The most important reason for selecting a WordPress theme that is accessible, is that more people will be able to use your website.
An accessible theme is a great start for your website. Accessibility is especially important if you have a shop or if you are using signup or contact forms. But also if you have important information that needs to be made available to your community.
For many organisations, churches, schools and medical professionals, an accessible website is necessary to make sure that the targeted audience can access the information that they need. Information that you want them to read.
The right theme will help you by making sure that visitors can navigate the website without problems. It will also make your content easier to read with the help of color contrast, semantic HTML and correct headings.
As a bonus, accessible WordPress themes are great for SEO, because they are easier for search engines to read.
Basic features that are expected of accessible themes:
- Navigation that is usable without a mouse (including dropdown menus).
- Skip Links which helps visitors go directly to the content.
- ARIA roles which helps users identify different parts of the website.
- Links that can be easily discernible from other types of texts. Either with a text decoration or a high color contrast.
- Forms with clear labels for input fields and semantic controls.
- Alt texts for images when it is needed.
- No auto-starting media like sound or video (or slides).
- A high color contrast between background and text which increases the readability.
Themes with these features will make it easier for you to make your website accessible, but it is also important that you make sure that your content is accessible.
On this website, I will try to help you select a theme that will work for you, so that you can set it up and continue to improve your site, without having to become an expert on accessibility.
Next: What does accessibility-ready mean?
My recommended reading list:
wpmudev: Claire Brotherton has written a comparison explaining the difference between a theme that is accessible and one that is not. (2017)