sensorshipis bad

Two years later.

Source: The HTTP 451 Error Code for Censorship Is Now an Internet Standard

The idealist in me wants to think this will do some good for users. Sensorship is not a good thing, for too many reasons to mention, and since net neutrality is on the chopping block and it’ll only be a matter of time before it’s completely gone, this seems as good a way as any to fight back.

As an aside, being in favor of net neutrality should not be a partisan issue. Users, including those who swallow whatever talking points they’re fed on the subject, especially by those who refer to themselves as conservatives but aren’t really. The only groups who will benefit from a lack of net neutrality are those who are interested in silencing voices. In other words, sensors. And sensors serve no one but themselves, or whoever’s paying their bills.

This post is in response to this one, and you should go read it first before reading the rest of this one.

We’ve probably all heard a phrase that goes something along these lines.

Keep your personal life and problems private and out of your business dealings.

That’s not an exact quote, but it’s definitely a skill that you learn as you go into business. Never show your weaknesses, because they erode client trust. If your clients see that you’re having problems, and that you’re public about them, they’re less likely to work with you. If your clients know that you have any kind of mental illness, or physical illness, they’re afraid it’s going to effect your work, and they’re less likely to hire you.

This is a mindset that has become ingrained within just about every type of business community, and until I became a part of the WordPress community, I thought it was just the rules of the road. Since I joined the WordPress community, I have come to view it as dangerous, destructive, and the ultimate killer of productivity.

I have come to believe that wellness, (shlemah, completeness or complete personal well-being), makes up at least half of what we would consider productivity, and is the first priority over everything else, including skillset or the amount of tasks you complete in a day for a project or projects.

This is hard to admit, because it means that I’ve had to unlearn a whole lot. I’m still not done unlearning, and I’m definitely not done implementing what I’ve relearned. I’m still working on that and trying to figure out the logistics.

But at this point, I believe that nothing is more important than wellness. Not personal glory, not deadlines, not accessibility, not good code, nothing.

It has become a key factor in picking clients or projects. Whether or not a client cares about their own wellness enough isn’t something I have control over. Whether or not I make room in my busy schedule for my own wellness is something I do have control over.

I’m not posting this to preach at anyone so much as for personal accountability. I’m going to need the help of the WordPress community to figure all this out beyond the first step. There will be financial implications to this. To be honest, there’s not enough money to go around in the first place, and I’m pretty certain this is going to effect at least one of my off and on client relationships negatively, and it’s the one that usually pays the most to boot.

Also, I’m going to have to start charging for every piece of accessibility advice I give. As much as I love helping the community achieve accessibility goodness, that comes at a cost to me, and if I help with your theme or plugin, even if you’re giving it away for free, I’ll still have to charge for that help. I’m pretty sure most of you can’t afford my ideal hourly rate of $200 per hour, so I’ll be testing out some lower rates to see what works, as well as testing out some sort of pay-by-the-minute setup. Clarity won’t work for this, as the interface is almost completely unusable for both myself and any other clients who are visually impaired and use a screen reader. So I’ll be building something with Gravity Forms and charging a minimum amount for a minimum amount of minutes.

I’d like to hope that no one in the WordPress community takes this personally. Because trust me, it’s not. And we’re going to need to work together to figure out a rate that this particular market will bear. Most of the money that’s made in the accessibility community is made from Fortune 50 or Fortune 500 companies, and the rates are determined accordingly. This community is obviously not the Fortune 50 or Fortune 500, and yet there needs to be a solution for the little guy or little business who cares deeply about doing the right thing and making their products and software accessible, and yet can’t afford Fortune 50 or Fortune 500 rates for practical advice.

So all of this, I hope, will be a journey we can go on together, hopefully creating something that works for the little guy, gets the right thing done, and makes the world a better place for millions of people.

Now to publish this and see what the fall-out is.

Here’s hoping it doesn’t go completely wrong. 🙂

There’s been some discussion of late around who the typical WordPress user is, and what they can and cannot learn. I’d like to take this discussion in a slightly different direction, because I think that asking what a WordPress user can and cannot learn is the wrong question. In my experience, it comes down to what WordPress users will and won’t learn.

Before I go any further down this path, I’ll point out that this has nothing to do with intelligence. It has to do with frustration on the part of users by a barrier of entry that is perceived to be high. In some cases, it actually is, but in others, it’s a high barrier due to a number of factors, some of which are completely outside WordPress’s control and other factors that are within the control of those who are building the tools meant for average users, both within the WordPress project itself and the surrounding community.

None of the data I have is based on research. It’s only anecdotal, based on my years of teaching blind people how to use their technology, and how to use WordPress in particular, through the Cisco Academy for the Vision Impaired WordPress and CMS Fundamentals course.

This course aims to teach users how to build a basic website with WordPress’s built-in features, along with some plugins recommended based on ease of use with screen readers, and accessibility-ready themes. During its first successful run, some code was covered, but I found that my students could not tolerate the extra work involved in using code to make what they perceived were simple customizations.

For me, the code bit was easy, and I figured that since it was literally “I’m going to give you some things to copy and paste, and tell you where to put them in your theme’s files,” I thought it would be easy for my students too.

It turns out I was wrong, because my students weren’t, and still aren’t, willing to tolerate the extra work involved, no matter how little it actually is.

Having a good understanding of what users will and won’t tolerate when it comes to WordPress and the websites they build with it is critical to the further success of WordPress down the line. If we tell users that WordPress is a piece of cake to use, then it has to be so. We can’t expect that users who are not developers are going to do things like use their browser’s development tools to troubleshoot an issue. By way of illustration, every single support call I take, (and yes, they’re calls, as in on Skype or on the phone, because the type of user I deal with on a regular basis considers user forums too high of a barrier to entry when it comes to getting support), involves me using my developer tools on their site to see if what they’re reporting to me is actually occurring, or to get a better handle on what’s actually going on before I start walking them through how to solve a particular problem.

WordPress can be powerful, or it can be easy. And I think it’s time we pick one of those options. making something powerful means that it has to become more complex. Once it starts becoming more complex, it’s no longer easy. I think that, at least for wordPress, we may need to abandon the “easy” rhetoric. It’s almost always never true, and if we tell users that something is easy to use, and they find out that in their experience it’s not, they become frustrated and move to another platform like Wix or SquareSpace.

And we shouldn’t be a Wix or Squarespace knock-off, we should be WordPress.

I was browsing through Twitter, and came upon an article I thought might be interesting and thought-provoking reading. Ironically, it’s an article about the moral failure of the computer science community. So I open the page, and I’m reminded of why I have no sympathy for, nor can I empathize much with, online advertisers.

It comes down to the fact that almost all of you aggressively scrolljack.

This goes for ads, as well as those trendy newsletter sign-ups that steal cursor focus away from the content you’re promoting and drop it in your sign-up form or advertisement, like I’m suddenly going to want to stop what I’m doing and do what you want me to do: Buy whatever you’re advertising or sign up for your newsletter.

In order to get back to what I was doing in the first place, (reading your content), I have to resort to the following process.

  1. Open the page, press “H” to jump to the headline. Maybe read a couple of lines.
  2. Page refreshes, or some other scrolljacking event happens. Get dropped back to the top of the page.
  3. Press ctrl+f to bring up the find dialog.
  4. Think of a word or phrase which hasn’t occurred multiple times within the content, in order to hit my target on the first shot, and beat the next page refresh or scrolljack.
  5. Read the next couple lines.
  6. Repeat steps 1 through 5 until I either get to the end of the content, or, depending on how long the content is, quit at some point because I’m tired of repeating myself and I’m frustrated and don’t want to fight with the keyboard, the screen reader, and the browser any longer.

It’s stuff like this that makes people install adblockers. Or turn off JavaScript. Or just not visit your sites and read your content at all, and hence, not buy what you’re selling.

I might be able to empathize with online advertisers if I weren’t trading my own sanity in the process.

The worst part of all this is that it has nothing to do with accessibility, but extremely basic user experience. I’d really like to think it comes down to lack of awareness, but I’d have to engage in a hell of a lot of mental gymnastics to do that. So I have no choice but to chalk it up to a lack of concern for users.

And if I can plainly see that you don’t care about the experience of your users when it comes to something as simple as reading your content, what makes you think I’m going to believe you’ll care more after I’ve purchased your product or signed up for your newsletter?

I’ve been patiently waiting all day, and now I’m taking a break from my pile of work to introduce you to WordPress 4.4, Clifford.

WordPress 4.4 “Clifford”

Feature of note: Responsive Image Support

As of WordPress 4.4, responsive image support is now part of core. Here’s how it works.

If you’re using the the Responsive Images Community Group’s feature plugin, you’ll already be familiar with how WordPress 4.4’s new responsive images support works. That’s because this plugin has been merged into core and, (along with several helper functions and filters for developers to use), is the new responsive images feature. So sites like this beauty lovingly crafted by Prime Access Consulting will continue to enjoy the support for responsive images they’ve always had, except with one less plugin. For sites not running this plugin already, all you’ll need to do is install the Regenerate Thumbnails plugin, because you’ll need to generate the missing medium-large size for all your images. You’ll only need to do this once, and from that point onward, you can uninstall the plugin and rely on WordPress’s automatic handling of your image sizes.

If you’re a user who’s not a developer, or a user who is a developer but doesn’t have the time to dive into all the new responsive images goodness, you can learn how to use WordPress’s new responsive images functionality by reading this post.

And if you are a developer who’s interested in diving into all WordPress has to offer with regard to responsive images, you can learn all about it by reading this post.

Responsive Images in WordPress 4.4

There are, of course, more amazing user-specific and developer-specific features in WordPress 4.4, but this post is getting long and I really have to get back to work. So you can find out more about what WordPress 4.4 has to offer from this post by Brian Krogsgard.

I really do hope you enjoy using WordPress 4.4. I’ve had a ball contributing to it via the WordPress Accessibility Team, and although my name’s not in the credits, (one day soon I will haz the props), I’ll be celebrating with the rest of the WordPress community. Just after I finish all this work. 😛

Over the years, web users of all skill levels have embraced the WordPress platform for its simple user interface, clean aesthetic and customizable design options. The simplicity of WordPress was especially attractive to less-experienced users in its early days. WordPress’s creators set out to democratize publishing by equipping its users with intuitive tools and attractive templates that would permit even the novice blogger to set up and maintain a beautiful website.

However, as WordPress’s feature set has evolved, and as WordPress has entered and become the largest player in the content management system space, the users who first adopted it because of its ease of use are finding that it is no longer easy to use.

WordPress is no longer the simple blogging platform it bagan as. It now runs twenty-five percent of the web, and everyone from bloggers to large enterprises is using it to power their web presence, and, in some cases, their native applications.

As a result, it is difficult for small businesses, who may need more features than the typical SquareSpace or Wicks can provide, but who don’t need WordPress in all its powerful glory, to make sense of everything they’re presented with when they first set up WordPress.

GoDaddy aims to solve this problem by providing a pared-down version of the WordPress administration screens that provide only the features that small businesses and online store owners will find useful.

I have no idea what this is going to mean for the accessibility of the service, or if accessibility has even been considered. I also have no idea how much of the accessibility work that has gone into the WordPress backend has been taken out with these customizations. But it will be interesting to watch how this pans out. WP Easy Mode is only in its first iteration, and GoDaddy is promising that more is yet to come. Let’s hope that accessibility is still in the mix.

Time and time again, as professionals, we’re told by other professionals that we need to have an elevator pitch. We’re told that elevator pitches will help us let our potential clients know what we do. And we’re told that we’ll gain more clients if we can just sum up everything we do into a well-crafted pitch.

The trouble is, nobody likes pitches. Nobody likes being blatantly sold to. Nobody likes being bombarded with industry-specific buzzwords.

When someone asks what you do, they’re not looking for a formulaic response. They want to hear about how you can solve their problems. They want to hear about how what you’re selling can truly benefit them. They want to know whether or not what you’re selling is relevant to the problems they’re trying to solve. In other words, they want a message tailored to their particular situation, not a canned response.

When a prospect asks you “What do you do,” they want to know that you get it. Really get it.

So if elevator pitches are so bad, what should you do instead?

Wait for it …

You should have a conversation with your prospect.

Prospects are people, and they have needs. If you as a business person treat a prospect as though they’re nothing more than a source of income, or a stepping stone on some sort of ladder to success, then you don’t deserve their custom. And by hitting them with an elevator pitch, that’s exactly what you’re doing.

By using an elevator pitch as opposed to a conversation that involves back-and-forth and a whole lot of listening, you’re treating your prospect like a one-night stand. You’re telling your prospect that they have no more value.

And if your prospect sees that you don’t value them, they’ll return the favor.

If you don’t value them, then they won’t value you. And that means they won’t be your client. They’ll have no interest in taking your relationship any further than that networking event or converence.

So the next time you’re tempted to spout off an elevator pitch, try striking up a conversation instead. Spend some time listening and answering questions so you can determine what your prospect’s needs are. Then, you can determine whether or not you can serve their needs. You might not land that particular client right now, but by having a conversation instead of delivering a pitch, you’re opening the door to a relationship which will bear fruit down the road. And you’ll develop a reputation for not being a sleezy salesperson while still selling. Everybody wins.

When I was at WordCamp Tokyo, I was reminded of the power of a thank you and how it makes Open Source better.

Source: Say Thank You Publicly and Be a Better Coder

Mika’s post is the second one I’ve seen in the last few days lauding thankfulness as a virtue worth emulating, and which I’ve also taken seriously. Here’s the other one.

what I think both of these posts are getting at, even if they don’t mention it, is that “thank you” is part of being a good professional. It opens doors, and it lets others know your door is open. It also gets a lot done. Because while pay is important, it’s not, or shouldn’t be priority number one.

So if you’re a developer working with a designer, or vice versa, say thank you early and often. If you’ve hired someone to help with the accessibility of your website, whether free or paid, say thank you early and often. If you’ve hired someone to help you with your WordPress troubles, say thank you early and often. Because no matter how much you’re paying, thanks or the lack thereof will make the difference between whether or not you receive any help or guidance in the future. And if you’re not receiving guidance or help, you’re going to be traveling a very lonely road.

One of the greatest things about WordPress is that it has a very low barrier to entry. If you’re just starting out on the web, you have the ability to stand up a website with very little work. But that’s also one of its greatest drawbacks.

I’m not saying that someone should have to be a code wiz to create a personal blog to jot down their thoughts. But the flood of WYSIWYG warriors turned developers that has saturated the WordPress space is depressing.

Using a drag-and-drop page builder to create websites is not development.

Buying a stock theme, especially from ThemeForest, throwing it up on a web server with WordPress and making some configuration changes to create a website is not development.

I’m not saying there isn’t a place for this sort of thing. there’s definitely a market for websites with zero customization necessary, and I believe they should be priced appropriately. But if you’re using one of these solutions to create websites, please don’t call yourself a developer.

First, it gives actual developers a bad name, especially when things break spectacularly down the line. And depending on the drag-and-drop solution used, things definitely will break. There’s only so far you can push drag-and-drop solutions until you get to the end of the line, and that line’s not very long.

And while I’m on the subject, could those of you in the WordPress space who create and sell these kinds of solutions please quit selling them as “Create amazing websites in minutes with no code required?” You’re cheapening WordPress, and web development as a whole, by doing this. That pitch also creates very low user expectations, which developers then have to manage.

I’m not saying you can’t offer any services whatsoever. there’s plenty of room for people who can put together simple websites for clients. You can even charge for it. But unless you are actually writing code that changes the way WordPress functions, either through a plugin or a theme, and you know what goes where in regard to plugins and themes, please don’t call yourself a developer.

Don’t call yourself a developer unti you’re familiar with how WordPress works inside and out, how it interacts with plugins and themes, and how it interacts with the rest of your stack. There are books that will help you get to that point, including WordPress: Professional Design and Development, and WordPress: Professional Plugin Development, both by Brad Williams.

Don’t call yourself a developer until you have at least working familiarity with how the rest of your stack works. There are books for that too. If you don’t like books, there are plenty of free resources online for both of these subjects.

And finally, don’t call yourself a developer until you’ve learned HTML, CSS, and then PHP, JavaScript, or some other scripting or programming language. HTML and CSS are the foundations of the web, and are built-upon in a lot of ways by the scripting and programming languages designed for the web.

Once you’ve learned all this, then you can call yourself a developer and offer the appropriate services along with implementation services and whatever else fits your skillset. But you do a disservice to yourself, your clients and the WordPress and web development communities by billing yourself as a developer when you’re not.


Web Savvy Marketing has taken things a couple steps further, and discontinued lifetime support for individually-purchased themes, along with restricting their all-themes icense to known developers. Instead of purchasing that license through their theme store, you’ll need to fill out the contact form and make an inquiry to purchase Web Savvy Marketing’s all-themes package.

As of yesterday, StudioPress, the makers of the Genesis Framework, are now including all third-party themes sold through their website in their StudioPress Pro Plus All-Theme Package. This means that, if you’ve already purchased the package, you’ now start receiving access to the third-party themes, along with any new child theme from StudioPress plus the lifetime support. If you haven’t already purchased the package, and you’re building websites, now would be a good time to do so.

For the next week, you can get the StudioPress Pro Plus All-Theme Package, valued at north of $1,400, for $350 U.S. If you’ve purchased any StudioPress theme in the past, you’ll get a further twenty-five percent discount, which drops the price to $262.46 U.S.

As long as you buy within the next week, you’ll also receive unlimited support. StudioPress is killing that off at the end of the year, and will, after that point, be placing limits on the support they offer.

I can’t say for certain whether or not lifetime unlimited support will disappear for those who purchase the Genesis Framework and a single child theme, but I suspect it will. It wouldn’t make sense for StudioPress to kill lifetime support for just their all-themes package.

This news makes me wonder if the days of lifetime support for themes in the WordPress space is coming to an end. Themes have been a commodity for a while now, and I’d like to believe this could be changing. StudioPress tends to set trends, and I don’t think I’m off the mark in saying that other theme shops tend to follow suit.

So if you’re a smaller WordPress shop and you use Genesis, or have thought about doing so for your clients, seriously, Go get the StudioPress Pro Plus All-Theme Package.

As of today, WordPress has achieved twenty-five percent marketshare. That means one out of every four websites is now powered by WordPress, and that’s not including the sites hosted at

This makes me personally and professionally proud. I’ve been a very outspoken supporter of WordPress ever since I accidentally encountered it back in 2005, and will continue to be so for the foreseeable future. It has provided me with benefits too numerous to count in both the personal and professional spheres, and I enjoy contributing to it as part of its accessibility team.

I like to think that, as WordPress’s marketshare grows, the potential for an accessible web grows. We’re not there yet in terms of WordPress accessibility. There’s still quite a bit of work to do on the project itself, and there’s still much more work to do when it comes to convincing the community of WordPress service providers that accessibility isn’t just an optional feature.

We’re getting closer though, and with each release, it becomes easier and easier to both build accessible websites with WordPress and to use WordPress with assistive technology. With WordPress venturing into the application framework space, it’s also becoming a less-daunting undertaking to build accessible applications, especially as alternatives to the popular applications which aren’t yet accessible and will likely not become so in the near future without a lot of effort.

So congratulations WordPress, (both the project and its surrounding community), for conquering the first twenty-five percent of the web. Fifty percent is now that much closer.

One of the best features of WordPress for content creators is its drafts feature. Drafts gives you a way to start a post, and if you can’t finish it at the time you started writing it, you can always come back to it later. But what if you’re like me and you have a ton of drafts that have piled up?

Dust them off

If you’re participating in any kind of blogging or writing challenge, or even if you’re just trying to increase your posting frequency, those abandoned drafts are a great place to start.

You’ll find ideas you forgot about

I like to say that my draft posts are where all my better ideas live. I usually sit down, start working on something, and then save it for later, only to forget it’s even there. Some of them are almost complete, and need a conclusion, or some editing, and others are in scratch-pad form. But they all contain the nucleus of an idea or tutorial I thought would make a great resource at the time of writing. If you find yourself in the same position, before you start thinking of and drafting new posts, take a look back through your already-existing drafts and see what you’ve got there first.

Purge when necessary

While you’re in there, go through what you’ve already got and decide what’s worth keeping and reviving and what needs to be thrown away. If you move one of your drafts to the trash, and you decide later that you want to keep it, you can always restore it to your drafts, as long as it’s within the first thirty days of the move to the trash.

The deciding factor for me is whether or not the draft has some body text. Often, I’ll start writing, give the post a title, and then abandon it. So when I’m going through my drafts as I do periodically, if I find bodiless drafts, those are usually the ones that I discard. Anything else will get a closer look.

Consider your editorial calendar

You may find that you’ll have an easier time finishing your draft posts if you spend some time determining where they fit in your editorial calendar. If you don’t have an editorial calendar, and you plan on writing a lot, you should consider creating one. If you already have one, and you’re either sticking to it already or you want to start, determine where your drafts fit in that calendar, and then, based on when you publish certain kinds of content, set yourself a deadline to finish each type of draft by the next time you’re supposed to publish that particular kind of content. If you’ve got a lot of drafts that you’ve decided are worth keeping, this will make the culling less daunting.

Your draft posts can be an excellent place to find ideas when you’re dealing with writer’s block, and they can also be time savers. When it’s time to write new content for your site, look there first. You may find that you’ll save yourself some time, because you’ve already got material to work with.

For those of us who used to post to LiveJournal back in the day, a client called Semagic provided the perfect non-cluttered and accessible interface. Well, it turns out that you can also use Semagic to post to a self-hosted WordPress blog. Since the question came up again yesterday, I decided to do a little research and put together this tutorial. There are some caveats, and I’ll detail those below along with instructions for configuring the client. But overall, I think this will help those who loved this client and would like a simplified, accessible way to post to WordPress.

First, the caveats

In order to use Semagic, you’re going to have to use XMLRPC. This has risks, and you definitely need to make sure you’re staying on top of WordPress updates. You have the ability to post via SSL, so if your blog is behind an SSL cert, you’ll need to take that into account. Next, the latest version of Semagic you can get is 7.9.9, which works on Windows 7, XP and 2K. It may work under windows 8, but I can’t be certain of that. Try it, but if it breaks, you keep both pieces.

No Fetching For You

Semagic will not fetch your WordPress categories on the fly. This is because XMLRPC only supports posting, and not getting. The simplest way around this is to create a category for your Semagic posts and make it the default category. Then, log into WordPress and edit the category and tags for the post and update. While we’re on the subject of fetching, Semagic will also not allow you to fetch your draft posts.

No Post Formats For You

Finally, Semagic does not support WordPress’s Post Formats feature, which is one that I’m a fan of and use extensively on my personal blog. But if you’re not using Post Formats, (by “not using,” I mean your theme does not have support for them), using Semagic is a quick and dirty way to get posts up.

Now that we’re done with all that, time for the fun.

Download Semagic

First, you’ll need to download Semagic if you don’t already have the latest version.Once it’s downloaded, install it. Optionally, you can install other spell check dictionaries than English or Russian, so if you need to spell check in another language, get the dictionaries you need.

When you first run Semagic, you’ll get a login prompt. Go ahead and enter your WordPress username and password, but don’t log in yet. After you enter your information, press alt and then arrow down until you find “server settings.” Press enter on that. In the API box, choose “metaweblog API.” Then, enter your website’s address exactly as it appears. If it includes the www, enter that along with the domain name. If it doesn’t, don’t enter www. In either case, don’t enter the http or https.

Next, you need to set a path. Your path will be something like If your blog is installed in a subdirectory, it will be /directory/xmlrpc.php (where directory is the name of the directory your blog is installed in).

If you haven’t already done so, make sure your username and password is correct. You’ll see these fields while editing your server settings. Then press OK, and you’ll be brought back to the login screen. Tab until you get to the login button and press that. If you want Semagic to automatically log in to your WordPress site, go ahead and check that box.

Uploading Pictures to your WordPress Media Library

To upload pictures you’ve inserted in your posts to your WordPress media library, while in the Semagic main screen, press alt and navigate to the “pictures” sub menu. Within that sub menu, choose “select server.” A new dialog will open, and in that dialog, choose “meta weblog API.” Then, press OK. This will allow Semagic to upload your pictures from your post to your WordPress Media Library, and then insert them appropriately in your post.

Semagic is not the most elegant way to add content to a WordPress blog. It does, however, provide an uncluttered interface, and will save you from having to use the built-in WordPress editor. I find the post editor easy to use, but that’s because I’ve been eating, sleeping and drinking WordPress for the last ten years. Some, however, find the editor a little too much to handle. If you’re one of those people, using Semagic to post to your WordPress blog might be a solution.

Have fun, and happy posting.

So you’ve started using the alt attribute when you add images to WordPress posts.

You’ve even made it a point to make sure your alt text is meaningful.

Very, very awesome.

But there’s something else you need to keep in mind when coding your alt attributes, and that’s making sure you don’t add line breaks when coding.

Why does it matter whether or not I add line breaks?

It matters for a couple of reasons. First, with a screen reader, the reading of alt text stops at the end of the line. When you resume reading, the object role (in this case “graphic”) is announced at the start of each new line.

If you’d like to see a textual and code representation of what this looks like to screen reader users, Steve Faulkner has written it up for you.

When adding the alt attribute to images using WordPress, as long as you’re using the media editor, adding line breaks is not easy to do unless you’re a coder and you add the HTML directly to the box for the alt attribute. Coding it manually is a completely different story.

Why add line breaks in the first place?

It’s my opinion, (and I could be completely wrong about this), that some add line breaks to their alt attributes for stylistic reasons. They want to add text that’s meaningful, but they also want to make sure that text doesn’t look out of place on the front end, assuming the image isn’t being displayed and the text is then visible. So they add line breaks to keep things tidy.

One way you can avoid having to do this is to make sure that your alt text is not only meaningful, but as short as possible. There’s no set limit on the number of characters the alt attribute can hold, but think of it as Twitter for images.

With Twitter, there’s a character limit imposed. So you have to say what you want in as few characters as possible. Treat your alt attributes the same way. Make sure the text is meaningful, but try to keep it as short as possible. The less verbose, the better.

None of this is a hard and fast rule. HTML is extremely forgiving, and it won’t warn you if your alt text is too long. But by making it a point to keep it short, meaningful and to the point, you’ll make those of us who read your sites with screen readers a lot happier.

In this post, I’ll show you how a blind person inserts media into a WordPress post while using a screen reader. In this example, I’ve inserted some audio, but this also applies to other media such as images or video.

For screen reader users, there’s a quick audio tutorial that you can use to start inserting media if you’re not doing so already.

In this scenario, I’m uploading media, not choosing from what’s already in my media library.

First, open the media panel

Below the field labeled “enter title here,” I find a link that says “add media.” I press space on that.

Next, I move down to the bottom of the screen by pressing ctrl+end. There, I find the “browse” button.

Because I want to upload media from my computer, I press enter or space on that.

A standard “choose file” dialog will open. I use standard controls/methods to find the file I want to upload from my own computer, and then tab to the “open” button and press enter or space on that.

Now, insert the media.

Next, I’ll insert the media I’ve just uploaded. To do this, I first make sure the window is maximized.

Next, I orient myself by returning to the bottom of the screen.

Then, I arrow up until I find the “insert media” link, and press space on that.

If my screen reader starts babbling at me, I know my media is inserted.

Tomorrow, I’ll show you how I work with what I like to refer to as the finer details of media.

In this talk, Jennifer Bourn of Bourn Creative, breaks down the process she uses to plan and create content for the Bourn Creative blog.

She shows you how to create content that attracts clients, and how to use your internal processes to create content that can then be used on your blog so that you’re not constantly having to reinvent the wheel.


Think it’s the lack of advanced techniques that’s been holding you back?

Think your blog isn’t finding readers because you don’t have the coolest plugins?

Or that your sales page doesn’t convert because you couldn’t afford the 1,999 Secrets of Ninja Marketing Masters product that got released last month?

Think the secret to successful marketing and running a profitable online business is some piece of Jedi mastery that you would need to study for years to learn?

It’s none of the above.

The problem has to do with getting back to basics.

Fortunately, Copyblogger has done all the work for you and written this handy guide.

Warning: Work Ahead

Implementing the steps in this guide is going to take a lot of work at first.

either it’s going to take a lot of work because you’re new at this and it all seems foreign, or it’s going to take a lot of work because you’ll have to spend time unlearning everything you’ve picked up over the years from all the “systems” you’ve spent tons of cash on.

No matter which angle you’re coming from, this is not a get-rich-quick scheme.

But everything in this guide is totally worth the effort.

So go learn, and implement all the things.

This talk, once again from Loopconf, is required watching not only for WordPress developers, but anyone who develops for, or writes content for, the modern web. A responsive web is a responsible web, and also an accessible web. Lastly, and I think most importantly, accessibility is everyone’s responsibility.

In the first live edition of "Ask Me Anything", going forward, to be referred to as "WPAMA", Michael from Evansville Indiana asks Amanda how to prevent crowding and overlapping of text, proper use of images, and optimizing the areas of a site built with WordPress, i.e., header right, navigation bar, footer area, etc. Amanda answers these questions in addition to explaining the return to minimalism, why sliders suck, and how site design changes almost yearly, just like fashion trends. But perhaps most useful, her suggestions for reaching out to the very helpful WordPress community to ask for help, especially for us blind implementers and designers who need to find those possessing the skills to provide greater attention to detail. This informative eight minute audio segment should provide something for everyone to take away to make your sites become even more cosmetic appealing, but most of all, highly functional and user friendly.

See Original Post: Ask Me Anything – Live Wednesdays at 8PM Eastern – Twitter HashTag #WPAMA