UserWay Review: We Took Them for a Spin and This Happened
Recently, UserWay has been getting lots of media attention, having its solutions featured in leading technology, news, and accessibility-focused publications. The company builds groundbreaking technology to make the Internet accessible and inclusive for everyone worldwide. It can help you ensure ADA compliance without refactoring your website’s existing code.
Furthermore, UserWay is led by a world-class team with decades of experience with complex accessibility protocols, delivery of large-scale systems, and innovation that pushes the envelope. They have some of the world’s leading engineers, entrepreneurs, and visionaries who are defining the future of digital accessibility for us all. Or, well, at least that’s what they claim.
My question for today is, is UserWay deserving all this attention? It’s time to find out! Let’s review all that this web accessibility solution offers and whether you should dedicate your time and money to it or look elsewhere instead. Compliance might be compulsory, but at least you have the power to choose the web accessibility tool to ensure it.
Getting Started with UserWay
As soon as you visit UserWay’s website, you will soon realize what it has to offer. The company claims it’s the number one web accessibility solution for WCAG & ADA Compliance. However, each company can claim this for itself, so it’s up to us to decide whether UserWay can back up these claims.
What I like more than words are the numbers. See, over one million websites trust UserWay, including world-class brands like eBay, Coca-Cola, Disney, UNICEF, and Walmart. If you ask me, that counts for more than something! Better yet, UserWay has fixed 343 A issues, 378 AA, and 401 AAA, or a total of 1,200 issues. The company serves accessibility over 2.5 billion times per month.
Within the Menu, you can find all that UserWay has to offer: Accessibility Widget, Accessibility Scanner, Accessibility Inspector, Accessibility Audit, Content Moderator, Contrast website accessibility checker, Accessibility Statement Generator, PDF Remediation, Video Remediation, Recover Your Embed Code, Reading Flow, VPAT - Voluntary Disclosure, and Dyslexia Font (UDF).
Better yet, you can instantly scan your website for accessibility violations from the Solutions tab. All you need to do is enter your URL and click Scan Now.
My main focus will be the Accessibility Widget, as in my other web accessibility reviews. Anyway, I will also briefly cover the remaining services, only so that you can get the complete picture of the provider.
UserWay offers cloud-based accessibility solutions. Since it utilizes AI technology, i.e., a fully AI-Powered Accessibility Widget, it can provide a robust, scalable, lightweight, and secure compliance solution for one website or a thousand.
UserWay combines hundreds of AI-Powered functions to ensure WCAG & ADA compliance, such as Increase Text Size, Text Spacing, Large Cursor, Highlight Links, Pause Animations, Light Contrast, Dark Contrast, Invert Colors, Color Desaturation, Tooltips, Reading Guide, Accessible Fonts, Dyslexia Friendly Font, Page Structure, Reset All, Screen Reader, Keyboard Navigation, Image Alts, Form Labels, Dictionary, Headings, Form Validation, Interactive Elements, Autoplay Videos, External Link Targets, Ambiguous Links, Broken Links, Video Captioning, Duplicate IDs, Empty IDs, Missing Titles, Element Focus, Site Language, PDF Remediation, Content Moderation, Text Align, Line Height, Accessible Pricing, Live Site Translations, and Smart Contrast.
Furthermore, UserWay offers real-time Scanning and Monitoring services. It’s flexibly priced to accommodate sites of any size or structure with options including pricing per page, template scans, full-site monitoring, and more. Furthermore, this service performs multiple concurrent scans of your site to ensure complete coverage across all resolutions, from desktop (wide) to mobile devices (narrow) and everything in between.
Still, what amazed me most was the speed of the scanner. It can perform 30,000 scans on a site with 15,000 pages (covering both mobile and desktop resolutions) in less than an hour. And when it comes to the first results, you can expect them in minutes.
Going on, the UserWay Scanning and Monitoring prioritizes site-wide and template-level violations, provides one-click access to screenshots of each violation, identifies issues directly within the site’s code, grants access to robust team management features and advanced issue management capabilities, and integrates seamlessly with Issue Tracking System (ITS).
The third solution, Accessibility Inspector, can help you check whether your business is exposed to accessibility-related lawsuits. At this point, you can either inspect a page or the entire site for WCAG 2.1 compliance.
With UserWay, you can also get an Accessibility Audit Report with clear and actionable checklists to improve the accessibility compliance of your website. This report includes detailed references, recommended content, structural and code changes that will help guide your team through the process of ensuring strict compliance with the latest WCAG requirements.
I have to say; I am amazed by UserWay’s Content Moderator powered by AI. It can help your business take action against offensive, harassing, and racist content. Essentially, this tool flags content for review and offers nuanced alternatives to words and phrases that may be considered sensitive. Still, it doesn’t delete, nor remove anything without your approval.
The Contrast Website Accessibility Checker is yet another attractive solution. Sure, I’m used to seeing it as part of the accessibility widgets, but not as a standalone service.
With this solution, you can ensure a high contrast ratio for your site’s design to make it better for visually impaired and color-blind users.
UserWay also grants you the option to generate your custom Accessibility Statement, free of charge.
UserWay’s automated PDF monitoring and remediation ensure any PDFs your organization manages are fully accessible and compliant. First, it identifies the PDFs, then selects which PDFs to remediate, reviews and approves pricing, and finally, delivers the remediated PDFs. Better yet, you will receive notifications as new PDFs are found.
With UserWay’s Video Remediation, in turn, you can ensure your videos are accessible and fully compliant with ADA regulations.
Still, its most unique feature is the Reading Flow. UserWay has partnered up with Beeline Reader to offer this solution, a patented text display innovation that makes reading on-screen texts easier, faster, and more enjoyable.
Going on, UserWay can perform VPATs on your behalf to accurately reflect your system’s current status. The report will include strengths, possible deficiencies, and current remediation efforts.
And finally, UserWay’s Dyslexia Friendly Font (UDF) enhances the readability for a person with dyslexia and provides them with a fluid reading experience tailored to their needs.
Now that you get all that UserWay has to offer, or well, got a brief overview of its solutions, it’s time to get to plans and pricing. As mentioned, I will go test the AI-Powered Accessibility Widget.
As you can spot, UserWay also lists Scanner Pricing, Audit Pricing, and PDF Pricing, but I already mentioned those previously.
UserWay offers three AI-Powered Accessibility Widget plans, available monthly or yearly.
The Small Business Website plan is suitable for up to 100k monthly pageviews, the Medium Business for up to 1 million, and the Large Business can support up to 10 million monthly page views.
All three plans offer a full suite of AI-powered accessibility functions, WCAG 2.1 AA, ADA, Section 508 compliance, continuous real-time accessibility monitoring, evergreen, always-on cloud updates, immediate compliance, no advanced “prep” time, and an Accessibility Statement.
However, the Medium and Large Business plans also offer a Dedicated UserWay Acct. Manager. You cannot find this feature in the cheapest plan.
What got my attention was UserWay’s free accessibility widget. Sure, you cannot expect the same offer from a free and a paid service, so that I will get the Small Business plan for testing purposes. However, I wanted to check what you can get entirely free of charge as well.
The main difference between the free and paid Widget is that UserWay’s free Widget provides user-triggered enhancements. At the same time, UserWay’s AI-Powered Accessibility Widget automatically brings code into full WCAG 2.1 coverage and provides much more accessibility functions to the offer.
Many features are offered within the paid version but are not available with the Free Widget. Furthermore, you can add some features at an additional fee with the AI-Powered Widget.
Within the AI-Powered Widget, you can also manually trigger some options. See, when it comes to the Perceivable (WCAG 2.1) standard, the free version offers several user-triggered options, but that’s more or less all there is.
Regarding the operable (WCAG 2.1) criterion, the free Widget can only bypass blocks, but no other features are included in the package. On the other hand, the paid version includes around 30 features, some of which are user-triggered, others are automatic, and some are available as paid add-ons.
And finally, the free version doesn’t include any features for the Understandable (WCAG 2.1) and Robust (WCAG 2.1) standards.
Now, after reviewing these differences, I would definitely not recommend the free version. UserWay states that it’s a good place to start. However, it’s not even a starting point towards compliance if you ask me. Even if you get it, you will still not progress in the right direction.
Okay, so now, onto purchase, we go!
I will start the trial with the Small Business Website plan. Once you click on Start Free Trial, you will see the following screen. Here, you need to insert your full name, email address, and website URL.
After you select the site, you will need to select the plan. At this point, you can choose a 10-day free trial, a monthly offer, or a yearly plan with two free months included.
I will go for the 10-day free trial and click Next. Now, even though you select the free trial, you will need to select an option on what to do after.
Once you fill in this data, click Continue. It’s as simple as that! You are now a step closer towards web accessibility compliance.
Here’s the message I received via email.
Furthermore, UserWay sent me instructions on setting up the code on my site.
So, let’s access my account! I clicked on the link from the email and got to the following screen. At this point, you need to enter the credentials UserWay sent to you via email.
Sure, you can change the simple password from within the Dashboard.
Setting Up A Plan with UserWay
Welcome to my UserWay account! As you can see, it’s pretty simple and easy on the eyes.
I will start with the left pane. First, you can spot my website on the top; it’s active, and the service renews automatically. In this section, you can review all websites (if you have more than one), along with the deleted ones. Furthermore, UserWay includes date added, traffic, and products data.
If you click on Add Site, all you will need to do is enter the URL.
In Site Settings, you can check what’s active on your site and enable additional services, such as White label, Custom branding, Usage Statistics, Modify Main Menu, and Live Site Translations.
As you can spot, UserWay automatically enabled the Widget on my site, on mobile, and sound effects.
If you click on one of the buttons on the right pane, you will be able to change the button location. With UserWay, you can select different button locations for the button on mobile and desktop versions.
Better yet, you can nudge the button, meaning you can move it to the left or right, higher or lower.
Once you are satisfied with the results, click on Apply to ‘your site’.
Within PDF Remediation, you can easily drag and drop files or upload them from your computer.
Going on to add-ons and upgrades. As mentioned, UserWay offers five: White Label, Custom branding, Menu modifications, and customizations, Usage statistics & metrics, and Live Site Translations.
For instance, I clicked on Enable Now within the White Label box, after which UserWay offered me a 1 Day Free Trial and the Enable Now option.
I checked for the remaining options, and the one-day free trial is available for all. So, if you are indecisive about whether you should get something or not, you will have 24 hours to test it out for free before going for the final say.
You can replace UserWay’s logo with your own in the widget footer with custom branding, which is excellent for marketing and SEO.
If you modify the main Menu, you will select what to include and remove from it.
The Usage Statistics display how many times the Widget was opened and loaded within 7, 15, 30, and 60 days.
And finally, with Live Site Translations, you can translate your site into over 40 languages to make it more accessible for non-native speakers, people with language acquisition difficulties, and people with learning disabilities.
UserWay offers three plans in this regard, depending on the number of characters on your site, proportionally related to the number of pages you have.
You can change the button color, type, size, location, custom trigger, change the widget language, accessibility statement link, or widget embed script within Widget Settings.
First, when it comes to button color, the options are endless. You can choose from the palette and select colors on the right; you can also insert a code within the color picker or enable gradient.
Next, you can choose the button type. There are only four options in this regard so that you might find it a bit limiting.
The same applies to the button size; you can choose from two options, small or large.
I already explained the button location, so I’ll skip on it now.
With the custom trigger, you can replace the original menu button and fix the position of the accessibility menu trigger to any element on your website.
As explained earlier, UserWay provides over 40 languages to choose from. You can also choose to show the language selector on the Widget or not.
Furthermore, you can change the accessibility statement link.
At last, you can find your basic, advanced, and white label Widget embed script.
The last section of the Menu is the Account Settings, where you can change your email address, admin password, payment method, track billing history, and affiliate. But more on the affiliate program later!
If you click on the accessibility icon in the bottom left corner, you will see the following. From here, you can manage all options as explained earlier: Screen Reader, Contrast, Smart Contrast, Highlight Links, Bigger Text, Text Spacing, Pause Animations, Dyslexia Friendly, Cursor, Tooltips, Page Structure, Line Height, Text Align, Reading Flow, Reset All, Move/Hide.
The best part is that as you select options, you will immediately spot what they do on the page. For instance, I selected the Reading Mask. Here’s how it looks!
For example, once I clicked on Reading Flow, I was able to choose from Standard Gradient, Dark Gradient, Blue Gradient, and Light Gradient.
And that’s pretty much it: straightforward, easy to use, and super helpful!
Performance, Security, and Privacy
UserWay’s Widget has been rigorously tested and optimized to ensure no impact on your website’s load time. More precisely, both the Widget and the remediations to your site’s code are done asynchronously after your site has finished loading.
Furthermore, UserWay doesn’t collect or store any user data and maintains the strictest compliance levels. Therefore, it prioritizes privacy for its users.
Its solutions are compatible with all platforms, frameworks, and CMSs, accounting for inherent protection and better performance. UserWay works with WordPress, Shopify, Wix, Weebly, Joomla, Magento, Drupal, BigCommerce, Moodle, Strikingly, and so many more.
With UserWay, you can become COPPA, FERPA, HIPAA, GDPR, and of course, ADA compliant. Furthermore, the company adheres to EN 301 549, WCAG, S-508, AODA, ATAG, and CVAA.
These strict standards ensure that each industry, including government, public sector, healthcare, IT, security, education, banking, retail, hospitality, and others, can benefit from UserWay. In other words, these entities can continue working toward universal access for all web users, regardless of the physical or cognitive challenges they may face.
Partner Program Overview
UserWay allows you to seamlessly incorporate the Accessibility Widget into your company’s digital experience and design by white labeling or custom-branding. The white labeling removes the links and UserWay logo, while custom branding allows you to add your own logo and present, or resell, the Widget as your own.
By combining these two powerful features, others will see your brand as making a positive difference by providing critical accessibility features to your users.
If you are a company, this will come especially handy because you will easily cover your entire client base.
Next, you can register to become a Reseller. With this option, you will earn revenue while making the web a more accessible place for all. With UserWay, you can register for free. The entire process doesn’t take more than five minutes. Then, you will receive the needed materials to promote UserWay, including screenshots, banners, videos, and so on. And finally, you will earn money each time the clients you recruit purchase a product or service.
I liked the Reseller program, but I was indeed amazed by the Affiliate program. You can benefit from industry-leading conversion rates, recurring commissions, and easy payment terms. Does it get better than this?
Level of Support at UserWay
UserWay has a FAQ section with valuable guides on common user issues.
More importantly, you can benefit from live chat support once you log in to your account. The best part is, they have a fast response time. So, you can get the needed help at all times during the day. Or at least that’s what they say. Let’s test it out!
I asked about canceling my account.
The live chat agent responded within seconds. Furthermore, he gave me a straightforward solution and immediately solved my issue.
I didn’t have to do anything on my own. I asked – they delivered. Way to go, UserWay!
Even if you are not an existing customer, you can quickly get assistance. All you need to do is fill out the support form and wait for an answer.
Specific Features of UserWay
Let’s wrap it all together. Here’s what makes UserWay a superior choice for a web accessibility widget:
- AI-Powered Solution
- For The Visually And Mobility Impaired, Blind, Elderly, and Situational Disabilities
- Powerful Legal Mitigation That Wards Off ADA Lawsuits
- Enhanced User Experience and Conversions
- Lasting ADA Compliance With A Single Line Of Code
- Trusted By More Than 1 Million Sites
- Serving Accessibility Over 2.5 Billion Times/Month
- Works With All Platforms, Frameworks, And CMSs
- Privacy By Design – Doesn’t Collect User Data
When your website is standards-compliant, it means that it’s open to all. Not only can it help you boost your conversions and bottom line, but it’s also the right thing to do since everyone deserves to have equal access to the Internet. UserWay can help you achieve this without hassles.
Its accessibility widget is AI-powered, adjusted to serve the visually and mobility impaired, blind, elderly, and situational disabilities. With UserWay, you can become COPPA, FERPA, HIPAA, GDPR, and of course, ADA compliant. Furthermore, the company adheres to EN 301 549, WCAG, S-508, AODA, ATAG, and CVAA.
I like how straightforward the solution is. Everything is easy to find, and the interface is easy to navigate. However, as I mentioned previously, I don’t like the limited options, such as having two button sizes or four-button types. Compared to other web accessibility widgets, UserWay lacks this customization or diversity of options. Otherwise, I give it the green light for all other aspects of the operation.
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