If Accessibility Checker has flagged errors on your website or you discovered errors while performing manual accessibility checks that are coming from a plugin, there are a few options for fixing these errors.
Determine if it’s a Settings Issue
In some cases, the accessibility problem is caused by something that you can control within the plugin settings – like transition speed on a slider, color contrast on a button, or links opening in a new tab. If the problem has a setting associated with it, then you can easily fix it from within your WordPress dashboard. If the problem is only controlled with code, however, and you’re not a developer, you’ll need to find someone to help you make the fix.
Reach Out to the Plugin Developer
If you’re using a free plugin from the WordPress.org directory, you can submit a support request in the support forum for that on WordPress.org. The support forum can be found by:
- Go to the WordPress plugin directory.
- Search for the plugin by name in the search box.
- When the plugin appears, click or follow the link on the plugin image or plugin name to go to the page with more information on the plugin.
- On the plugin page, open the support tab.
- You will have to create or log in with a WordPress.org account to post in the support forum.
- Once you have logged into the support forum, you can create a new topic at the bottom of the page. Make sure to give the developer(s) as much information as possible to make it easier for them to fix the error. Tell them you’re using Accessibility Checker, the error that showed up, and copy/paste the code on your website that caused the error to appear.
Note: your mileage may vary with regards to getting the developer(s) to fix the plugin correctly depending upon their knowledge of accessibility, the age of the plugin, and how much support they are providing for their free plugin. (Some free plugins receive no support.) If the support request goes unanswered, see the sections below for other ways to get your plugin fixed.
As long as you have an active license for a premium plugin, you should be able to fill out a support form and receive support from the plugin developer. You will need to find the correct support form (usually on the plugin’s website) and reach out to the developer, to inform them of the accessibility issue and see if they are willing to make a fix.
If you do not have an active support license for the plugin, either because you are not on a recurring payment plan or because someone else (like the person who built your website) purchased the plugin for you, you will likely need to purchase the plugin again in order to receive support.
Hire an Accessibility Firm
If you contact a plugin developer and find that they are non-responsive, unwilling to make accessibility fixes, or unable to make accessibility fixes, you can hire an accessibility firm or third-party developer to help you.
An accessibility firm or knowledgeable WordPress developer can help resolve accessibility issues caused a plugin. In many cases, accessibility firms or developers are able to add build another plugin or add a fix to your website’s theme that patches the plugin with the accessibility issues. (You cannot edit the files of a plugin directly or the changes will be lost the next time that plugin is updated.)
If you need custom development and accessibility support, Equalize Digital is happy to help. You can request a custom quote for one-time fixes or purchase a priority support package of 2, 4, or 8 hours each month. The International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP) is also a good place to find qualified developers who understand accessibility.
Find an Alternative Plugin
Some plugins may have so many accessibility errors that it is not worth hiring a developer to create a patch because they would essentially have to recode the entire plugin. If this is the case, or if you do not have the budget to hire someone to code a custom solution, you can search for an alternative plugin that performs the same or similar functions to add to your website instead of the one that has the errors.
Ideally, you’ll want to set up a copy of your website on a staging server or local environment that is not visible to the public. In that environment, you can install alternate plugins to test manually and with Accessibility Checker in order to determine if they resolve the issue. If you find one that does not have the accessibility error, then you can configure it on your live site.
Adjust Your Plans for Your Website
It is important to note that sometimes there will not be a solution. Unfortunately, not every developer considers accessibility when building plugins, and some web design practices are truly not accessible no matter how they are coded.
If you are unable to find an accessible plugin, you will either need to have something custom-coded to achieve your goals in an accessible manner or will have to adjust your plans for your website, removing the plugin that caused the error and not replacing it with another one.