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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.

Red mailbox with lots of envelopes flying out of it

 

One of the most common support questions that we get at REM involves our clients email hosting, and we get it – if something isn’t working right with your business email it can be rather frustration. The most frequent issue that support receives is our clients reaching their mailbox capacity and cannot receive emails.

 


 

How can you prevent this from happening? Let’s chat:

 

Clear out your Mailbox

More often than not we tend to keep emails for a long period of time. I have a really bad habit of not clearing out my mailbox. On a weekly basis I go into my mailbox and delete any old emails that I no longer need, this include a quick look through any folders. Once I’ve deleted emails that are no longer required, I always be sure to empty the deleted folder as well!

 


 

Use a 3rd Party Email Client

This is one thing that you should be doing regardless, REM gives you access to your email via a webmail account, it’s a basic platform that allows you to login and manage your email account. We do highly suggest that you configure your email addresses with a 3rd party Email Client such as Outlook, Gmail, or Thunderbird. Using these clients allows you to extend the use of your emails – it also helps you manage your storage. Most of these clients allow you to create personal folders which will remove them from the webmail and store them locally opposed to on our servers.

 


 

Increase your Support/Hosting Package

If you’ve exhausted all of these options, I would definitely suggest talking to our support team to determine if you can increase your mailbox storage or increase your hosting package to provide you with more email storage.

 


 

If you have concerns about consistently reaching your email capacity, please reach out to us at [email protected], we’ll help you determine next steps and review your package options.

 

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This is a headshot of Shauna Ramsaroop.

Woman using a laptop with the Webwizard login in the screen

 

Now that I have a few training sessions under my belt upon my return to REM, I’d like to share my experiences with you as a trainer, and as a fellow student. Once we have designed, built, tested and reviewed your website, we typically reach out and schedule a training session with you. Pre-pandemic, we would invite you into our awesome office and hangout in the boardroom. Nowadays, we’re inviting you into our homes and conducting training sessions virtually.

 

Depending on the site we’ve built for you, sometimes we split your training sessions into two parts, one 1.5-hour session for our standard modules and a secondary session for anything custom on your site, for example – eCommerce. As a student, I know first-hand that there is a lot of information provided to you, and it really is difficult to absorb new material. As a trainer I know the majority of what is presented to you in the training session doesn’t quite resonate until you’ve had a chance to play with the tools. 

 

Here are some tips to help you through the training session:

 

Taking notes is NOT essential

I know this is slightly breaking every rule when it comes to learning. However, we have compiled training documents for you and will send them after the session is complete for your reference. I honestly believe, you will get more out of the training session if you’re focused on how to navigate our tools.

 

Ask questions

Our trainers won’t get upset if you interrupt us. I promise. If you’re unclear of how something works based on the way we’ve presented it to you, ask us to clarify or explain it in a different way. Remember, we want you to succeed.

 

Provide us with hypotheticals

Our trainers do our best to understand your business, however we are limited, during your training sessions, give us examples of the results you want to achieve and we’ll show you how.

 

Once your training session is over, you’ve received the training documents go into [email protected] and update your content, make changes and get a feel for how it works. Remember, that’s not the end of the road for your learning either.

 

If you’re trying to change something and you’re stuck email us at [email protected] – we’re here to help.

 

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This is a headshot of Shauna Ramsaroop.

Illustration of multiple devices with online shopping graphics

 

I have to admit, I’ve never been one to shop online. I was stuck in the mindset of only making purchases if I could touch a product. With the onset of COVID-19, I was forced to surrender myself to the world of online shopping. Let’s just say I may never return to a shopping mall again.

 

The year of 2020 brought us all challenges, it also brought us new experiences and the way we do things has forever changed. My online shopping addiction holds a strong case for business owners that are selling tangible products – it’s time to look at your options.

 

Of course, there are many platforms that exist that can give you an online marketplace, however they do come at a cost. Some of them charge transactional fees, some require you to pay a monthly subscription and you will often find yourself waiting for assistance on a support line when something goes wrong.

 

If you haven’t guessed yet, this is my shameless plug for our [email protected]d eCommerce Module. It really is a behemoth of a platform and allows you showcase your products, limit your transaction fees (we don’t believe in dipping into your hard-earned profits), and feel confident that you are in full control of the products you want to sell and how you want to present them to the world.

 

Here are a few reasons as to why I personally enjoy working with our clients who use our eCommerce module:

 

It looks great

When we design the look and feel of your eCommerce pages, we ensure it’s cohesive with the design of your website. Most online marketplaces offer you template looks and colours, with our eCommerce module we deliberately design and build it to give your customers a pleasant visual experience that keeps them searching through your products.

 

It’s easy

Yes, you can have complicated product offerings, however we have done our best to build you a tool that makes complicated, easy. Not only are we here to train and guide you on how to showcase and organize your products, we’re also here to support you throughout your journey of selling online. When you hit a roadblock, we’ve got your back!

 

It’s customizable

Not only is the design custom to the look of your website, our developers are able to tweak the module to ensure that it fits your needs. We’re aware that each business has different needs, especially right now and our team will work tirelessly to ensure that we provide you with the tools that you need to succeed.

 

If you like what you’ve read about our eCommerce module, feel free to reach out to us. We’re here to have a conversation about what you need to flourish!

 

This is a headshot of Shauna Ramsaroop.

Illustration of people in front of CSM lettering

 

Our REM team consists of many different roles, in this blog I’m going to highlight some of the responsibilities of our Customer Success Team. Our Customer Success Managers (CSM’s) at REM act as hybrid contacts for you from the start of your journey with us, through the deployment and are here to support you after your website goes live.

 

The Early Stages

At the beginning of your project, CSM’s will typically reach out to start the discussing the hosting portion of your contract with REM. This includes transferring any domains, setting up DNS and email hosting. During this time, we explain the hosting packages that we have to offer you, discuss the importance of SSL Certificates and most importantly introduce ourselves!

 

Testing and Site Review’s

Once your site is built and tested by developers, the CSM’s will do a second round of testing. At REM we take testing your website very seriously to ensure that we hand you the best functioning website that we can. Once your site has gone through the rigorous testing stages, we reach out to you to schedule a Site Review (this is my favourite stage). A site review is the first time you see your website in its functioning form on our staging server. It’s typically a 15-minute conversation between you and your CSM reviewing the site together and discussing the outcome of the design/development of your site based on your engagement letter and concepts.

 

Training

[email protected] is a fantastic tool, it is user friendly and easy to navigate. CSM’s are armed with the knowledge and tools to provide you with training that is simple for you to understand and empower you to continuously update your website all on your own. We have many different modules ranging from our media collections, blogs and newsletters, eCommerce platforms and many more customized solutions based on your requirements. Our CSM’s will show you the ropes and guide you through managing your website.

 

Support

One of the most important aspects of our business model is to ensure that you always feel supported. Whether you’re struggling with changing something on your website, or something isn’t functioning the way you predicted, our CSM’s are here to support and help you. Whether you send us an email, or give us a call we’ll be sure to listen and help.

 

CSM’s at REM are here to build relationships with you and our goal is your success!

 

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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 [email protected] 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!

 

 

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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.

 

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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

 

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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 [email protected] 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!

 

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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: [email protected]

Support: [email protected]

 

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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: [email protected]lutions.com

Support: [email protected]

 

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