24 Aug

4 Best Steps to ADA Compliance

Woman with magnifying glass

What is ADA?

In 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) into a law. This law was designed to prevent discrimination against individuals because of their disabilities.

In the past 27 years, the Internet has changed the way people use media, access and purchase goods and services, and gather information. 57 million Americans live with disabilities that include: vision or hearing impairment, difficulty lifting or grasping things, or a mental or emotional impairment.

The Internet has introduced new challenges and many are often unable to participate in the Internet as either a consumer or employee. ADA compliance will open doors for more than half of these people who currently use the Internet.

How does ADA affect business?

In January 2017, the United States Access Board published a rule regarding information and communications technologies (ICTs). This changed standards specifically in areas developed, procured, maintained, or used by Federal agencies.

It addresses accessibility; such as how physical technology works with existing assistive technologies like JAWS, NVDA, braille keyboards, or voice-overs. These changes take effect in January 2018.

Though this rule directly refers only to standards for Federal agencies, the private sector is being hit by “drive-by” lawsuits. Individuals are surfing the web with the intent of finding accessibility violations on websites. Lawsuits are filed, sometimes without warning or complaint.

Though there is not yet an official standard for website accessibility, courts have referenced Website Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). Many courts are interpreting website accessibility as part of the currently existing standards for physical structures.

For example, in the recent South Florida ruling of Gill v. Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc., a visually impaired man sued a chain grocery store. The judge considered Winn-Dixie’s website a connection to the physical stores because the website offered coupons, location information, and prescription refills.

What is WCAG and does it help?

Created to help guide web content creators and designers as they make their sites more accessible, WCAG is a set of standards directly linked to ADA compliance.

WCAG 2.0 offers 12 guidelines in the following four categories: Perceivable, Operable, Understandable, Robust. Each guideline contains testable “success criteria” which can be used to measure the usability of your website.

4 Steps To ADA Compliance

  1.  Determine your website’s compliance with WCAG 2.0 Level AA guidelines. While Level AAA is considered the most accessible, meeting all of these criteria isn’t always possible.
  2.  Conduct an internal audit. A number of free tools include: AChecker, WAVE, and Functional Accessibility Evaluator (F.A.E.). Currently, there is no officially approved audit tool.
  3.  If auditing your own site is not your area of expertise, look for help from a third party. At Aqua Vita, we can help you upgrade to an ADA compliant, user friendly, site that attracts this new customer base.
  4.  Have your web development team correct any violations discovered in the audit.

These legal requirements are looming on the horizon. They create a more usable and accessible website:

  1. Saves money and hassle now by protecting your business from costly, drive-by lawsuits.
  2. Builds a larger customer base.
  3. Provides PR with your local and web communities by letting them know you care for and serve those in need.

Though the accessibility guidelines require technical work, overall you can adapt while increasing your customer base and providing better services for your communities.

Want a free website ADA compliance audit?

Call (918) 513-6576 or contact us here!

 

07 Jul

How to Move a Website to a New Host

What to do when moving your website

Nothing inspires the same stomach-dropping fear as the phrase “We need to move the website.” A website move requires some planning and preparation to pull everything off smoothly, but it doesn’t have to wreck your week.

The important thing! Don’t panic.
Don't panic
It’s doable. And you don’t need to be a techno-wizard or code monkey to get it done right. You just need to know the right questions and the right people.

Checklist: Moving Your Website

With all the logistics surrounding a website move, it’s important to focus on the most important questions:

  • How will this affect my domain name?
  • How will this affect my website files?
  • How will this affect my email?
  • What else do I have hosted there?

If you don’t know the answers, that’s alright. Give us a call and we’ll walk you through it.

1) What is the name of your domain registrar?
“Domain” just means the address for your website. Like a mailbox number.

For “http://google.com”, the domain is “Google.com.”

“Registrar” means the company handling your domain, like GoDaddy or Omnis.

You can find the domain registrar information by checking your site at: WhoIs.DomainTools.com

Help, I’m lost!If you have no idea what that means, that’s okay too! We’ll help you figure it out.

2) Who is your website hosting provider?
Your “hosting provider” company stores all the files, databases, and scripts to run your website. If your domain is your address, the “hosting provider” is your landlord.

Sometimes the same company handles both your domain and your hosting.

3) How do you currently handle email?
Does your company use an Exchange server?
Are you accessing email via Outlook?
How many emails do you maintain?

Email can be tricky, but this is an important part of any server migration.

4) What else lives on that server?
The website may only be one piece of the puzzle. Consider other ways your company might be using the server, either in the past or currently.

Are you storing any important files for clients or internal staff?
Are you running any web applications that connect to this hosting account?
Do you have any backups of either your website or other company assets on the server?
Are you running any eCommerce transactions through this server?

5) Decide how to proceed.
Once you have this information in hand, you can decide how you want to proceed with your hosting migration.

Make moving your website easy.

Need help moving your website? Give us a call!Need help moving your website from one host to the other? We can help. Our team has moved websites big and small. It doesn’t have to interrupt your business or your life.

Let the professionals handle it, so you can get back to business.
Give us a call at 918.518.6576 or
Contact Us today!

Additional Resources:

Google Blog: Making site moves easier

Google Help Center: Transfer, move, or migrate your site

Google Developers: Moving mobile websites

01 Jun

Web Design : A Site That Sings

Tulsa Oratorio Chorus

“I said hallelujah, to the sixteen loyal fans-za!”

Sorry, I’m listening to the Low Fidelity All Stars as I write this. It seemed appropriate, as Tulsa Oratorio Chorus includes “Hallelujah” in their repertoire of music.

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

Music. It lifts the soul, doesn’t it? There’s not a member of our team who hasn’t been deeply affected by this most sacred of arts.

When we found out we were the lucky team selected to craft the new brand and website for Tulsa Oratorio Chorus, we were ecstatic. What could be better than finding the best way to share the gift of music with the world?

OBJECTIVES

Tulsa Oratorio Chorus has a loyal core of fans, but they wanted to reach out to the younger crowd to expand and diversify their fan base.

Our solution was to design a bright, colorful, energetic brand: something people would want to pick up and play with, so to speak.

For the website, we crafted a clean, simple user interface. Our goal was to make it easy for visitors to listen to music, buy tickets and check on show times.

THE RESULTS

Home page

website design Tulsa chorus

Listen to the Chorus

website design Tulsa chorus

Concerts & Events page

website design Tulsa chorus

About page

website design Tulsa chorus

Blog page

website design Tulsa chorus

Tulsa Oratorio Chorus

WORKS CITED

Allstars, L. F. (Performer). (1998). Battle Flag.

16 Aug

Racing Limos Rolls Out New Site

Racing Limos just rolled out a new website, thanks to Aqua Vita.

As the most-requested limo company for rock bands traveling the area, Racing Limos wanted to showcase their VIP experience on the web.

“I like to see the enjoyment people get out of renting our cars,” said Tracy Whyburn, Racing Limos owner. “We’re professional but not stuffy. With the website, I wanted a sophisticated renegade look.”

Visitors can meet the drivers, scope out custom limos, read testimonials, and catch a glimpse of their VIP customers at RacingLimosTulsa.com.

“I had a good experience working with Aqua Vita,” said Whyburn. “Everyone likes the site. They say it’s not your typical limo company website. That’s good; we’re not your typical limo company. We’re adding new cars every day. Coming soon: a stretch Jaguar, and a 50-foot Excursion with a private fog machine and a laser light show.

So what did Racing Limos website look like before the redesign?

Happy to help.

19 Feb

Leveraging Word-of-Mouth in the Digital Age

Have you ever listened to one of your friends rave about a person they’re really excited about? After hearing them talk, you might say to yourself “Wow, they sound really great.” You’re looking forward to seeing them. You can imagine how great it will be to finally meet this person.Limp fish handshake

But when you get to that first introduction, their handshake is limp. Their eyes dart nervously around the room. They can’t string a coherent sentence together. They smell funny. Within seconds, you’re looking for the nearest available exit.

What happened? Your friend was completely sold on this person. But if your experience didn’t match up to their word-of-mouth, that praise turns to dust.

Word-of-mouth leads to research

Word-of-mouth is only the first step towards earning a customer. Have you thought about what they do after they hear a recommendation?

In the past, they might’ve looked you up in the Yellow Pages. These days, phone book usage has plummeted as more and more people look for instant information online.

The Internet allows people to research word-of-mouth recommendations within seconds. That’s right. People can hear about your business from their friends, colleagues, relatives, neighbors, and jump online to research you.

This is a significant shift. Before they ever step into your store, before they ever pick up the phone, they are checking you out online.

Take a moment to think about what impression your website gives potential clients. Are you satisfied with this or embarrassed?

Your website is your handshake to the world

Many times, your website hosts the first interaction between potential customer and your company. Make sure you’re sending the right message. Website design, content, usability, everything has to work for your clients.Handshake

Think of your website as your first chance to provide great customer service. Make sure you’ve done everything in your power to satisfy their needs for information, education, and convenience. What questions do people have about your company? What information do they need to do business with you?

Constantly think of ways you can improve their experience. This is a good faith promise that you will be there to help them every step of the way. Remember, these first online impressions can convert word-of-mouth recommendations into a customer, or drive them into the arms of your competition.

Word-of-mouth can echo across the web

The good news: word-of-mouth spreads just as fast online as it does in the real world. Review sites are springing up all across the Internet, and these opinions can make or break a prospect’s opinion about your business.

Yahoo! Local, Google Local, Yelp.com, InsiderPages, and a host of other sites are dedicated to providing consumers with information about your company. Make sure your information is updated, and encourage your happy customers to share the news about your company. And of course, make sure you post testimonials and reviews on your website as well.

Press releases and articles are another way to boost your credibility. People searching for your company can see a wealth of information about your success, philosophy, and business practices. Everything they need to feel secure doing business with you.

Word-of-mouth is still a powerful tool to drive business to your company. Your website can help convert these recommendations into satisfied customers.

Need help making that first impression? Give us a call; we can help.