WordPress has this handy theme review handbook. On my quest to learning about accessibility, the requirements in this handbook seemed the next logical step. Since accessible links have been an overwhelming topic for me, learning requirements first give me a head start in addition to learning about making links accessible via context.
The handbook has three required rules for accessible links:
We’ll go over all three in this post. This post is on the lengthy side, but it’s all pretty easy to pick up. What’s difficult is making these techniques a habit in your everyday coding. That, I think, is what takes practice. This post also assumes you’re familiar with basic Css and comfortable with minor edits in theme template files.
I confess. I reached a point in my learning accessibility journey that I became overwhelmed by how much there is to learn. My intention was to start a few posts about links, but there is just so much about accessible links, I didn’t even know where to start. I became discouraged.
Here I am again though, and I’m back on it! I’ve decided that I can’t tell you everything there is to know about accessible links in one post. I can, however, at least introduce the concept and offer resources to wonderful people that have written great things already.
In this post, I’m going to focus on why accessible links matter, how to know if our links are accessible and what we can do right now in our text-editors. Text-editor changes are what’s helping me ease into the concept of accessible links – hopefully it will be helpful to you as well.
Those wonderful people and resources will be sprinkled throughout for those eager to dive into making the most accessible links ever!
Okay, okay, before you roll your eyes and abandon this post, I just wanted to share something. It occurred to me on my morning commute as I was handwriting new content aimed for beginners. I had to get myself in a mindset of what it was like diving into WordPress files for the first time again. Re-calling a greener Rachel lost in a labyrinth of files, desperate to complete the small task of changing a font color and not knowing where anything was – I realized that during this learning process, there was one adversary I encountered time and time again.
Said adversary stalled my progress in learning. In fact, it scared the heck out of me a few times whenever it caused the white screen of death before I even knew it was called that.
This adversary is the appearance editor on the dashboard. Thinking back on what I knew back then ( and didn’t know ), having this tool in my hands at the time only served to confuse me, discourage me, or give me impressions of WordPress that weren’t correct.
Here’s why I feel that way and why this tool should be approached with caution.
I decided to take a small break from my recent wave of tutorials to talk about some lessons I’ve learned as of late. I wanted to share these lessons with others as someone who is still “young” in the tech field ( less than 5 years working professionally ), and as a growing developer getting to know herself.
It’s never too late to start doing things you want, never stop trying to figure out what it is you want out of life
I’m just going to throw this out there before I get farther into this post. Ready? This might freak some people out, but here goes…
Everything is more important than work. Or more accurately, your health, your family, your loved ones, your “you” time, your very life – are all number one priorities over your job.
Up until March of last year, I was just like other developer worker bees, working 40+ hours a week and ignoring the telltale signs of burnout. I let impostor syndrome control me and kept myself from seeing outside of my current life for fear of what was out there or what I was actually capable of. I stopped doing things I enjoyed outside of work, I was checking my work email on my phone during off hours, and I barely had time for anything aside from the necessary chores that needed to get done ( wash clothes, pick up groceries, etc. ).
I probably would have kept going this way, accepting that this was part of the “real adult” life others had warned me about growing up – just a necessary evil. Living to work, rather than working to live. That all ended in March of last year when I found out that my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer for the second time – stage 4. Nothing has been the same since….