Looking for the best accessibility plugins for WordPress? If you are, you are at the right place. In this article, I have listed some of the best accessibility WordPress plugins.
WordPress and Accessibility: Where we stand?
WordPress comes preloaded with accessibility features at its core with default themes and plugins. But with every customization that we make, the design takes the website away from being accessible. When designing your WordPress site, you should always keep in mind that not all your visitors are the same. Some users may not have access to a mouse or have the ability to see pages. Hence, optimizing your WordPress accessibility becomes vital.
What is WordPress Accessibility?
WordPress Accessibility means making your WordPress site accessible to as many users as possible, including visually impaired people who rely on assistive technologies. Unfortunately, many websites tend to focus less on WordPress accessibility over beautiful design. Although a beautiful design is very important, ignoring accessibility features leads to issues that become very problematic for people with color blindness or dyslexia.
Need for Best Accessibility Plugins for WordPress
Please know that every small business website in the US has to be compliant with WCAG and ADA laws. Other countries like Canada, EU, Israel, India have similar rules as well.
There has been a significant amount of attention given to the concept of accessibility. Reports claim that about 1 in every 5 US citizens is disabled in one way or the other. More than eight million people in the US alone have been reported to be afflicted with some form of disability pertaining to vision.
Not just this, every fourth person in the world has defective eyes, whether they want to admit or not. Some have trouble reading smaller texts, some are not comfortable with flashing images and so on.
Modern websites are totally dependent on catchy graphics, colors and aesthetics. If you have one such site, you need to ensure that this large fraction of your potential audience is not deprived of the benefits offered by your website. You can ensure this by making your website more accessible.
In this article, I have put together an extensive list of the best accessibility plugins for WordPress to help you improve the accessibility of your website.
Be it poor eyesight, color blindness, or poor mobile accessibility, these plugins will help you with everything. I hope this helps your website achieve greater heights of success in due course of time.
Considering the large number of disabled people in the population, as mentioned above, it is in your best interest to make your website as accessible as possible to them.
This holds true whether you own an online commerce store or a personal blog. For this purpose, users tend to use various accessibility and translation plugins.
I will talk about the translation plugins in an upcoming post. But for now, let's see how accessibility plugins can help you build an accessibility compliant site.
Importance of Accessibility on Your WordPress Site
Noticeably, accessibility plugins also take into account the requirements of users who suffer from physical disabilities. While designing or managing your site, you should try to ascertain whether it is accessible by users having trouble with reading or computer displays.
Conditions like color blindness can seriously hinder users trying to check out your content. When it comes to websites that rely heavily on visuals, such as online stores or portfolios, this holds even truer.
It is also important to know that the US Department of Justice mandates all private businesses to maintain the accessibility standards of their websites.
Sites that are not Accessibility Compliant, as per the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, are liable for strict legal action, including heavy fines and even lawsuits. Thus, you should try to avoid such a situation by assessing the standards of your website beforehand.
What are the Benefits of Using Accessibility Plugins?
Technically, it is possible to improve the accessibility of your website by using accessibility-ready color schemes or themes if you know some HTML and CSS. However, using quality accessibility plugins is a much better option for you and your website if you are not tech-ready. These can help you make your site accessible without actually altering its design or performance in any way without touching the code.
Apart from that, they give you a number of readability options like grayscaling, link underlining, customizing font size, various website contrast settings, and much more.
They also give you access to numerous helpful options like content highlighting, reading adjustments, and adding accessible links to sitemaps. By using these features, you can avoid a lot of potential legal trouble.
Best WordPress Accessibility Plugins
WordPress doesn't have too many plugins focused on accessibility only. Since it is a legal thing and most businesses choose to design their websites from scratch using an expert web developer, even lesser free tools are available. In this list, I have collected some of the top 5 free and paid accessibility plugins that actually work.
1. Web Accessibility by accessiBe
accessiBe is, by far, the best WordPress plugin for business owners who want to optimize their website’s accessibility. It is an AI-powered SaaS plugin focused on making small business websites ADA and WCAG2.1 compliant. It offers a wide range of quality features to help you achieve industrial standards in terms of accessibility.
For example, its inbuilt AI automatically labels your content using icons and tags. That helps visually impaired visitors identify everything on-screen with greater ease. It also offers to show you the accessibility of your site for free, within a minute.
- AI-powered features, programmed with computer vision and machine learning
- Gives you industry-standard matching solutions for your site
- Offers a wide range of accessibility customizations
- Regularly monitors the accessibility standards of your website
- Simple to install and use
- The premium plans can be rather expensive, ranging from $49-349 per month (that is still much less than what a lawsuit could cost you)
2. WP Accessibility
It may be #2 is this list, but WP Accessibility is the best free accessibility WordPress plugin. It sports numerous accessibility options to allow your material to get a much larger audience.
It can conveniently sort out all kinds of accessibility issues on your website, with minimal effort on your part. That will ensure that even users with heavy visual impairment will be able to easily differentiate colors and read text on your website.
You have the option of enabling effective accessibility fixes like deleting redundant entities from lists and links. It also has a useful Diagnostic CSS option and color contrast checker tool for aiding you in customizing your content better.
You can also improve your site’s accessibility by enabling skip links with targets designed by the user, receiving detailed descriptions of images and identifying them better, and so on.
- Excellent HTML and CSS based accessibility features and tools
- Smart and customizable accessibility tools and features
- Quality diagnostic CSS tool to highlight CSS detectable accessibility issues in your mainstream content
- WP Accessibility does not provide simple solutions to improve content and site navigation. Instead, it gives you the right tools to fix your site’s accessibility issues. As a result, beginners may have problems learning how to use it.
3. WP Accessibility Helper
WP Accessibility Helper is a user-friendly accessibility plugin that is equipped with the features needed to improve content navigation and visibility. You are given unrestricted access to an intuitive admin panel that allows you to enable or disable various accessibility settings for improving your website.
Apart from the usual contrast and color adjustments, it also offers some cool new features like a light-off mode and dark/light sidebar themes. It also allows you to do away with distracting animations and styles from a page with just the click of a mouse.
Apart from this, it offers some useful custom widgets with helpful features like color inversion, grayscale, deleting cookies, and much more. You can also buy a premium plan starting from $75 per month.
That will give you access to many more features like a logo customizer, an accessibility-friendly online accordion, and much more.
- Comes bundled with a large number of free video tutorials and documentations
- Is free to use, with an optional premium plan available
- Offers cool and easy to use widgets with several useful features to improve your site’s accessibility
- Very easy to setup and customize
- In certain cases, web accessibility compliance with ADA and WCAG standards is not guaranteed
4. One Click Accessibility
One-Click Accessibility is one of the best accessibility plugins for WordPress. It has a number of useful features that help your website achieve the pinnacle of accessibility.
There is no complicated setup process involved, and your site’s content is not altered in any way. You simply need to install the plugin to get access to its features. These include a handy accessibility toolbar with options for grayscale, contrast, font resizing, adding a light background, and much more.
Apart from this, you will be able to add options to remove target attributes from links, provide outline focus for interactive entities, skip directly to content options, and much more. It even allows you to customize these elements directly from your WordPress Customizer. Thus, you will be able to easily see what your site looks like with these new accessibility-friendly options.
- Amazing Dedicated Accessibility Toolbar with plenty of features
- Helpful accessibility options which can be enabled anytime with a click of your mouse
- Superior customization and styling adjustments by virtue of its integration with WordPress Customizer
- Very simple to install and use
- It does not have deeper ADA/WCAG standard-friendly features
- The options it offers are rather too simplistic, mainly oriented towards improving website navigation and screen reading
5. WP ADA Compliance Check Basic
WP ADA Compliance Check Basic, as the name suggests, is a plugin that scans over your site's web pages and suggests measures to improve. The plugin at WordPress.org is a free and basic one. It supports scanning only up to 25 pages. You will have to upgrade to premium to get access to all the features.
Premium version doesn't only scan the whole site at once, but whenever you publish a post — it scans for errors in the specific post as well. The site's compliance issues are categorized into alerts and warnings. Warnings are to be handled as soon as possible on a priority basis. Alerts can be fixed to give users an even better experience.
- User-friendly modifications and setup
- Sitewide scans
- Issues categorized into two categories: alerts and notices
- Easy to use
- Cannot handle web accessibility issues on its own
- Basic version allows only 25 posts for free.
Why Should You Care About WordPress Accessibility?
If you have a website, you would want to attract attention to it. Thus, if your website is not navigable nicely, people will avoid it no matter how much good information is put in it. Therefore, to give a friendly and convenient experience to the users visiting your website, you should focus on accessibility issues.
Additionally, always think about the people with visual impairments, older people, and people using small devices who use your site for a convenient experience. By implying accessibility tools, you are catering to more audiences, thus increasing the site's popularity.
From both a legal and ethical point of view, it is necessary for your website to meet web accessibility standards. That is the only way your content will be truly accessible to everyone, including the disabled users who constitute 20% of the audience. It will also encourage the acceptance and involvement of underprivileged and vulnerable groups. All of the best accessibility plugins for WordPress listed above are known for their quality and will help you achieve excellent accessibility standards for your website.