Shopify and Web Accessibility

16 Mar 2022

Over the last couple of years, Shopify has done a great job responding to the wave of accessibility lawsuits and helping eCommerce customers solve accessibility issues. Shopify provides Voluntary Product Accessibility Templates (VPATs) for many of their products, including their popular Debut theme and Checkout interface. Shopify is accessible right out-of-the-box, but the responsibility for maintaining accessibility shifts to you as soon as you start customizing your theme, apps, and adding content. If you are interested in a Shopify website that meets accessibility and compliance requirements, we can help.

Depending on your budget and development resources, there are two different ways we can approach accessibility for your Shopify website: 1) retheme or 2) audit and remediation.

Option 1: Retheme

If you don’t have in-house developers or your development resources are limited, retheming your Shopify site using an accessible Shopify theme is often the most cost-effective way to upgrade your website to meet accessibility standards.

Some Shopify themes are built with accessibility in mind while others… are not. By retheming to an accessible theme, we can save you time, money, and stress in the long run while also ensuring your website conforms with accessibility standards.

The best part? You don’t need to compromise on the look, feel, or branding of your website. Our team of experienced developers can help you select and customize an accessible Shopify theme to align with your current website and brand image.

For design and development jobs, we partner up with our sister company, Together, our teams can step in for organizations without a development team, or help your organization deal with resource constraints.  

Our developers are fluent in a variety of website languages and frameworks, including WordPress, Shopify, WooCommerce, Magento, and more. We have extensive experience building beautiful, accessible websites that deliver an exceptional user experience. There is no need to sacrifice your website’s appearance and functionality for accessibility.

Option 2: Audit and Remediate

If you have a larger website and sufficient development resources in-house, we can audit, test, and certify your existing Shopify site for WCAG 2.1 AA accessibility conformance. Learn more about our comprehensive audit and certification process here.

Audits and certifications are priced by template (unique page layout), not overall page number. Highly templatized websites, like eCommerce sites where all product pages are built with the same basic template, are typically easier and less expensive to audit.

Once we complete a thorough accessibility audit of your website, we’ll provide a list of remediation suggestions, broken down by template, and support your development team throughout the remediation process. Once your development team has finished implementing all suggested upgrades, we will reaudit your website, submit it for Accessibility User Experience (UX) Testing by real assistive technology users, and then certify that it is in conformance with all applicable accessibility laws and guidelines.

This option works particularly well for larger organizations and websites.

By working with Accessible Web, you also gain the ability to add our A11Y Center to your website, so everyone knows you care about maintaining a website that is accessible to users with disabilities. We will set up continuous page monitoring, through our Accessible Web RAMP, for your website so new accessibility issues can be automatically detected and quickly addressed.

Our experts can help you determine the best approach to ensuring your Shopify website is fully accessible — get in touch today!