A blind man sued Dominos Pizza after he couldn’t order a pizza on their website due to it’s poor design. Domino’s said that it was too much trouble to make a website accessible and would be too costly for every business to do that. The case went all the way to the Supreme Court and today they refused to hear the case against Domino’s Pizza. By refusing to hear the case they left the lower court’s ruling that websites are included in the ADA stay in effect. Access for all was established by the ADA and isn’t just about ramps for wheelchairs but also includes websites.
I’m so pleased with the Supreme Court ruling. When I lived in the Washington, DC area I used to car pool with a blind man and his guide dog (I always drove). He was a programmer and described how a screen reader would repeat what he had just typed. It was a laborious process and I was so impressed by his drive and patience to program like that. It made me very sensitive to the importance of designing sites that everyone will find easy to use.
Accessibility includes good contrasting colors, adequate spacing between elements, navigation that works with just the tab button, appropriately sized text and buttons, videos with transcripts, images with text descriptions and forms with labels on each field that the screen reader can easily detect and read.
You will save development costs if you work with a skilled developer who understands the guidelines and designs your site correctly from the very beginning.
If you’re worried about the accessibility of an existing site, please contact me and I can send you a free audit that will grade your site and give suggestions to improve it.
I’ve been working on a very large website for an engineering firm that specializes in projects that improve communities and the environment like restoring wetlands and estuaries.
The site uses beautiful images that fill the entire screen with bold text titles. These large images are called “hero” images. I wanted to display the pictures and titles in a way that would look great on all devices. The titles need to be very readable even on a small screen and I wanted to keep the title and images in the same ratios.
After some research and experimentation I found the perfect balance and created a codepen pen to show it off. In the screen print the white title sits in the top left corner of the dramatic night sky with the milky way. No matter how big or small the screen is the image and title remain in the same scale. This is an example of responsive web design.
The image is also a link to codepen.io so you can play around with the screen sizes to see how it adapts.
Codepen.io is a great website where you can make your own “sandbox” to play in and try new programming code. Developers post some interesting and very helpful ideas there. Web developers have new ways to layout web pages which are very flexibile. In fact, one of the layouts is called flex box. Its been eclipsed somewhat by CSS Grids which has more features. I read many articles that talked about using CSS Grids to divide a site into header, body, side bar and footer.
Most sites have way more sections than that. I wanted to create a template that I could use over and over again. I started playing around and came up with reusable, responsive grid layout that I posted on CodePen. It isn’t easy coming up with a new idea for codepen so I was thrilled when my pen was “picked” today.
I’ve attached a few screenshots as well as the link if you want to try it yourself.
When you type in the address of a website, programming code interprets what you want and pulls information from a database, retrieves instructions on how to style each page, and displays images such as logos and photos, animations and videos. All those files must be hosted on a server which is available 24/7 to anyone interested in your business. Servers require constant monitoring and updating and are kept in very secure, temperature controlled environments.
Thrive Web Solutions does not offer hosting services because there are dozens of well respected companies offering hosting at very affordable prices. We also believe it is in your best interest to have your own hosting account that is maintained by someone other than your developer. Hosting companies maintain servers around the world which means your site will not be disrupted if your city experiences an event like a temporary power outage. Our passion is helping you and your business be successful. We also understand that not every working relationship is a good fit. If you control the hosting account you have the ability to easily find another developer. That gives you peace of mind and keeps us on our toes.
We recommend purchasing all the services that support your website and business from different vendors. Keeping these services separate protects your personal data and prevents downtime. We purchased thrivewebsolutions.com from domains.google.com. We host our website at SiteGround.com and we subscribe to Outlook 365 email through GoDaddy.com.
We work with dozens of hosting companies and find they all use similar tools we’re very familiar with. If you’re creating a completely new website we’ll be happy to recommend several vendors for your needs.
We decided a couple of years ago to host all of our websites with SiteGround. They constantly upgrade their equipment and have amazing support. They are widely considered the best place for hosting WordPress sites. They have curated unique tools that will keep your site finely tuned and loading as quickly as possible.
We even joined the siteground affiliate program so we can offer you discounts and earn credits we can apply toward our hosting account. You can click the banner below to purchase a hosting account with special discounts.