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Accessibility and Zen Cart

What is accessibility?

According to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C),
"Web accessibility means that websites, tools, and technologies are designed and developed so that people with disabilities can use them."

Why should I care?

Three reasons:
  • It's the right thing to do.
  • Disabled people have money to spend. Wouldn't you like them to spend it with you, rather than your competitors?
  • Making your website accessible means you're less likely to wind up in an accessibility lawsuit. Yep, accessibility lawsuits are here now.

What are ARIA tags?

ARIA stands for Accessible Rich Internet Applications, and is a kind of markup that makes a site more accessible when used alongside valid HTML. ARIA tags start with aria-.

How Accessible is Zen Cart?

If you are using Zen Cart 1.5.7 along with the Bootstrap template, you are well on your way. However, there are likely still contrast issues and other accessibility concerns that can be uncovered through careful testing.

If you are using a lower version of Zen Cart and/or an older template, you have more work ahead of you. To get a sense of the volume of changes, search for aria- in your template.

The latest version of the Bootstrap template has 76 aria- tags. How many does your template have?

You can use the US Federal Government's ANDI tool to help find accessibility issues. Be sure your strategy includes the following tests:

  • Testing a sample of product and category listing pages.
  • Testing the product info page on your most popular products.
  • Testing the login flow.
  • Testing the checkout flow.
  • Testing the My Account pages.
Zen Cart Accessibility
ANDI modules menu And for each test, be sure to check each of the modules:
  • focusable elements,
  • graphics,
  • links,
  • tables,
  • structures,
  • color contrast, and
  • hidden content.


Sound like a lot of work? It is! That's why Zen Cart support is so valuable. By taking care of things like this, I give my clients a worry-free experience. I'd be happy to help you too! And the accessibility widget you see at the lower right side of my site? I can get that added to your site as well.

If you'd rather run your business than run your website, contact me.