The founders of Yoast SEO plugin announced an investment in a WordPress accessibility plugin that scans and reports on accessibility issues and makes it easy to troubleshoot entire websites.
Equalize Digital Accessibility Checker
Making a website accessible is so much more than making sure colors have adequate contrast and images contain alt text.
There are many standards to comply with to make webpages comply with WCAG 2.1 standards.
The Digital Accessibility Checker scans posts and pages for non-compliance and creates a report of the different areas in need of improvement.
The plugin can scan an entire site for accessibility issues.
Error and warning messages are displayed on the edit screens of pages and posts plus a centralized list of errors in need of fixing.
Issues needing a fix can be organized by severity to make it easier to prioritize fixes.
The plugin offers unlimited page scanning with no limits on URLs, even for the free version.
There are no having to wait for a third party to process the URLs and all data stays on the user’s server.
An important feature of the plugin is that there are no front-end scripts to slow down the website experience for site visitors.
“Everybody Should Install This Plugin”
I asked David Ogletree (LinkedIn), Director of Paid Search at search marketing agency WrightIMC, what his thoughts are about the accessibility checker plugin.
As a legally blind person and a digital marketer, I found the Accessibility Checker plugin incredibly user-friendly for identifying WCAG issues on WordPress webpages.
I think everybody should install this plugin to make sure their visually impaired visitors can easily use the website.
It gives a list of problems on a page and a link that explains how to fix them.
Many of the problems found require changes to the theme and other plugins, but this will also help content writers make sure the content they are adding to the website is accessible.”
Add-on for Web Development
I also asked a web development professional, Alex Alexakis (LinkedIn), founder of web development company Pixel Chefs, what his thoughts are on the plugin.
He answered that making sites web accessible is something his company does for clients, particularly for sites in financial verticals.
After taking a look at the plugin he remarked that the features it offers are an incredible time saver and was surprised that so much functionality was offered for free.
“The accessibility checker tool is a great add-on to website development, particularly for ensuring compliance with WCAG 2.1 AA standards before launch.
As a web design and development team, we are aware that we may not be held responsible for accessibility issues that arise from client updates.
Therefore, the plugin interface serves as an excellent resource for notifying the site manager of any accessibility issues that may occur after the site has launched.
This proactive approach allows for prompt resolution of any potential issues, ultimately resulting in improved website accessibility and compliance.”
Alex also noted that achieving web accessibility has a spillover effect for improving SEO. He noted that some of the factors related to accessibility also improve search optimization and help to achieve marketing goals.
“A tool like this, with screenshots and how-to guides, can seriously make your on-page optimization efforts a breeze.
And while you’re crafting that awesome SEO-friendly page, you’re also making it easier for folks with disabilities enjoy the website and become customers, so it’s a win-win for users and site publishers.”
According to the American Federation for the Blind, about 13% of Americans report having trouble seeing and the National Federation of the Blind reports that nearly 3% of American adults are blind.
Blindness is one form of impairment that makes accessing the Internet difficult, there are many others.
The Equalize Digital Accessibility Checker makes it push-button simple to discover, catalog and prioritize accessibility issues in need of a fix.
Emilia Capital Investment
Joost de Valk and Marieke van de Rakt announced pre-seed investment in Equalize Digital Accessibility Checker, an accessibility plugin for WordPress sites.
The publisher of the plugin, Equalize Digital, said that they will use the investment to hire a senior plugin developer and to also develop more accessibility-related content.
The Equalize Digital announcement shared:
“The Equalize Digital leadership team is excited to bring on Emilia Capital as an investor to help accelerate the development and growth of their plugin.
‘This investment will fund the development of critical features to better position Accessibility Checker as a leading accessibility auditing solution,’ said Amber Hinds, CEO.
‘In addition to benefiting from increased capital, we’re excited to be able to work with Joost and Marieke.
From the beginning, we’ve drawn parallels between Accessibility Checker and the Yoast SEO plugin, as both tools have similar goals and challenges.
Joost and Marieke will provide valuable insight to our strategy as we expand the product side of our business.'”
Read the official announcement by Equalize Digital
Download the free version of the plugin from the official WordPress plugin repository:
Read about the features offered by the Accessibility Checker plugin
Featured image by Shutterstock/san4ezz