08 Oct 10 Best Accessibility-Ready WordPress Themes-2015
Building accessible websites that don’t exclude people with different kinds of disabilities has become more of a requirement in web design in the recent years. These days it’s hard to get a government contract without taking care of digital inclusivity, and many well-known companies such as Microsoft, Apple, and Google also treat accessibility as a priority.
WordPress as a leading content management system and blogging platform is on the frontline of accessibility development as well. The WordPress A11y (Accessibility) Team is busy making the platform available to as many people as possible, and they have even published a great Handbook on WordPress Accessibility for developers.
The accessibility review is an optional stage in the WordPress theme review process. If a submitted theme uses the accessibility-ready tag, the review team will check it against the accessibility guidelines to ensure that themes promoting themselves as accessibility-ready are really so.
In this post we will take a look at the 10 best accessibility-ready WordPress themes to help you build digitally inclusive WordPress sites.
- Unlimited: Unlimitedis a carefully designed, general purpose WordPress theme with a right sidebar. It loads quickly and uses a high color contrast ratio (white & light gray versus dark gray) that matches the needs of visually impaired users. Unlimited is a carefully designed, general purpose WordPress theme with a right sidebar. It loads quickly and uses a high color contrast ratio (white & light gray versus dark gray) that matches the needs of visually impaired users.
- Simone: Simone has a quite straightforward design with huge images and screen-focused, scalable typography that is easy to read on every screen size. The theme helps physically disabled users access navigation via their keyboards. You can customize many features of Simone such as sidebar position (left or right), header, background, link colors and many others. It’s also translation-ready, and is already translated into many languages
- Accessible Zen: You can customize many features of Simone such as sidebar position (left or right), header, background, link colors and many others. It’s also translation-ready, and is already translated into many languages. The unique thing about this theme that there’s no main menu in the header section, so visitors can get to the content at once – that can be an ideal solution for screen reader users. The hyperlinks are smartly underlined with dotted lines and turn solid on hovering, which is also a great accessibility solution.
- Stock: The Stock WordPress theme has an elegant black and white header that includes a centered main menu . Pairing black and white is always a great choice for accessibility-ready sites, as these two colors have the highest color contrast ratio which is 21:1. The design is quite minimalistic, and the theme is translation-ready and offers RTL (right-to-left) language support, so it can be a good candidate for being a parent theme of an accessible child theme.
- Apex: Apex engages visitors with a logically structured content and huge featured images that make the site look impressive and professional. The top navigation consists of a main menu on the left hand side, and a social media menu on the right, which makes it easy and straightforward to navigate through the site for both disabled people and assistive devices. The excerpts on the home page are followed by user-friendly “Continue reading” buttons that are beautifully highlighted and entices readers to go on.
- Tiny FrameWork: It took no less than 9 months for the author of theTiny Framework to create this engaging, accessibility-ready WordPress theme. The Tiny Framework is flexible enough to be used as a parent theme if you want to quickly develop a reliable child theme that pay attention to the needs of disabled people. The Tiny Framework theme uses a high contrast colour palette with black, orange and green colours. Blockquotes, headings and links all have different colours, which increases the legibility of the content in a significant way.Buttons are also easily noticeable, and the theme overally has a quite energetic and vivid look, but not in the obtrusive way.
- Kuorinka: Kuorinka loads really fast and doesn’t only offer accessibility support but also includes org microdata. It uses breadcrumbs to support the main navigation, which is always a good idea in accessibility design. Kuorinka allows the user to add short information to the top of the page that can help visitors understand the most important message the site owner wants to convey. The headings of the sidebar and the footer widgets are highlighted with a light-blue background that greatly helps the visual segmentation of the content
- Aaron: Aaronis a great choice for an accessibility-ready company website. It has a huge call-to-action button on the home page that grabs the visitors’ eyes at once. The theme has a high colour contrast ratio, but you need to pay attention to carefully choose the background image on the home page to keep the readability of the highlights and the buttons. Aaron has a keyboard-friendly menu on the top of the site that is supported by a handy search box on the right hand side. The theme can be used for an e-Commerce site as well, as it works well with the WooCommerce plugin.
- Storefront: Storefrontis a flexible e-commerce theme offering WooCommerce integration and high customizability. The most important information, the purchased products in the cart and their prices, are right next to the main menu on the top of the site which makes the theme incredibly user-friendly. The products are assorted into different categories that helps disabled visitors using screen readers and other assistive technologies quickly understand what is on sale on the site.
- Author: Author is a beautifully designed, fast and accessibility-ready WordPress theme with a left sidebar. The sidebar uses a dark background with white letters, which ensures the high color contrast ratio. The hyperlinks are underlined so it’s easy to recognize them.The headings use a serif typeface that facilitates readibility. On the single post template the previous and next posts are highlighted with a light gray background that encourages users to read more posts on the site.