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.

ADA Compliance Tools Overview & Common Accessibility Issue

Maintaining website accessibility and ADA compliance is not a one and done procedure. It’s an ongoing process and one that should be built into the daily/weekly/monthly checks and balances for your organization’s website.

Thankfully, there are many free tools you can use to help assess your website and show where the adjustments need to be made. Often times, with short explanations. One of the tools we use here in Web Services is called AChecker. You can input your URL, click the “Check It” Button and it will give you a list of Known Problems to address. If there are no known problems, congratulations! That means, your website passes current compliance standards.

This tool also allows you to export a report, which is handy if you need to keep documentation.

Check Your Website’s Accessibility Now

The Most Common Website Accessibility Issue

Did you know that the most common website accessibility issue is missing alt tags? Alt tags are used to help identify the images on your website for screen readers.
When you have an image on your website, typically the code will look something like this:

html code example

As you can see in the example above, the alt tag is missing for that image.

 

How to Add a Missing Alt Tag

You can update the code to add the alt tag, like this:

html code example fixed

In the example above, I used the most basic description for the banner image’s alt tag.

If your site is built in WordPress, you can add the alt tags to images in your Media Library or when you are adding content to your site, if you click the “Text” tab in the editor, you can modify the image’s HTML.

Adding an Alt Tag to an Image in the Media Library

In the WordPress Admin area, you will want to click on “Media” from the menu. Then, click the image you want to add an alt tag to. As you will see, a window opens up with the attachment details. To the right of the image are the details. The Alt Text field is located just below the caption field. You can then close the image, as the alt tag is automatically saved. So then, next time you use that image in a post, the alt tag will show.

image attachment screenshot

Adding the Alt Tag to an Image in Your Post or Page

Let’s say the website accessibility tool identified a missing alt tag in the content of one of your pages or posts.

In the admin area of your website, when you edit the page or post with the image that has the missing alt tag, you can click the “Text” tab to display the html and then make that change.

text tab image

Offer Assistance if All Else Fails

Assistive technology tools aren’t perfect. Website accessibility checkers aren’t perfect. Human beings aren’t perfect. There is bound to be hiccups in the technology. The best way to handle the hiccups is to offer your assistance. Let them know they can contact someone if their assistive technology is having issues using the website.

To make this offer of assistance known, you can post the following to your website:

If you are using a screen reader or other auxiliary aid and are having problems using this website, please call [Your Credit Union’s Telephone Number] for assistance.All products and services available on this website are available at all [Your Credit Union’s Name] full-service locations.

This statement lets them know that you care about accessibility, you’d like to assist them and welcome their feedback.

Keeping your website compliant and accessible to everyone is an ongoing process that is made easier by using the free tools provided and when in doubt, let your website users know that you are always available to assist them.


Did you miss the first article we wrote on ADA Compliance?

Read Americans With Disabilities Act And Your Website

BCS Community Credit Union Has a Brand New Design

BCS Community Credit Union Website image

BCS Community Credit Union’s new website is now live!

The new website displays a refocused design that is modern, airy, easy to navigate, with an emphasis placed on content and being a solid resource for credit union members.

Some of the new features of the site include a rotating banner that stretches across the full width of the screen and easily adapts to any screen size, mobile responsive focused design, built-in alerts, a credit union blog, featured rates, and featured news items.

Congratulations on your new website, BCS Community Credit Union!

Take a look at the new site!

Read the New BCS Community Blog

Auto-Owners Associates Credit Union Launches Brand New Site

Auto-Owners Associates Credit Union New Site Design

Auto-Owners Associates Credit Union launches a brand new website!

This is the first website for Auto-Owners Associates Credit Union. When we sat down to talk about the design of their site, they stated that they wanted something fresh and simple that would be easy for their members to navigate and easy to find important information.

Their brand new site displays a fresh and simple – mobile-responsive design that includes a sticky navigation – so that members can always find their way. The homepage features rate boxes that show the latest featured rates, a list of services, so that members can quickly find important content, and a banner with a link to the credit union newsletters. The inner-pages allow them to choose between a sidebar layout that shows quick links and a full-width layout where the page content is the only focus. Additional page options include enabling featured rate boxes on the sidebar as well as custom header background images for each page.

Visit Auto-Owners Associates Credit Union Website

Your Website Content: Words that Get People to Pay Attention

 

“Speech has power. Words do not fade. What starts out as a sound, ends in a deed.” – Abraham Joshua Herschel

It’s no secret by now that words have power. We can use words to inspire, anger, project, persuade, motivate, and empower.

In marketing, the words you choose for your website pages or campaigns are incredibly important. As such, you need a good understanding of your industry, audience, company marketing goals and the desired outcome of your campaigns.

List the Benefits First

When people have a good understanding of what they stand to gain by buying whatever it is you are selling, they will be more engaged and open to your message. Therefore, if you start your persuasive copy with words that describe how the user will benefit directly from your product, service, or idea, your conversion rates from casual onlooker to full-on customer will be much higher.

Did you know

As mentioned in our previous article, you should never have a button or link that says “click here”. The reason? It’s better to use actionable words that explain what you want the user to do and why they should do it. For example, if one of the goals for your latest loan promotion on your website is to have people click a button to contact you for more information, you want to use actionable words that accurately engage the user so that they know what it is they are clicking on and for what purpose. You can try something like “Learn More” or “Contact Us for More Information”. By doing this, you give the user a purpose for clicking the button. The other upside? It’s great for SEO.

Speak directly to the user

When you use words like “you” and “your” you are speaking directly to your audience. Speaking directly to your audience is effective because you want to create a relationship between the user and your brand. Digital communication is cold and impersonal at times. That’s why it’s always better to engage your users on a personal level. That is why emotional advertising is an effective marketing technique.

Emotional words you can use in your copy are words like heartwarming, obsessed, luxurious, hilarious, courageous, vital, etc.

Use an active writing voice

When you write copy for your website or a marketing campaign, it’s best to use an active voice and not a passive voice. The reason? It gives your words purpose. It displays ownership and gives your users a sense of purpose when they are reading your words.

Always remember, when writing content, the words you use might start with a sound but you want them to end with an action. Engage your users. Get them to pay attention.

Say Hello to United Advantage!

United Advantage NW Federal Credit Union - Website Redesign

United Advantage NW Federal Credit Union just got a brand new look!

At the start of the redesign, we sat down with Sarah McNeil to discuss their needs and wants for the new site. Their goal was to have a user-friendly, engaging and simple to navigate website. Additionally, they wanted the ability to edit main content easily throughout the site.

Once the brainstorming finished and the main requirements of the new site were laid out, our designer took off on the design, using their unique gradient logo as a jumping point for the new look.  United Advantage’s new site showcases large beautiful banners to promote their products and services, a service-carousel that displays their most popular, new and favorite products, a sticky navigation for desktop and mobile to make sure that visitors can always find their way, and engaging inner-page features.

Take a moment to check out their new look!