrast ratio for the body texts. You can inspect it with your web browser developer tools. Select it and hover on an element to see its contrast value.
5. Use Popular Accessible Fonts:
Vision-impaired people need larger texts to see clearly. To offer them a better experience, you should choose a font style & size that is large but doesn’t affect your page layout.
There are several options often called ‘System Fonts’ as they are available on most devices. These fonts are ‘Arial’, ‘Helvetica’, or ‘Times New Roman’.
6. Use Captions for Multimedia Content:
Sharing information through multimedia content is a great idea. But vision-impaired people may not see or hear your video. One simple idea is to explain what’s going on in the video so that people can understand it.
Different multimedia content requires different types of captions. If you’re using audio files, they need a text track; if you’re posting a YouTube video, captions during the video are essential.
Using these will offer clear, accurate, and complete accessibility to WordPress users.
7. Create Accessible Content:
The biggest flex you have is content curation. Correctly curated content can retain people for a longer duration. Content should be easy to read and understand. Most importantly, content should leave a message in the reader’s mind.
Here are the following ways to curate content in such a manner.
- Use an ideal length according to the search engines. Use 45-75 characters only in a sentence.
- Leave Anchor Texts on the web pages to help vision-impaired people to avoid unwanted URLs. In this way, they will go to regions they want to.
- Using a transcript is a good idea to define your video. These are different from the captions and are available as downloadable files.
8. Use Audio Descriptions:
Audio descriptions are for describing what’s on the screen. Videos are great but people with vision impairment may not do well with this.
An audio file has become a necessity for them. Use the WP plugin ‘Scribit’ for this. These audio descriptions help them to understand what’s going on the screen.
The description includes environment, clothing, gestures, characters, and actions. Audio descriptions are more helpful when there is a gap in the speeches and through them.
9. Don’t Set Up Auto-Playing Videos:
When you’re optimising your website for vision-impaired people, keep no auto-playing videos on your web pages. With auto-playing videos, the screen reader and the audio tracks start playing automatically. This makes it difficult for your users to navigate the website.
WP videos are generally non-automated and smartphones automatically disable the auto-playing videos. The disabled autoplaying will let your users stay and explore your website in more contrast.
10. Test Your Website:
Finally, testing your website’s accessibility will let you know about your website’s optimization for vision-impaired people. WP offers accessibility tools and plugins to identify your errors and issues.
Use a free WP plugin like ‘WP Accessibility Tools’.
Test your accessibility manually.
- Try zooming in by using only the keyboard.
- Modify the font size & colors and evaluate them in different devices.
- Asking for feedback from real users.
In the above post, we have described why making your website accessible is important and how you can easily do that. The 10 simple steps given in the article should be your next move for making your website more user-friendly.
Make these and you will see a significant positive effect on your viewership. All the best.