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We've written some insightful, entertaining articles that span topics from support to design to content management and beyond!




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Small business owners are typically very busy running their own organization. However, even for busy small business leaders it would be difficult not to notice that voice-activated searching, both on mobile devices as well as "smart" homes devices, is becoming more and more popular. Those businesses who still think a desktop web presence is enough to garner ample interest in their organization need to take a second look at what is happening around them, or they risk getting left behind by emerging technologies.

 

Still not Mobile?

 

Any business in 2019 that does not have a web presence optimized for mobile devices will find themselves among the very few. Lagging behind the vast majority who have caught on that mobile is now the norm, is not a good place for anyone who hopes to succeed above their competitors. If they have not already done so, 2019 is the year for stragglers to commit to optimizing their web presence for mobile.

 

Emerging Technologies

 

Millions of individuals now heavily rely on voice commands to drive their activity on traditional devices such as smart phones and tablets. With voice activation of these devices now also very popular by way of Bluetooth-assisted vehicles, potential customers are changing the way they interact with the companies they want to do business with. One simple walk through a big box electronics store also reveals that smart home devices are becoming increasingly popular and are poised to add an entirely new way in which users surf the web.

 

Voice is the new Mobile 

 

A few years ago mobile web design was a newer concept. Now it is a mainstream concept with voice-activated smart devices coming up from behind -- within a few years, smart home devices may very well take the lead. Businesses who hope to continue to garner attention, must ensure their web presence is optimized for the changing way in which users will interact with the web. Namely, voice searches using natural language rather than cryptic fingertip searches.

If you would like to know how voice and mobile concepts are going to change the future of the world wide web, please contact us!

 

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This is a headshot of Brad Anderson.

A lot has been written on the subject of website accessibility, but there's a lot of confusion about it. Put simply, accessibility refers to designing devices, products, or services for people who have disabilities. Designing for accessibility issues gives the ability of potentially everyone, regardless of their condition, to have access your website. Not only is it law in several parts of the world, it's a way to respect the basic rights and dignity of everyone, regardless of their abilities. What things should you look for when trying to improve accessibility on your website?

 

Ontario's Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) defines several areas addressing accessibility issues with government agencies, organizations, and businesses, including websites. If you are a private or nonprofit organization with 50 or more employees, or a public-sector organization, your website is required to meet the accessibility requirements. The compliance deadline for new websites to comply was January 1st, 2014, and beginning January 1st, 2021, all public websites must meet level AA requirements.

 

Thankfully, when Ontario codified guidelines into law, they adopted the W3C WCAG 2.0 guidelines. The guidelines are fairly thorough, covering everything from making sure images have alternative text, to making sure that pre-recorded audio and video have captions, to making sure your website can be navigated entirely by keyboard. Since Ontario requires double A compliance, it also requires things such as minimum contrast ratio of text to background, and making sure that artwork on the website doesn't trigger people with photosensitive epilepsy.

 

If you're looking to upgrade your website while maintaining compliance, contact us. Our experienced staff is always ready to answer any questions you may have or assist you with developing your online presence. Our guiding principle is that you, the customer, come first, and will work to build a compliant website optimized for desktop and mobile use.

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This is a headshot of Brad Anderson.

 

Designing your own website is not as easy as you think. Of course, these days making a website with nothing but notepad and determination isn't your only option, but even when using a website builder there are a lot of aesthetic and technical issues that can come from saying no to the professionals. There are so many things that have to be considered when designing a website,

 

Is It Responsive?

 

One of the most common mistakes and often the hardest to fix is making your website responsive so that it loads cleanly and formats well on any device a user might visit your site on.

 

Your site may look good on a desktop monitor at 1080p, but someone trying to navigate your site on their phone might see everything as a jumbled mess because it's compressing everything onto a tiny screen. Even users who own tablets or laptops could be using different resolutions that while they aren't too far off still don't respond well to the formatting of the site.  

 

Is It Accessible?

 

Your site must be able to be used by people with varying disabilities ranging from problems with sight, hearing, or even difficulty with motor functions. Having captioned videos, images to important information, laying out your content in a non-confusing way, finding the right contrast colors for your site, even adding support for users to navigate your site with only a keyboard are all things that you need to think about when designing a website. You don't want to cut out a portion of your clientele because your website was too frustrating to navigate.

 

Is It Optimized? 

 

No one is going to see your site if it isn't optimized. Having good SEO and lots of keywords that connect to your site is vital to gain any traffic online these days. When someone searches something related to your company online, you want to be the first result they see. Optimizing your website and connecting it to your content takes some finesse.

 

Designing a website yourself is all well and good if you want to take the time, money, and resources to do so, but a company requires many things to grow and stay successful, and a website is too important these days to afford any mistakes with. In most cases, it's best to leave the design of your website to the professionals rather than to go at it yourself. There are so many things that have to be considered and it takes years of experience to know what works and what doesn't when talking about web design. To learn more, contact us.

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This is a headshot of Brad Anderson.

Why Using an Up-To-Date Browser is Important

 

mobile tablet user on google chrome updated browser

 

Updating your web browser will make your browsing experience more ideal. An updated web browser supports modern technology and applications used in websites. Browsers also often have security fixes that you will only have access to if you are using the latest version. Updates to browsers add new useful features to make using the web easier.

 

Modern Technology

 

The latest browsers have support for HTML5 and CSS3. HTML is the language that specifies web page content. The latest version of HTML, HTML5, has many new features to streamline web browsing. For example, external players are not required to play video and audio, and you can embed video directly into your web design rather than linking a user to YouTube.

 

Web design with HTML5 creates more attractive and accessible content. CSS is a language that specifies how web page elements should appear. CSS3 is the current version of CSS. CSS3 makes websites appear more attractive and makes interaction easier. Using an up-to-date browser ensures you will see the website in the way the web designer intended.

 

I would personally recommend using either Google Chrome or Opera, as they have the most robust and modern technology available today.

 

blackboard with ideas brainstorming chart in a modern backdrop

 

Security Fixes

 

No application is perfect, including web browsers. Often, new security issues arise that can impact the security and safety of your browsing. Using the latest version of a browser protects you from viruses and malware. Your privacy is also better protected by using an up-to-date browser.

 

You need to be especially careful of using completely obsolete browsers such as Internet Explorer, as you will be extremely vulnerable to virus and malware attacks such as the infamous "WannaCry" ransomware attack that recently swept the planet. This is because those browsers no longer produce updates to defend against things like these.

 

New Features

 

Each browser release contains new, useful features. By keeping your browser updated, you will have access to the latest and greatest features. These will make web browsing more pleasant. These features may include things like caching your browser history to save bandwidth on future visits to the same website, saving your passwords so that you don't have to type them in every time you visit a page, and add-ons such as AdBlocker which prevent those pesky pop-ups and sidebar advertisements from appearing. You will save time by using features meant to make your browsing efficient.

 

Using an up-to-date browser will optimize your web browsing experience. Check to make sure you are using the latest version of your web browser today.

 

If you have any questions or concerns about your browser use, feel free to ask these to our support team and we will be happy to follow up with you.

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This is a headshot of Jamie McBurney.

Technology Road Map Symbolism

 

"Technical Road Maps Are Never Done"

 

The calendar year has rolled over to 2016 and our latest quarterly general meeting has completed.  

 

It is safe to say that our entire team is so overwhelmingly enthusiastic about our next set of technical objectives, that they are bursting to spill the beans.

 

"I Want To Spill The Beans Too"

 

But I can't....not yet.  Let's just say that our technical accomplishments of the past are about to give the REM team the tools to jump even farther ahead of our competition!

 

Stay tuned for more details....

 

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This is a headshot of Jamie McBurney.

By the time you read this post, we've probably already selected a winner for our Holiday Greeting Card Music Puzzle but you still might have fun taking a look at what our team accomplished over a few Friday afternoon Creative Jam Sessions!

 

Our core culture revolves around a few guiding principles and it takes a lot of our effort to fulfill those objectives to a standard that makes us feel proud.

 

We often counter balance that hard work with some sort of activity that helps us stretch our legs (often literally) but in this case figuratively with a project that didn't have many business rules to adhere too.

 

Our Team Had Fun Creating Everything From Scratch

 

  • Sean Sanderson was able to create a festive back drop and establish his trademark typography.
  • Sean McParland created the random and wacky bobble head routines.
  • Ryan created the physics based snow fall.
  • Christine created the bobble people.
  • I added the music and the puzzle sequence.
  • Jill, Shauna & Rob provided feedback and collected customer praise!

 

It's cliche to say, but still true: a team that plays together stays together.  Thank you everyone for your kind words and feedback and I can't wait to see what happens in our next goofy project.

 

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This is a headshot of Jamie McBurney.

REM has always provided our customers with a higher degree of attention than our competition.  It is our number one value proposition put towards the "Customer Success Comes First" guiding principle.

 

Our existing customers already enjoy 150+ hours each month of free access to our live humans, located in Kitchener, Ontario, to solve business challenges, improve website aesthetics, and rank higher in Google searches.

 

They already trust our account facing team leaders, Laura and Jillian,  to help take great business ideas and make them successful digital strategies, and REM has been working hard to extend that concept to our other leaders!

 

If the title of the post wasn't a clear enough spoiler, REM is quickly creating our next fantastic customer success centred offering:

 

REM White Glove Services

 

The idea has been matured enough to finally give this teaser post and I can share some of the initial details to get you thinking about reaching the next plateau of excellence with REM.

 

Start Thinking:

  • Direct access to accomplished graphic designers - You Bet

  • Direct access to SEO strategists - No Problem

  • Bigger cloud storage repositories - Bingo

Come back in a few weeks to get the complete picture.  You'll enjoy the new opportunities to advance beyond your competitors!

 

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This is a headshot of Jamie McBurney.

Our new site has been happily humming along since we launched it a month or so ago.

 

This site launch was in conjunction with the launch of WebWiz@rd 4.0 and we couldn't be happier with the results!

 

We've added some great new sections to the site that are really interesting reads if you want to go deeper into collaborative psyche.

 

The star of the show is still WebWiz@rd.  Everything on our site is powered by the fantastic tool set found in our content management system

 

 

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I’m going to start by saying that I love WebWiz@rd 4.0.0!

 

There are a number of wonderful updates that have been made to WebWiz@rd with the recent launch of our updated CMS, and over the coming weeks I'm going to blog about some of my favourite changes.

 

A number of our updates decrease the amount of time it takes our clients to manage their websites.  This was obviously an important consideration when determining how our updates would take shape, because we understand that although our clients want their sites to look and function amazingly, they don't always have a great deal of time to maintain their sites.

 

One of the new features that I really appreciate is the addition of a new icon and link within the File Manager.  At the top of each image, there is a new icon which if clicked, loads the image directly into the Image Editor and of course directs the user to the Image Editor as well.

 

Nice.

 

(Oh my goodness, what a cute puppy!)

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This is a headshot of Jamie McBurney.

 

 

Our latest and greatest version of our WebWiz@rd content management system has just entered the exciting phase of Alpha testing.

 

The first live site to use the technology will of course be ours, and will be launched within the next few weeks!

 

A more exciting update will follow after our site launch.

 

 

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Contributors

Brad Anderson
128
September 19, 2019
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Ryan Covert
48
July 26, 2019
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Sean Sanderson
63
July 23, 2019
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Matt Stern
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July 16, 2019
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Sean Legge
1
June 28, 2019
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Sean McParland
17
June 28, 2019
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Rob Matlow
84
April 17, 2019
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Christine Votruba
24
January 18, 2019
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Todd Hannigan
47
November 13, 2018
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