I hope you had a fabulous weekend! Mine felt extra long because daycare was closed on Thursday so I got a bonus mommy-daughter day at the beach, which is always a good day in my books. It meant
substantially less work this week, but being by a lake is my happy place, so I prioritize that all season long and slip out whenever I can. I finally got myself a waterproof watch and a floatie so I can go do some distance swimming by myself when I have a few hours between calls. Wish me luck!
Also a quick
reminder that to celebrate my website launch I'm offering 10 gift coaching sessions in the month of June (to be booked in June, not necessarily used in June). You are welcome to apply for one, and you're also welcome to gift a session to another business owner you love who may like one.
One of these sessions may be for you if:
• You’ve got clients, and more keep coming, but you’re saying yes to everything with no clue how you’re gonna get it all done. (Working on your business? Who has time
• You keep saying you’ll stay away from work on the weekends, but something always seems to creep in to your down-time.
• Despite all your hard work and long hours, you’re still not making the money you think you should be. You’re unsure about raising your rates, and you can’t work
more (only so many hours in the day) – it’s like there’s a glass ceiling to entrepreneurship nobody told you about.
• You actually LOVE your work, and it feels like all the business stuff is distracting you from getting in the flow of it all.
I give business owners (like you) permission to do business on your own terms. To dream big, and make your vision come to life in the ways that work best *for
And no business is the same. No business owner is the same. No business solution should be the same.
If this is calling to you, hop over to my shiny new website and click the “Apply Now” button at the bottom of the About page.
As for today's article, I've answered all the questions you didn't ask about how the website got made.
Website Considerations Beyond Conversions –
hidden things to think about when building an accessible and ethical website
How many people truly love their website? Over and over, even people with brand new (expensive) websites feel like there are things to fix and they want to change. I get it. For solo business owners
especially, your website is a reflection of YOU, and it is tempting to want to get it just right. Consistently I see businesses over-invest in websites (in time and money) when there are other aspects of their business that need more attention. A website is important, but I don’t believe it’s the make-or-break of a thriving business.
I had been dragging my feet on building a new website for years until my developer finally said “Your theme hasn’t been supported since 2017, there isn’t much more we can do to fix what you have.” My mastermind buddies had also been on me to update it, and I started noticing I was reluctant to send people my website ever. It was time.
Part of the overwhelm for me was because I had learned so much about what goes into a website to make it accessible, ethical, and have a low carbon footprint, and I just wasn’t ready to tackle those things with my full attention. I wanted to lead by example and show people what was possible, so I put a lot of pressure on myself to get it just right. Finally I decided I couldn’t wait any
longer, and I just had to do my best without driving myself bananas. My “good enough” website project took flight.
If you’d like to look at the “finished” product, head over to stephaniewasylyk.com.
Choosing Brand Colours
I knew I wanted to update my brand colours to be more vibrant and interesting. I wanted them to feel playful, and I wanted them to appeal to a creative person. Without a doubt, choosing them was the hardest part of the website process. Some things I was considering that made it challenging:
- The colours needed to be accessible. This meant considering people with colour blindness or other visual impairments, so high contrast was important. I used this accessible colour pallet builder to help.
- I wanted to reduce the use of pure white and pure black. White uses the most energy so it has the highest environmental impact, and black text on a white background can cause eye strain.
- They had to feel good to me. I have to look at them the
most, so I had to like them!
I did not consider what printing them on paper or elsewhere would be like since that isn’t something that I usually do, but for some people this would be very important.
When I realized that our web presence has a carbon footprint because of data centres and energy use I went down a deep rabbit hole. There are so many ways you can reduce the carbon footprint
of your website, and I wanted to do them all. But this was just too much for me to take on (and then the hypocrisy of scrolling Instagram or anything online started to freak me out) so I just focused on a few things. You can use this website to calculate your website’s carbon footprint.
- My website was so out of date it was scoring terribly, so just updating it at all was a win.
- Like I said before, I tried to reduce my use of white on the site.
- I intended to
have very few images, but that didn’t really happen in the end. I still have some work to do with this. Specifically I will reduce the image sizes and that should make a difference.
- I chose a popular font that most people will already have loaded on their computer or mobile device so it won’t have to download when they come to my site.
- Hosting itself can be problematic, so I at least made sure my site was hosted with renewable energy. I would prefer it to be better, but it is good enough for now.
- Continuing to use Wordpress meant that I have a bit more control over my options than platforms like
- I’m not currently using Google Analytics (for lots of reasons) but I’d like to find a greener and more ethical alternative. We’ll see if that’s possible.
In addition to the colour considerations, there were a few other things I aimed for with accessibility:
- The font size
had to be a minimum of 16px so it would be easier to read
- I’m learning more about alt-text for images and adding them where appropriate
- Buttons and links are more clearly labelled so they can be understood properly if someone is using a screen reader and so they change in
some way for people with visual impairments
- I chose a font that is easier to read for people with dyslexia
Ethical Copy and Design
I have so much more to learn here, so like the other categories this is an ongoing process. Primarily for this iteration I focused on ethical copywriting. I wanted to make sure my copy didn’t pressure people into buying, gave them clear and transparent information, and didn’t use any manipulative
My go-to ethical copywriter is Lauren Van Mullem from Truer Words by Lauren. I bought her workbooks to write my own copy, then I used her Copyrocking service to make the words come to life. I’m thrilled with how it turned out and this is a big thanks to Lauren’s brilliance.
For the actual development of the site I used Luke and
Jeremy from Chunky Duck. I’ve known Luke since I first became a coach, so I know he’s a great human and I felt excited to support him.
This wouldn’t be complete without a shout-out to my coach and advisor, Caroline Leon. Caroline is an ethical business coach who has taught me so much about doing business in a kinder, more conscious way. Between her and the amazing women I’ve met through her masterminds, my views on business have evolved in the most wonderful ways.
I also relied on some fantastic articles and writers to help me understand the world of accessible and ethical website design. I’ve listed a few below:
An Inclusive and Planet-Friendly Digital Style Guide
How To Design an Accessible Color Scheme
The Power of Contrast
My website is far
from perfect and it’s certainly not finished. As I collect feedback from people I will continually improve, and as I gain confidence with the principles above I will continue to do better. But for now I’m refocusing on my incredible clients and the impact I can have on them and their businesses.
Have a wonderful day!