Web Accessibility, ADA, WCAG and You!

Accessibility

Concerned about your website and web accessibility? Worried about the WCAG 2.1 guidelines and how your website conforms? CU*Answers Web Services has a scanning, reporting and remediation service to monitor your website and guide your accessibility journey toward conformance.

Powered by Siteimprove, a global leader in website content management, this new service scans your website weekly and provides your content managers and the CU*Answers Web Services developers with specific details about your website’s adherence to Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).

Learn More about this new Service

Ways We Set Our Clients Up for WordPress Success

Speckboy Web Design Magazine released an interesting article entitled “Ways to Set Yourself Up for a WordPress Disaster”.

We love WordPress. We believe in supporting open source software and the WordPress platform has proven to be a worthy tool for rapid website development. Its content management system base allows for our clients to be able to take control of their site without needing to become developers themselves. With that said, as seasoned WordPress developers and WordPress host, we have a good understanding of the potential pitfalls and how to avoid them.

Here’s how we set your website up for WordPress success:

We Use Plugins Sparingly

We know that WordPress has the advantage in that it has an active developer community. So, there are many plugins to choose from that will extend the functionality of a website as needed. However, sometimes, those plugins present security holes if they aren’t updated frequently. Sometimes, the plugin code conflicts with the theme or other plugins and therefore the site breaks.

Our solution is to build the site with everything our client needs to effectively manage their content. Plugins are great for adding very complex functionality but for simple features, adding a plugin is overkill.

We Don’t use Stock Themes

Stock themes or premium themes are typically built with a wide array of target audiences in mind. We custom build our themes specific to the client we are building for. We build your site specific to your vision and your needs.

We Backup Often

For the client sites that we also host, we have a strict backup and maintenance schedule. We do not take chances with our clients’ websites.

We Take Every Security Precaution

If your site is hosted by CU*Answers Web Services, then you can rest easy. We have several layers of security protection from your website all the way up to the server and network.

We’re Proactive

We have our clients on a weekly maintenance schedule, where the WordPress core, along with plugins and themes are updated. We also stay alert to any critical security updates that may fall outside our weekly maintenance schedule, so that we can get everyone up to date.

Tri-Cities Credit Union Launches Brand New Site

Tri-Cities Credit Union Website Mockup

Congratulations to Tri-Cities Credit Union on the launch of their brand new site!

The new site showcases a clean and modern design that displays a large rotating banner that is perfect to call attention to the latest marketing campaigns, a sticky navigation so that users never get lost, convenient Direct Login Widget, an alert feature that allows them to alert members to important information. Additionally, the front page has a section to display most important products and the inner pages include a feature where they can post a banner image with marketing message for further member outreach.

Check it out!

 

Your Guide to Website Design

Smashing Magazine just released an article called A Comprehensive Guide to Web Design.  This article does a great job of walking through a website design project from start to finish! There is a lot of focus on user-interaction and accessibility considerations as well as decent discussion on responsive design and A/B-Testing.

Website Accessibility Sections:

If you are looking for a comprehensive guide on website design, this is a worthy read!

New Member of the Web Services & Marketing Team

Join us in giving a warm welcome to the newest member of the Web Services & Marketing Team, Megan Tenbusch. Megan is working as a marketing administrator, spinning up masterful marketing pieces with Pete. She is a great addition to our team!

Welcome, Megan! 🙂

Copyright and the Internet

The basic rule

The basic rule of copyright is if you create it, the copyright is by default, yours. When you post something on the internet, this rule generally still applies. So, if someone were to steal your work and pass it off as something they did or if they try to make money from something you created and then posted, you can take steps to claim your work and make them take it down – broadly speaking.

What is Fair Use?

Fair use is when you take copyrighted material and comment on it or make a parody of it. This kind of use is permitted without having to acquire permission from the copyright holder/creator. For example, quoting or summarizing books, music, articles, referencing medical journals, etc, are all examples of fair use. Simply put -Fair use is borrowing bits and pieces from the original material or making a parody out of the original material but not copying it entirely.

Posting Photos and Videos on Social Media

Did you know that if you post a photo, a poem, a video to social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., while you still own the original copyright, you have also granted the social media outlets a license to reuse the photos, the poems, the videos to use for their own purposes?

This does not mean that people can take these things from Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and use it for their own purposes. You still own the copyright and so you can take legal action against anyone who tries to do this. However, you should always be aware that when you add these things to social media, you have also then granted them the right to reuse it.

Google Image Search

Google image search is a great tool that you can use for visualizing what it is you are searching for. However, those images are under copyright by the original creator. This means, as tempting as it might be to copy and paste that perfect image you found into your own newsletter or use it for a promotional piece, you will want to think twice. Google image search is not a repository of public domain images or copyright-free, therefore, you will want to assume that any image you come across is protected by copyright.

Copyright Tips and Best Practices

  1. Only use images, text or other copyrighted material that have a Creative Commons (CC) license. You will also want to make sure to read the terms of service as not all Creative Commons licenses are the same and may come with additional terms.
  2. Purchase your images from stock photo sites.
  3. If you found the perfect image and it’s not available on a stock photo site for you to purchase, you can always find the original owner and get permission for use.