Introduction to Web Accessibility

User Experience

Web accessibility was a really hot topic for our clients a few years ago.  It cooled down in during the pandemic, but recently we’ve started fielding some more questions and interest in the topic.  The other day I came across this article that offers a decent introduction into all the things you need to consider.

Web accessibility – often abbreviated as a11y – means creating a website that anyone, no matter what their physical, cognitive or other abilities currently are.  This is what makes this concept so difficult, because its entirely open ended with no boundaries.  CU*Answers Web Services, like most places, follows W3C’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines when looking for conformance.  Note, we use the word conforming to the guidelines, this is not currently a compliance issue.

It’s overwhelming.  This article offers an introduction to web accessibility and addresses several of the common issues we see in our own scans of our client sites.  Hopefully reading this article gets you thinking about how you can make your own website more accessible to more members.  And remember, if you need help, CU*Answers Web Services offers our Web Quality Assurance Service that includes WCAG reporting.

Read the article on UXDesign.cc

Browser Discussion: Google Chrome vs. Mozilla Firefox

Mozilla Firefox

I saw this article on Mashable over the weekend and found it interesting.  Web browsers are our windows into the internet and yet many people just stick with the one they know.  Personally, I am a Firefox user.  I like the privacy settings.  I also think it is important for some of the Web Services staff to be using other browsers regularly for when we come across a quirk or a setting that affects our client sites.

That said, I almost always have a Chrome browser open also.  I use them both.  And even Microsoft Edge.

We do see Google Chrome as the most popular browser across all our sites, as seen in Google Analytics.  However,  I also know that Firefox doesn’t report to Google Analytics, it’s blocked as a privacy feature, so Firefox usage is certainly under reported.

In this article, the Mashable author compares and contrasts Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox across a couple of aspects that are important to the author.  I found the article interesting, but I won’t spoil the ending.

 

Must Have WordPress plugins for Credit Unions

CUSO Magazine

When you host your credit union website with CU*Answers Web Services, we require that you have certain plugins installed.

These plugins are used for security and auditing as well as maintaining your WordPress site in good health. Some of the feature-related plugins are optional, but we see their use on so many of our client sites that we like to have them available. It helps our support team when our clients are using the recommended plugins that we are familiar with.

Recently my article was published on CUSO Magazine about the 5 Must Have WordPress Plugins for Credit Unions Websites. In this article I highlighted a couple of our required plugins and explain why we use them.

Read the article at CUSO Magazine

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Network Maintenance January 19, 2021

On Tuesday morning, January 19th, from 1:00 – 6:00 AM ET, we will be performing internal network maintenance. During this time, there may be brief network interruptions to the following services:

  • It’s Me 247 online and mobile banking
  • Hosted web/mail sites and cuanswers.com
  • It’s My Biz 247 online banking

Web Design in 2020

2020 New Years Dog

It’s that time of year when the year in review lists start getting published.  Maybe we should do our own retrospective on the websites launched this past year, but that is a post for another day.  Anyway, I found this 2020 Web Design Year in Review published on Speckyboy interesting as it highlights a couple of core ideas for us in Web Services.

Something we have always preached at CU*Answers Web Services is always design and code your web site to the formal standards.  Don’t get caught up in individual browser’s special cases.  All browsers will converge on standards.  And this is the first 2020 highlight from the Year in Review article.  All the major browsers became more conforming to the standards this past year.  This means our developers can more reliable use the features of CSS, JS and HTML as they were intended.

The second highlight from the article kind of shocked me.  According to their stats, Google Chrome holds nearly 70% market share of desktop browsers.  Followed by Apple’s Safari in the high teens.  The good news is the old Microsoft Internet Explorer 11 is down around 1% as it is phased out.  We’ve previously reported about Microsoft phasing IE out back in August and October.

Finally,  it was interesting to learn that WordPress’s Gutenberg editor is now 2 years old!  It’s definitely come a long way.  The CU*Answers Web Services team has been actively using it internally for special projects and rapid prototyping.  I think we’re finally getting comfortable with using it for a client site and I wouldn’t be surprised to see new client themes launch in 2021 using the new editor.  It feels like its almost ready for prime time.

2020 has been a crazy year, but we wanted to say thank you to all the clients and owners of CU*Answers for making it a great year also!

The Beginning of the End of Internet Explorer 11

Microsoft Edge

You may remember our previous post about how Microsoft is ending Internet Explorer in 2021.  As web developers we see this as good news!

The phasing out has officially begun.  Starting in recent versions of Microsoft Edge, when Internet Explorer visits an incompatible site, the browsing session will automatically be launched in Microsoft Edge to continue the browsing session.

What does that mean?  Well, if a visitor to a site is still using Internet Explorer 11, Microsoft keeps a list of incompatible sites and will automatically force the visitor to open the site in Microsoft Edge.

This special list is maintained by Microsoft, and is starting with big sites.  Notably on the list are YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Yahoo Mail, StackOverflow, StackExchange, VK, ESPN, Chase, Hotstar, Moneygram, eharmony, and GoDaddy, just to name a few.  These sites all dropped Internet Explorer support already.

It’s going to take a while for this process to trickle down, but we’re already seeing less IE11 traffic and more Edge traffic on our client sites.

Here’s more information from ZDNet and Bleeping Computer.