Colour blindness, WordPress and how to make WordPress sites accessible to those who can’t see colour

Colour blindness, WordPress and how to make WordPress sites accessible to those who can’t see colour

As part of Colour Blind Awareness Day 2018 I thought I would share my experiences.  I first discovered I was colour blind at the age of 7 while in class at primary school, looking at a chalkboard and struggling to read the yellow writing. After this incident I went to have my eyes checked and sure enough, I was diagnosed as colour blind.

So what is colour blindness? Colour blindness affects 1 in 12 males and 1 in 200 women. Until recently, I had believed that colour blindness only affected men as this was the common belief when I was growing up. But we now know that even though it is a lot less common for women, they can also suffer from this type of visual impairment.

colour blindThe classic colour blindness test can be carried out using Ishihara plates. If you can’t see the number 3, then you’re probably colour blind.

Attitudes, awareness and the development of colour blindness friendly software has changed a lot since I was first diagnosed. But is it enough?

When you are building a website or designing a plugin, there are 3 types of colour blindness that will need to be taken into consideration:

Red-Green Colour Blindness

This is the most common form of colour blindness which is split into 4 types:

Protanomaly: Red, orange, and yellow appear greener and colours are not as bright.
Protanopia: Red appears as black. Certain shades of orange, yellow, and green all appear as yellow.
Deuteranomaly: Yellow and green appear redder and it is difficult to tell violet from blue.
Deuteranopia: Sees reds as brownish-yellow and greens as beige.

Blue-Yellow Colour Blindness

Blue-yellow colour blindness is rarer than red-green colour blindness. This is split into 2 types:

Tritanomaly: Blue appears greener and it can be difficult to tell yellow and red from pink.
Tritanopia: Blue appears green and yellow appears violet or light grey.

Complete Colour Blindness

People with complete colour blindness (monochromacy) don’t experience colour at all and the clearness of their vision (visual acuity) may also be affected. These are split into 2 types:
Cone monochromacy: Have trouble distinguishing colours as the brain needs to compare the signals from different types of cones in order to see colour.
Rod monochromacy or achromatopsia: Rare and the most severe form of colour blindness. People with rod monochromacy see the world in black, white, and gray.

(Information from National Eye Institute (NEI)

Personally, I have Deuteranopia. But colour blindness varies from person to person and can be present in different levels and have varying effects.

Over recent years WordPress have really upped their game concerning colour blindness accessibility with the Make WordPress Accessible project and the inclusion of the A11Y Project.

The A11Y Project is a must for any web developer as it doesn’t just cover WordPress, but can also be used to improve accessibility for all websites. The project has an abundance of resources, material and help to assist in making the internet accessible to all.

Here at UpdraftPlus we use these tools so our plugins are accessible to everyone. One great tool that we have used for colour clarity is the tanaguru contrast finder. By inserting the HEX of a colour we want to use, it allows us to determine if the selected colour is compatible and recommend alternatives if not.

Despite working for UpdraftPlus for several years, it was only around a year ago that I discovered that our brand colour was orange as due to my colour blindness I had always thought it had been red! Luckily it doesn’t hinder my ability to see other text and images that are used within the colour scheme and hasn’t hindered my use of the products.

This does however show the importance of why developers and designers must all take the time to use features like A11Y and other accessibility tools, so that all plugins, websites and apps are accessible for everyone.

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Important – new privacy centre & how do YOU hold user data on your WordPress site?

Do your WordPress sites contain EU user or customer data?  If so, today is GDPR day which means you now legally need to consider the privacy and security of their data whether or not you’re in the EU.

If you backup your WordPress site with EU user data, then you need to consider the security of those backups. UpdraftPlus Premium can protect the customer data in your backups by encryption and lock settings access. It can also delete old backups, which is another important consideration as you mustn’t keep unused EU user data under GDPR.

If you’d like to see our own privacy policies on how we protect your data (or unsubscribe from this newsletter), then we’ve built a helpful privacy centre here.

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GDPR compliance with UpdraftPlus: encrypting the databases in your WordPress backups if they contain user data

GDPR is an important new data regulation coming into force soon across the whole of the EU. We’re working on fully complying ourselves with our own customer data, and have launched a Data and Privacy Centre here: https://updraftplus.com/data-protection-and-privacy-centre/.  This should be fully complete within the next few days.
As part of the law, many customers are asking if our software helps them be compliant.  We’ve put out details on what information we collect here.

One thing you need to ensure is that your backups of your customer’s private data are protected. To help with this, UpdraftPlus Premium can encrypt the data in your backups. It has an industry-standard AES encryptor keeps all of the sensitive WordPress installation data (e.g. passwords, lists of users, secret keys, etc.) stored in your database completely secure. Find out more here: https://updraftplus.com/shop/moredatabase/.

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Gutenberg: why it’s your friend and how we’re getting ready

Gutenberg: why it’s your friend and how we’re getting ready

WordPress has developed a new editing experience, which it humbly named Gutenberg, “after another invention that revolutionized publishing.” According to its website, Gutenberg will make a big difference to how everyone– users, developers and hosts- interacts with WordPress.

What is Gutenberg?

The Gutenberg editor makes rich website-building even simpler and more intuitive so that just about anyone can publish content, regardless of whether they have any technical knowledge or can even write code.

Instead of different, inconsistent ways of creating custom content, Gutenberg uses various types of content blocks (e.g. text, videos, images, quotes, etc). Users can add blocks individually, filling each one with content as they go along and then positioning them in exactly the right position, rather than creating all content in one big editorial field. Creating content this way makes it much easier to tell as you’re going along how content in the front-end will look.

Gutenberg will be much more in line with modern coding standards and aligned with open web initiatives. Development is still underway, and there’s a fair bit of concern in over the inevitable difficulties involved with the entire WordPress community getting used to such a massive change. However, disruptive innovation is necessary if technologies don’t want to be left behind.

The bottom line is that soon, Gutenberg will become a part of the WordPress core, replacing TinyMCE as the default content editor on every up-to-date WordPress website. If all goes to plan, it will be a revolutionary innovation that will change everything about website-building for the better.

How is UpdraftPlus adapting our plugins?

We at UpdraftPlus couldn’t ignore Gutenberg for our MetaSlider slideshow plugin.  Whilst most of our plugins are backend, MetaSlider affects the front end so needs adapting.

So we’re currently working hard to ensure that Metaslider is entirely compatible, working with blocks that you can easily drag and drop anywhere on the page. Pretty cool, eh?

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UK’s top host loses 100s of websites with only ancient backups…

A lot of people have just had a stark reminder of the importance of up-to-date backups.

This month website hosting company 123 Reg suffered a hardware failure on one of its servers. This led to some of its customers’ websites either being lost entirely, partially lost, or restored to an old version dating back to August 2017.

As you can imagine, users were left in a state of anger and confusion. 123 Reg, which calls itself the UK’s “number one website provider”, took a while to let customers know when a normal service would resume and when (if ever) they’d have their websites back online.

This chaotic situation has hit numerous individuals as well as businesses, making them look unprofessional and causing them to lose customer trust and money. It’s presumably up to individual users to ensure that they have backups.

Such little catastrophises are rare, but by no means unheard of.  However their UpdraftPlus users who’d set regular backups were safe: instead of panicking, losing out or having to make do with an old, out-dated version of their website, they would be able to restore everything with a click of a few buttons.

So spread the word: everyone with a website should have insurance – in this online world, plagued as much by incompetence and error as by malicious cybercrime, having backups makes perfect sense.

 

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