Making your WordPress Ecommerce Site Accessible

Did you know that as many as 10% of males are color blind? That means that, on average, five out of a hundred visitors are not able to distinguish the reds and greens in your website design. In addition to that, there are users who rely on keyboard navigation (using only tab, shift, arrow and enter keys). All that before we even started considering the visually impaired who cannot see the images of the products you are offering and rely on screen readers. No website wants to alienate customers, especially an ecommerce site that is depending on transitions as the main stream of revenue.

Let’s look at a couple simple tests you can run to check if your site is accessible to most customers.

Color selection

If you offer products in different color options be sure to name and describe the color, and not rely only on the graphic.

Here is an example of a store that is not friendly to color blind customers:

And one that is:

This is one of the easiest changes you can make on your website that will immediately impact the usability.


This is another very simple test that you can do on your own. Try to complete a purchase on your site using only the keyboard. Are you not able to select a product? Not able to navigate to the cart? Not able to complete the checkout? Not able to see error messages? A visitor relying solely on tab navigation will encounter the same issues and never complete the purchase. You will lose them as a potential customer. These kind of navigation issues might present more of a challenge to address and require help from a WordPress developer

Product Description

Many ecommerce websites prioritize attractive graphic design and product images over functionality and limit their customers to those who can clearly see the pictures on the site. For this test we would recommend that you turn on a screen reader and try to understand what product is being sold without being able to see it. You can either turn the monitor brightness down or just close your eyes. You might realize that the product images are missing useful ALT tags, or that your product description is missing necessary details. All of these should be easily addressed in your ecommerce product configuration.

If you have any further questions we would be happy to test your site and help you increase the number of customers on your WordPress website.

Photo by Marcus Aurelius:

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