Searching for a detailed EqualWeb review and need to know more about this service to determine if it’s the right solution to use for your website’s accessibility issues? This is the one that you’re looking for.
Are you aware that majority of websites today are still not complying with the American Disabilities Act (ADA) and Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1 (WCAG)? And the possible consequence for such non-compliance? Lawsuits.
This can be a major problem for a lot of web developers especially for those who have websites that have been existing for a few years already and are still not fully compliant with these very strict accessibility guidelines.
If you started out a website years ago and it has grown a lot to having thousands of pages without considering people with disabilities in mind, then you better start working on it before it gets noticed and flagged for accessibility issues.
But the silver lining is…
You don’t need to start from scratch and make manual adjustments or fixes to your website because that will require you a tremendous amount of effort and time.
There are a number of online solutions that are available in the market today that aims to resolve these particular issues with much faster results and among the popular brands known in this industry is EqualWeb.
What is EqualWeb?
EqualWeb is a developer of automated digital accessibility compliance solutions offering various services in this field including auditing, monitoring, remediation, consulting and training.
The company has been in operation for over 20 years now and has been developing these services specifically for the benefit of people with disabilities.
How does it work?
Compared to other services that only provide band-aid solutions, they have a suite of specific technologies that you can choose to avail such as scanning websites for non-compliance issues and doing detailed audits, integrating an advanced widget to websites to make it accessible and other offerings..
Such diversity of solutions make them one of the top choice in the market today when it comes to solving digital accessibility barriers and problems.
Here’s a quick preview of their pros and cons before we delve in deeper into the review:
- Compatible with most cross platforms
- Automated and manual audit and remediation
- Offers 100% compliance
- Provides accessibility certificate and statement
- Up to $1 million warranty
- Custom plans with flexible pricing
- Free 15 minutes meeting with accessibility specialist
- Live chat support not available
- Warranty only available for Full Remediation plans
How do you install EqualWeb with your website? This is most likely your first question and you’d also wonder if it will work well with the platform or CMS (content management software) that you are using.
Regardless of the system that your website currently utilizes, their widget supports any platform so you won’t have any problems when it comes to compatibility.
Here are some of the platforms that works with EqualWeb to name a few:
- Google Tag Manager
Do take note that the list above is just short preview of the systems that they support but to make it simple, EqualWeb will run on any site as long as you can insert their short code.
Why is this possible?
The integration of this short code allows them to operate not on the server but rather on the client side so it really doesn’t matter what language your website is built on.
So as long as you can insert their code into your site (which is more likely than not), it will work.
So how do you install EqualWeb on your website?
EqualWeb has prepared easy-to-follow guides in integrating their widget for every platform. If you would like to read the steps, simply go to their website, hover your on the Resources menu and then click on Integrations.
You will then be presented with a long list of platform options so locate the one that your website is using, click on it and then you will be taken to the detailed installation guide.
Let’s look at this basic guide for WordPress:
- Via the WordPress admin, you just need to go to the Plugins menu and search for “Insert Headers And Footers”. Once you found it in the results, install the plugin and then activate it afterwards.
- Go back to the WordPress admin main menu, go to Settings and click on Insert Headers And Footers. Paste the EqualWeb code in Scripts in Footer field and save.
- That’s it, you’re done! By now, the EqualWeb widget should be running on your website.
Here’s the thing:
In fact, adding this code can even be done by someone who doesn’t have experience in coding or web development as long as the basic guides as followed. But if you’re tech person then you’ll certainly know where to place this code.
Here’s a stunning fact:
A fifth of the global population experiences some type of disability. That’s 20% and you could potentially lose this much traffic for your website if you haven’t made any adjustments or changes to make it user-friendly for these types of users. This is what accessibility testing and remediation is attempting to resolve.
So what are EqualWeb’s accessibility testing solutions and are they really effective in auditing and solving these compliance issues?
For these concerns, they developed their Accessibility Checker. This is an automated tool that can be used to scan your website, spot any issues and list all the adjustments or fixes that are required to make it accessible.
This tool is available via a browser plugin that can be installed on Google Chrome. Do take note that this plugin is capable of identifying a maximum of 70% of accessibility issues.
Now what’s the catch?
Since this is a free service, you won’t be able to achieve full accessibility and will only be able to cover limited compliance issues.
It’s important to remember:
Manual audit remains to be the most accurate so you’ll need to avail their Full Remediation package if you want to achieve full compliance and make your website accessible for all types of users including those with disabilities.
In this part, we will be focusing on the EqualWeb accessibility widget and it if is indeed user-friendly for users with disabilities.
The embedded platform aims to make the website accessible for everyone and this included users that have personal limitations or some sort of disability.
The AI toolbar also comes with an Accessibility Statement that details all the adjustments that have been done on the website in order to achieve compliance. In relation to this, they will also release an accessibility certificate which will enumerate all the manual adjustments that have been done by their experts.
Via their remediation service, your website will be able to achieve compliance with various digital accessibility regulations including the following:
- ADA Title 3
- Section 508
- WCAG 2.1
- EN 301549
- Ontario aoda
- 5568 AA
Now let’s take a look at the widget and the 3 functions that users can adjust: navigation, color and content
With these adjustments, users with disabilities will be able to access the website based on the AA+ level of the WCAG 2.1 guidelines.
The functions under this category are primarily created for users that have epilepsy, motor impairments, people who are blind and also the elderly so they will be able to use the tools below to properly navigate the website:
Screen Reader Adjustment – Turning on this function will make the website compatible for users that utilize screen readers for browsing.
Keyboard Navigation – As the name implies, this will allow users to navigate the website using the keyboard instead of the mouse.
Smart Navigation – Via this function, users will be able to navigate the website using numeric keys.
Blinks Blocking – This will disable any blinking or flashing elements in the website which can trigger seizures.
Text Reader – For supported web browsers, this function will read aloud the texts in the website.
Voice Commands – Also for supported browsers, this will allow the user to execute commands via a microphone.
Users that have visual impairments or are color-blind will benefit from these functions. Via this section of the AI toolbar, they will have the liberty to adjust the colors of the website elements based on their own preferences.
Custom Color – Users will be able to customize the colors of the backgrounds, headings and contents of the website. There’s also an option to reset them.
Monochrome – This will adjust all the colors into grayscale.
Dark High-Contrast – This function will adjust the website’s background to black and the fonts with a bright color.
Bright High-Contrast – This will convert the website’s background to white and the fonts with a dark color.
Low Saturation – This lowers the color intensity so the content is less emphasized.
High Saturation – This increases the color intensity and puts more emphasis on the content.
Contrast Mode – This will change the default colors of the website to contrasting colors.
Via this function, all the content of the website can be automatically adjusted for users with different disabilities according to their accessibility needs. Under this section, there are plenty of customizations that can be done and we’ve listed them below:
Font Sizing – Users will be able to adjust not just the font size but also the line spacing and word spacing as well.
Cursor – This will make the cursor larger for better viewing and the color can be changed to a full white or black.
Magnifier – This will zoom the display and enlarge the entire content of the website.
Readable Font – This will change all the fonts in the website to sans-serif typeface to make it easily readable.
Image Descriptions – This will have a floating window that will show the descriptions of the images on the website.
Highlight Links – This will highlight all the links in the website by adding lines on them add changing their colors to a much more noticeable one.
Highlight Headers – This will highlight all the texts that have been labelled with a header (H1 to H6) tag.
Readable Mode – This will open a new window where the content of the website will be displayed to make it more readable for users.
Text Magnifier – This will increase the text size of the specific content where the cursor is placed. The magnified text will be displayed in a tooltip.
Read Focus – Automatically darkens the entire webpage and will only show the parts where the cursor is placed so the user will be able to focus on that section.
Reading Guide – Allows the user to focus on a specific content or element on the website by launching a virtual bar near the mouse cursor.
Dictionary – This feature is recommended for users that experience dyslexia. With this function, the user needs to highlight a specific word or phrase. Then, a new window will launch to show its meaning, which is resourced from the Oxford English dictionary.
Virtual Keyboard – As the name implies, this will launch a virtual keyboard on the screen and this will allow users to type content or fill-out forms via this input method.
The widget supports over 30 languages so if your website also caters to non-English-speaking users then their accessibility needs are also covered.
They support Arabic, Russian, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Dutch, Portuguese, Czech, Turkish, Chinese, Hebrew and many more.
Now you’re probably wondering how much would it cost to avail EqualWeb’s services.
Here’s what you need to know:
They have different pricing schemes for various solutions so it would be best to take into consideration what exactly are the services that you’d like to avail.
In this section, we will be discussing about the pricing for accessibility, auto AI-powered accessibility remediation, accessibility monitoring scan and their custom pricing as well.
There are 3 types of accessibility plans that are currently on offer: Free, Auto and Managed
The Free version is ideal to use if you’re operating a very basic website and want to use EqualWeb’s light accessibility features. This feature has limitations as with any free widgets.
For the Auto plan, you have the choice if availing the monthly or yearly pricing. If you choose to pay yearly, you’ll only be charged $390 per year while monthly payments have a price tag of $39. An annual payment will save you 20% since 1 year of paying the monthly fee will incur a total of $468.
Auto AI-powered Accessibility Remediation Pricing
For their remediation solutions, the benefits are the same regardless of the plan and the pricing is primarily based on the number of pages that you would like to scan. All plans will be able to use the accessibility widget complete with all of its 23 features, alternate text editor, accessibility statement, certificate of performance, and free monitor scan of up to 100 pages.
The Small plan which has a fee of $390 per year is ideal for small-sized websites and can scan up to 100 pages while the Medium plan is designed for medium-sized sites as it can scan up to 1,000 pages. This particular plan will cost $490 per year.
The Large plan can scan up to 10,000 pages and since the cap is bigger, the price is higher at $1,090 per year. Lastly, the Huge plan is priced at $1,690 per year and is capable of scanning a maximum of 100,000 pages.
Any of these plans have a 7-day free trial so you can test it for a week. This will give you ample time to explore all of its features and contemplate if you should continue with your subscription.
Accessibility Monitoring Scan Pricing
For this specific solution, there are 4 types of plans: Basic, Standard, Advanced and Enterprise
In general, the perks for all plans remain the same and the pricing is primarily based on the number of pages that will be scanned.
For the Basic plan, the service can scan a maximum of 100 pages and will have a annual fee of $590 while Standard plans support up to 1,000 pages with a fee of $990 per year.
The Advanced plan has a cap of up to 10,000 pages and has a price tag of $2990 per year while the Enterprise plan can scan up to 100,000 pages and would cost $9990 per year.
Accessibility Services Custom Pricing
If none of their plans seem to be fitted with your requirements, you can actually request for a custom pricing of their accessibility services.
You’ll be able to get a customized quotation for their fully-managed accessibility and auto AI remediation, documents accessibility tests and remediation, and website accessibility audit solutions.
To sum it all up, we believe that EqualWeb has a reasonable pricing for the solutions that they offer especially if you’re addressing the accessibility issues of an existing multi-page website that has been online for several years already.
Price-wise, it’s not cheap and falls within the medium range so be sure to know first the specific services that you need and then choose the right plan that matches your requirements. Otherwise, you can ask for a custom quote.
If you want really know how reliable a company is, you need to find out how good they are in terms of customer service. This certainly applies for web accessibility service providers.
Here’s the thing:
EqualWeb has a comprehensive set of materials and guides under their Resources menu so it would be wise to explore this section first prior to contacting their support team as it has a lot of information and one of them could be the answer to your question.
It has a lot of submenus including integrations, web accessibility languages, web accessibility law, ADA Compliance, a regularly updated blog and a Help Center.
And should you decide to contact them, you can reach the customer support team via phone or email. It’s good to know that they offer phone support because most brands in this field usually lack this feature.
Their website has a contact form that you can fill out with your name, email and phone number and other optional details such as the name of your company, URL of your website, country, number of employees and your message.
There’s no live chat but as an alternative, they added a widget on their website where you can book for a free 15-minute meeting with one of their accessibility specialist.
Should you decide to set a meeting, you will be required to provide your name, email address, website URL, mobile number, message and your preferred date and time.
Our overall experience with their customer service team was highly satisfactory. Their specialists are well-trained and are very much capable of answering even technical concerns and queries. Thich is a major plus since they market their service to website owners and developers.
EqualWeb has a complete set of solutions for any web accessibility issues. All you have to do is to pick the specific service and let their advanced technology or their experts do the work for you and have these issues resolved in no time.
There’s no need to be concerned about compatibility because their widget is capable of running flawlessly with any website as long as you can insert their code.
And when it comes to testing and scanning websites for compliance issues, there are a number of available options so you can select the best one that is most suited for your site’s accessibility requirements.
In comparison to other cheaper services out there in the same industry, they are much more advanced and already have years of experience to develop their proprietary technology that is primarily intended for people with disabilities. In short, they know what they are doing.
Overall, EqualWeb is no doubt the perfect for all of your website’s accessibility needs. A little pricey but definitely worth it.