How to Make a Website ADA Compliant on WordPress

Most websites today are built on the powerful platform known as WordPress. This content management system (CMS) is incredibly popular and allows users to build websites with the click of a button. This ease of use has made WordPress the go-to platform for virtually anyone looking to establish a website.

WordPress is a great choice for those who want a free website, but this simplicity can also be its downfall. Because WordPress is such a popular choice among those seeking to establish a presence on the web, many individuals and businesses fail to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

What is the ADA and Why Should I Care?

If you are reading this, I assume you are familiar with the ADA and/or the various ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA). If not, here is a brief explainer.

The ADA, which was signed into law in 1990, aspires to make sure that people with disabilities have the same opportunities as everyone else. One of the main purposes of the ADA is to ensure people with disabilities have access to “public accommodations,” including businesses and websites that offer products and services to the public.

While the ADA was initially designed to protect people with disabilities, their families, and people who work with them, the ADAAA expanded the original ADA into something a bit more far-reaching. According to the ADAAA, it is now illegal to discriminate against people with disabilities in employment, public education, public transportation, and private housing.

If you are operating a website or business that serves the public, you are potentially breaking the law if you aren’t taking certain steps to make your website accessible to people with disabilities.

WordPress Is Not Always Accessible

WordPress is a free CMS that is offered as open source software and is, therefore, available to anyone with a computer and an internet connection. Because it is such a popular option with so many users, it is frequently exploited by scammers who try to trick people into downloading and installing malicious software on their computers. Many of these scams involve convincing users they are visiting a genuine website owned by a major brand when, in reality, they are being infected with malicious software that may infect their computers with a virus. This is why it is always a good idea to check the domain name of any website you are planning to visit before entering any personal information or clicking any links.

If you run a WordPress website and are interested in making it more accessible or looking to hire an expert to help you do so, here are some tips on how to make your website ADA compliant without too much effort.

Find Out How Many People With Disabilities Use Your Site

One of the first steps to making your website ADA compliant is to find out how many people with disabilities actually use your site. An easy way to do this is to install a visitor counter on your site that automatically counts how many visitors arrive at your site from a smartphone, tablet, or desktop computer. One of the best visitor counters is the Google Analytics website counter that, among other things, allows you to discover how many people visit your site from a mobile device.

By knowing this figure, you can decide whether your site is accessible to people with disabilities and can work on improving it if it isn’t. Keeping track of how many visitors you have from a smartphone, tablet, or desktop computer is fairly straightforward and can be implemented in less than an hour. All you need is a basic knowledge of HTML and some ingenuity.

Use A Few Reliable Plugins

When it comes to plugins, there are numerous options out there, all claiming to make your life easier when building websites. However, not all plugins are created equal and some can do more harm than good.

If you are looking to make your website more accessible, you can always choose from a number of reliable plugins that make this task much easier. For example, the Equalizer Plus plugin for WordPress makes it much easier to create equal-height columns on a page by allowing you to specify a percentage (rather than a fixed size) for each column. This can help ensure your website’s layout is accessible to everyone, including people with disabilities.

Additionally, the Text Spacing extension for WordPress makes it much easier to create text-heavy documents such as blogs and articles by automatically applying a certain amount of whitespace between each word or phrase. This feature can prove invaluable to people with disabilities who may have trouble reading dense text due to poor eyesight or dyslexia.

Set The Site To Autoload Comments

Another excellent way to make your WordPress site more accessible is to set the site to autoload comments. This feature saves you the time and effort of having to moderate comments because they will automatically appear once you publish your content.

When selecting this setting, you will need to make sure that you have comments enabled on your WordPress site. This will allow prospective commenters to leave comments about your content. You can choose to not allow anonymous comments or require people to register before commenting.

Make Sure Your Site Is Compliant With The Most Recent Amendments

WordPress is regularly updated and improved upon by its creators and developers, making it a moving target for those seeking to exploit its vulnerabilities. The first step to making your site ADA compliant is to check which revisions of WordPress are currently available and make sure you are using the most recent version.

Looking for the most recent version of WordPress is fairly straightforward. All you need to do is enter your website’s URL in the search bar at and click the Go button to be taken to the WordPress dashboard. From here, you can navigate through the various tabs to find the most recent version of WordPress that is available for your site.

If you are curious as to which previous versions of WordPress are available for your site, you can click the Read More link located at the top of each tab to be taken to a detailed changelog. This document details the changes made in each version of WordPress and can help you determine which one is suitable for your site.

Create An Elevator Pitch

A great way to make your website more accessible is to create an elevator pitch. This is a short video or an written summary of your site’s purpose and value that is designed to be delivered in less than thirty seconds. An elevator pitch serves as a quick summary of the essential information about your site and allows those who have less than thirty seconds to spare to learn more about your site without skipping a detail.

To create an elevator pitch, you can either write down your site’s elevator pitch or record yourself delivering it using a video-recording application such as Zoom or Skype. You can also use platforms like VoiceChatter, which are designed for online interviews and allow you to record yourself and send the audio to an editor for transcription.

Minimize The Number Of Steps

When possible, people with disabilities should not have to take more than three steps to access content on a website. This will generally make your site more accessible because it takes less effort for people with disabilities to navigate your site. Using gestures such as a magnifying glass to navigate your site may also prove to be accessible since it can be easier for someone with limited vision to follow the examples you provide on your site.

Use Text In Large Fonts

One of the ways the ADA defines people with disabilities is as “someone who uses a text-to-speech synthesizer, textured speech, or other accessible technologies to communicate.” Simply put, the larger the font on your site, the easier it will be for people with disabilities to read. WordPress makes this task fairly straightforward. You simply need to enter a few lines of text into the <body> section of your site’s template and then paste the text into a module or area of the site’s design.

Here is an example of an accessible WordPress website:

  • Heading (H1) (H2) (H3) (H4) (H5) (H6) (H7) (H8) (H9)
  • Body (P) (DIV) (TABLE) (CAPTION) (UL) (LI) (CENTER) (HR) (H3) (H4) (H5) (H6)