“These themes are hand-picked for their outstanding design quality, features, and customer reviews.”
Somewhere along the way, we lost track of accessibility on the web.
The truth is that the web is natively accessible, but we broke it.
Plan HTML pages are fully accessible and load lightning-fast, but over the years, web developers & designers have piled on CSS and JS until websites became slow and inaccessible.
Luckily, that phase is over.
Developers are paying more attention now than ever to both performance and accessibility.
While accessibility is still gaining traction in WordPress theme design, there are quite a few options to choose from these days.
Below you’ll find some of the top themes for building an accessible website, whether it’s a blog, eCommerce site, or municipality web portal.
Accessible WordPress themes
Because Compete Themes has paid special attention to accessibility in theme design, I’ve included three of our own themes in this collection. Each of these themes has passed an expert review under the WordPress Theme Review Team’s accessibility guidelines
Regardless of the developer, each theme listed here has received great ratings from its users, is mobile-friendly, and works with the latest versions of WordPress.
Here are my top picks for best accessible WordPress themes for 2021.
1. Period by Compete Themes
Period is a free and responsive WordPress theme for blogs, small businesses, and educational institutions. With a material design inspired aesthetic, this theme has a modern style that will look great for years to come.
The menu is fully keyboard accessible, and contrast levels for text are kept well above the required 4.5:1 ratio. This theme passes WCAG 2.0 AA standards out-of-box, and on wordpress.org, Period is given the “accessibility-ready” tag. This tag is basically a reminder to users that while all design elements in Period pass accessibility standards, it’s up to the user to make sure their content is accessible to their site to maintain its accessibility.
Period comes with a handful of essential customization options. These include social profile icons, a custom logo uploader, a search bar, and two different layouts (left and right sidebar). For greater flexibility and customizability, there is the Period Pro upgrade.
2. Founder by Compete Themes
If you want a simple, minimalist theme for a blog, you can’t beat Founder. This single-column blog theme cuts out all the frills and leaves nothing but the essential components.
Founder keeps visitor attention focused on what matters most: your writing with fewer elements on the page. While it could be used for a multi-author blog, this WP theme works best for authors who want to build a personal brand with their writing.
Founder is extremely easy to set up on your WordPress site and includes a few key customization tools. Choose to display excerpts or complete posts on the homepage, add a search bar to the header, upload your own logo, and add social media icons for your profiles. Founder is coded following WP best practices, so it is compatible with thousands of plugins found on wordpress.org for further customization.
3. Morning by Compete Themes
Morning is a simple, accessible WordPress theme. It has a minimalist style that provides lots of space and precise typography use to create a sophisticated vibe.
The Morning theme balances text and media well, so it will work great for a site that uses images and video just as much as click-worthy headlines. Morning is an Apex (also accessible) child theme, inheriting many of the same styles and all of the same customization options.
Morning’s personalization settings include full posts VS post excerpts on the blog, social icons, custom logos, and more. It’s also compatible with the Apex Pro plugin, which adds many more customization tools like custom colors, new layouts, and hundreds of fonts.
4. Icelander by Webman Design (Themeforest)
Icelander is a premium, accessible WordPress theme made for businesses. With an assortment of templates and layouts available, this multipurpose theme could be used for various websites.
You’ll notice that the homepage has quite a few distinct sections, and that’s because this theme is made to be used with the Beaver Builder plugin. You’ll be able to create completely custom layouts using the page building plugin along with the already very customizable Icelander theme.
While Icelander shines as a theme for businesses with accessibility requirements, it can work great for blogs too. The post designs are beautiful and also provide a lot of flexibility in terms of layout. As a bonus, Icelander even integrates with WooCommerce for including an eCommerce store.
5. Eimear by Webman Design (Themeforest)
Finding an accessible theme is hard, but finding an accessible eCommerce theme is even harder. The Webman Design team has made all of Themeforest’s top accessible themes and brought their talents to the eCommerce niche with Eimear. It makes online shopping completely accessible while bringing a sophisticated and professional style to the page.
What’s really exciting about Eimear is that it doesn’t require a page builder. All of the unique and interesting layouts you see in the demo sites (and screenshot above) are powered by the WordPress block editor. Not many themes have embraced the editor to this degree, but it is sure to be a popular trend in themes moving forward.
The Eimear theme has thumbnail sizing and numerous product layouts to help you showcase your items. All of these elements and layouts are fully accessible following the WCAG 2.1 AA guidelines.
6. TownPress by LSVR Themes (Themeforest)
What stands out immediately about this template is the dynamic, three-column design. It’s perfect for institutions that have a wealth of information to share with visitors. If used smartly, this theme can make navigation extremely effective for your visitors. TownPress includes various custom widgets you can add to the sidebars to include whatever content you need. Since these are fully functional widget areas, you can also add widgets provided by WP and plugins you install on the site.
If you already know how to use Elementor or the WPBakery page builder, you’ll appreciate that TownPress is compatible with both as well as the built-in WordPress Gutenberg editor. It’s also fully translatable, so it can be used in any language and includes RTL support for right-to-left-languages.
7. Monument Valley by Webman Design (Themeforest)
Monument Valley is a cool theme for business portfolio sites but has a special emphasis on eCommerce. It’s fully compatible with the popular WooCommerce plugin, and all of the store layouts are designed for accessibility.
This creatively designed theme has a great set of templates. Publish a blog, add pages about your organization, and publish filterable portfolio galleries alongside your eCommerce store. It’s also compatible with every page builder, including Beaver Builder, Visual Composer, and Elementor.
Monument Valley has been well-received by customers on Themeforest and has garnered many five star reviews. In fact, its average rating is 4.81/5, which is quite impressive.
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Which accessible theme is best for you?
We’ve made a variety of free WordPress themes that have passed the WordPress Theme Review Team’s accessibility standards.
Icelander is a premium theme on Themeforest and is one the top accessible themes on the marketplace. You might like it for its advanced customization features.
Thanks for browsing this list of the best accessible WordPress themes. I hope it helps you to build an awesome new website.
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Ben Sibley, Compete Themes founder