In my previous listicle about the best accessibility plugins for WordPress, I briefly discussed and reviewed various accessibility tools. accessiBe was #1 tool in the list. While writing for that listicle, I had the chance to go through this tool in detail. I have collected those ideas here in the form of a review. If you are looking to try out accessiBe for the first time, this accessiBe review can be your best place to begin.
Need of an Accessibility Tool
Surprisingly, a lot of business owners are not aware of the fact that their sites are expected to meet certain standards of accessibility. They are also unaware of the impending lawsuits that they could have to face if they do not fix the issues. It might be unbelievable, but it is very much true. It’s not their fault though. Most web developers choose to ignore accessibility. Their code is not screen-reader friendly, the graphics are not suitable for all, including those with vision problems.
This is unethical at best and a ticking time bomb at worst. Unfortunately, achieving an optimal level of accessibility is a significant challenge.
If you have the funds and resources, you could simply hire the services of a web developer. These people do an audit and make the necessary alterations to your website to ensure that it is compliant with all the corresponding laws. However, this solution is not ideal because commercial websites tend to be dynamic.
Whenever you update it with fresh content, the accessibility issue can rear its head all over again. As a matter of fact, every year over 2,200 businesses get sued for failing to comply with accessibility standards in the US under the ADA Act.
This is where accessiBe comes into the play.
accessiBe is a unique, completely automated AI-powered platform intended to solve the issues faced by small business owners trying to make their sites accessible. Not only will this useful tool save you from potential legal trouble, but it will help you gain a better reputation and reach out to a much wider audience as well. I have tried to cover all these points in my accessiBe review here.
|Pricing||$41 per month onwards|
What Exactly Is Website Accessibility?
The ADA states that since business websites can be accessed by people all across the world, people with disabilities should be able to use them easily as well. After all, they count for over 20% of our internet users. The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 features a long list of recommendations to optimize your website for physically disabled users. Accessibility on the web is shortened as a11y, here 11 is the number of letters between a and y -— all ignored.
However, most of these recommendations require significant technical expertise like programming and coding. It can be a very expensive process as well, something not viable for small business owners. On the other hand, if you forgo this procedure, you will end up sued and your reputation will be tarnished as well. Thus, you need a way of making your website comply with accessibility guidelines without involving the hefty cost of hiring a professional.
Is my website ADA & WCAG Compliant?
Every third business website that I encounter is one way or another not compliant with accessibility laws. You can check whether your website is compliant with ADA and WCAG by using this tool called ace.
ace by accessiBe
ace (ace.accessibe.com) is a free accessibility checker for websites. It scans and evaluates your webpages for over 60 parameters. If you are a small business owner, you can request a free PDF report and use that as a reference to fix accessibility issues manually.
What is accessiBe?
How to use accessiBe?
If you own a WordPress website, accessiBe can be installed either by using the WordPress plugin or by inserting a couple of lines of code into your website’s body, as told earlier. Similar integrations are available on other CMS, tracking tools and eCommerce websites like Wix, Shopify, Weebly, Google Tag Manager etc. as well.
Once you install the plugin or insert the required code, an accessibility icon will be shown on your website. This icon can be used by your readers/customers to customize your website as per their needs.
This whole process of simplification takes around 48 hours after which your website becomes entirely ADA and WCAG compliant. After the first setup, the following scans will be done every 24 hours.
What are the benefits of using accessiBe?
Notably, accessiBe’s script is compatible with pretty much any website out there – even those created without involving a CMS. It can run on a wide range of website building platforms, including lesser known Concrete 5 to Joomla, Weebly and, of course, WordPress. You simply need to create a new account and copy the code that you need to add to your site. Even for that, accessiBe offers detailed installation guides that tell you how to do the needful.
accessiBe turns all your fresh content compliant with ADA, WCAG 2.1 and other accessibility standard guidelines, without mandating you to pay any extra fees. The state-of-the-art AI will automatically scan your site every 24 hours to ensure that all the elements in there are compliant with the regulations. The development team behind accessiBe were guided by an expert team of lawyers who are well acquainted with these regulations.
This is testified by the fact that companies using accessiBe to improve the accessibility of their sites have achieved a success rate of 96%. As its script will get integrated into your website’s code, visitors will be able to use both their mobiles and computers to access the interface. Let’s move to the next part of this accessiBe review: how does it work?
How does accessiBe work?
Some of the crucial issues identified and fixed by accessiBe are:
- Button functionalities
- Object hierarchies
- Structural elements
Accessibe’s script launches its accessibility platform once your site gets a visitor. If this user happens to be disabled, he or she will be able to use the platform instantly. They will then be given access to a large number of useful options, which they can use by clicking on the icons. They can select from the six different accessibility profiles available in there.
For example, a user suffering from epilepsy can stop animations or alter your website’s color scheme. Similarly, a visually impaired user can adjust the spacing between letters and font size. A color blind user can benefit from the “monochrome” option. Blind visitors using screen readers can set up their device settings in the “Navigation Adjustments” section.
Visitors will also have the option of muting sounds, hiding images, and accessing helpful links on the page. They can also launch a virtual keyboard and use the online dictionary. Apart from this, accessiBe also provides disabled users with a unique dropdown menu that has useful navigation facilities. This serves to make browsing through your website easier for them.
It is important to mention that these features don’t merely serve to help your website meet ADA and WCAG 2.1 guidelines. They help each and every visitor have a better experience on your website. That, in turn, helps you gain a better reputation and promote the growth of your business.
An interesting thing to note is that accessiBe’s interface manages only 30% of the site’s compliance needs. The remaining 70% is handled by its admirable artificial intelligence system. This AI makes sure that your website is freely accessible to all visitors. It uses machine learning to understand the concepts of accessibility, and then improvises its automatic website accessibility solution.
In fact, accessiBe is able to automatically scan all the images on your website. It can even add appropriate alt tags to them if needed, so that blind users are able to understand them conveniently. To ensure ADA and WCAG compliance, accessiBe will keep re-scanning your pages thoroughly at least once a day. Thus, even after you add fresh content, it will ensure that your site’s accessibility is not compromised.
How much does accessiBe cost to use?
Obviously, this is a question which must have come up in your mind now. Reading about its multitude of features above might have given you the impression that accessiBe is quite expensive. Fortunately, that is not true. As of now, there are four annual subscription plans available, depending on your requirements:
- Standard – For websites with less than 1,000 unique pages ($490)
- Large – For websites with less than 10,000 unique pages ($990)
- Huge – For websites with less than 100,000 unique pages ($1,490)
- Jumbo – For websites with less than 1,000,000 unique pages ($3,500)
Does that seem too expensive? If yes, then consider those pricey manual accessibility services offered by ADA compliance companies. In fact, one of those companies has been known to audit and identify accessibility issues for a ten-page website for $1,600! Plus, if you get sued for non-compliance, you will end up paying anywhere around $1,000 to $20,000 in legal fees. That much is more than enough to bring a small business down to rock bottom.
Now ask yourself, is that really a risk worth taking? When you think of the vast number of useful features offered by accessiBe, including automatic accessibility, you will realize that its pricing is actually rather low. You also have the option of taking up its 7-day trial to ascertain whether you are satisfied with its offerings or not.
accessiBe is for Small Business websites
As the pricing suggest, individuals cannot afford accessiBe. Its pricing is suitable only for businesses having an online storefronts. If you are making even a thousand dollars per month, there is no harm paying $41 per month. Having an accessible website will save you from the risk of paying thousands of dollars in legal fees.
accessibe Review Summary
accessiBe helps small business owners make their websites compliant with ADA, WCAG and other international accessibility laws. While most of the actions are automated, you are advised to consult your web developer or accessiBe customer support for a perfect solution to accessibility on your sites.
It is your duty as a business owner to ensure a positive experience for everyone who visits your website. Also, you must make sure that your business complies with the concerned legal guidelines and regulations. For that, accessiBe is one of the absolute best tools you will ever come across in the market. By investing in it, you will avoid legal prosecution that can cause irreversible damage to your business and reputation. You will also reach out to a larger group of customers and get more sales. And of course, you will be at peace knowing that you have done something noble for your disabled customers.
You really don’t need to look any further when it comes to website accessibility. accessiBe is a truly wholesome and complete solution to virtually every issue that can arise in this regard. Rest assured, you will be putting your money and faith in the right thing. Experience its free trial today and see for yourself. It is an indispensable asset to keep your business growing and thriving in the long run. But remember, accessiBe is not for general websites. If you are a small business owner and have a developer to spend a couple of hours on your website, accessiBe helps. That was all in this accessiBe review.