Creating Accessible WordPress Forms

In the United States, 26% of adults have some form of disability, according to the CDC. Failing to make your website accessible to those with visual or cognitive impairments can result in lost traffic, poor SEO rankings, and even legal disputes. This is why it’s important to create accessible web forms for WordPress.

Website accessibility means that websites, tools, and technologies are designed and developed so that people with disabilities can use them. Accessibility involves implementing a set of best practices in order to make your site usable by people with visual impairments who use screen readers, people with mobility issues who navigate sites with the keyboard, people with cognitive impairments, people who are color blind, people relying on voice search, people who don’t speak English as a first language and use translation services, and people with temporary conditions like a broken arm who need to enter information using keystrokes.

Forms represent one of the biggest accessibility challenges as they can be difficult to navigate and confusing to fill out. Therefore, it’s critical to ensure that your forms are accessible to those with disabilities. Here are some of the most important reasons to optimize your web forms for overall WordPress accessibility:

Avoid Legal Disputes: Accessibility may soon be a legal requirement for your website as more and more states begin implementing web accessibility mandates. This has been driven by lawsuits against well-known brands filed under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Increase Your Revenue: Apart from the legal requirements, accessibility can help boost your revenue. For example, the results of the 2019 British Click-Away Pound survey found that a large percentage of users with a disability leave websites due to accessibility issues, taking with them over $17 billion in potential spending.

Improve the User Experience: Following accessibility best practices can help to make your website easier to navigate and easier to read. Accessibility changes help to improve the user experience for all visitors to your website, not just those with disabilities.

Boost Your SEO: Paying careful attention to your website’s structure and making pages easier to navigate can give your site an SEO boost by making it easier for search engines to crawl. Furthermore, adding descriptive “alternative text” to your images, called alt tags, is crucial for both visually impaired individuals and search engines when it comes to understanding your content.

Attract a Larger Audience: According to statistics from the European Commission, the United Nations, and other organizations, it’s safe to assume that around 20% of the world’s population has some form of disability. Considering this, implementing accessibility best practices can help you attract more customers.

To create accessible forms for your WordPress website, follow these guidelines:

Use a Form Plugin Built for Accessibility: Use a WordPress form plugin that already includes accessibility features. When it comes to accessible forms, one of the best plugins out there is Gravity Forms. Gravity Forms is fully committed to accessibility and includes a host of important features to help you build accessible forms that achieve WCAG 2.1 AA compliance, the global standard.

Inform Users on What to Expect: Make sure your forms are easy to scan and have clear instructions for each field. If users find your forms confusing, they may leave your site in frustration. If you have a form with multiple steps, it’s important to let users know what stage they’re at and how many steps are left.

Field Labels and Descriptions: Make sure your labels are meaningful and tell the user what they need to fill out. For the best accessibility settings, place your labels above the field inputs where they are clearly visible and don’t include HTML or links as this can confuse screen readers.

Color Contrast: The colors used on your website are an important accessibility factor. Color contrast refers to the difference in light between the font in the foreground and the color of the background. Poorly chosen colors for your forms can make them difficult for people to read, especially those with visual impairments.

Conditional Logic: If your forms contain conditional logic, ensure it doesn’t have an impact on accessibility. For example, never use conditional logic to hide the “Submit” button.

reCAPTCHAs: Although CAPTCHAs and reCAPTCHAs may be an important part of your anti-spam strategy, they are a nightmare when it comes to accessibility. Instead of CAPTCHAs, use alternatives such as honeypot fields or privacy-focused spam plugins that don’t impact the user experience.

Error Messages: Ensure that error messages are actionable and clearly written. Your error messages should give feedback on errors or omissions and explain how to correct them.

Keyboard Navigation: Ensure your forms are navigable using the tab key only. This includes closing error messages and going back to previous steps.

Robust HTML Markup: Use correct HTML as this is what screen readers use when relaying information. For example, labels should use the


Web accessibility is the practice of making your website usable by people with both physical and cognitive disabilities. Forms are one of the most important aspects of a website as they provide a bridge between you and your customers. Taking the time to build accessible forms can help you reach a larger audience, boost your SEO, and improve the overall user experience for visitors that land on your website.

Stay in Touch


Related Articles