WordPress Accessibility [#accessibility #a11y]

Wordpress.com Front Page

Wordpress.com Front Page

I was recently ask to perform a barrier walkthrough on the wordpress.com front page. As a side note I must say that Firefox with Firebug proved really useful when it came to answering some of the more code/css based questions in the walkthrough.

In the end the page did quite well but it’s a kind of internal mash-up with what looks like different coders developing different parts of the page. Now this may prove a problem in general as there will be very little a consumer of inaccessible mash-up components can do to make the whole accessible. This maybe isn’t true for WordPress as they have control over all parts of the system (I imagine).

So the central part of the content listing the ‘Freshly Pressed’ blog choices is laid out using DIVs with images as background css and therefore without ALTs (maybe no big problem) however the links are all SPANs with JS highlighting and externally generated hyperlinks without TITLE attributes.

The right column is coded in standard HTML but without IMG ALTs or HREF TITLEs.

The footer on the other hand has TITLEs in the As as well as ALT attributes in the IMG elements, and when IMGs are enclosed in A elements the TITLE is left out so that it doesn’t conflict with the image ALT.

The main problem is the ability to tab over or skip over the top login bar (not shown here) – this means you just can’t get your focus into the selected blogs.

But more interestingly we can see the different types of accessibility awareness of the WordPress developers or the different emphasis which is placed on accessibility by different parts of the organisation.


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