Accessibility New Window Warnings

Description

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) Success Criterion 3.2 (Predictable) specifies that web pages should appear and operate in predictable ways. It is a common practice to set links that go to off-site locations to open in a new window or tab when clicked. Opening new windows or tabs automatically when a link is activated can be disorienting for people who have difficulty perceiving visual content, and for some people with cognitive disabilities, if they are not warned in advance.

This plugin helps websites become more accessible and better meet WCAG guidelines for predicability by providing advanced warning if a link is going to open a new window or tab before the user clicks or activates it. Providing a warning allows the user to decide it they want to leave the current window, and the warning will help them find their way back, if they do decide they would like to go to the new window. It will help them understand that the “back” button will not work and that they have to return to the last window they had open, in order to find their previous location.

There are no settings in this plugin. Simply activate it and it will automatically find all links that open in a new window and add the following three fixes to each link:
1. A new window icon after the link text to denote that the link opens in a new window for sighted people.
2. A tooltip, visible on hover, that says “opens a new window.”
3. “Opens a new window” screen reader text that will be read out to blind or visually impaired people using screen readers immediately following the link anchor text.

Please note: new window warnings will be added to links and links that have been styled to look like buttons, including social media sharing and link icons. Depending upon what third party plugins are adding links to your site that open in new windows, some CSS styling may be required.

In addition to adding warnings for your users, this plugin integrates with the Accessibility Checker plugin; when Accessibility New Window Warnings is activated, it will automatically clear all “Link Opens New Window or Tab” warnings in Accessibility Checker scans of your website. Installing and activating this plugin is a great way to quickly remediate and remove a lot of open issues across you entire website.

The Accessibility New Window Warnings plugin is inspired by Techniques for WCAG 2.0 G201: Giving users advanced warning when opening a new window.

Localization

The Accessibility New Window Warnings plugin is ready for localization. We have added a Spanish translation and are open to more translations!

If you would like to contribute a translation to this plugin, please contact us or fork the repository on GitHub.

Screenshots

  • Shows the new window icon being added to the end of a text link.
  • Shows the "opens a new window" tool tip visible on hover.
  • Shows the screen reader text "opens a new window" being added after the link anchor in the link's HTML.
  • Shows the new window icon added to a button created with the block editor.
  • Shows the new window icons being added into social media sharing buttons from a third-party plugin.

Installation

Getting started with Accessibility New Window Warnings is as easy as installing and activating the plugin. There are no settings to configure, it just works!

Installing Accessibility New Window Warnings Within WordPress

  1. Visit the plugins page within your dashboard and select ‘Add New’.
  2. Search for ‘Accessibility New Window Warnings’;
  3. On the Accessibility New Window Warnings plugin, click or activate the ‘Install’ button.
  4. Activate Accessibility New Window Warnings from your Plugins page.

Installing Accessibility New Window Warnings Manually

1.Upload the unzipped ‘accessibility-new-window-warnings’ folder to the /wp-content/plugins/ directory on your website via FTP.
2. Activate Accessibility New Window Warnings from your Plugins page.

FAQ

How does the plugin know which links open new windows?

The plugin looks for target="_blank" in your links. If target="_blank" is present then it will identify the link as opening a new window and automatically add the warning.

Is this compatible with the block editor or the classic editor or page builder XYZ?

Yes. No matter how you’re creating your content, this plugin will work. It uses javascript to identify the links and fix them as the page is rendered so it doesn’t matter what tool you used to build out your content.

The plugin adds new window icons to my social media icons and I don’t like how it looks!?

When it comes to accessibility, warning users about links opening in new tabs or windows applies to all links, not just links in your body text. Adding the visible icon is important for users with cognative disabilities or mobility challenges so they are warned about the new window before clicking on or activating links – it’s not sufficient to just add screen reader text for blind and visually imparied users.

Depending upon how you’re adding linked icons, we understand that this can cause a less than ideal appearance. If you don’t like how the visible icon appears you have a couple of options: either change the link to not open in a new window or change the design of your social media or icon buttons either with that plugin’s settings or custom CSS. It’s generally not considered correct to hide the visible icon.

Does this plugin make my website accessible?

This plugin can help to make your website more accessible by fixing a common issue, however it alone will not make your website accessible. True accessibility requires manual and automated testing and a human being making fixes in the website. While problems can be resolved with an automated tool such as this, not all accessibility problems can be identified automatically. Learn more about how to test your website for accessibility errors

Reviews

মে’ 7, 2023
This is great! Thanks for making available a quick way to address WCAG 3.2 (Predictability) on those unavoidable "_blank" tags, while still supporting users' rights to know that clicking a link is gonna take them on a trip to another window.
মে’ 5, 2023 1 reply
This plug-in does insert a "opens in new window" icon next to all hyperlinks, which can seriously impact your social icons and menus. I used CSS to remove the icon, but left the title tag in place. Unfortunately, it still left the space after the hyperlink causing the blue underline to continue until it hit the next word.
মাৰ্চ 28, 2023
I am so happy I went to WordCamp PHX and met Amber Hinds! She told me about her company's plugin accessibility-new-window-warnings which is exactly what I have been looking for! A simple plugin to let visitors know that a link is about to open a new window. Just install it, activate it and it works! thanks to everyone on the Equalize Digital team for making it easy to make websites accessible! -Christina Hills
মাৰ্চ 7, 2023
I'm echoing everyone else who's rated, but this plugin needs more recognition/reviews. I can't get over how simple it is and perfectly meets the need to display a warning when a link will open a new window. Add, install and activate the plugin, then move on to your next bit of work. That's it. Hats off to Equalize Digital!
Read all 10 reviews

Contributors & Developers

“Accessibility New Window Warnings” is open source software. The following people have contributed to this plugin.

Contributors

“Accessibility New Window Warnings” has been translated into 5 locales. Thank you to the translators for their contributions.

Translate “Accessibility New Window Warnings” into your language.

Interested in development?

Browse the code, check out the SVN repository, or subscribe to the development log by RSS.

Changelog

1.0.8

  • Added – support for FacetWP dynamic content

1.0.7

  • Updated – textdomain to plugin slug
  • Updated – member variable doc comment
  • Removed – call to local languages folder

1.0.6

  • Updated – tested up to version

1.0.5

  • Added – localization support.
  • Added – Spanish translation.

1.0.4

  • Updated – space between icon and link text moved to the icon pseudo class

1.0.3

  • Added – class .anww-tooltip class to the tooltip
  • Added – inline styles to tooltip
  • Updated – css clean up and improvements

1.0.2

  • Updated – on focus positioning to use offset

1.0.1

  • Added – support for image within links
  • Added – check for aria-label on links

1.0.0

  • Everything is new and shiny.
  • We think it’s awesome you want to make your website more accessible.