Website Accessibility

WordPress Accessibility Guidelines (2024)

WordPress Accessibility Guidelines (2024)

With over 450 million websites built on WordPress, it’s surprising that only a fraction are ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act)-compliant. While WordPress strives for inclusivity, ensuring compliance with the ADA is ultimately your responsibility as a website owner.

This guide will walk you through:

  • How to make your WordPress or WooCommerce site accessible
  • The basics of ADA compliance and how to test your website
  • The risks associated with non-compliance

Let’s dive in!

How to make your WordPress Website Accessible and ADA Compliant

Achieving digital accessibility compliance standards has never been easier. Thanks to innovative, automated solutions on the market today, you don’t need to use precious business resources toward building a new website, coding, etc.

Making your WordPress or WooCommerce website ADA-compliant doesn’t need to be complicated. In fact, you may not even need to touch the code of your site at all. 

Along with using a WordPress accessibility plugin, there are other third-party solutions available that can simplify the process, too.

WordPress & WooCommerce Website Accessibility Tool Comparison

(5/5)
(5/5)
(3/5)
Existing Customers
Virgin Mobile Logo
Toyota Logo
Technology Fully automated web accessibility solution Fully automated web accessibility solution Automated
Compliant in Countries
Compliance WCAG, ADA, Section 508, AODA WCAG, ADA, Section 508, AODA WCAG, ADA, Section 508, AODA
Prices
Starts at
$49 per month
Starts at
$49 per month
Starts at
Flexible
Partner Program (for Web Agencies)
  • 20% partner commission
  • Free license
  • No commitment or signup fees
  • 15% discount for each client
  • Free registration
  • Referral and Co-Sell
  • Resell
Customer support Email only Email only Email
Free Demo Yes
Free demo available
Yes
Free demo available
No
Free demo not available
Free Trial 7 day free trial
No credit card needed
10 day free trial
Credit card required

Our Expert Recommendation: Best Accessibility Tools for WordPress & WooCommerce Compliance

Enhance the functionality and inclusiveness of your WordPress website with the help of these leading accessibility companies. 

accessibe logoaccessiBe
  • WCAG
  • ADA
  • AODA
  • Section 508

accessiBe ensures your WordPress site or WooCommerce store is compliant with ADA, Section 508, and WCAG requirements. Installation is quick and easy and the tool is simple to use. What’s more, as a new user, you’ll have the option to try the platform for free for 7 days, giving you the chance to experience the tool’s capabilities. Once your site has been analyzed, any elements and functions that might complicate the user experience will be automatically adjusted.

Pros

  • Account managers available to guide you through the product, pricing, and any questions you may have
  • Fast turnaround with a 5 min installation, and 48-hour compliance process
  • 200,000+ clients use accessiBe including legal and government organizations
  • Includes accessibility statement and certification

Cons

  • Built specifically for websites and small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs)- some web apps might not be compatible

Existing Clients

Userway service logoUserWay
  • WCAG
  • ADA
  • Section 508
  • AODA

Powered by AI technology, UserWay is an automated tool that caters to websites and businesses of all sizes. With UserWay, you can audit your site according to ADA Title 3, Section 508, and WCAG 2.1 requirements. And once installed on your WordPress or WooCommerce site, users will be able to modify the front end to personalize their experience. The tool is even capable of helping you generate an accessibility statement.

Pros

  • Quick and easy process
  • 1M+ website installations
  • Affordable cost & dynamic pricing
  • Multiple solutions and services offered

Cons

  • Mid-size company. For large corporations other solutions might work better.

Existing Clients

Virgin Mobile Logo
Toyota Logo

How you can improve accessibility on your WP website

Ensure Your Content is Easy to Read

Even without disabilities, managing tiny font sizes and eye-straining color schemes feels slightly abusive. Those with visual impairments can’t read your content at all—you may as well hang a sign, “We don’t serve the blind.”

Here’s what you can do to fix this:

First, adjust the column widths so there are roughly 7-10 words on each line. This ensures that your font size won’t set off flags. Next, adjust the color scheme of your website so that the text stands out from the background and complies with WCAG color contrast requirements as stated in SC 1.4.3 Contrast (Minimum) and SC 1.4.11 Non-text Contrast. You can use the WP Accessibility Plugin or other similar tools to test the contrast of the text against the background.

Use ALT Text on All Your Images

If you’re concerned about SEO best practices, you should already use ALT text on all your images. Regarding accessibility, ALT text allows higher comprehension for those using screen readers. Use the “alt” attribute to provide a descriptive and accurate alt text for the images.

Refine Navigational Buttons and Links

Whether designing a table of contents, linking to a product page, or making a CTA button, it’s important to use specific and clear directions. For example, a CTA button that says “Read More” is pretty vague. A thoughtful alternative like “Read More About Web Accessibility” informs the screen reader user where the link will take them.

If your website contains ambiguous links, it prevents those using screen readers from accessing the rest of your site.

Scan Your Site With AccessibilityChecker

The free web accessibility scanner we keep presenting lets you know where your website stands. In moments, it lays out a complete and up-to-date evaluation of your website in a tidy report. It instantly recommends at least one solution to fix each compliance issue—showing you precisely what you need to do next.

Automate Web Accessibility Compliance

Compliance is an investment in the longevity of your business and your relationship with your customers. Investing a reasonable and affordable sum in an automated solution is worth it. As a result, you will get a fully compliant website, security against lawsuits, the ability to reach a new audience base, and perhaps most importantly, peace of mind. After AccessibilityChecker scans your website, it recommends the most suitable accessibility software solution based on your local laws.

Chapter 2

The Basics of ADA Compliance and How to Test your Website

The Basics of ADA Compliance and How to Test your Website

Understanding the fundamentals of ADA compliance and knowing how to evaluate your website’s accessibility can make a significant difference in creating an inclusive online environment. Let’s delve into the basics of ADA compliance and explore effective methods to test the accessibility of your website

What is ADA Compliance?

According to Title 3 of the ADA, businesses must make modifications to accommodate people with disabilities. Even though websites weren’t originally named in the ADA, recently, courts have ruled that they should be included.

If you use WordPress, your website also needs to conform to ADA and WCAG guidelines.

Read our definitive guide on ADA compliance to find out more, including step-by-step instructions on how to make your website fully accessible and ADA compliant.

Evaluate the accessibility of your WordPress or WooCommerce website quickly and easily with our free scanner. Get immediate feedback on any issues and make sure your website is accessible.

Accessibility Checker

Scan your website for accessibility related issues for free

Importance of Accessibility for your WordPress Site

Enhanced User Experience

Accessibility helps create usable products, services, and environments for people with disabilities. For example, adding alternative or ALT text helps people with visual impairments understand the media on your site.

Reduced Risk of Penalties And Lawsuits

Everyone has the right to access the web, including people with disabilities. Despite the ADA not explicitly mentioning websites, it’s broad enough to extend into the digital realm. The DOJ ruled that the lack of accessibility for websites may violate the ADA. This means making your website accessible can protect your brand from costly lawsuits and damaged reputation.

Improved Market Reach

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 1 in 4 U.S. adults live with a disability. By making your website accessible with a few simple modifications, you’re opening your business up to many new customers. Businesses continue to lose sales due to inaccessibility – don’t let your business be one of them.

Improved SEO

Providing the best possible user experience is what SEO is all about, which is why web accessibility and SEO go hand-in-hand. For example, having a cleaner interface and smooth navigation decreases your bounce rate (Great for SEO). Once you start looking at SEO and web accessibility best practices, you can see why they’re so closely related. Non-compliance with accessibility regulations is far more costly and damaging than actually taking the time to make your website accessible.

Chapter 3

Risks associated with non-compliance

Risks associated with non-compliance

Non-compliance with the ADA can cause some problems for your business.

For one, ADA lawsuits are rising, which means you could face unnecessary legal costs and months of hassle by not making your website accessible.

Then there’s your brand’s reputation. Being involved in an ADA lawsuit can negatively impact your brand image and reduce the size of your customer base.

Lastly, there’s general social responsibility – do you want your business to be deemed less socially responsible than those doing their part to create a more inclusive society?

Of course not!

So let’s look into the issues you can encounter if your site doesn’t comply with accessibility standards and policies.

What Could Happen if Your Website is Not Accessible / ADA Compliant?

ADA Lawsuits

Law firms are keeping a close eye on WordPress websites because they know that non-compliance with ADA laws and regulations can make them a lot of money. Should you receive a website accessibility demand letter, you can expect to pay a settlement cost of at least $5,000. However, should the matter go to court, settlement costs can extend into tens of thousands of dollars.

One single lawsuit against your company for not meeting digital accessibility standards can quickly add up to $10,000 and upwards.

Court fees, lawyer fees, settlement costs, and more can quickly drain your business of essential resources.

Furthermore, your business risks alienating entire user populations from your products or services. If every 1 in 5 people navigates the internet with some disability or limitation, you could miss out on an entire population of potential customers and clients.

Damaged Reputation

What does it say about a business when it’s in trouble with the law? Most of the time—it’s not a positive headline. Even though there may be no intention to discriminate against people with disabilities, a run-in with an ADA lawsuit paints the picture of a business that doesn’t care for its customer’s or employees’ needs. Failing to facilitate a better user experience and more inclusive environment–that results in higher traffic–also says a lot to investors and partners about the staying power and stability of your business.

Fumbled Leadership 

It’s pretty simple. Many people with disabilities are left out and forgotten. Some speak up for themselves, but many remain silent, missing out on connection and productivity while they wait for change. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to lead the way to a more inclusive online world.

Chapter 4

Summary

Summary

Automated web accessibility solutions have never been so advanced or affordable. Thanks to advances in technological innovation, top automated solution companies like accessiBe harness the power of AI and machine learning to ensure your website remains a lean, mean, compliant machine.

The need to maintain digital accessibility isn’t going anywhere, and the urgency and need for compliance will likely only grow. It’s time to forget free plugins that only offer partial or inadequate compliance solutions. You can protect your website from expensive and resource-sucking lawsuits for a minimal cost while reaching a broader and more diverse audience.

Don’t waste any more time; get started today.

Frequently Asked Questions

All WordPress websites need to be ADA compliant. This is made easy with plugins. You can install several plugins to become compliant and avoid costly lawsuits. accessiBe is one of our top recommended web accessibility plugins.

Online users who can’t use a mouse generally rely on the Tab, Enter and arrow keys to navigate a menu. Menus should be identified using the <nav> element, and each menu item should be labeled to make it easier to understand. You can use aria-label in your HTML code to label a menu item. Many of today’s WordPress themes can make a menu accessible without manual inputs – several plugins are also available.

One of the easiest ways to ensure that your WordPress website is ADA compliant is to install an ADA compliance plugin. Other aspects you should focus on include adding ALT text to all images, using clear calls-to-action, and ensuring any third-party features won’t interfere with usability and accessibility.

A WordPress plugin that is ADA compliant will generally scan a website for any accessibility issues and outline how they can be fixed. These plugins rely on WCAG standards to identify problems that could lead to web accessibility lawsuits.

To ensure that all website users can access a search form on your WordPress site, it’s essential to label the input fields, offer instructions on how to complete the form, define sufficient and adequate roles for various form elements, and add accessible user notifications. It’s also recommended that you validate user input and set focus states for any interactive elements.

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Katelin Lewis
Katelin Lewis
8 months ago

I thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog post as it provided me with valuable insights and information. Additionally, I would like to contribute some supplementary points that could benefit your readers:
1.Optimizing color contrast
2. Providing alternative text for images
3. Ensuring keyboard navigation
4. Implementing proper heading structure
5. Using semantic HTML
6. Making forms accessible
7. Enabling screen reader compatibility
These points offer additional perspectives on the discussed topic.

Danny Trichter
Danny Trichter
Admin
Reply to  Katelin Lewis
8 months ago

Thank you for the comment Katelin