Accessibility on the web can mean a lot of things. But in general, it means making websites as inclusive to as many users as possible. This includes visually-impaired people who rely on assistive technology to navigate the web, mobile users, and even search engines.
In this guide
We handle the accessibility of WordPress.com in two simple ways.
First, we follow web design standards and best practices. This means when we build new features and themes, we build on a good foundation for making our system and your site accessible.
Second, we’re constantly looking to improve and are always thinking of new ways to address specific concerns as web technologies change. If you run into an accessibility problem, feel free to contact us.
We provide a level of accessibility to users of mobile devices by offering mobile-optimized themes. And you can access your own blog on the go with the mobile version of WordPress.com or the Jetpack app, available for smartphones and tablet devices.
When creating your pages and posts, keep these points in mind to ensure your website is accessible:
When you insert an image into a post or page, consider providing a rich description for the caption to improve the reading experience for everyone, especially folks who can’t see the image.
Be creative. Instead of “My son on his swing,” try “My son is playing on his favorite swing. His face is filled with pure joy on a beautiful Spring day. Perfection.” The goal here is to convey the feeling of the image.
The Alt Text helps visually-impaired users of screen readers because it is a textual description of what is in the image. The alt text is also read by search engine crawlers.
You can write Alt Text for an image in the settings of the Image block.
Whether you are linking to your own blog or another site, it helps to be descriptive in the linked text. For example, “Click here” is not as explanatory as “Contact me.”
Instead of conveying your site title and tagline solely within a logo or header image, display your site title and tagline as text as well. Go to Appearance → Customize → Site Identity,and check the box next to Display Site Title and Tagline.
Add headings with the Heading Block to organize pages and posts and make it easier for readers to follow your content, which is especially important for longer pages and posts. Click on the “i” icon in the top toolbar of the editor to view any errors and incorrect heading sizes:
Fonts and colors are essential components on your site, adding personality and style and strengthening your visual identity online. Avoid font styles and sizes and color palettes that make your site difficult to read, and pay attention to contrast, or the difference between the darkness of your text and the lightness of your background.
The editor will display an error message in Color settings when it detects poor color contrast in the specific block you’re working on:
WordPress.com seeks to ensure that all of our themes are accessible, however some themes have additional features that add complexity to the site and could make it harder for users who use screen readers and users with disabilities to access all content.
You can find themes that have been tested for accessibility here: Accessibility Ready Themes.
If you are unsure which theme to use for an accessible site, we recommend Twenty Twenty as a beautiful, full-featured theme that is fully accessible.
Some organizations operate with specific rules for accessibility, such as the US Government, whose sites follow the Section 508 Accessibility Guidelines.
WordPress.com cannot ensure a site is fully compliant with these guidelines, since they include both the structure of the pages and the content that users add to their pages.
You can test specific themes for compliance with these guidelines using a tool such as the WAVE Web Accessibility tool. For sites that require 100% compliance, we recommend testing your theme of choice using the demo page for the theme, for example Twenty Twenty. We also recommend using Header Text (displaying the Site Title), rather than a Header Image, as some WordPress.com themes will not provide AltText and therefore generate an error in the accessibility tool when a Header Image is set.