Azamra, a site we developed this past spring, uses the accessible html template Karma developed by TrueThemes. TrueThemes also sells a wordpress accessible version of the Karma theme which may be more popular for most web developers today. Truethemes has averaged above 30,000 sales, the majority from the WordPress version. Which is currently the template on this site (more about that later).
Why we created an HTML site in the WordPress era
Reb Avraham has been updating and maintaining his site, Azamra, for the past twenty years. He has a wealth of content that he manages, updates and maintains while constantly creating new material. He requested the flexibility offered to him by a straight forward html website, especially the desire not to be tied to constant updates of WordPress and it’s plugins. The modern look and feel are not compromised by choosing this format and Reb Avraham retained the independence he required.
Working with the Karma theme
We looked for a template that would suit Reb Avraham’s requirements, and the Karma theme with it’s rich design, multitude of colors and flexibility proved a suitable match. Additionally, it is one of the few themes listed on envato market that met our accessibility requirement.
The first choice that we made when building the site was to double check all color combinations, to insure that they passed the Webaim color contrast checker test. Only then did we incorporate those colors into the site.
Additionally, while the theme is accessible and one can navigate through the site of each section using the tab and arrow keys, the theme was missing a skip navigation link, so that users can skip the menu links and go directly to the main content when they arrive at a page. So we added skip link code. If you go to the Azamra website and press the tab key, you will see the skip navigation link followed by the accessibility statement link.
You can also listen to the site, using a screen reader. The easiest option would be to download Chromevox for Chrome from http://www.chromevox.com/. This is a free app that will work with the Chrome browser and it is very easy to use.
At the time of site development, our goal was to present the content on the site within an accessible framework. The majority of the content online is text and readable using a screen reader. We also tried not to use graphic buttons, but to work with html 5 to create code based backgrounds and text, for easy accessibility as well as responsiveness. On “our commitment to accessibility” page, we list details of the Azamra site accessibility and what browser features are available to enhance accessibility. In addition, we also list the items on the site that are not 100% accessible due to technical issues.
Upon site completion
Upon completion of the site, we did a full review of the website and filled out the WCAG Checklist (the Hebrew version compiled by Access Israel). This file was uploaded to the server and sent to the site owner. It is recommended that accessibility guidelines are maintained and that the accessibility checklist be reviewed every few years, while ensuring that all new content is added within the accessibility guidelines.
We had a great experience working with the html template Karma developed by TrueThemes. We were able to customize the design as well as meet most of the AA accessibility guidelines. We invite you to visit the Azamra site and share your impressions.
Please note that our site currently uses the Karma WordPress theme. You can tab your way through it or test it out with a screen reader.