Accessibility Guidelines

Making your website accessible is easy with WordPress. Most of the work is already done for you, in the technical design of the website, but some of it is up to you. Here are the main things you need to:

  1. Use Headings instead of bolded text
    • If you write a heading , highlight it, and click the “B” to bold it, then you have created a bold text that simulates a heading but is not technically a heading. Instead, use the options Heading 2 or Heading 3.
  2. Write meaningful headings
    • A heading tells the visitor what that section of the website is about. Make your headlines succinct and front-loaded (i.e. put the keyword at the beginning, so “How to contact us” becomes “Contact us” because Contact is the key word). Do not sacrifice clarity by trying to be clever or catchy. Read more about Headings.
  3. Write meaningful text links
  4. Add alt text to all of your images
    • Alt text is simply a text alternative to a non-text element. A photo or graphic is an image, not text, and therefore needs to be represented in text. WordPress makes it easy to add alt text. Read more about alt text.
  5. Provide transcripts for audio and video
    • Add captions to videos when possible–YouTube makes this easy to do. Otherwise, provide a text transcript of any video or spoken audio you have posted on your website.

Using Images as Text

Related to #4 above, occasionally I see someone layout their text in a graphic and then put this graphic on the page instead of real text. This could be something created in Photoshop or PowerPoint or many other programs. Read my post about text in images. If it’s not text you typed into WordPress or can edit in WordPress, then it’s not real text. This is probably the most common and most egregious accessibility mistake I see.

Extra Credit

Visit my Accessibility page for more information about website accessibility.