The more WordPress as an open-source platform continues to evolve, the more we get updates that make usability more accessible to a variety of users. Today, we see developers releasing accessibility Plugins to make sure websites are able to reach their full penitential in audience capture.
WordPress accessibility Plugins are tools/codes created by WordPress developers to make websites (and sometimes the backend) more accessible to different types of people – any plugin that allows as many people as possible to use the website.
While this may be true, not all WordPress accessibility Plugins perform at the same level – some are much better than others, and those often give the best results when installed on a website. In this article, we will outline the 10 best WordPress accessibility Plugins you want to have installed on your website to improve its accessibility.
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11 Best WordPress Accessibility Plugins
While most standard and premium themes in WordPress have some built-in accessibility functionalities, you still need some dedicated accessibility plugins to take your site’s accessibility to a top level.
Readabler (Best Selling)
Readabler is an accessibility plugin that makes reading easier for people with special needs. The plugin has been around for a while, helping people with special portability to view sites better by expanding the boundaries of information. Also, it’s one of those nice Plugins that give frequent updates, giving the assurance that devs are proactive to quickly do upgrades when the current trend demands it.
- Text magnifier
- Reading mask
- Highlight hover
- Letter spacing and font sizing
- Content scaling
- Ability to hide images and stop animations
- Virtual keyboard, etc.
Web Accessibility is arguably the most popular WordPress accessibility plug-in today. Perhaps the fact that it’s free adds to his wide implementation by WordPress website owners. The plug-in implements an AI to improve the accessibility of users who have it installed. It has an impressive record of helping at least 20% of visitors on a website, especially those with accessibility issues – that’s an impressive number considering that 1 out of 10 website users have some sort of disability.
- AIRA attributes
- Link roles and landmarks
- Icons and buttons
- Popup menus and dropdowns
Equalize Digital pitches its accessibility checker as an automated accessibility scanning tool to help your WordPress website become and stay accessible. As the name suggests, it’s a plugin that integrates the functions of the WAVE Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool, giving users quick access to reports on the accessibility status of their website as they publish content.
Aside from offering dynamic scan and monitoring, it also suggests probable solutions if there’s any accessibility issue that needs to be resolved.
- Real-time scans on any created content (drafts included)
- It runs scans for ADA, Section 508, AODA, and WCAG compliance
- Detailed reports
WP Accessibility is perhaps the most used accessibility plugin for WordPress website owners. A plugin is a tool for making quick adjustments to your themes without needing any coding expertise. More so, the plugin can introduce new features to an already existing theme, without leaving a lot of bloat codes that may have been present if you did it manually at the backend.
- Remove tab index on elements
- Allows addition of attributes on all images
- Allows users to locate images without alt attributes and fix them
- Descriptions to images can be longer
Accessibility Widget is a relatively widely used WordPress accessibility plugin for changing sizes of widgets. It allows users to make modifications to sidebar widgets on their websites, giving it a cool and more pleasant look.
It’s one of the frequently updated Plugins, which means developers are always proactive to offer the best service to users. The only blemish is that the settings revert to default after each version update – something we believe they can easily work on.
- Users can add language and text attributes in HTML if they’re missing
- Add longer descriptions to images
- Specify keyboard-focusable elements
UserWays is another great accessibility plugin for diagnosing your site’s accessibility status and also offering solutions when there are improvements to be made. While that’s the case, the plugin also offers free accessibility widgets to make subtle changes like color contrast, keyboard navigation, and focus to improve the overall accessibility feel.
- Detailed accessibility audit
- Extensive accessibility scanner
- Screen reader
- Highlighted links
- Pause animations
- Extensive tweaks for text format
This WordPress accessibility plugin doesn’t stray a lot from the concept of its name – it allows website owners to add accessibility toolbars to their websites so visitors can tweak and implement their preferred accessibility functions.
- On-page font size adjustment
- Color adjustment
- Allows visitors to save their preferred accessibility settings by creating accounts
- Text-to-speech options
Access Monitor is a relatively advanced accessibility plugin that optimizes its user’s time by automating weekly and monthly accessibility scans. You can set up the plugin to generate reports on a specific set of pages, allowing you to pinpoint the specific areas that need improvement. More so, you only receive reports on issues that are machine testable, so there’s no ambiguity trying to fix a problem you really don’t see on the list.
- Testing of front-end pages
- Apply rules to test posts before publication
- Filtration of duplicate issues
- Only machine-tested issues are reported.
Equalweb accessibility is an open source accessibility checker developed by Equal Web LTD. It’s a little more advanced than a lot of traditional accessibility checkers, even though it offers really competitive pricing.
- Addition of appropriate ARIA attributes
- Addition of visual outline to important elements for the keyboard
- Absence of duplicate ideas
- Tota11y integration
- Cam correct
One Click accessibility is a plugin that gives site visitors the ability to make certain changes on their front end through a toolbar. Much like AccessibilityWP, it gives website users/visitors the ability to make changes as they see fit. While that’s the case, as the website owner, you can customize the number of customizable that is available to users.
- Skip to content
- Customizer for the text style and font
- ARIA Landmarks
- SVG Icons
- Focusable Elements
- Sitewide accessibility
- Remember your choice
This accessibility plugin notifies users when a new tab will be opened after clicking a link. Surprisingly, not everyone is alert to know when a clicked link automatically opens a new tab. More so, the alert is necessary so the user knows if they’re ready to leave the current window they’re viewing.
In line with current Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), all web pages need or appear and operate predictably – popping a new tab without knowing is nowhere close to predictable. The extra bonus to this plugin is that it’s completely free.
- No setup required – the plugin automatically fines links that open to a new tab and integrates the warning prompt
Benefits of using Accessibility Plugins
Based on CDC estimates, one in four Americans live with some form of disability – extending that statistic to the globe, that’s a lot of potential website users with disability. If your website doesn’t have a lot of accessibility features integrated, you will struggle with keeping these people as a returning audience.
While that may be apparent, there’s a likelihood of being sued by a person with a disability if they find your website inaccessible, especially if you offer a valuable service/product. In 2019, a Supreme Court handed victory to Guillermo Robles, a blind man who claimed he couldn’t order Dominos through the fast-food company’s website.
Over the years, we’ve seen accessibility-related cases have consistently grown as people with disability stress that if the issue isn’t addressed, considerations for people with disability may be erased from the economy. While that may be good in many cases, it doesn’t end well for you if you have a website that’s not paying attention to accessibility.
While the legalities concerning websites with accessibilities may be complex you can use a “Web Accessibility Checklist” to make your content 100% compliant. Having a website with a reasonable amount of accessibility features can have the following benefits.
Direct expansive outreach – tools that allow users to adjust text fonts, contrasts, borders, and widgets provide accommodation for people with some disabilities, allowing them to use the website more fluently, thus increasing your traffic and outreach.
Avoidance of possible lawsuits by the aggrieved users with disability – it’s been seen before and the trend doesn’t look like changing soon unless websites level up. It’s easy to get sued if you’re operating a website with minimal accessibility features, especially if your product is in some way also targeted at people with some type of disability.
Improve user experience – aside from helping users with a disability navigate your site, it also improves the user experience of people without any disabilities. For example, using a tool like One Click allows everyone to customize how they want to view the content on the platform.
Gives the website more inclusivity – to have a better PR, you don’t want your audience to feel any sense of discrimination towards a specific type of people. It also has positive feedback on your website as it become highly recommended by people who enjoy using it.