Web Development

Craft CMS Chosen for the W3C Redesign

Craft CMS already commited to reach AA compiance in Craft CMS 4

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) alongside Studio 24 selected Craft CMS to build the redesign for the W3C website.

The complex process started with listing the requirements for the CMS. Craft, Statamic, and WordPress were the three pre-selected for the purpose CMS platform. In the status update, W3C and Studio 24 discounted WordPress earlier. This is due to the accessibility issues of the platform’s new Gutenberg editor. Another reason for this decision was the community didn’t want to rely on the Classic Editor of WordPress either. There was the factual risk that it will soon be left unmaintained in favor of the new editor.

With Statamic and Craft CMS still in the selection, there were a few more things to consider before making the choice. Both CMS platforms were more than capable to build all the features that the W3C website re-design required and do so in similar ways. However, neither followed the AA standards.

So why did W3C choose Craft CMS?

According to the W3C selection report, the community-made its decision, and in the end, W3C selects Craft CMS for its redesign project due to available resources. The report also states that Craft CMS already committed to reaching AA compliance in Craft CMS 4 in Q1 of 2021.

Another thing Craft CMS arranged was selecting an in-house specialist. The latter would provide the team with accessibility issues every week. They will also assist with adopting accessibility patterns in the long run.

Improving accessibility standards

First, the team started by looking for accessible CMS platforms and reviews. What they found out was that most CMSes focused on content authors to produce accessible content and not on the accessibility of the tool. Even with better tools, there were the same issues. For example, such issues consist of limited features, unfamiliar for W3C, and Studio 24 development stack, inactive community, early-stage accessibility integration.

The report also explains that if CMSes weren’t able to meet the out-of-the-box accessibility requirement, it was enough to find a team that is willing to work in favor of making these tools accessible.

The community mostly cares about two concepts. How much work would it take for the CMS to finally meet ATAG AA compliance? And is it possible to do so before the very launch date of the website? After all, the entire process to meet such standards requires serious resources. They take time and need accessibility specialists to adequately handle the accessibility assessment.

The authors of Statamic and Craft CMS started improving their CMS accessibility as a result of the inial W3C and Studio 24 report. The issue was, due to the pandemic they couldn’t help Statamic and Craft CMS with reporting issues or issuing pull requests.

Phased approach

With that in mind, a CMS that follows all the AA standards will most likely not happen when the new website launches.

This is why W3C decided to split the complex process into phases.

  • Phase 1. The securing of usable content editing interface for non-sighted users. According to the report, this requirement will be met on time. However, the design will be a little bit simplified and more static because of simpler editing.
  • Phase 2. Progressive consistent modification of the CMS in order to meet the AA standards.

In Conclusion

The reason why W3C selects Craft CMS before Statamic and WordPress is mostly due to the extra mile of commitment by Craft. The CMS that will work on the redesign of the new W3C website is working to reach compliance and already hired an in-house expert to report accessibility issues and help the team.

For more details, you can also view the entire CMS selection report.

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