Blog posts of '2020' 'January'

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We are living in a world where things are constantly changing, new technologies give us great power to access more online, communicate better and in most cases improve our life styles.

And just like Uncle Ben told young Peter Parker, with great power comes great responsibility. When creating a website or an app a big responsibility should be making your solution accessible to the disabled.

Why do I have to make my website accessible?

Besides the obvious of being a good person. It is said that Google favors sites that meet the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 (WCAG). These guidelines have been around for some time, it is only over the last few years it has become an ISO standard.

Also you may want to lean on the side of caution, in 2017 Winn-Dixie lost an ADA (American with Disabilities Act) compliance lawsuit. The general consensus and preventive lesson here is that if you have a website that serves the general public, you may want to follow the guidelines.

What is ADA Compliance?

The Americans with Disabilities Act became law in 1990, in a nutshell it prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in all areas of public life. Although in the past it only focused on private sectors with 15 or more employees. Early this year new federal regulations will take effect stating that all federal institutions websites must meet AA compliance set out in WCAG 2.0.

How do I make my website ADA Compliant?

Although the long list of guidelines set out in WCAG 2.0 can seem quite daunting, it isn’t as difficult as it seems. If you have a good web developer, you can check off the requirements fairly seamlessly.

It is important to note it is easier to work accessibility features into your website through out the design and development cycle. Putting off the accessibility checklist to the end will take longer and may interfere with your initial design.

Ok great, so you now you have a long list of items to work through to make your website compliant. But how do you know if it is compliant, how is it measured? Luckily, there are a few good online tools out there to get you started and help you along the way. We have picked our favorite three.

1. Google Lighthouse

Lighthouse is a free to use, automated tool you can use to improve the quality of your web pages. It is a tool that audits and measures performance, accessibility and progressive web.

Lighthouse checks things like:

  • Color contrast ratios, a test to see if your background and foreground colors have enough contrast to be visible to people with impaired vision.
  • Elements like buttons and links have discernible names
  • Elements describe content well. Things like correct uses of title and alt attributes

When you run your report you will notice a list of recommended manual checks:

  1. The page has a logical tab order
  2. Interactive controls are keyboard focusable
  3. Interactive elements indicate their purpose and state
  4. The user’s focus is directed to new content added to the page
  5. User focus is not accidentally trapped in a region
  6. Custom controls have associated labels
  7. Custom controls have ARIA roles
  8. Visual order on the page follows DOM order
  9. Off screen content is hidden from assistive technology
  10. Headings do not skip levels
  11. HTML5 landmark elements are used to improve navigation

2. WAVE– Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool

Another handy tool that can help you work through your accessibility check list, is WAVE. WAVE, like Lighthouse will audit your website and provide you feedback and suggestions on how to adjust your site.

It’s powerful interactive checklist will highlight and warn you of issues that should be addressed. Because it is interactive, you will be able to click on the checklist result and it will take you to the problem area, ironically a great visual and intuitive aid for us.

3. Contrast Ratio Tool

Thirdly, a nifty website tool that allows you to measure color contrast ratio. By supplying the background color you and text color you want to test. You will be given a score, ideally you want to be over 4.

Phew.... last words

By using all three tools and some manual testing with your trusted web developer your website should be more inline with ADA and WCAG 2.0. At Zulu Shack Creative we can help you gear towards ADA compliance, that being said we are not lawyers, so what is perceived as compliant can at times be a grey area.

Nevertheless, it is nothing you should feel disheartened by, remember creating compliant websites is for the greater good. Ultimately you want your message or products reaching as many people as you can.

Win a Free Wordpress Website for you or your Company
Win a Free Wordpress Website for you or your Company

Zulu Shack Creative is a strong believer in giving back to the community and contributing to the for ever growing beast out there, the internet.

Now what could this beast do with? Your new website of course! Zulu Shack Creative is running a new competition where you can win you or your company a new website!

To enter the competition simply click the 'Enter Here' button and complete the form. We will ask you things like what kind of website you want to build, should you win and who you would like to build it for, if not yourself.

This will be our first competition this year, expect to see one later in the year too. Competition entries will end on the 4th of July 2019.

What kinda website do we accept, what are the specs and details?

Great question!  This is what you stand a chance to win and a rough guide to our terms and conditions:

The website will be your choice of a WordPress Theme available on the  Envato Market . The cost will be paid for by Zulu Shack Creative.

  1. The winning website will be hosted with Zulu Shack Creative for free, for the first year.
  2. It is best the winner have control over your domain, so it will be up to the winner to purchase their domain if they do not already have one. Our Zulu Shack Creative experts will need these details come day of the launch.
  3. Free SSL for the first year.
  4. Free weekly back ups courtesy of Zulu Shack Creative.
  5. 5 pages configured and customized to your brand or idea. Yes! we will go into the template of your choice and match it to your image and logo
    Five common pages are something like:
    i) Home Page
    ii) About Us
    iii) Services
    iv) Blog
    v) Contact Us
  1. As far as types of sites go, most are accepted. We do however, reserve the right to eliminate any entry we don’t see fit. Things like hunting Rhinos, torture or nasty things like that are a definite no go.

How to enter

  1. Simply fill in the entry form by clicking the “Enter Here” button

And that’s it! You will get a confirmation email confirming your entry and Zulu Shack Creative will keep you updated with the draw date and next steps.

How to win

  1. We will randomly draw 5 entries on the 4th of July 2019 from all the entries submitted.
  2. The 5 entrants drawn will be contacted and asked to re-confirm their email address. Failing to confirm your details will unfortunately mean forfeiting your spot.
  3. Zulu Shack Creative will then run a voting pole in which your friends and family can vote for your entry.
  4. After 1 week of voting, we will tally up the points and confirm the winner!

How the points are tallied

  1. When the 5 entries are randomly drawn, points will be assigned in relation to the number they are pulled:
    - So for example if you are pulled 1st you get 1 point
    - If you are pulled 2nd... 2 points and so on until 5 points. Ideally you want to be pulled last for the greatest change of winning.
  2. The top 3 in the voting results will be assigned points as well!
    - 5 points for the 1st place
    - 3 points for 2nd place
    - 2 points for 3rd place

In the event of a tie, the entrant with the most votes will win.

Let’s show one example of how it would go down

On the 4th of July 5 entrants are randomly drawn...

  1. Billy’s Resume Site
  2. Evergreen Insurance Site
  3. New Chef in Town Site
  4. Speedy Movers Site
  5. Ian and Elne’s Wedding Site

This would mean Ian and Elne’s wedding website are currently in the lead with 5 points. Billy on the other hand has 1 point.

Zulu Shack Creative then makes a Facebook post, where the peeps can vote for who they want to win. Let’s say the top 3 are as follows:

  1. New Chef In Town Site (5 points)
  2. Billy’s Resume Site (3 points)
  3. Ian and Elne’s wedding site (2 points)

Final scores are as follows:

  1. Billy’s Resume Site (1 + 3 = 4 points)
  2. Evergreen Insurance Site (2 + 0 = 2 points)
  3. New Chef in Town Site (3 + 5 = 8 points)
  4. Speedy Movers Site (4 + 0 = 4 points)
  5. Ian and Elne’s Wedding Site (5 + 2 = 7 points)

So as you can see the winner of a new website is the New Chef in Town Site.

From there the client will be contacted and the new website will be underway! The other top 4 will be offered discounts should they still want to persue their dream of a new and amazing website!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How many times can I enter?
You can enter one time per email address. Please respect the competition and do not spam. We reserve the right to disqualify any one who abuses the competition.

Should you be drawn more than once in the top 5, we will re-draw for those spots.

Q: I won now what?

Zulu shack Creative will contact you and discuss the next steps in your website.

Q: I am in the top 5 how do I claim my discount

Based on your final position Zulu Shack Creative will send you an option to still build your website at a discounted rate. The discount will depend on where you finish. That’s why it is important to get your friends to vote for you. The higher you finish the better your discount, should you not win.

Q: How long will my site take to build

We will schedule your project in just like any other project, with a 2 to 4 week turn around. A lot will also depend on you and how readily your are available with content.

More Questions? Please use the contact form provided.

Good Luck to all the contestants!
- Zulu Shack Creative