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Just a little over a week after the release of WordPress 4.3, codenamed “Billie”, in honor of legendary jazz singer Billie Holiday, comes the release of the Genesis Framework 2.2 from StudioPress. This new version of Genesis is a major new release that makes user accessibility it’s center of focus.
In order to accomplish this, the guys over at StudioPress reached out to Rian Rietveld, the creator of the Genesis Accessible Plugin and the Leiden child theme. As an expert and specialist in User Accessibility and WordPress, Rian was able to work closely with StudioPress to make sure that Genesis 2.2 is user accessible out of the box.
Why is user accessibility important? According to the World Health Organization, the blind and visually impaired make up approximately 285,000,000 of the people in the world as of June 2012.
For web developers, building a website that looks great and functions well is difficult enough. Making sure their websites make use of user accessibility adds yet another layer of complexity to the pile. While this takes some extra leg work to accomplish, it’s certainly worth the effort.
As developers, we want to make sure that our websites are just as accessible to people with disabilities as they are for those without them. Genesis 2.2 sets out to do just that out of the box with it’s latest release.
So what changes can you expect to see in the Genesis Framework 2.2?
- Support and compatibility with the new site icon feature introduced in WordPress 4.3.
- Ability for child themes to enable accessibility features (as the new accessibility features are disabled by default).
- Support and compatibility with the auto generated title tag feature introduced in WordPress 4.1.
- Ability to turn off entry meta per post type level.
- Improvements to Schema.org Micro Data utilisation.
- Additional bug fixes and improvements.
With all that being said, Genesis 2.2 allows you to not only take advantage of the general bug fixes and improvements, but it enables you to make sure that your website is accessible to users that may have some type of impairment. This not only makes things easier for those users, but it ultimately helps you to get your website in front of more people in the long run.
You can upgrade to Genesis 2.2 by using the automatic upgrader in your WordPress dashboard, or by manually upgrading via FTP on your own. Don’t wait, upgrade today!