Do Accessible Themes and WordPress Accessibility Plugins Matter?

The WordPress front-end is pretty much where it's been for years: capable of being accessible, but it all rests on the developer who builds the site. Inaccessible themes or the lack of WordPress accessibility plugins can make or break your website. Although it has improved, avoiding accessibility regressions with any new interface component is an ongoing battle.


In short, the WordPress community recognizes the need for accessibility and has admirable accessibility goals, but there is still work to be done. Accessibility issues still exist in WordPress out of the box. For example, it is difficult for persons with disabilities to author material in WordPress, and it is difficult to ensure that content authors do not generate inaccessible web pages.


Themes and plugins are two mechanisms in WordPress that have a big impact on accessibility. Themes manage the appearance of your website, while plugins such as WordPress accessibility plugins allow you to extend its functionality. Both are in charge of the underlying programming that makes up your website's front end.


That code could be accessible or have difficulties with accessibility. It can exclude accessibility elements like skip links and suitable ARIA roles. The color contrast in the theme can or cannot be appropriate.


Choosing an Accessible Theme

Start by choosing an existing theme. Unless otherwise specified, you should presume that it is not very user-friendly. Making accessible themes necessitates a lot of time and testing, and if someone has gone to the trouble of doing so, they are likely to call attention to it.


In most cases, you get what you pay for these days. Commercial themes often receive more effort, attention, and support than free themes, making me seem unduly capitalist. If your website is important enough, a paid theme may be preferable to a free one.


WordPress Plugins and Accessibility

One compelling reason to adopt WordPress is the plugins. Over 55,000 free plugins and thousands of premium plugins in the WordPress repository. Each plugin adds capabilities to WordPress that it didn't have before.


WordPress Accessibility Plugins

There are approximately 100 plugins classified with "accessibility" and at least a dozen additional premium accessibility plugins in the WordPress repository. These plugins claim to improve WordPress's accessibility, monitor accessibility, or fix accessibility problems in popular plugins and themes.