Is My WordPress Website ADA Compliant?
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) aims to make sure that businesses and others servicing the public are accessible to disabled people. If you run a business or nonprofit with 15 or more employees or that operates for the benefit of the public, you are legally required to be compliant with the ADA. Even if you’re not legally required to do so, it’s still a good idea to follow ADA guidelines and make your organization accessible to all. Making your website ADA compliant is one of the ways you can make your business more accessible. If you, like many others, have a WordPress website, there are several ways to make sure you follow WordPress ADA compliance.
Do Websites Need to Be ADA Compliant?
The first thing that you might wonder is whether websites need to be ADA compliant. It’s pretty clear that something like a store must comply with ADA regulations, but when it comes to websites, things can be a little murkier. However, you want to know that you’re doing what’s required of you for WordPress ADA compliance. If you breach the ADA, you could be in for a huge fine of up to $75,000 for a first violation and up to $150,000 for additional violations.
While there are no clear rules or regulations for an ADA-compliant website, you should still make your website as accessible as possible. If it’s not, you could be at risk of lawsuits and you could lose business from disabled people who are unable to navigate your website. Even if your business isn’t legally required to be ADA compliant, it’s in your best interests to create a website that works for everyone.
How Can You Check If Your Site Is ADA-Compliant?
Before you get started on making any changes to your website, you need to know whether your website is compliant with the ADA and if there is anything that you can do to improve it. When you have a WordPress website, one easy way to check if your site is compliant is to use a plugin. There are a number of WordPress plugins designed to assess your site and give you a report on how accessible it is. Here are some of the plugins and other tools that you can use to test your site for WordPress ADA compliance.
Accessibility Suite is a free WordPress plugin that checks for both ADA compliance and Section 508, which applies to federal agencies and their information and communications technology.
Accessibility Suite allows you to do a number of things to check accessibility and view any errors that you might be making. You can set up an automatic scan schedule to check for accessibility so you can not only check for accessibility once but make sure that your site remains accessible. The plugin produces reports that are easy to access and you can view any errors using filters. It also gives you actionable steps that you can take, making it easy to find and fix any possible issues. Past scans can be stored so that you can keep track of changes and the progress that you’ve made.
WP Accessibility Helper
WP Accessibility Helper is another free option if you want a WordPress accessibility plugin, but it also comes with paid options if you want to upgrade and get more features. As well as helping you to assess your site, the plugin gives you tools to use to make adjustments. You can use these tools to change font sizes, contrast ratios, and other elements that could affect the usability of your site for disabled people. However, although this plugin can help you on your way to ADA compliance, it doesn’t guarantee that it will help you to make your site compliant.
WP ADA Compliance Check Basic
This plugin also has a free option and paid options if you want more features. WP ADA Compliance Check Basic allows you to scan your website and even has automatic corrections to fix your errors without any hassle. The free version allows you to scan up to 25 pages, but you need to pay if you have a larger website. The paid version is a one-time payment starting from $185 for one site and one year of support and updates, and going up to $555 if you want unlimited support. For those who may have multiple sites or for web developers, a 10-site license (with one year of support and updates) is $1,350.
WP Accessibility is a plugin that is built to solve common accessibility issues. It adds a number of accessibility features to your site, although it’s not intended to make your site compliant with any guidelines. You can disable features or customize them if you’re an advanced user who knows what they’re doing. One feature offers the option to test the color contrast between two hexadecimal color values.
One way to make your website more accessible is to ensure everyone is able to read the text, including people who are visually impaired or have learning disabilities. Accessibility Widget is a simple plugin that makes it possible for your site’s visitors to change the text size to their liking, with small, medium, and large options.
WAVE is a free tool designed to check your site for accessibility. If you would rather avoid installing a plugin, this can provide an alternative. WordPress recommends the use of WAVE to assess your site, and there’s no need to download and install anything, or to pay for an upgrade. All you need to do to use the site is enter the URL of your website and click the arrow to get your results. The tool will give you a report on the accessibility of the page, and most errors will likely apply to your whole site. However, there could be some page-specific elements with accessibility errors that are not the same across your site.
wA11y – The Web Accessibility Toolbox
You can also make use of WAVE as part of this plugin, which also provides you with other web accessibility tools. These include tota11y, an accessibility visualization toolbox that inserts a small button to help you visualize how your site will perform with certain assistive technologies.
Choosing a WordPress ADA Compliance Plugin
When you’re looking for a WordPress ADA compliance plugin for your site, there are a few things to consider. Firstly, you need to think about what the plugin does. Some plugins might be designed to ensure compliance with ADA guidelines, while others won’t make any such claims. However, any plugins that offer you accessibility advice for your site can be useful. There are also plugins that will help you to make your site more accessible but don’t provide tools for testing for compliance issues.
One thing that is essential to consider when choosing a plugin to help with ADA compliance is whether it is safe to use. It’s important that the plugin is up to date and that it is fully secure. If you install an out of date plugin, it might not work and it could leave your website vulnerable to security issues. When you look at the web page for a WordPress plugin, check the column on the right-hand side, which tells you when it was last updated, which WordPress versions it works with, and which it has been tested up to.
You should also check for any potential bugs or issues that the plugin could have. First, check the reviews to see what others who have installed the plugin think of it. This will help to highlight any common issues and whether the developer has done anything to resolve them. You can also check the support tab on the plugin page, which will show you any support issues that users might be discussing and whether there are any responses. If there are any issues that don’t appear to have been resolved, it’s best not to install the plugin.
Do You Need to Use Plugins for ADA Compliance?
WordPress plugins are certainly not essential if you want to make your website compliant with the ADA, although they do have their uses. They can help you to identify issues and correct them, although they won’t necessarily take care of all of the issues for complete compliance.
If you want to make your site ADA compliant, it is possible to do so without using any WordPress plugins. You can try to do it yourself, armed with information on creating an ADA compliant site and a few WordPress skills. However, if you don’t feel very confident about that, you should hire an agency that can help you with your website design. Good designers and developers can create or redesign your site for you so that it is accessible to as many people as possible.
At WebX360, we can help you with website design and support. Our professional web design services help you to meet your business goals, including making your site accessible for more customers.