Google Site Kit

Google just released its first plugin for WordPress called Google Site Kit. The kit integrates your site with all the services Google offers. This was previously quite a hassle because each service was a separate “silo” on different web pages. I’ve just installed it on a handful of websites and can validate it is a big step forward and a time saver. In fact, it feels a little bit like a late Christmas present!

The initial components include Google’s Search Console, Analytics, AdWords, Optimize, PageSpeed Insights and Tag Manager.

This plugin means you no longer need third party plugins like Monster Insights for Google reports.

It takes a little more than 2 hours to set the kit up with the functions I mentioned above. Not all the steps are obvious. Give yourself room to stumble around a bit.

Happy to answer any questions you might have or install the kit for you.

#google #SEO and #digitalmarketing just got a whole lot easier!

Screen Print of Google Site Kit

Supreme Court decides against Domino’s Pizza: Websites Must Be Accessible

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.

2nd CodePen is picked!

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.

Responsive Hero Image & Bold Title

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