This five-step guide will show you how to install UserWay’s WordPress accessibility plugin and help you kickstart your journey to making your website usable for everyone.
Step 1: Install the UserWay Plugin
You can install the WordPress Accessibility plugin from the WordPress plugin repository. From your WordPress dashboard, click “Plugins” in the menu on the left side of the page. Then, click “Add New” at the top of the page near the page title. Type “UserWay” into the search bar on the right side of the page. Once you find the plugin, click “Install Now,” followed by “Activate.” Open the left menu to scroll down and click on “UserWay.”
Step 2: Register Your Site With UserWay
If you have already registered with UserWay, you just need to sign in using your email address and password.
However, if this is your first time installing the UserWay Accessibility widget, you will need to register an account with us. You can use your Google account or type in another email address and then click “Next.” Enter your first and last name, the name of your organization, your website’s address, and your password. You’ll also need to agree to UserWay’s terms and privacy before clicking “Sign up.”
Step 3: Enable the UserWay Accessibility Widget on Your WordPress Website and Customize Your WP Accessibility Plugin
Scroll down to enable the widget. Switch the toggle to on. Now you can customize the size, color, and position of your WordPress ADA compliance plugin. Don’t forget to click “Save” when you’re done!
Step 4: Generate an Accessibility Statement for Your WordPress Website
Scroll up to the top of the Settings page in WordPress, and you’ll notice that you’re on the “Your Widget” tab in the oval-shaped top menu bar. If you’d like to receive your accessibility statement, click the “Your Widget” tab where you can fill in your details. Then click the “Generate My Accessibility Statement” button, and we will send your statement directly to your email.
While you’re here, look around at the Report & Docs and Videos & Tutorials tabs! You can also always find more information at UserWay.org.
Step 5: Preview Your Site
You’re all set! You are now well on your way to having a WordPress ADA-compliant website. Be sure to preview your website to make sure your widget is installed correctly.
Manually Install UserWay’s WordPress Accessibility Widget on Your Website
You can also install UserWay’s Accessibility Widget to your WordPress website manually by following these easy steps.
Step 1: Register your website with UserWay and get your unique code
If you haven’t done so already, register your website at UserWay.org by clicking the button at the top right of the homepage that says “Start Free Trial” and complete all the registration steps until you receive your unique code snippet.
Copy your unique code snippet as a text file or to your clipboard by clicking the blue button above and to the right of the code that says “Copy.” Alternatively, you can also find this code in the welcome email that we sent you when you registered.
Step 2: Sign in to your UserWay account if you already have one
If you have already registered a website with us, you can use the same unique code you used for your other website(s) that was emailed to you when you registered with us. If you’re having difficulty finding your welcome email and your unique code embed script, here’s how to find it:
Sign in to your UserWay dashboard at UserWay.org and go to the top menu, where you will find the link tag that says “My Embed Script.” There you will find the unique script code that you can copy to your clipboard or save as a text file.
Step 3: Embed your code into WordPress
This step requires some familiarity with code, as you will need to add your unique code to the HTML in your WordPress site. Please be sure not to delete anything from your website’s existing code, as it can negatively impact your website.
In your WordPress dashboard’s left menu, scroll down to “Appearance” and then select “Theme File Editor.”
On the right side of the page, under “Theme Files,” scroll down and select “footer.php” to open it.
Now, scroll down to find the body closing tag that looks like “</body>” and place your cursor above it, and click “Enter” on your keyboard several times to give yourself some space.
On one of the new blank lines, right-click with your cursor and select “Paste” to insert the script.
Don’t forget to update your website by clicking on “Update File” under the code.
Step 4: Review your website
You’re all set with an accessible WordPress website! Preview your site to test if your new widget is installed and working correctly.
Is the UserWay widget free?
UserWay offers two versions of our accessibility widget. Our free version is a good place to kickstart your website’s accessibility journey but it is not as robust as our AI-Powered Widget. Our AI-Powered widget provides better WCAG and ADA compliance to your website, which means your visitors will have a better experience navigating your site.
What are the advantages of UserWay’s ADA compliance plugin for WordPress?
UserWay’s WordPress plugin boosts your content’s accessibility for people with disabilities. This is beneficial for your visitors and for you: it lowers your risk of accessibility-related litigation.
Another advantage of adding the WordPress plugin to your website is that the WordPress installed plugin is automatically updated, so it can keep up with minor changes. If you install the UserWay widget manually in the code, and then you update your website theme, you will lose the widget and need to reinstall it again manually. A much safer option is to install the UserWay plugin directly through WordPress so you won’t run into this issue. To install the plugin via the WordPress Plugin Repository, follow the steps in the first section of this installation guide.
Is WordPress a good CMS for web accessibility?
Yes, the WordPress system is considered an excellent choice for accessibility. It has many plug-and-play customization options as well as ways for developers to work in the code. It also is known for its wide range of themes and plugins, some of which are specifically designed to maximize accessibility. WordPress also offers multiple built-in features that support accessibility.
However, to accelerate and ramp up your web accessibility with robust and advanced features, you can add UserWay’s Widget to your WordPress platform. This pulls in even greater compliance and ease of use functions and settings to optimize your site’s inclusivity for people with disabilities. WordPress’s commitment to accessibility, combined with add-on tools like UserWay’s Widget can help to make WordPress sites easier to navigate and use for everyone, solidifying it as a very strong choice for creating and maintaining accessible web content.
Are all websites created in WordPress ADA-compliant?
WordPress aims to create website themes with accessibility in mind, but this doesn’t automatically make your website ADA-compliant or accessible to users with disabilities. WordPress can’t guarantee that every website is compliant, because there are so many different factors in play here.
For example, a WordPress theme could be accessible, but the content and structure you add to the page might be inaccessible, such as images that are missing alt text, or images that contain embedded text, rather than having the words set as real text. Alternative or alt text, also known as alt tags, is a text description of an image or graphic that helps people who are blind or visually impaired get the image’s information. Embedded text that’s set as an image can’t be read by assistive devices such as screen readers, and can’t be enlarged to help users read it.
Thorough oversight of content for accessibility purposes should be done by a website administrator, which may or may not be you. If it is you, and you don’t know how to implement accessibility, first of all, take the time to learn a bit about what accessibility is, and how your website content should be set and structured for best accessibility. Then, add a helpful accessibility solution like UserWay’s Accessibility Scanner and Widget to provide your visitors with customized accessibility options.
Will UserWay’s Accessibility Widget impact my website code?
No, the widget won’t impact your website code, because it does not touch the underlying code.
The UserWay Accessibility Widget works on top of your website’s existing code, and that is true for both the free and Pro versions. Think of it as a pair of glasses that can adjust vision without affecting the wearer’s eyes.
UserWay’s AI-Powered Pro Widget can scan and monitor your website for accessibility issues, flagging items for you to fix, and in some cases, adding small adjustments to help accessibility issues. This type of fix is set as part of a top code layer that floats above the website’s code.
The AI-Powered Pro Widget pays special attention to accessibility pitfalls that commonly arise, for example, checking that your site can be navigated using only a keyboard, which is important for many users with disabilities. The widget works with, and in addition to, your existing website setup, checking for any potential barriers. It never changes your website’s actual underlying code, so your original design and content remain intact while improving your site’s accessibility.
Will building accessibility into my website impact SEO?
Yes, accessibility is likely to actively improve your SEO! Web accessibility in WordPress (or any other type of website) can positively impact SEO in several ways. Superior site, page, and content organization and clarity are highly favored by search engines. And, adhering to accessibility guidelines, such as using proper heading structures, not only makes your site more navigable for all users, but also makes it more comprehensible to search engines. Accessible sites tend to have better structure and more accurately coded page elements, all of which tend to elevate search engine ranking.
How long does it take for the UserWay widget to go live on my website after I install it?
It’s almost instantaneous. Your UserWay widget will work as soon as you install it on your website. Once you’ve completed the steps for one of the installation options above, check your website – your widget should be there. If you don’t see it immediately, refresh the page.