Tackling Your Website’s ADA Compliance Checklist

Making your website ADA compliant is a tricky and complicated task that’s recently become a hotly debated issue, but we here at IT Decisions are ready to help you get started and up to code!

What exactly is ADA Compliance and why do websites need it?

In a nutshell, ADA (the Americans with Disabilities Act) compliance is working through a general checklist of tasks and guidelines to make sure your website can be easily and freely accessed by visitors who are differently-abled, such as blind users who use audio narration software to read websites to them or deaf users who need closed captions because they can’t hear the embedded audio in videos. The goal is to ensure that anyone who comes to your site won’t be blocked from accessing any of the content or information by means of good, thoughtful design or alternative methods of accessing the content.

Do all websites have to be ADA compliant?

While the ADA guidelines are vague when it comes to website accessibility it’s become a “better safe than sorry” situation that every site owner should consider, especially if your site is for a government organization or a public service. If a lawsuit is filed that your website is not accessible, you can be accused of discrimination and held liable to the tune of thousands of dollars in damages and legal fees.

Don’t let the threat of a lawsuit make you think accessibility isn’t important on its own! An open and accessible internet for everyone is something all site owners and developers should strive for. When we build a site we make sure that many of these items are cleared right out of the box, like making sure that all images have alt text and every page has a clear heading.

ADA Compliant design is good design!

One of the best things about making your site ADA compliant is that it also results in a clean, usable site for everyone. It can even help boost your SEO rankings! Many of the tasks required to make a site ADA compliant overlap with the ones to make a site user and SEO-friendly, like adding helpful alt text to every important image and using headings to make your site more readable. Getting your site compliant with ADA would work hand in hand with a larger SEO strategy designed to make your site more usable and visible to Google and other search engines.

ITD Interactive has the tools needed to make your site ADA compliant

If your site is a little older it wouldn’t hurt to have it scanned to see what needs to be improved to make your site ADA compliant. Many of the guidelines are common to newer sites, like including closed captions in videos, but if your site was built before video content was common then that’s just one thing that will likely need to be addressed.

ITD Interactive specializes in making websites ADA compliant and we can help make sure your site is both safe from litigation but more importantly accessible to anyone who wants to check out your content.

We’re a local business in Johnson City, Tennessee, but we can scan and improve sites anywhere around the country since these guidelines are so universal.

Contact ITD Interactive today if you’d like us to look at your site to see what it would take to make your website fully ADA compliant.

 

ITD Interactive - Inbound Marketing, SEO, eCommerce and Web Design

Why You Should Use Local Web Designers for Your Local Business Website

The business climate has been great for locally owned and operated businesses for the last several years. Many people feel a renewed sense of community. Supporting local small businesses is the perfect way to start loving where you live!

From restaurants and breweries to manufacturers and industrial facilities, local businesses are booming and they all have one thing in common: they need a well-designed website to stand out, search engine optimization to be found, and a social media strategy that will help them engage with the local market. That’s where your friendly neighborhood local web design and marketing firms like ITD Interactive come in!

Local Web Designers Understand Your Market and Customers

We understand your market because we are your market! We spend a lot of time examining and researching the local market for the same reason any local business does: to look for ways to expand our reach and find new customers. A local design firm will have a better understanding of how to reach local customers than a group from hundreds of miles away who may have never even stepped foot in your market before.

Here at ITD Interactive we always try to support our local businesses in the Tri-Cities. There’s no better way to understand how to reach customers of a business than to be a customer of that business yourself.

Local Web Designers Are a Part of Your Local Network

Since we all work in the same business community, there’s a good chance that we’ll know more than a few of the same people. This is a perfect opportunity to get real-world reviews. Just ask someone you know who’s worked with us! Every local business owner knows there’s no advertising better than good word-of-mouth. Take a look at our portfolio and testimonials to get an idea of who we’ve worked with.

Local Web Designers Are a Phone Call or Quick Trip Across Town Away

A quick Google search is all it takes to know there are a lot of options out there when it comes to building a website. There are definitely a lot of talented designers in the field. But there’s always a catch! If you’re a small business owner in Johnson City, TN and decide to go with a web design firm in Chicago or even somewhere a little closer like Asheville to build your site, you’ll always be working around their schedule. Designers in other cities often have a lot of local clients. They may even be in another time zone or work a totally different schedule. It may be difficult to get them on the phone if you have questions about your website or if your site is down and need to get it back up as soon as possible so you don’t lose any business.

ITD Interactive is a Proud Local Johnson City, TN Web Design Agency!

ITD Interactive is a local web site design firm. That means we’re within miles of any business in Johnson City and a short trip from Bristol, Kingsport, and the rest of the Tri-Cities area. We’re in the office normal hours every weekday and will respond to you within a business day if we happen to miss your call. When you need to see how something works you can drop by our office any time for a hands-on tutorial. If you’re lucky you’ll be here on a day that JC brings in her famous chocolate-chip cookies – we’re happy to share if there are any left!

If you’re in the Tri-Cities and are ready to see the difference in working with local, personable web designers drop us a line and let’s get to work!

 

ITD Interactive - Inbound Marketing, SEO, eCommerce and Web Design

Peggy Ann Bakery’s new Johnson City location announced with ITD Interactive website

Peggy Ann Bakery, a locally owned business in Greeneville, Tennessee since 1982, has partnered with ITD Interactive to develop their website and help build the brand for their new location in downtown Johnson City, Tennessee.

The owners of Peggy Ann Bakery decided to start with a “soft launch” for their website to offer general information about the new location. The full website will be launched closer to their opening date in Summer 2019.

In addition to general information about the business, ITD Interactive built forms for the site to allow visitors to ask the owners questions, sign up for opening updates, or apply for a job at the new bakery.

We look forward to this partnership with an exciting new local business! The finished site will be shared in the coming months.

If you’re thinking of starting a new local business or want to revamp the web presence of an existing one, get in touch with us! Our team has over 15 years of experience in Johnson City and the rest of the Tri-Cities and we understand our unique growing market.

Visit the Peggy Ann Bakery website

The mobile-friendly view of Peggy Ann Bakery’s website

New website launched for The Urology Clinic in Johnson City/Bristol

In April 2019 ITD Interactive developed and launched a brand new mobile-friendly website for The Urology Clinic, a urological health services practice with locations in both Johnson City, Tennessee and Bristol, Tennessee.

The new Urology Clinic website features a comprehensive list and descriptions of services offered by the clinic, downloadable forms for patients to fill out before visits, interactive forms for job applicants and general contact, and profiles of the doctors, surgeons, and physician extenders on staff.

The Urology Clinic was founded in 2000 in Johnson City, Tennessee with their second location opening in Bristol, Tennessee several years later. They offer urological health services to the entire Tri-Cities region.

Contact ITD Interactive today if your medical practice office is in need of a website facelift or SEO services! Our website hosting features a completely free SSL certificate to make ensuring your website is HIPAA compliant simple and painless.

See our work at JCUrology.com.

The mobile-friendly view of JCUrology.com

Web Design vs. Web Development – What’s the Difference?

As an entrepreneur, sometimes you’ll have a really great idea that won’t quite fit into the boundaries of a traditional WordPress or eCommerce site. There are many plugins and extensions available for each platform that can help make your ideas work but in some cases something more custom-made is better suited for your needs.

So…Web Design or Web Development?

The terms are often used interchangeably, but for the sake of clarity in this article we’re going to differentiate between the two. Web design typically refers to creating the layout and overall look of your site. Web development refers to the actual nitty-gritty of building a site or app like writing code and making major changes to established frameworks.

At ITD Interactive we primarily do our work on two platforms: WordPress for “normal” websites and Magento for eCommerce sites. Both are open source, secure solutions with a rich support network that make building sites for local businesses efficient and cost-effective. If you’ve got a more complicated idea than a standard WordPress or Magento site, custom development may be a better option.

Web Development Work is Customized for You

Since every client is different, our custom development work is a whole new piece of work for each client. One website might need a custom-made price calculator while another might need a color picker to help customers design buildings.

The great thing about WordPress and Magento is they’re easily adaptable with all kinds of available resources, meaning we have everything we need to make your idea work without breaking your budget.

Custom Web Development is Secure and Efficient

WordPress and Magento are open-source platforms, meaning anyone is free to build “plugins” or “extensions” that add new features to a website. Plugins can be useful to quickly make a site come to life but using too many of them can quickly bog your site down with unnecessary functions. Many plugins can be old and out of date with many vulnerabilities that leave your site open to malicious hackers. Other plugins can be full of added features you don’t even need.

Opting for a custom-built website or plugin means you get only what you need out of your website without any bloated unnecessary features that make your site slower and easier for hackers to break into. When you choose to go the custom development route you get only what you pay for — not a one-size-fits-all solution.

Custom Web Development Gives You Complete Control

Since you’re basically starting from scratch, every single facet of your project is totally up to you from the general look and feel of the site to how it reacts to input from users. We’ll work with you to make sure your site looks just the way you want it and works in a way that will keep your users coming back.

This level of customizability gives you an added benefit in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) because we’ll be able to precisely fine-tune it to get you the best results possible without any of the filler that comes in cookie-cutter website templates.

Maybe Web Design is All You Need!

If this all sounds overwhelming and you just need a simple, basic website or eCommerce store, we can certainly help you out with that too! Visit our Web Design services page or read more on our web design and marketing blog for more information.

Your ITD Interactive Project is Yours

Once your site or app is finished by ITD Interactive, it gets turned over to you as the owner whether you’re a web design or full development customer. We don’t retain the rights or hold your site hostage if you decide to move your it to another hosting or maintenance service in the future. Many one-size-fits-all website solutions leave you tied to a contract that means if you stop paying you no longer have a website and have to start from scratch.

With your ideas and our expertise, we can build something together that will make building your brand and business easier than ever before. Ask us how to get started today!

Website Redesign Case Study: White Construction Company

ITD Interactive Website Redesign Case Study: White Construction Company

“The website has been very beneficial for our company! I have seen an increase in leads coming in through our website. I am very pleased with the design and layout of our new website and our new website is more user friendly now. The new design your own building page gives our customers a visual of what color their new building will be. Having an up to date website makes our company stand out above the rest.”– Brandon White, Owner/Manager of White Construction

White Construction is a family-owned business in Johnson City, Tennessee that specializes in the sales and construction of metal roofing and “post frame buildings,” a type of structure that uses heavy wood beams as the frame with a metal roof on top. They approached ITD Interactive about a total site overhaul in early 2017.

White Construction’s existing website was built around 2007 and hadn’t changed much in the ten years since. It mainly served as a place to put contact information, general details about the business, and photos of completed construction projects. They wanted a new site with a more modern look that would be mobile-friendly, easy to update in-house and offer more content for potential customers to see. During the planning phase co-owner Brandon White also had an idea – what if there was a way for customers to visualize what their building might look like with their hundreds of color combinations?

The process began with a new brand for White Construction including a logo and color scheme. ITDi then developed a clean layout for the site with a consolidated navigation menu that organized the site’s content in a more user-friendly way that would also work well on mobile. A call to action was placed in a convenient location on appropriate pages to make it easy for customers to request quotes for their projects. We also visited White Construction’s location to take photos of their office and warehouse as well as building materials to use as textures on the page.

Creating a “Design Your Own Building” Page

Once the site was up and running, we began working on a solution for a building design tool customers could use to customize their project. Working from a high-resolution photo of a White Construction building we took, we created a Javascript-based tool that allows the user to select from any combination of the 17 colors of metal White Construction can offer for roofs, siding and trim. The photo of the building updates in real-time based on the options the user selects. Click here to see the White Construction building designer in action.

The Results of White Construction’s Redesign

Brandon White says they’ve noticed a marked increase in leads coming from their new website. Many users have noted the ease of using the site, as well as the how convenient the custom color tool is when deciding what colors to choose for their building. On launch we showed Brandon how he can use Google’s Real-Time Analytics tool to watch how traffic reacts on his website after one of the company’s commercials airs on local television stations to monitor what pages they’re visiting the most, which allowed us to retool the front page for an easier user experience.

Statistically the site is doing very well a year and a half after launch. There has been a steady increase of new visitors and the average user spends over three minutes on the site with the Gallery, Design Your Building and Contact Us for a Quote pages being among the most-visited on the site, offering an easy path for users to learn who White Construction is, what they do, and how to get started on a new project.

Does your website need a facelift or a total overhaul? Contact ITD Interactive today and get these kinds of results for your business! We’ll work with you to develop the perfect site to fit your business model and increase your bottom line.

 

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