accessiBe Review

Enables us to include ADA compliance as a feature when bidding on new web projects

What is our primary use case?

We're a web development agency and we use it for our own site and for client websites. We're using it as an added service that's included in all of our new web builds to make sure everybody's compliant and fully accessible.

How has it helped my organization?

It is fully ADA compliant. More and more over the last couple of years, clients have been getting emails from lawyers who ping people for non-ADA compliance, since it is a legal requirement. In the past, it was something that was unattainable with cost being a prohibitive factor. But with accessiBe, it's easy to sell to a client that their site will be fully ADA and WCAG compliant for under $500 a year.

As an organization, it allows us to be ahead of the question that we always get whenever we're pitching new web projects: "Will the website be ADA compliant? Will we have to worry about compliance issues?" By having it built into the proposal—that we're using this accessibility tool and all of our websites come with a year subscription of accessiBe—it preempts that question. And after that, since we're in the accessiBe partner program, we can offer them a discounted rate.

It's completely automatic. I go in, drop the JavaScript code into the header and it's literally 30 seconds worth of work to get it installed on the site. Because we are programmers, we're essentially making it easy on ourselves. At the end of the day it's worth the cost because we don't have to worry about compliance issues all the time.

It definitely saves a lot of time. Over the course of a year, it will save dozens and dozens of hours versus if we were constantly having to re-tweak accessibility. It used to be cost-prohibitive for our clients, and we weren't really able to offer it as a service. But now, by simply adding a JavaScript extension to our website and having it automatically running in the background, it saves us countless hours and our clients a ton of money.

We didn't need to change the layout of our website or hire a web designer when using accessiBe. We customized the color, picked the icon that was going to work, and off we went. That was very important to us when choosing to go with accessiBe. We don't want to spend a ton of time on this. The cost of $500, or a little less than that, per year is a sweet spot for us and being able to offer it to clients. By contrast, if we were starting to rack up a bunch of development time on top of that, it might push it out of the realm of possibility for smaller businesses.

accessiBe also helped one of my restaurant clients with a compliance lawsuit. That client sparked our whole investigation into compliance software. They had gotten a notice from a lawyer who was starting the process of taking them to court for ADA compliance. The restaurant is a national chain and they hired us to look into the different options. That's when we found accessiBe and found success with it. It was an easy solution, an easy install, and they immediately became compliant. The case did not end up going to court.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the simple installation method. It's a plug-and-play solution and that's what is most important for a lot of our clients. We were held back from a lot of accessibility stuff because a few years ago there was no type of AI solution that could go in and make you compliant with just a simple JavaScript that runs in the background. So the simplicity of use is the biggest thing, giving us effortless, automatic compliance.

It enables a user to choose among templates with one click and immediately customize a site for their particular disability. They can go in and click the button and, whether they need to alter animations, or change font sizes, color contrast, or any of a plethora of options, they can click around and customize the site to their liking. I would think it's a pretty small percentage of people who need those services, but we want to make sure that they have access to a site.

We have all of accessiBe's built-in features which enable a user to further tweak the way content is presented: highlighting titles, choosing readable fonts, text magnification, link highlighting, etc. It will alter the UI of the site to help a user who needs those types of services. At the point that a user is controlling those, we worry less about the UI and focus more on the accessibility of the content, getting them the information they need. It will change the user interface but not the UX.

One of the things I like about accessiBe is that I don't really have to worry about it. They have a whole team of people who are worried about ADA compliance and WCAG compliance. It takes that off of our plate and lets us know that we're safe and sound with their little icon down at the bottom.

What needs improvement?

The UI is nice but maybe there could be some more advanced layout customization within the actual widget, for adding a logo or something like that. But it's pretty darn good as it is and they have a great developer partnership program that we utilize.

For how long have I used the solution?

I started using accessiBe a little over a month ago. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We haven't had any issues or any reported issues on it. It seems to be running at 100 percent uptime at this point.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is great. They have a simple tiered pricing model. We haven't had to do anything outside of the standard plan, but if we needed to build a much larger site with 10,000 or 100,000, or 1 million pages, it's super-easy to instantly scale up with the click of a button in the backend.

We're utilizing it on a pretty small percentage of our overall clients at this point. But at the same time, we are increasing the usage just by building it into every web process, moving forward. We're trying to go back to existing clients and say, "Hey, do you want to add this to your site?" Seven of our clients have taken it, especially those that are in the legal world. A lot of law firms want it on their sites. It will be something that we have as a standard practice to build into all of our websites, moving forward.

How are customer service and technical support?

Their technical support has been excellent. We pretty much get same-day response. I haven't had to use them since I was initially setting things up, but someone was available to hop on a screen-share and walk me through any troubleshooting as we were getting up and running.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We had worked with more of a monitoring company for one of our clients, but it was just cost-prohibitive in the long run. It was more of a scan to see what we needed to do, and then we would do baseline accessibility on our end for any new development. 

We really hadn't found a solution quite like accessiBe until we stumbled upon that little AI niche that's been coming out. We had another client who had done some research initially and had been using it.

I really don't see any issues with it right now. It's one of the reasons we went with it over some other services. It checks all the boxes for us.

How was the initial setup?

The setup is very straightforward. It took 10 minutes to deploy. They have an installation link that's a JavaScript header and we just go in and install it on all of our websites.

We worked with a partnership program representative, and he was able to guide us through our first couple of signups for clients. We screen-shared and he showed us exactly what we needed to do and we were off to the races from there. It's been super-easy ever since.

It was just me involved in the setup from our side.

Getting our website to be accessible to people with disabilities with accessiBe was an instant process. As soon as you install it, it's good to go. Doing it manually would be hours and hours of work. So it's definitely a huge time saver.

What was our ROI?

We have definitely seen ROI. Even with the few proposals we've put together since partnering with them, just having in the proposal that we're aware of ADA compliance, and that it's something that the client's not going to have to worry about, has definitely resulted in client feedback saying, "Hey, we appreciate that that's already in the proposal and that we're not going to have to follow up with you about that."

It's not something that we're making tons of money from by having it. It's just a good feature that helps us sell through larger projects.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

accessibBe could potentially provide a lower first-tier price. Their first plan starts at 1,000 unique pages. We have plenty of projects that are 100 pages or less. If they had something a little bit cheaper than what they currently have, we would probably open it up to the lower end of clients that we have. At this point, $500 a year is pretty negligible for most of our clients, but there is a tier of clients where that becomes a little bit prohibitive. If they had a lite plan, it might be a good way for them to get that lowest-hanging fruit.

There are no costs in addition to their standard licensing fees.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at a couple of other solutions, just via Google and searching the web. Based on what we liked about accessiBe, we ended up reaching out to them to start up the partner relationship.

We looked at Online ADA, UserWay, and a Microsoft solution as well. But there aren't a lot of companies that are doing it exactly the way accessiBe is doing it, which is why we ended up liking them.

The main differences between accessiBe and some of those competitors are ease of use and price point. We really liked the accessiBe user interface, it was very simple, clean, and it was easy to install. Also, being from the agency side of it, we really appreciated the partnership program so we can offer free installation to our clients because we're getting a little bit of a kickback from accessiBe. That helps everybody.

What other advice do I have?

My advice would be, "Go for it." It's a super-simple installation and you're helping make the web a more accessible place.

One thing I've learned from using the solution is just how many different types of disabilities are affected when using the web. I always thought, "Oh yeah, we need to do this for people who need screen readers or people who have bad vision and need to adjust contrast." But going through all of the different adjustments and features that are within it, you can really tell that they've thought through the ton of different disabilities, across the spectrum, which cause people to have a hard time viewing the web. This all-in-one solution resolves that for a lot of people out there.

The Accessibility Statement button helps from a legal perspective, although I highly doubt that people who are clicking into the statement will read anything in it. It's like the terms and conditions. You need them, but they're not something that's going to make or break a user experience.

**Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor. The reviewer's company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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