How to Make a WordPress Website ADA Compliant

Do you want to learn how to make a WordPress website ADA compliant? This article will guide you on the steps to ensure your WordPress website is ADA compliant, thus making it more inclusive for everyone.

Website accessibility is not merely a benefit; it’s a necessity. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires certain businesses to make accommodations for people with disabilities. When applied to the digital realm, this implies that your website should be accessible to all users, regardless of any physical or cognitive impairments.

Making your WordPress website ADA compliant involves numerous factors, but it is not an insurmountable task.

How to Make a WordPress Website ADA Compliant

The first step towards ADA compliance is understanding what it entails. ADA standards for websites are largely based on the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), a set of recommendations for making web content more accessible. The WCAG standards fall under three levels: A, AA, and AAA. Most organizations aim for AA compliance, which provides a good balance between usability and implementation effort.

1) Choose an ADA-Compliant Theme

WordPress themes play a crucial role in determining the accessibility of your website. An ADA-compliant theme is designed with accessibility in mind and will follow best practices like using proper HTML semantics, providing keyboard navigation, and more. There are several free and premium WordPress themes available that are designed to be ADA compliant, such as ‘Accessible Ready’ themes in the WordPress theme repository.

2) Use Accessible Plugins

Just like themes, the plugins you use on your site can significantly affect its accessibility. Ensure that any plugins you use, such as sliders, forms, or page builders, are compatible with accessibility standards. Some WordPress plugins can even help you improve the accessibility of your site, such as WP Accessibility or UserWay.

3) Provide Alternatives for Media

All images, audio, and video on your site should be accessible to all users. Images should have alternative text (alt text) that describes the image’s content. Videos and audio should have captions or transcripts available. WordPress makes it easy to add alt text to images and provides video captioning functionality.

4) Ensure Content is Easy to Read

Make sure that the color contrast between your text and the background is high enough for users with visual impairments to read. The WCAG 2.0 AA standards recommend a contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1 for normal text. Tools like the WebAIM Color Contrast Checker can help you verify your site’s color contrast.

Additionally, your text should be easily resizable, with no loss of content or functionality. Avoid using small text sizes that might be difficult for some users to read.

5) Include Clear Navigation

All users should be able to navigate your site with ease. This includes keyboard navigation for users who cannot use a mouse. Make sure that all functionality of your site is accessible via keyboard, including menus, links, forms, and even media controls.

Furthermore, clearly identify where the user is on the site by using breadcrumbs, highlighting the current page in the menu, and ensuring links change color or style when visited.

6) Use ARIA Landmarks

Accessible Rich Internet Applications (ARIA) landmarks help screen reader users understand the layout of your website and navigate it more effectively. They provide information about what each section of the page contains. WordPress automatically includes some ARIA landmarks in its code, and you can add more manually or with the help of plugins.

7) Test Your Website

Finally, after implementing the above measures, it’s important to test your website’s accessibility. Automated tools like WAVE or AChecker can help identify accessibility issues. However, remember that these tools are not perfect, and manual testing, including using screen readers and navigating your site using only a keyboard, is also crucial.

For more detailed analysis, consider hiring experts in accessibility to conduct an audit of your site.


Making your WordPress website ADA compliant is not just about adhering to legal requirements; it also ensures that your site is accessible to all potential users. While this guide provides a strong start, accessibility is an ongoing process, and new challenges can arise as your site evolves. By continually testing your website and keeping accessibility in mind with every new update, you can help create a more inclusive internet for everyone.

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