How to blur the background in Google Meet

Google has three online meeting tools; Duo, Hangouts, and Meet. With the on-going pandemic and the sharp increase in the use of online meeting tools, Google has chosen to push Google Meet to users looking for a new and reliable solution for online audio/video calls.

Blur background in Google Meet

Up until this pandemic, online audio/video calling services were passively competing with each other. The rise in demand for these services has led most, if not all, of them to add new features. Google Meet is no different though it has been lagging behind other tools. 

You can now blur the background automatically in Google Meet.

  1. Start a new Google Meet meeting (you can start one from Gmail), or click the link to a meeting.
  2. On the preview screen, click the more options button at the top right, and select ‘Turn on background blur’ option.
  3. Alternatively, there’s a background blur toggle at the bottom right of the preview screen that you can tap to quickly enable/disable background blur. 

Background blur & system resources

Google Meet works in a browser and browsers alone tend to take a toll on a system. This feature is going to further tax your system’s resources. It could take enough of a toll that the call quality may end up suffering.

There’s no way around it just yet. If the call quality drops to a point where you can no longer communicate easily, your only option is to disable the background blur.

Google may have implemented a background blur feature but it isn’t exactly optimized to run smoothly on systems with varying capabilities. Apps like Microsoft Teams and Skype do an exponentially better job at handling call quality while still being able to blur the background. Zoom manages backgrounds so well that users of the app actively look for creative backgrounds to use in their meetings.

It’s plain to see that Google hasn’t really made much of an effort here. The feature has been released at a point where many people are now returning to physical workspaces. Google did very little to take advantage of the initial rise in demand for an online meeting tool.

As for how well it works, it does blur the background effectively. You may get some edges around yourself but the background is blurred enough that you can hide a messy room easily. 

It’s a good idea to sit in a well-lit place and against a background that doesn’t blend too well with you to get more accurate blurring.

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How to FIX Chrome Remote Desktop Not Working (Tutorial)

Remote access is an incredible tool when it comes to troubleshooting a system and you do not have physical access to it. Unfortunately, setting up a remote connection between two computers isn’t always the easiest, especially if the two systems are running different operating systems. There are lots of apps that aim to make this simpler but few come as close as the Chrome Remote Desktop tool.

Chrome remote desktop

The Chrome remote desktop app is nine years old and still holds up well against lots of remote access solutions. It works with the Chrome browser and also exists as a stand-alone app.

When you set up a connection with the Chrome remote desktop tool, you need;

  • An active internet connection on both systems.
  • Chrome installed on both systems.
  • The Chrome remote desktop tool installed on both systems and signed into the same Google account.

It’s simple enough to set up but sometimes the connection fails to establish.

Fix: Chrome Remote Desktop Not Working

The great thing about Chrome Remote Desktop is how easy it is to set up. If it doesn’t work, i.e., you’re unable to establish a connection between computers, the fix is likewise pretty simple. Try all of the following.

1. Check connection

The internet connection on both the host and the remote system must be stable. Make sure that your own system is able to access the internet and have someone verify the same on the remote system.

  1. Open a command line tool on the system e.g. on Windows 10 open Command Prompt, on macOS, open Terminal.
  2. Run the following command.

On Windows 10;

ping -t 8.8.8.8

On macOS;

ping -t 20 8.8.8.8
  1. Check the variance for the Time value. If the numbers rise and fall dramatically, your internet connection is likely unstable or having difficulty communicating with websites. Troubleshoot your connection.

2. Uninstall and reinstall Chrome Remote Desktop

The Chrome Remote Desktop tool is almost a decade old but because it is a browser-based tool, it can run into all sorts of problems that prevent a connection from being established. Uninstalling and reinstalling the app will fix the problem in many cases.

  1. Open the Control Panel.
  2. Go to Programs>Uninstall a program.
  3. Look for the Chrome Remote Desktop tool in the list of installed programs, and select it.
  4. Click the Uninstall button.
  5. Allow the app to be uninstalled.
  6. Restart the system.
  7. Install Chrome Remote Desktop, and try the connection again.

3. Use the Chrome Remote Desktop web app

Chrome Remote Desktop exists as a stand-alone app, and it can work via your browser. If you’re unable to connect to a remote system via the app, try the web app in Chrome.

  1. Open Chrome.
  2. Visit this link.
  3. Sign in with your Google account.
  4. Select a system to connect to.

4. Delete a system and add it again

  1. Open Chrome Remote Desktop on the host system.
  2. Find the remote system you’re trying to connect to.
  3. Click the trash icon (Disable remote connection) button next to it.
  4. Once deleted, set up Remote Desktop on the remote system again.  
  5. When the remote system reappears in Chrome Remote Desktop on the host system, select it, and connect to it.

5. Connect without a PIN

All systems that are added to Chrome Remote Desktop are set up with a PIN that is used to authenticate the connection. Sometimes, this PIN doesn’t work. You can try using a code instead.

  1. On the remote system, open Chrome Remote Desktop.
  2. Go to the Remote Support tab.
  3. Click the ‘Generate Code’ button.
  4. Share the code with the person trying to remotely connect to the system.
  5. On the host system, open Chrome Remote Desktop.
  6. Go to the ‘Remote Support’ tab.
  7. Enter the code shared with you under the ‘Give Support’ field.
  8. Allow the connection to be established.

6. Check permissions

The Chrome Remote Desktop tool needs certain permissions to work. On Windows 10, it asks for all permissions when it is installed. On macOS, the permissions are asked for only when needed. Regardless which system you’re on, make sure that you’ve granted the tool all the permissions it needs and then try establishing a connection.

7. Disable VPN

If you are using a VPN on the host or the remote system, turn it Off. The tool may have trouble establishing a stable connection with a VPN running. It’s also possible that your VPN is experiencing problems or that it doesn’t play nice with remote access tools. Turn it off, and try connecting.

Conclusion

Chrome Remote Desktop remains one of the easiest cross-platform remote access tools. It may run into problems now and then but troubleshooting them is easy. With complex remote access tools like TeamViewer, users end up going through network settings they are unfamiliar just to set the tool up. Troubleshooting a tool like that is all the more frustrating. Chrome Remote Desktop may take a few tries to get going but it offers a stable connection otherwise, and trouble connecting is rare as it is.

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How To Use Gmail With Your Custom Domain (For Free)

Gmail is ubiquitous and easy to use, but that “@gmail.com” at the end of your company’s email address is seriously undermining your brand authority. Custom email domains are far more professional, but they are often gated behind paid solutions like Google’s G Suite.

If you’d rather not shell out the cash, there’s good news: you can create your own custom email domain, without sacrificing the convenience of Gmail. And yes, you can do it 100% free using our workaround.

However, just because something’s free, doesn’t automatically make it better in all situations. Indeed, our clever hack has limitations–which G Suite handles with ease. Before diving in, let’s take a look at why G Suite is the industry standard so we can compare whether it’s worth it to use our workaround.

How G Suite justifies your investment and boosts productivity

Yes, it’s perfectly possible to use gmail with a custom domain without G Suite, as we’ll show you below. But custom email domains for your business are just a single facet of what G Suite has to offer.

For example, our hack lets you append your domain to a single email address through the magic of email forwarding. This is fine if you’re the only person in your company who needs such an email–but what if you’ve got employees?

In short, G Suite makes it easy to assemble team members under your business domain, providing a common platform for collaboration and sharing of files. Here’s an example of what you can do with G Suite:

  • You can set up custom emails for every team member according to their name and/or function. Examples: info@mybusiness.com, thom.sales@mybusiness.com, julie@support.mybusiness.com, etc.
  • If you hire freelancers or contractors, you can create accounts for them on the fly, then revoke access with a single click once the project’s completed.
  • Easily sync calendar events across your entire team, and centralize communications via Google’s Chat, Video, and Voice conferencing.
  • Share files and folders including Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, Keep notes, and more.
  • Customize retention policies per user for all this data, and archive it with unlimited cloud storage via Drive. Easily search and recall anything from the vault with eDiscovery.
  • Boost productivity via custom workflows, automation, and integrations with Google Apps Script
  • Track user activity via in-depth audit reports.

As you can see, this is a ton of functionality for what boils down to a modest monthly investment. If you’re running anything other than a sole proprietorship, you owe it to yourself to give G Suite a shot.

For less than the price of lunch, you’ll gain a massive operational edge within Google’s centralized ecosystem. The boost in productivity should more than justify the base $12/month.

And if that’s not enough, sign up with our exclusive discount, and save X%. Try it completely free for 14 days, then pay just $X.XX when you use our link.

How to make a FREE custom Gmail domain for your business

We get it, sometimes the all-in solution isn’t for you. After all, if you need a single tool, why spend extra for the whole toolbox? Especially when you can spend nothing at all!

If you’re ready to boost the professionalism of your brand, here’s how to get a FREE custom email domain through Gmail. Normally, this is reserved for paying G Suite subscribers, but you can work around this limitation using the following steps:

Step 1 – Make a standard Gmail account for your business

Google makes it incredibly easy to get started with its world-renowned email service. Just click over to https://accounts.google.com/SignUp. Next:

  1. Fill in your name, and then pick an appropriate username–something like myname.mybusiness@gmail.com is ideal.
  2. If account security and backup access is important to you, enter your phone number and recover email address. Your birthday and gender are required to move forward, though there are custom options including “Rather Not Say” for the latter.
  3. Review the Terms of Service, then click Agree.

Now you’re in! This is where you’ll manage all of your emails, within the comfort of Gmail’s plush inbox UI.

Step 2 – Register your custom domain

Next, you’ll create the domain your business provides for customers to interact with. If you’ve already got a fully functional website or you’ve registered the domain you want to use, you can probably skip this step.

Otherwise, you’ll need to select a registrar for your domain that includes email forwarding. While domains vary greatly in cost, many all-in-one webhosting services offer free domain registration as part their hosting package.

Here are a few domain registrars which offer email forwarding:

  • BlueHost
  • GoDaddy
  • HostGator
  • Namecheap
  • Siteground

Once you’ve done this, you’ll have an email associated with your website. It’ll look something like myname@mybusiness.com. This is the address your customers will find on the Contact page of your site, and use to communicate with your team.

Please note: if your host doesn’t have email forwarding tools as part of its service, you’ll need to transfer your domain to one that does. Most major hosts have processes that make this extremely easy, so worry not!

Step 3 – Configure forwarding between your domain email and Gmail

Now we get to the good stuff: forwarding emails sent to your business domain on to your Gmail (and vice versa). This step is divided into two parts for inbound and outbound emails.

Forwarding incoming emails to Gmail

Every compatible hosting service has their own way of configuring incoming email forwarding, but generally the process looks like this:

  1. Sign into your admin account with your site host
  2. Navigate to the tab or menu item dealing with email management
  3. Find the option for forwarding, then enter the myname.mybusiness@gmail.com address you created in Step 1.

Forwarding outgoing emails through your domain email

Once you’ve got incoming email forwarding set up, you’ll need to do the same within Gmail for outgoing emails. Luckily, Google allows us to do this for free via its SMTP servers. Here’s how:

  1. Within your Google account, navigate to Settings > Security > Less Secure app access, and turn it On. (If you’ve got 2-Step Verification, you’ll need to generate an application-specific password)
  2. Next, go to Gmail. Click the Gear Icon at the top-right, then the Accounts and Import Under Send Mail As, click Add another email address and fill the myname@mybusiness.com custom domain email from Step 2 into the pop-up field. Tick the box next for Treat as an alias, then click Next Step >>.
  3. Enter the following settings:
    • SMTP Server – smtp.gmail.com
    • Username – myname.mybusiness
    • Password – Your Gmail password (or application-specific password)
    • Port/Secure connection using – 465/SSL or 587/TLS
  4. An email will be sent to your forwarding address. Click the verification link within through to the Gmail Settings page. Here, click Make default next to myname@myaddress.com.

Test out your forwarding

Once you’ve configured in/outbound email forwarding, you’ll want to test it out.

Send an email to a colleague or another email address you control from myname.mybusiness@gmail.com. It should appear in that inbox as coming from myname@mybusiness.com.

Then, respond to that email (or have your colleague do it) with another test email. If it hits your Gmail inbox without any problems–congratulations! You’ve successfully hacked together free custom email domain without paying Google for G Suite.

Get G Suite for free if you qualify

Believe it or not, you may not even have to go through the trouble making a custom Gmail domain via our 3-step workaround. There are two instances when your company can get G suite for free:

  • If your company is a non-profit, check out the Google for Nonprofits Here, you can register as a non-profit, and get full access to G Suite Basic without paying a dime.
  • Similarly, G Suite Education is available for schools, which includes the full product suite, video conferencing, and unlimited storage.

In both cases, it’s not only possible but incredibly easy to create free email addresses using your website domain through G Suite. What’s more, you can do this for each of your team members. Check out Google’s documentation to get started.

Wrapping up

Nothing beats the convenience of Gmail’s interface, but customers overwhelmingly prefer and trust business domain emails. Nevertheless, it’s totally possible to have your cake and eat it–without shelling out for G Suite. If you’re a small company on a tight budget, using our workaround to make a Gmail custom domain email for free can be a lifesaver.

Got any questions about creating an email address with your own domain name? Reach out to us below!

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How to watch free Netflix shows

Netflix, unlike Hulu, never had a free version. Unlike Hulu though, Netflix is available in far more regions. In fact, Hulu is only available in the US while Netflix is available in 190 countries. Of course, users in those countries still have to purchase a monthly subscription and the content they see isn’t the same that US users see.

Watch Free Netflix shows

Netflix still doesn’t have a ‘free’ model however, some of its titles are available for free. You do not need to create an account, and you do not need a credit card. The only limitation is that you cannot access free Netflix shows from an iPhone or an iPad.

watch netflix free

Eligible devices

The following devices can be used to watch free Netflix shows;

  • A Mac (any kind)
  • A Windows 10 system (desktop, laptop, or tablet)
  • An Android phone or tablet

iOS devices are NOT eligible.

Eligible countries

All countries that Netflix is available in can access the free content. View the full country list here.

How to watch

There is a dedicated URL that must be accessed to watch free Netflix shows.

  1. Visit netflix.com/pk/watch-free.
  2. Scroll through the available titles.
  3. Click Watch Now under the title you want to watch.

free netflix shows

Available titles

For now, it seems the available titles that you can watch free are;

  1. Stranger things (Netflix Show. Full season and episodes are presumed available though users cannot select an episode to watch out of order).
  2. Murder Mystery (Netflix Movie)
  3. Elite (Netflix Show)
  4. Boss Baby: Back in business (Netflix Show)
  5. Birdbox (Netflix Movie)
  6. When they see us (Netflix series)
  7. Love is Blind (Netflix series)
  8. The Two Popes (Netflix Movie)
  9. Our Planet (Netflix series)
  10. Grace and Frankie (Netflix Series)

The content is all Netflix produced series and movies. Some of these titles may be removed and replaced with newer ones at a later point. Netflix hasn’t stated if this is a temporary offering or if these titles will be available indefinitely.

Conclusion

Netflix is already available in most countries so this isn’t an attempt to expand geographically. The free offering includes some of the most popular content and may help the service gain new users, especially those on the fence about whether or not a subscription is worth its price. One major limitation with Netflix is that its content is geographically restricted so while its library has some great titles, not everyone can watch everything in it. Netflix produced content is available everywhere though so using it to gain more paid users makes sense.

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How to Make a Website Accessible with accessiBe

Ensuring your business website is accessible and compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) can be frustrating, but it’s super important.

It is expensive, time-consuming, and factors such as website updates can disrupt your design and break the code that makes your site accessible.

Also, compliance codes can change anytime, making it hard for you to keep up and ensure web accessibility at all times, leading your small to medium business to face ADA lawsuits.

This is where the web accessibility solution accessiBe comes in.

accessiBe is an affordable automated web accessibility solution that helps you achieve Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) and ADA compliance.

In this accessiBe review, we’ll dive into all it’s features and functionalities, the technology at the back end and learn about web accessibility as a whole.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • Why web accessibility is important, including legislation and web accessibility guidelines.
  • How to install accessiBe on your website.
  • Perform a website audit using aCe to identify your site’s accessibility issues.
  • accessiBe’s accessibility interface that mostly deals with your website’s design and user interface.
  • accessiBe’s AI-based background application for screen reader and keyboard navigation optimization.
  • accessiBe’s pricing plans.
  • How accessibility plugins, manual solutions, and competitor platforms fare against accessiBe.

Why is web accessibility important and the compliance guidelines

Before going into accessiBe’s features, let’s learn first the different types of compliance guidelines to understand how accessiBe helps you adhere to them and avoid accessibility-related lawsuits.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

The ADA is a civil rights law containing prohibitions on discriminating against people with disabilities in all areas of public life.

This includes transportation, schools, jobs, and all private and public places considered “public accommodation.”

The ADA’s series of prohibitions is divided into five sections or titles relating to the different areas of public life.

Title III deals with public accommodations and defines it as businesses and private entities that provide public services and goods or are open to the public.

Although the DOJ has affirmed that websites are considered places of public accommodation, a defined set of rules for how to achieve ADA compliance online haven’t been officially released.

Instead, most courts have been relying on the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 Level AA, the most widely adopted and recognized standards for web accessibility, to determine whether a website is accessible.

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1

The WCAG was created by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) to provide web accessibility recommendations and standards.

The WCAG 2.1 (the latest version of the success criteria standard) offers a broad spectrum of technical recommendations to make your web content accessible to many people with various disabilities.

To be WCAG 2.1 compliant, you’ll need to follow the technical standards to provide accessibility to the blind and individuals with visual impairments, hearing loss and deafness, speech and cognitive disabilities, limited movement, photosensitivity, and more.

Adopting the guidelines will help improve your web content’s accessibility to ensure equal access for disabled users and make it more accessible to general users.

In a nutshell, the WCAG 2.1 is currently the most important set of accessibility guidelines for ADA compliance and for avoiding potential accessibility-related lawsuits.

accessiBe helps make your website compliant with the ADA and WCAG 2.1, including other worldwide legislations and accessibility guidelines.

Installing accessiBe

Choose from accessiBe’s several installation options.

Quick and basic installation

Copy the installation script provided by accessiBe and paste it before the end of your website’s body.

You can also view the uncompressed version of the code and send the installation instructions to your email address by clicking on the send instructions button.

Advanced and customized installation

The advanced installation method lets you customize the accessibility interface and set the icons, language, sizes, positions, colors, and more to reflect your branding.

You’ll get a custom script from accessiBe when you’re done personalizing the interface.

accessiBe also provides installation guides for website owners using WordPress, Shopify, Wix, GTM, and Volusion.

accessiBe can operate on any website, even on those without a system, and offers a guide for custom systems installation.

Once installed to your website’s system, accessiBe’s accessibility interface instantly appears on your site.

The platform’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology then scans and analyzes your website every 24 hours for new content to adjust for accessibility, and within 48 hours, your site becomes fully compliant with the ADA and WCAG 2.1 Level AA.

accessiBe features for web accessibility

Let’s break down the functionalities and features of accessiBe to make your SMB website accessible to the widest possible audience, regardless of the user’s ability and circumstance.

aCe Web accessibility audit tool

Making your website accessible starts with understanding the elements, content, design, and more that hinder persons with disabilities from using your site effectively.

accessiBe helps you assess your website for accessibility issues with an audit tool called aCe. It allows you to evaluate your site’s WCAG 2.1 compliance level.

Enter your domain, and the tool will analyze your website. It will then score your site according to the accessibility level of your clickable elements, titles, menus, graphics, and more.

Along with a clear answer to whether you’re compliant, aCe provides comprehensive recommendations to help you fix your site’s accessibility issues and achieve WCAG 2.1 and ADA compliance.

aCe identifies your accessibility issues, shows you the WCAG 2.1 requirement to address the errors, and provides specific suggestions to help you adjust your website’s elements for compliance.

The tool gives you a quick, free, and accurate report to assess your website’s compliance level, including the specific steps to help you address your accessibility gaps and adhere to legislation.

Accessibility interface

accessiBe has two different components that work simultaneously to make your website ADA and WCAG 2.1 Level AA and AAA compliant: the foreground and background applications.

accessiBe’s foreground application deals mostly with the user interface.

It allows people with cognitive disabilities, visual impairments, and more to adjust your website’s design, readability, and other UI elements to meet their specific needs.

Here’s an in-depth look at accessiBe’s accessibility interface features.

Accessibility profile

accessiBe’s latest interface feature lets your website users choose pre-built accessibility profiles.

With one click, users can enable epilepsy-safe, visually impaired, ADHD friendly, and other disability profiles that give them bulk adjustments for easy website navigation and use.

Each profile turns on a combination of various accessibility options that cover six disabilities categories with one click.

  • Blind users profile for screen reader users. Enabling this profile adjusts your website to make it compatible with screen reader software such as VoiceOver and JAWS.
  • Keyboard navigation profile for the motor-impaired. People with motor impairments can turn on this profile to navigate your website using the keyboard Tab, Shift+Tab, enter key, and other shortcut keys.
  • Cognitive disability profile. Users with cognitive disabilities, including dyslexia, autism, and more, can enable this profile to help them focus on your website’s key elements easily.

The example below shows how the website’s homepage looks like before users turn on the cognitive disability profile.

And here’s how the site will look when users enable the cognitive disability profile.

Turning on the profile emphasizes all the crucial website elements such as the menu, including other clickable components, and turns the cursor into a thick blue line.

This helps users with cognitive disabilities understand phrases, connections, and wordings on your web pages, allowing them to effectively browse your site.

  • Visually-impaired profile. Turning on this profile adjusts your website to make it accessible for people with visual impairments such as tunnel vision, glaucoma, degrading eyesight, and others.
  • ADHD friendly profile. This profile automatically reduces noise and distractions on your website so users with neurodevelopmental disorders and ADHD can effectively read, browse, and focus on crucial site elements.

Here’s how your website appears to users when they enable the profile.

Turning on the ADHD safe profile enables the reading mask that highlights the areas on your web page where users move their cursor.

This helps reduce or disable distracting website elements, allowing your visitors to browse your site effectively.

  • Epilepsy safe profile. The profile lets people with epilepsy use your website safely by removing or turning off site elements that can trigger seizures, such as blinking or flashing animations.

Your website users can also enable additional accessibility features on top of their chosen profiles using other adjustment tools in the interface.

Content adjustment

accessiBe’s content adjustment feature lets users adjust your website’s display, general appearance, and content.

People with visual impairments such as blurred vision can scale your site’s content, change your text to a readable font, highlight titles and links, magnify text, adjust font sizing, line height, letter spacing, and more.

For instance, people who struggle with seeing small text and images can adjust the font sizing, spacing, etc. to read and comprehend your content more easily.

These adjustments improve your site’s readability according to the individual users’ content display preferences and cater to their specific disabilities.

Color adjustments

The color schemes on your website can make it difficult for people with color blindness and photosensitivity to read your content and see crucial site elements such as buttons, menus, links, and others.

Users with these disabilities can choose color contrast profiles when viewing your website, including dark, light, monochrome, and inverted in the color adjustments feature.

The feature also allows users to swap the color schemes of backgrounds, texts, titles with seven different color options.

The color adjustments feature lets people with different degrees of color blindness make their preferred color adjustments to make your website links and buttons visible.

This helps improve the user experience, and your conversion and sales opportunities. It also allows users to browse through your website with white backgrounds easily.

Orientation adjustments

The accessibility interface makes your website easily navigable and accessible by providing website users with guiding elements and lets them use navigation shortcuts (among others).

People with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) can find it challenging to browse through your website effectively if there are too many distracting elements, such as sounds, animations, and others.

An option that lets users reduce noise and other website components helps people with ADHD and other neurological disorders focus when navigating your website, allowing them to use your site effectively.

Other orientation adjustments users can do include enabling a virtual keyboard, highlighting focus and hover, choosing a big white and black cursor, jumping to specific links for quick navigation, and others.

Users can also mute sounds to minimize distractions and turn off animations and flashing images to reduce potential seizure triggers for people with epilepsy and photosensitivity.

Other key accessibility interface features

The interface also includes other adjustment tools that can give your website users a more personalized accessibility experience.

  • Built-in dictionary. People with cognitive disorders can find it challenging to comprehend particular language, slang, or phrases.

The built-in dictionary makes it easy for them to look up the meaning of words, without needing to open another window or switch to another website.

  • Language options. Users can choose from twelve different interface languages.
  • Reset settings. Website visitors can go back to the default accessibility interface settings with just one click if they want to start over with the adjustments.

accessiBe’s accessibility interface helps your website become ADA and WCAG 2.1 level AA compliant, providing the necessary adjustments for disabled people to use your site effectively.

AI-based background application

The second accessiBe component is the background application that uses AI technology to help optimize your website’s accessibility level constantly.

accessiBe’s AI analyzes your website using a contextual understanding process.

It learns and understands the purpose and function of all your site’s elements, including popups, menus, dropdowns, etc., and makes the necessary accessibility adjustments.

The AI addresses your website’s HTML issues and adapts your site’s behavior and functionality for screen readers that blind people use and keyboard navigation for users with motor impairments.

Here’s a closer look at how accessiBe’s background application works and how it can make your website accessible and ADA and WCAG 2.1 Level AA compliant.

Screen reader optimization

accessiBe’s background process learns all of your website’s components to provide screen reader software full context and accurate descriptions.

It uses the Accessible Rich Internet Applications (ARIA) technique and different behavioral changes to ensure blind users with screen readers can read, understand, and access your site’s functions.

accessiBe’s background app uses the ARIA set of attributes to provide actionable icons descriptions (i.e., search and social media icons), form labels, element roles, and more.

This gives screen readers meaningful and accurate descriptions.

For example, an Instagram icon on your website contains a simple link, and because screen readers can’t see the icon, it will only “read” it out as “link,” without explaining its purpose or function.

When accessiBe is enabled on your website, it automatically modifies the link tag for your Instagram icon and adds an ARIA label so screen readers now “read” it out as “link Instagram” instead of just link.

This gives proper context, descriptions, and accessibility for blind users using screen readers when they’re navigating your website, significantly improving the user experience.

accessiBe also uses the ARIA attributes to remediate your website forms.

It uses AI to “learn” the labels, validations, and purposes of each form field and utilizes the browser’s already accessible validations API with the ARIA attributes.

This allows screen readers to read and announce messages, form requirements, and errors accurately.

Another crucial function of accessiBe’s background app is its capabilities to provide screen readers with meaningful descriptions of your website images.

accessiBe’s AI uses IRIS and Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technologies to scan all of your web images and give screen readers image-object-recognition-based descriptions in the form of alternate text (ALT) image tags.

The AI extract texts embedded within the image and automatically assigns the alt text tags upon “learning” your image.

In the image below, accessiBe’s AI would create an alt text tag that reads “Image text: 30% off for all US healthcare workers and first responders,” and a description of what’s in the image.

This gives screen reader users the full context of your website, including the object of promotional banners and text.

Users will immediately get a prompt upon landing on your website to enable the screen reader profile and feature for easy and effective navigation for blind users.

Users can also turn on the screen reader adjustments (compatible with popular screen reader software such as NVDA and JAWS) any time by pressing Alt+1 on the keyboard.

Keyboard navigation optimization

accessiBe’s background process adjusts your website’s HTML and, using JavaScript code, adds different behaviors to make your site navigable by keyboard.

This allows your users to browse through your site using the Tab and Shift+Tab keys, go through dropdown menus and lists with the arrow keys, trigger links and buttons with the Enter key, close popups using the ESC key, and others.

When visitors navigate your site and enable accessiBe’s keyboard navigation, the menu, icon, content, and more are highlighted to indicate where the users are on the page.

Other keyboard navigation options include allowing keyboard users to move between checkbox and radio elements using the arrow keys and fill them in with the Enter or Spacebar keys.

Quick Navigation Menu

Keyboard users can enable content-skip and quick navigation menus by clicking Alt+1 keys.

accessiBe’s background process also deals with triggered popups. It moves the keyboard focus toward the popup when they appear and prevents the focus from drifting outside it.

Your website visitors can also use keyboard shortcuts, including tapping on “H” to skip to headings, “F” for forms, “M” for menus, and “G” to jump to graphics and other specific elements.

accessiBe’s background application works simultaneously with the foreground app on the fly without the need to manually code accessibility adjustments for compliance.

Pricing

accessiBe offers four pricing plans based on the number of unique website pages and includes a seven-day free trial.

The lowest tier is the Standard Plan at $490/year or $49/month.

With all that accessiBe’s automated accessibility solution has to offer, the price is worth more than the costs of non-compliance, potential ADA lawsuits, and damages to your business’ reputation.

Free accessibility plugins vs. accessiBe

Accessibility plugins are mostly free or low-cost, and are easy to install.

However, they lack the full accessibility solution that accessiBe offers to helps you comply with legislation and accessibility guidelines.

This means that relying on accessibility plugins will make your website non-compliant with the ADA and WCAG 2.1 standards, and your business can also face accessibility-related lawsuits.

While around 30% of the WCAG 2.1 requirements relate to your website’s UI and design, about 70% of the standards refer to screen reader adjustments for blind users and keyboard navigation optimization for the motor impaired, which are handled by backend processes.

Plugins can only give you an accessibility interface, at most, that allows users to choose (sometimes limited) accessibility options to modify your site’s UI and design to suit their needs.

This means that with accessibility plugins, your business website will only be 30% compliant with the requirements.

Although some plugins provide minor keyboard navigation adjustments, the accessibility requirements are far too complex for most plugins to cover completely.

This is why accessiBe’s automated solution is crucial to help you achieve full compliance.

The platform is a full solution that rectifies your website’s accessibility issues through its accessibility interface and  AI-based background processes, which allows you to comply with the ADA and WCAG 2.1 requirements  fully .

The best part is accessiBe does the work for you, all you have to do is implement one line of code.

Once installed accessiBe scans and analyzes your website for any accessibility issues, automatically adjusts new content, design, elements, and more to ensure your site is fully accessible at all times.

In a nutshell, most accessibility plugins only focus on providing you with front web cosmetic changes and lack the robust backend process responsible for addressing the bulk of the ADA and WCAG 2.1 accessibility requirements.

Manual accessibility solutions vs. accessiBe

Using non-automated accessibility solutions means going over the long list of WCAG 2.1 requirements and manually making every single adjustment and adapting the software to your website to be compliant.

The entire process is time-consuming, labor-intensive, and expensive. Also, while making your website accessible, you’d still be open to accessibility-related complaints that could lead your business to face potential ADA lawsuits.

Using manual solutions can also require hiring developers and WCAG 2.1 experts to ensure your website is fully accessible and compliant, which is expensive.

There’s also the issue of the sustainability and scalability of manual solutions.

Updating your website or adding new blog posts, graphics, content, and others can mess up your design and disrupt the code that’s making your site accessible.

This means you’ll have to go in every time and manually code the changes to adapt them for accessibility, which again, can drain a lot of your time and resources.

Additionally, as your business grows, so will the functionalities and features of your website. Sticking to a manual accessibility solution will only take more time, effort, and money.

accessiBe’s fully automated solution regularly scans your website to identify updates, applies adjustments, and rectifies accessibility issues.

It also uses AI-based backend processes and image recognition technology to assign text attributes for screen reader software automatically.

accessiBe cross-references your website’s behaviors and features across its database to determine commonalities.

Plus, once installed, it only takes about 48 hours for accessiBe to make your website fully accessible and compliant with legislation and web accessibility guidelines.

That being said, using manual accessibility solutions isn’t a strategically and financially sound option for small and large enterprises alike in terms of sustainability, scalability, and full compliance to the ADA and the WCAG 2.1.

With the state of the current accessibility solution market and thousands of websites that are still non-compliant to the ADA, the best way to truly provide equal access to all users is through the scalable, automated, and AI-based software that accessiBe offers.

Competitors vs. accessiBe

Here’s a closer look at accessiBe’s fully automated accessibility solution compared to competitor accessibility plugins, services, and platforms through the following features and accessibility components.

Source code

Working with most accessibility platforms will likely require you to provide full access to your source-code and databases.

This allows the third-party accessibility service to dig through everything, which could take weeks and potentially disrupt your website’s system, break your original codes, and others.

With accessiBe, you just need to install the JavaScript snippet the platform provides, and it will modify the code at the browser level.

It means that accessiBe does not get access to your source code or affect it in any way. If you uninstall accessiBe, it will leave no trace on your website’s system.

Design

With manual accessibility solutions and plugins, you’ll need to apply specific font sizes, color ratios, and more that could limit and hinder your user’s experience on your website.

Accessibility services also usually require full redesigns, putting all the hard work and money you put into designing your website to waste.

With accessiBe, you can design your website in any way you think is best for your marketing efforts, branding, and user experience.

accessiBe’s accessibility interface helps you accommodate persons with disabilities and allows users to adjust your website’s design to match preferences and needs perfectly.

Turnaround time

The WCAG comprises hundreds of specific design guidelines, code standards, best practices, and other technical requirements for web content accessibility.

Due to the complexity of the WCAG’s 1,000-page guidebook, it would take around three to twenty-six weeks (depending on the website) to complete one accessibility project using manual solutions.

accessiBe, on the other hand, takes around 48 hours to remediate your website’s accessibility issues upon installation fully.

The entire process is fully automated. Once accessiBe’s AI is done scanning and analyzing your website, you’ll receive an email with the “Accessibility Statement and Certificate,” explaining how your site achieves ADA and WCAG 2.1 compliance.

Maintenance

Each time you update your website, an accessibility issue can surface that you need to fix manually.

Every new content you add to your site, no matter how small, such as a single blog post, you’ll need to audit and adjust to make it accessible, which is extremely time-consuming and laborious.

This can also rack up your web developers’ and WCAG experts’ retainer fees, not to mention slowing down your marketing efforts since you’ll focus more on fixing your accessibility issue first.

accessiBe’s biggest advantage is it scans and analyzes each of your web pages at least once every 24 hours.

This allows the solution to identify potential accessibility holes from new website updates and revised or added content and remediate them for compliance quickly.

Costs

To achieve full compliance through manual accessibility solutions, you would need to work with WCAG experts and web developers.

As mentioned earlier, manually making a website fully accessible takes weeks, which means the WCAG experts and web developers need to put in many hours of work.

This puts your compliance costs at thousands of dollars, and you still need to factor in maintenance expenses.

accessiBe’s lowest pricing plan is at $490 per year, or $49 per month, for websites with 1,000 pages and under, and other tiers for sites with millions of pages.

As per accessiBe, all their plans are 10% less than the average industry price.

The cost of using accessiBe to achieve ADA and WCAG 2.1 compliance is far less than using manual accessibility solutions.

Most accessibility plugins also only help you comply with about 20% of the requirements, which could leave you open to liabilities and expensive lawsuits.

Final thoughts

The benefits of using accessiBe’s fully automated accessibility solution far outweigh the costs.

With accessiBe, you’ll achieve full ADA and WCAG 2.1 compliance quickly, provide accessibility for disabled users and improve their experience on your website, and avoid lawsuits that can cost you thousands of dollars and harm your business’ reputation.

It also widens your audience, which increases your conversions and sales opportunities.

The best part is, that accessiBe does the bulk of the work for you with its accessibility interface and AI-powered background app that works together to make your website fully accessible.

With a single line of code, you’ll solve your site’s accessibility issues.

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