Get in touch with us today! Call us toll-free at 1.866.754.4111 or email us at sales@remwebsolutions.com
Web Design Kitchener Waterloo Guelph Cambridge AODA Development




Blog

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




This is a headshot of Shauna Ramsaroop.

Graphic depicting mailbox and envelopes coming out of a laptop

 

One of the many services that we offer at REM Web Solutions is email hosting. More often than not, our customer typically ties in Email services with their Hosting Support Package. Sometimes logging into a new email provider can be daunting, especially if you’re not overly tech savvy, don’t worry our support team is here to help you out. As our valued customers, we’re doing our best to find creative ways to best support you and are in the process of making videos that will walk you through step by step on how to set up and do certain tasks, whether email or WebWiz@rd related. Check out our first video below on how to login to your email for the first time, reset your password and set up the “Forgot your Password” functionality.

 

If you have any requests, please let us know and we’ll do our best to make supporting your needs that much easier!

 

 

Subscribe to this Blog Like on Facebook Tweet this! Share on LinkedIn
This is a headshot of Shauna Ramsaroop.

A bunch of polaroid photos on a table

 

Thoughtfully used pictures on websites go a long way. Not only are they used for decorative purposes and to spruce up the look and feel of your website. When strategically chosen and placed, images and graphics become a source of understanding the information presented on your website.

 

When it comes to AODA and the WCAG 2.0 it is imperative that images, videos and any content that isn’t text have some form of alternative text (Alt-Text) allowing them to be accessible to those with visual impairments. When using a screen-reader Alt Text become important so that computer programs can recognize and correctly describe images on a web page. When our designers and developers create AODA websites a significant amount of work goes into ensuring your images are correctly placed and have suitable Alt Texts attached in the code to ensure compliance.

 

When choosing images for your websites, our designers are sure to follow W3C’s Image Classification rules to ensure Alt Texts are assigned according to the images placed on your website. Some of the classifications are as follows:

  • Informative: Used to represent concepts or information

  • Decorative: Used to enhance the aesthetic and do not convey information

  • Functional: Used to represent functionality on the page

  • Complex: Used to simplify the representation of complex data

 

Our Customer Success Team will ensure that moving forward when you’re updating your websites, you are prepared to make use of our tools to easily update/add Alt Text to any images that you place on your website moving forward. This way you’re ensuring that images are accessible to those with visual impairments or those with other various disabilities.

 

Subscribe to this Blog Like on Facebook Tweet this! Share on LinkedIn
This is a headshot of Shauna Ramsaroop.

Graphics comparing good versus bad colour contrast

 

When designing your website, we enjoy being adventurous with our clients, especially when it comes to the colours you choose. Your website truly is your brand, an online reference to who you are and it’s extremely important that your design and colour scheme match who you are and what you stand for. When designing websites that need to be AODA compliant our designers and developers need to go the extra mile to ensure the colours you choose are both representative of you and fall within the compliance parameters of WCAG 2.0. This could be a tricky feat and here is why.

 

Colour Contrast

People with colour deficiencies and low vision may have difficulties viewing your website depending on the colours that you use. It is incredibly important that the contrast ratios comply with the requirements allowing people to receive information from your website visually. When choosing colours and fonts our designers and developers must following the following regulations:

  • Contrast– minimum ratio of 4.5:1

  • Bold & 14pt or 18pt + colour contrast ratio of 3:1

  • Add text labels to colour pickers

  • Use texture to complement colour information

  • Text on images should always use as high contrast as possible

  • Incidental/Decorative items such as logos are exempt

  • Colour Contrast Checkers: Web Aim Color Checker & CCA

 

Visual Hierarchy

Another very important aspect of AODA compliance is the ability to visually organize design elements in order of importance. This becomes mainly apparent when someone is using a device or screen reader to navigate content and information presented on a web page – typically this is done by tabbing on a specific type of keyboard.

 

In order for devices to navigate the content accordingly, headings must be strategically placed to allow a reader to comprehend the content, our designers and developers ensure the information is presented in an organized manner by making use of the correct Headings on a page:

  • Heading 1 – Only to be used once on a page

  • Heading 2 – Must be at least 1-point size smaller and follow an H1. Can have different styles

  • Heading 3 – Again must be smaller than H2. Is to be used as a subheading for H2 only

  • Heading 4 – must be smaller than H3. Is to be used as a subheading for H3 only and so on

 

When adding content to your website or designing the layout, it is extremely important to keep these regulations in mind. If you have any more question in regards to AODA compliance, or the information from this blog, please reach out to us!

 

Make your website AODA compliant! Visit aodawebsites.ca

AODA Websites logo

 

Subscribe to this Blog Like on Facebook Tweet this! Share on LinkedIn
This is a headshot of Shauna Ramsaroop.

Graphic depicting responsive design

 

One of the most crucial challenges we face at REM is ensuring our customers are receiving the most out of their websites. With consistently evolving technologies, it becomes our top priority to ensure our customers have access to the best tools that will support a successful business.

 

Over the past couple years, society has experienced significant advances in regards to the capabilities of mobile devices which means our clients are facing a new challenge – ensuring their websites are readily available at the touch of a fingertip on any type of device (desktop, mobile, tablets etc.).

 

As we move further away from desktop devices (PC’s and laptops) it becomes increasingly important for our websites to have responsive designs – this means your website is designed, developed and tested in a manner that will automatically adjust to the device your website is being viewed on, including images, fonts, forms etc.

 

Here are a few reasons why we suggest updating your existing website to a responsive design:

 

User Friendly Experience

User experience is by far one of the most important attributes of a responsive website. The easier it is for a visitor to navigate your website regardless of the device they are using dictates a level of professionalism that your business adheres to. It allows visitors to easily find information, share your content, and encourage them to revisit your website which boosts the image of your business as well as your SEO rankings.

 

Search Engine Optimization

In July 2019, Google announced that they would be implementing “Mobile-first indexing best practices”. This means that Googlebots would be using mobile versions of websites to index and rank for search purposes instead of desktop versions. For more detailed information on this you can visit their article here. This is definitely a direct response to the fact that more people are using mobile devices to browse the web, as per statista.com as of the first quarter in 2020; 56% of web traffic is from a mobile device. With a responsive website, your business is guaranteed to be indexed and ranked higher than those that do not have mobile versions. With a cleverly designed and developed responsive site, accompanied by additional SEO best practices, you are sure to see a boost in your search engine rankings.

 

Cost Effectiveness

Using the responsive tools in WebWiz@rd will save you money – we love saving you money! First and foremost, the content editor, media collections and menu builders have all been redesigned to allow you to manage the information you place on your website faster and on your own! A lot of the updates we implemented allow you to update sections of your website that previously our developers were required to update at an additional cost. With the responsive design, the most significant cost saving comes from not having to update desktop and mobile versions of your website separately. Each responsive site will now update simultaneously when an update is made, ensuring your site is presented in the best possible format for your visitors on any given device. Time is money – we get it!

 

Subscribe to this Blog Like on Facebook Tweet this! Share on LinkedIn
This is a headshot of Brad Anderson.

Anton Growth Management website on a computer monitor

 

About

Since 2005, AntonGM has been helping companies CONNECT, TRANSFORM, and GROW. Drawing on our 25+ years of cross-industry experience, we specialize in providing dedicated recruitment services and contingent project/program management support to our clients.

 

Our Recruitment Services division is led by Rick Van Looyen and features our unique Dedicated Recruitment Services offering, which provides both turnkey recruitment as well as direct support for your internal recruitment team on an ongoing basis. The recruitment team has experience in the consulting engineering, financial services and insurance, mining, oil and gas, construction, IT, and manufacturing sectors.

 

The Professional Services team, led by Dale Van Looyen, provides advisory and delivery support to ensure successful strategy execution across the IT, telecommunications, government, financial services and insurance verticals. Having partnered with industry leading consultants and niche services firms, we provide extended capabilities including, designing and implementing successful hardware and software asset management strategies; developing project portfolio management frameworks; business policy, process design, and enhancement; enterprise level service management programs; and governance, risk, and compliance strategies.

 

If you are interested in finding out how AntonGM can help your organization CONNECT, TRANSFORM and GROW, please give Dale, our managing Partner of Professional Services, a call at 519-208-9635.

 

Proudly located in Kitchener’s Innovation District, we have demonstrated success providing services to our clients across Canada and around the world.

 

AntonGM's Main Contact Person: Dale Van Looyen, Managing Partner, Professional Services

 

Established: 2005

Location: Kitchener, ON

 

Visit ANTON Growth Management website

 

 

 

Q:

Why did you choose REM?

 

A:

We chose to partner with REM Web Solutions for several key reasons including their depth of experience, client focus, and their robust self-serve management platform. The team at REM have been a pleasure to work with since the very beginning.

 


Q:

What was it like working with REM?

 

A:

Based on their commitment to get to know AntonGM as a company, we have a fresh, creative, and visually appealing website, which we are leveraging as part of our broader marketing and communications strategy.

 

 

We chose to partner with REM Web Solutions for several key reasons including their depth of experience, client focus, and their robust self-serve management platform.

 

-- Dale Van Looyen, Managing Partner, Professional Services

 


 

Learn first-hand how we can help you with your website needs.
Contact us today!

 

Toll Free: 1.866.754.4111

Phone: 519.884.4111

Sales: sales@remwebsolutions.com

Support: support@remwebsolutions.com

 

Subscribe to this Blog Like on Facebook Tweet this! Share on LinkedIn
This is a headshot of Brad Anderson.

Sweet Cheat's website on a computer monitor

 

About

Tiny Toad Creations Inc. began as CEO Amanda Carroll's personal mission to provide her friends and family with tasty treats that did not contain sugar. Not being satisfied with the sugar substitute options available, she researched and discovered monk fruit, a tiny gourd appreciated for hundreds of years in the Philippines for its sweet taste. The sweetness comes from an antioxidant, Mogroside V, which does not impact blood sugar levels. Today Tiny Toad Creations is pleased to offer three Sweet Cheat Products: Spoonable Monk Fruit, Chocolate Milk, and Hot Chocolate, all of which contain minimal ingredients, are vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, and naturally sweetened with monk fruit.

 

Sweet Cheat's Main Contact Person: Chrissy Vanderkooy, Director of Operations

 

No. of Employees: 3

 

Location: 92 King Street S, Waterloo, N2J 1P5

 

Established: 2017 after which Amanda spent over a year in Research and Development; we started actively selling in November 2018.

 

Visit Sweet Cheat's website

 

 

 

Q:

Why did you choose REM?

 

A:

We chose REM Web Solutions because members of our team had worked with them before on previous projects and were very pleased with the results. Also, because you have a great reputation in the KW area for delivering quality work at an excellent price point.

 


Q:

What was it like working with REM?

 

A:

We had a wonderful experience working with REM. The initial discussion and intake form allowed us the opportunity to communicate exactly what we were looking for. The designers interpreted our needs and created something beautiful and beyond our expectations. We received excellent training and support and without exception everyone we have dealt with at REM has been friendly and service-oriented. Overall, a fantastic experience!

 

 

Without exception everyone we have dealt with at REM has been friendly and service-oriented. Overall, a fantastic experience!

 

- Chrissy Vanderkooy,
Director of Operations

 


 

Learn first-hand how we can help you with your website needs.
Contact us today!

 

Toll Free: 1.866.754.4111

Phone: 519.884.4111

Sales: sales@remwebsolutions.com

Support: support@remwebsolutions.com

 

Subscribe to this Blog Like on Facebook Tweet this! Share on LinkedIn
This is a headshot of Brad Anderson.

WRFN's website on in a computer monitor

 

About

For families of children with special needs in Waterloo Region, Waterloo Region Family Network is the most broadly resourceful organization because: we are built by families, for families; we don’t require a diagnosis or criteria for eligibility; we provide resources and facilitate meaningful connections for families of all life stages. Our overarching purpose is to serve the family to support the child.

 

WRFN's Main Contact Person: Sue Simpson, Executive Director

 

No. of Employees: 7

Established: 2009

Location: Kitchener, ON

 

Visit WRFN's website

 

 

 

Q:

Why did you choose REM?

 

A:

We liked REM’s personable approach. When we reached out for a quote they asked to meet in person so they could fully understand what we needed from a new website. REM clearly explained what could be done and at what cost. We also appreciated that they provided a Not for Profit Discount.

 


Q:

What was it like working with REM?

 

A:

It was a pleasure working with REM! The team we worked with was extremely professional, supportive and always quick to reply. They were patient with us and took the time to understand how we needed our new website to function. They also provided training for our team that was geared to our level of understanding! Not only was REM great to work with while they developed our website, they have continued the same level of customer service with any ongoing support we’ve needed.

 

 

It was a pleasure working with REM! The team we worked with was extremely professional, supportive and always quick to reply. 

 

-- Sue Simpson, Executive Director

 


 

Learn first-hand how we can help you with your website needs.
Contact us today!

 

Toll Free: 1.866.754.4111

Phone: 519.884.4111

Sales: sales@remwebsolutions.com

Support: support@remwebsolutions.com

 

This is a headshot of Brad Anderson.

Business woman looking at a laptop

 

Nowadays, it's very easy to set up your own website. You can do this with WordPress which gives you a number of different website templates. You just have to insert your own images and content and voilà—you have your own website. At times, you may not even have to pay for maintaining this website, if you don't mind having a clunky web address.

 

This is great for someone who is just starting their own website or blog as a hobby. But if you're setting up a website for a business and your aim is to increase the number of visitors to your site in order to get more customers, then a DIY website may not be right for you.

 

Here are the 5 mistakes people make on DIY websites:

 

1.

Choosing the Most Popular Template

The fact that the template is popular shows that it is good. But it also shows that your website is going to end up looking like everyone else's.

 

 

2. 

Using the Images That the Template Comes With

You need to use your own distinct images. You can take the photos yourself or get them from a free website. Just make sure they won't look the same as everyone else's.

 

 

3. 

Not Providing Enough Information

Sometimes, people just write a few sentences describing their business and post them on their website. You need to provide more well-written information if you want customers to come to your site.

 

 

4.

Not Setting up a Blog

If you want people to keep coming to your website, you have to keep adding more information. You have to keep it relevant and fresh.

 

 

5.

Not Using Keywords

When people go to search engines, they type in keywords that are relevant to them. So if you want them to find you, you have to use the same keywords. Do some research about the keywords popular in your field and make sure they are used generously on your website (without keyword-stuffing).

 

 

Contact us to understand more about the mistakes people make on DIY websites.

 

Subscribe to this Blog Like on Facebook Tweet this! Share on LinkedIn
This is a headshot of Brad Anderson.

Every time a person hears about an interesting product or service, they're not likely to have a computer at hand. After all, when do you usually hear about something interesting? It's generally when you're hanging out with friends, having a beer or a coffee. Sure, there might be times when you get a good recommendation at work but, in general, people are too busy working to look up the website immediately.

 

So it's important to make sure that people are able to follow up on the recommendations they receive when they're not near a computer. And this means having a mobile-friendly website which will give them all the information they need immediately.

 

Hand holding a smartphone with REM's mobile website on it

 

Mobile-Friendly Images and Text

Any website can be made mobile-friendly as long as you use the right images and text. Yes, it may be difficult to fit a panoramic image into a phone. But it's always possible to avoid panoramic images and use close ups instead. Plus, it's a good idea to keep your content brief and to-the-point so that people will be able to read it on a phone as well. As long as you follow these two rules, you should be able to come up with a mobile-friendly website which serves you well.

 

The Uses of Mobile-Friendly Websites

Think about it from your own point of view. Haven't you often been tempted to look something up when you were with a friend—maybe the exact definition of a word or some information about a book or a movie that you want to recommend to someone? Maybe they told you about a dating site and you wanted to look it up. Or maybe you were trying to get some health information that would be pertinent to you or your friend. Maybe you were just looking for a good place to go to dinner.

 

Either way, the fact is that a lot of your internet searching nowadays is now done on a mobile phone. There are even people who don't own computers, only mobile phones. So it's a good idea to make sure that your website is mobile-friendly. Contact us for more information.

 

Subscribe to this Blog Like on Facebook Tweet this! Share on LinkedIn
This is a headshot of Brad Anderson.

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act or AODA was passed into law in 2005 and seeks to prevent barriers to resource access for people with disabilities.  While applicable to businesses in Ontario that have one or more employees, requirements and deadlines are specific to a business' size and type.

 

 

Illustration depicting AODA letters with people around it

 

Generally, AODA is made up of five standards as well as some general requirements.  The 5 standards are Customer Service, Information and Communication, Employment, Transportation and Design of Public Spaces.  These AODA standards in turn are part of the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (IASR), which includes the following general requirements: provide training, develop an accessibility policy, create a multi-year accessibility plan updated every five years and consider accessibility in procurement and when utilizing self-service kiosks.  To learn more about AODA, click here

 

Why You Should Care

So, you've got a website for your business but why should you care about accessibility?  Because it's the right thing to do and anyway you are legally required to follow the AODA with enforcement fines of up to $100,000 per day.  And this is not to mention that people with disabilities, have approximately $25 billion in spending power across Canada, so it is financially beneficial to decrease barriers to access on your website for people with disabilities.  Why would you want to pass up so many potential customers?

 

The Details

Beginning in 2021, all organizational websites for companies with 50 or more employees must conform with accessibility requirements under the AODA.  Internet-based mobile apps have requirements under this standard as well.  Areas to consider include social media accessibility, contrast and color schemes, screen reader compatibility, simple and clear writing, form validation and error recovery, alternate text for images and typographical layout.  To learn more about the specific tools and techniques used to increase website accessibility, check out this collection of articles.

 

If you need help designing an accessible website or improving the accessibility of your existing site, contact us.  We'd be happy to help!

 

Make your website AODA compliant! Visit aodawebsites.ca

AODA Websites logo

 

Subscribe to this Blog Like on Facebook Tweet this! Share on LinkedIn

Contributors

Shauna Ramsaroop
23
November 25, 2020
Show Shauna's Posts
Rob Matlow
100
November 24, 2020
Show Rob's Posts
Christine Votruba
27
July 28, 2020
Show Christine's Posts
Ryan Covert
48
July 26, 2019
Show Ryan's Posts
Sean Sanderson
63
July 23, 2019
Show Sean's Posts
Matt Stern
4
July 16, 2019
Show Matt's Posts
Sean Legge
1
June 28, 2019
Show Sean's Posts
Sean McParland
17
June 28, 2019
Show Sean's Posts
Todd Hannigan
47
November 13, 2018
Show Todd's Posts