Adding ALT text to images is very important because it makes the image accessible to people who use assistive technologies. But WordPress doesn’t allow an easy way to find images that don’t have ALT text, to do that you have to open image by image in the media library and update the alternative text inside it. But what if there was an easier option?
What is ALT text anyway and why do we need it?
When a visually impaired or blind person explores the content using assistive technologies (such as screen readers), their software will use a certain attribute found on the HTML tag of the image to understand what this image means, and it will read or present this information to them in a way that is more accessible to them.
This attribute is called alt text. Here is an example of how it should be embedded on top of the image tag:
Let’s say we have an image of a man holding in his hands a sign that says “Help!”. The alternative text of this image can be embedded as follows:
<img src="/image.jpg" alt="A man holds in his hands a sign that says 'help'" />
Adding proper alternative text is important, because without it people with disabilities may not understand the content, but beyond that it is a mandatory rule according to the WCAG guidelines for all levels and is even defined by law in a significant part of the world’s countries.
How can I locate images without alt text on a WordPress site?
We can locate images that don’t have an alternative text using a simple and efficient plugin that does not affect the site’s performance and, overall, provides you with a panel with all the images for which you have not yet entered an alternative text, including the option to add the alternative text easily. This plugin is called Missing ALT Detector and you can find it on the WordPress.org site.
Here are the steps for that:
- Download the plugin and install it, or search for “Missing ALT Detector” from your ‘Plugins’ admin page.
- Activate it of course …
- After activating the plugin you will see a newly created admin page called “AccessibleWP”, under it you’ll find another sub-page called “Images” – Click on it 🙂
- On this page you’re seeing a list of all the images on your WordPress media library which don’t have an alternative text. You can now easily insert your alternative text for each image using the inline input each item has.