Accessible Links

New Add Link Function

In WordPress 4.2 in the Visual editing tab there is a new way to add a link. Go to a web page you want to link to and copy the URL. Come back to the Visual editing tab and select the text you want the link name to be. Paste the URL over the selected text. You have a link. And that brings us to the first challenge with links: selecting enough text for the link name so that it will make sense in an isolated list of links.

Read More

In WordPress there is often a “read more” link when posts jump to another page. It doesn’t take any extra effort to make that link name useful by adding the post name which can be done using the WP Accessible plugin. Screen reader users in particular need a bit more description than “read more” in the link name. They have the ability to generate speparate lists of links, headings, and other items on the page. If you are scanning a list of links and 5 of them are named “read more” which one do you choose? With enough description in the link name everyone can make enough sense of the link name so they’ll know whether to invoke the link or not.

Document Links

If you want to create a link to a document you must first upload the document to the Media Library. When you have uploaded the file to the media library you will be able to find the Attachment Display Settings and copy the URL. Make your link text say something like My References (doc, 1.2MB). Create a link and paste in the URL. I always add the document type and file size to allow an informed choice. Think about this: AOL still makes most of their revenue from dial-up accounts. Not everyone is in a situation where they can handle the file type, some have a restricted data plan, and dial-up connections can be very slow. WordPress itself does not handle all file types. For instance, an .rtf file cannot be uploaded to the media library. The Codex contains a list of file types that WordPress does handle.