The providers of the Conductor plugin have compiled an extensive guide to developing with WordPress. There are links to free and paid tutorials, as well as podcasts and books, and they are accepting submissions to the guide through comments to the post. The guide highlights best practices and is pretty thorough so far. If you have development resources, free or paid, why not go over there and add them? I have not checked to make sure all of the listings are accessible, specifically the paid ones, and I do not think the books are available on Bookshare. Most of them are, however, available on Kindle, which you can use accessibly if you have an iPhone, iPad, or iPod current model. The guide is an excellent resource whether you’re just getting started with development or have any level of experience in that area. It’s definitely worth adding to your bookmarks/favorites if you’re interested in development for WordPress in any way, whether that be for themes, plugins, or core code.
CloudFlare a href=””>announced on their blog today that they have started offering free SSL to all of their customers, both free and paid. There’s a lot of detail in that post, but the roll-out promises to be quick for everyone, within twenty-four hours. This is clourFlare’s contribution to a completely secure web. They’re hoping that their example will influence other providers to start offering SSL for free. We’ll see how this develops and what kind of influence CloudFlare has on the hosting/CDN industries. I’m completely in favor of a secure web and am glad that CloudFlare is making SSL accessible to a lot more people who might otherwise avoid it due to cost and/or difficulty in setting it up. This wouldn’t have happened if Google weren’t behind the SSL push. I can’t help but think of what could happen if Google got behind accessibility in a serious way like they are with SSL.
No one wakes up in the morning and says “You know what? I think it would be great if a very large subset of the web-using public couldn’t use my website”. Or web application. Pick your poison for the last word in that sentence. Nonetheless, accessibility often is last in line when it comes to project priorities. The Section 508 Refresh is right around the corner and with it, the expectation to make all government web properties compliant to WCAG 2.0 AA. For most organizations, this is nothing short of a nightmare. But does it really need to be? Accessibility requirements challenge development practices and jeopardize a project’s profitability. As accessibility affects every contributor, it is not advisable to base its liability on a single person’s shoulders. Sharing responsibilities between different specialists is the key to making accessibility happen. What if the only things an organization needed were a blueprint, a strategy and the right mindset? The slides below, delivered by Denis Boudreau at this year’s Accessibility Camp Terronto demonstrate the piitfalls of allowing accessibility to be the responsibility of one person, and also how to make the job of compliance easier for businesses.

Since I live in WordPress, I’ve heard about Easy Digital Downloads by Pippin Williamson a lot. He’s a prolific plugin author who contributes in a huge way to the WordPress community with both his plugins and the tutorials he writes, both for free and cost.

I’ve been pondering the idea of putting together some guides for WordPress that focus on performing tasks with accessibility in mind. I will still publish free tutorials on this site, but would also like to write more in-depth material.

So I took Easy Digital Downloads for a spin yesterday. I wrote a plugin that I thought would be useful and put up a post about it. As part of the work for that post, I tested Easy Digital Downloads.

The documentation promises that it’s easy. It is indeed that. But what pleasantly surprised me is that along with the ease comes accessibility. I was able to configure every option using a screen reader for the plugin, and I didn’t have to perform any crazy maneuvers to get it working. Given everything the plugin can do, I was a little worried that accessibility would have been compromised. I’m glad that I found that not to be the case.

If you’re a blind businessperson selling products that are digital, like music or ebooks, and you’re also running WordPress, give Easy Digital Downloads a spin.

Thanks Pippin. This is how you do accessible user experience. I’ll be buying extensions.

JavaScript: The Right Way is a guide intended to introduce new developers to JavaScript and help experienced developers learn more about its best practices. It is a project hosted on GitHub that gathers together tutorials, tips and tricks that show both beginners and seasoned developers the best way to write their code so they can get things done.

It can also be used as a free JavaScript course, because it starts at the beginning. It doesn’t cover everything yet, but because it’s hosted on GitHub, that means that multiple people can contribute. Content version control in action.

You can find the tutorial here, and of course add it to your bookmarks if you want to consume it.