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Certain WP Form Plugins Make Accessibility Easy

According to the WAVE web accessibility tool, Gravity Forms scores a perfect score out-of-the-box for their front-end forms. Same with Ninja Forms, Contact Form 7, and WP Forms.  

I tested 2 other popular WP form plugins that did not fare as well.

Gravity Forms’ Investments in Web Accessibility Are Paying Dividends

The Tavern reported in 2021 that Gravity Forms invested heavily in web accessibility with their 2.5 release and also reported that Gravity Forms provides lots of information about their approach to accessibility.  

I was curious to dive deeper on Gravity Forms’ specific web accessibility processes.

“We do our testing with keyboard and screen readers,” Morgan Kay, a software engineer at Gravity Forms who works closely with accessibility initiatives at the company says. 

“We also consider some other implications, such as how usable a feature is on mobile, how it looks in an RTL language, and whether we have sufficient color contrast.”

Gravity Forms also tries to help novice users understand when they are making a change that might break accessibility.

“One thing Gravity Forms does that’s particularly valuable is that it warns you if you’re using a feature that has known accessibility issues,  and that’s a huge time saver for professionals,” says web accessibility consultant, Joe Dolson

Is WCAG AA-Compliant Enough?  What about WCAG AAA-Compliance?

Gravity Forms promises WCAG AA compliance, which is a great place to start for anyone who is looking to make a website more accessible to users.

“WCAG2.1 AA is the standard required by most accessibility laws,” says Gravity Forms’ Kay. 

By comparison, “WCAG2.1 AAA is very strict, and includes some standards that are not necessarily realistic or necessary for all types of websites,” Kay adds.

“Our goal is to make sure that [our forms] comply to WCAG 2.1AA,” says Kay. “This is not only because we want our forms to be accessible, but also because it is required by some countries.”

“We provide tools that let users build forms that are WCAG-compliant, but it is still ultimately up to the user to make sure they are following all of the guidelines to meet those requirements,” adds Kay.

I tested that statement in the wild, and it’s true: Gravity Forms gives you all the tools to make your front-end form WCAG AA-compliant out-of-the-box and without any configuration.  

For example, if you simply add name, email, and phone fields to a Gravity Form, it’ll be WCAG AA compliant.  

However, website owners can optionally or unknowingly break compliance – and often do.  For example, deleting the default form labels will break compliance.  

You don’t have to go far on the web to run into a text input field without a proper label.  Oftentimes this is done for aesthetic reasons – e.g. hiding labels to make the form more compact.

What About Other WP Form Plugins?

While other form plugins might be able to create accessible forms, they aren’t as simple to configure for WCAG and ADA compliance, according to some accessibility consultants.  

“For free plugins, Contact Form 7 allows you to create very accessible forms,  but you have to know what you’re doing. It’s a fine tool if you put in the work, but I wouldn’t recommend it to the average user,” Dolson says.

Another web accessibility consultant, Gerson Lacdao noted his appreciation for Gravity Forms’ efforts while adding some constructive criticism of other WP form plugins.

“Some [form plugins] have issues in the most basic [web accessibility] things like properly coded field labels,” says Lacdao. 

His favorite form plugin today is WS Form.  

“In terms of accessibility, I would probably put [the WS Form plugin] on top,” Lacdao says. “I like how a lot of accessibility options are available [in WS Form], and I don’t need to add extra CSS or JS hacks just to make it work better.”

Some Form Plugins’ Accessibility Efforts Seem Reactive Rather Than Proactive

Lacdao mentioned one example of a popular WP form plugin that is behind on the web accessibility front (I was unable to reach the plugin’s developer for comment and therefore decided to not name the plugin here).  

“[That plugin’s accessibility] efforts are mostly reactive and for now only based on tickets or feedback from some users,” says Lacdao. “It’s something I’m a bit frustrated about because I feel like it’s part of their obligation to users to proactively make their product accessible.” 

In addition to making a clear proactive effort on the web accessibility front, the Gravity Forms team is always on the lookout for new issues. 

Gravity Forms’ Kay explains, “We usually investigate [accessibility tickets] as soon as they are reported, and we can usually get [them] fixed within one or two minor releases.”

What About Accessibility on the Admin End of WP Form Plugins?

It’s tough to talk about web accessibility in the admin side of any plugin without talking about accessibility in the admin of WordPress more generally. 

Based on my tests using the WAVE tool, neither WordPress core nor any plugin or theme I tested fared well on web accessibility within the admin. 

That said, admin-side accessibility improvements are definitely on Gravity Forms’ agenda.

 “[A senior accessibility consultant] has done a complete audit of our plugin in the dashboard, so we know what we need to do to make Gravity Forms accessible in the admin,” Kay said. “We are working on making the admin accessible, and in Gravity Forms 2.9 there will be some improvements.”  


  • WAVE is the testing tool promoted by WebAIM and also used by many web accessibility consultants as a data point for figuring out how a webpage is doing on the accessibility front.  It’s not a perfect tool, but it is a great place to start.
  • I reached out to WP Forms, Ninja Forms, and Forminator Pro in addition to Gravity Forms for inclusion in this article. Only Gravity Forms responded meaningfully to my requests for comment. I encourage other form plugin developers to leave their thoughts in the comments.