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Can WordPress help make the web more accessible - eaccess15 - Feb 2015


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WordPress is a CMS that now powers over 20% of the world's websites.

But how easy is it to create an accessible website using WordPress? What is there to help you, and what are the pitfalls?

And if you want to help make WordPress more accessible, there's a team of volunteers who would love to talk to you. Come and join in at:

This slide deck formed the basis of a round table discussion that I chaired at eAccess15 in London on 24th March 2015.

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Can WordPress help make the web more accessible - eaccess15 - Feb 2015

  1. 1. Coolfields Consulting @coolfields Can WordPress help make the web more accessible? Graham Armfield Web Accessibility Consultant WordPress Developer @coolfields
  2. 2. Introductions • What is your name? • Who do you work for? • Your knowledge/use of WordPress? • What you'd like to learn or take away from this session? 2
  3. 3. What I’m going to cover • What is WordPress? • How WordPress Works • Creating accessible websites with WordPress • Accessibility and the Admin screens • Want to get involved? 3
  4. 4. 4 What is WordPress?
  5. 5. What is WordPress? Created in 2003 as a blogging tool. Extra features added over years, so the possibilities are now almost endless. 5
  6. 6. More Features WordPress can now support many types of website. For example: 6 • consumer review sites • job boards • membership sites (inc with subscription) • business websites • community portals • e-commerce websites • classified ads
  7. 7. Increasingly the World's Choice You can allow others to contribute content to your site. 7
  8. 8. Increasingly the World's Choice WordPress now 'powers' over 20% of all websites 8 from
  9. 9. Two types of WordPress • • Who has used either? 9
  10. 10. 10 How WordPress Works Core Themes Plugins
  11. 11. WordPress is a CMS All content is stored in a database… … not in separate HTML files. Which makes things very flexible. 11
  12. 12. WordPress Core 12 The WordPress core is what makes the site go from
  13. 13. WordPress Themes Themes govern the look of a WordPress website 13
  14. 14. WordPress Plugins Plugins are your optional extras 14
  15. 15. The Whole Picture 15
  16. 16. 16 Creating accessible websites with WordPress
  17. 17. WordPress themes 17
  18. 18. WordPress Themes • Only ever 1 theme active at any time • Handles overall layout of site and styles – HTML, CSS, javascript • So has a significant impact on site accessibility 18
  19. 19. Choosing a Theme Who has been involved in choosing a theme or specifying the design of a WordPress website? 19
  20. 20. Choosing a Theme For version • Free themes - • Premium themes - For version • Integrated into admin area 20
  21. 21. 'Accessibility-ready' Themes • Currently an extra optional review for accessibility • Hopefully will become mandatory at some point in the future 21
  22. 22. How Many Accessible Themes? 22 3,048 themes in repository (as at 23rd February 2015) 9 results for 'accessibility' and 13 results for 'accessible' and 32 have 'accessibility-ready' tag
  23. 23. WordPress Plugins • A site can (in theory) have any number of plugins active at any time • Plugins are available for many different needs: Improve SEO, site security, spam prevention, social media, forums, handling images 23
  24. 24. Choosing Plugins For version • For version • Very limited but integrated into admin 24
  25. 25. WordPress Plugins • Some plugins can affect the HTML and functionality of the site • So plugins can have a significant impact on accessibility • There is currently no accessibility review for plugins 25
  26. 26. 26 Accessibility Pitfalls in WordPress Themes and Plugins
  27. 27. Typical Theme Accessibility Issues • Keyboard accessibility – dropdown menus, visible focus, etc • Heading structure • Colour contrast • 'Read more' links • Sensible tab order • No skip links 27
  28. 28. Slider/carousel plugin example 28 Can I stop the slider using the keyboard? Can I attach alternate text to the images? Buttons or links? And do they label their purpose?
  29. 29. Lightbox plugin example 29 Can I attach alternate text to the large images? When lightbox opens, focus remains on page below
  30. 30. Form plugin example 30 Do screen reader users get to hear these error messages? Are these labels linked to input fields?
  31. 31. Plugins Can Help Too WP Accessibility plugin 31
  32. 32. Getting a Developer Involved • To design and build a theme for you • To create extra functionality as required • Build, install and configure more advanced plugins • Tailor the site to your needs 32
  33. 33. Getting a Developer Involved • Who has worked with developers to build an accessible website? • What was that like? 33
  34. 34. Content Authors 34
  35. 35. Content Authors • Can add headings, images, lists, etc – or choose not to do so • So can have an impact on accessibility 35
  36. 36. 36 Accessibility and the Admin Screens
  37. 37. A Cornucopia of Screens • Admin functions built and added to over many years • Accessibility has almost never been considered upfront until recently • So patchy accessibility – but improving 37
  38. 38. Adding Images 38
  39. 39. 39 Want to help make WordPress more accessible?
  40. 40. How WordPress Changes • Open source nature means that anyone can contribute to development • WordPress adds new admin functionality with every release • Existing functionality changes as a result of defect reports 40
  41. 41. Make WordPress Accessible Team 41
  42. 42. Get Involved with WP Accessibility • Commenting on design of new functionality in admin screens • Helping to test new and existing functionality in admin screens with AT • Get involved with accessibility reviews for new themes • Helping with accessibility resources and examples for WordPress developers 42
  43. 43. Where to Find Us Anyone interested? 43
  44. 44. Thanks for listening @coolfields