Monday, July 12, 2021

DubBot

DubBot is a for profit company, with its headquarters located in Decatur, Georgia in the US. For web accessibility, it offers an AI bot based approach to locating issues on websites. The dancing bot was developed by Blaine Herman, after hearing of the challenges that web administrators faced to make their sites compliant with the confusing regulations of the ADA. DubBot was born as a SaaS to be able to address web accessibility, and increase compliance.

Services

DubBot is an automated bot that gets added to the website via a line of code- as some competitors do as well. This then lets DubBot, which works remotely as a SaaS to then crawl the site, and locate potential web accessibility issues.

Web Accessibility

DubBot's web accessibility feature can help make your site accessible to all users (Image credit: DubBot)

The first function is to do web accessibility checks. DubBot works to search the site for WCAG 2.1 issues, so it can be brought up to current standards. This ensures that the site is optimally accessible for all visitors. However, there is no mention of some of the other web accessibility standards that competitors offer compliance with such as AODA, Section 508, EAA / EN 301 548, and ACA.

Nobody likes a broken link. With the internet such a dynamic place, it just becomes a matter of time before links go bad, with sites going under, or undergoing redesigns. Think of it as ‘Link rot’ as the links become dead as time marches on, and it is very labor intensive to check and fix them all manually. Thankfully, WebBot has a solution for this with its Broken Link Check feature, so this can be addressed, before visitors categorize your site as one that fails at maintenance.

Governance Check

You can configure customizable checks to ensure your site meets regulatory policy guidlines (Image credit: DubBot)

Another function provided by DubBot is the Web Governance Check. This is a customizable function that can target an organization’s policies and “Enforce legal, style, branding, and regulatory requirements.” Content that is not in compliance can be quickly flagged for attention, for example contact information, including names, emails, and even Twitter handles so visitors to your website are attempting to get in touch with current people.

Nobody wants to try and read a site that has spelling errors, and poor readability. DubBot steps up in this challenging area as well with a Spelling & Readability Check feature. Scores get generated on the website content to make the content professional and polished. A universal spell checker is used, and it has multilingual dictionary support. There is also opportunity for customization with a hotword list so as to avoid competitor names, or phrases that could be offensive.

The final feature is SEO (Search Engine Optimization) checks, which helps to implement best SEO practices to maximize visitors. DubBot provides a list of ‘Quick Wins,’ which after their analysis is a list of web pages in order of priority that will benefit the most from some work.

User reviews

A standout of DubBot is that there are plenty of user reviews. Furthermore, it is reassuring to see that the reviews are positive, with them all in the four to five star range. Additionally, it is nice to see that high marks are given to the customer service and support areas of this web accessibility service, including fixes right away, and even personal attention from top management to be responsive to adding more features to the service. Also, users praise the dashboard, and issue severity ranking to be able to track problems, and have clarity in being able to prioritize their attention to resolving these issues.

Pricing

The pricing for DubBot is left to the imagination, as it is not found anywhere on its website. In fact, we could not find it anywhere, and have no idea if there are tiers or what the pricing structure is. Company contact is required for a free quote which on the one hand is necessary to be targeted exactly at your needs, but alternately can be time consuming when a website just wants to get to a comparison and get an idea of pricing before wasting time on a service that is not affordable.

There is no offer for a free trial either. At least there is an offer of a free demo, which consists of submission of your website online along with contact credentials, and then DubBot returns a list of potential issues such as “Misspellings, broken links, accessibility issues, and much more,” so you can get an idea of how well this service performs.

Knowledgebase

DubBot is reachable by phone or email though you can also find answers to common questions in the company's knowledgebase (Image credit: DubBot)

Support

The support options for DubBot are sparse as well. There are the essential options covered, with a direct email, along with a direct phone number. However, the hours of support availability are not specified, and it is not a toll free number. 

Overall, support falls short when it comes to the more advanced options, as there is no chat, no forums, nor online videos or a support portal. We also did not find any eBooks, whitepapers, or online walkthrough guides. There was a Twitter feed to follow.

Final veridct

DubBot does get the essentials of web accessibility right with features that include direct phone support, multilingual dictionary support, and compliance with WCAG 2.1 standards. However, it falls short in some major areas, such as the lack of advanced support options, the totally opaque pricing, the lack of compliance with other web accessibility standards, and the AI only approach. In our analysis, while DubBot does have web accessibility in its toolbox, it lacks focus with features that go beyond web accessibility such as SEO optimization and broken links. For users that want a larger feature set, DubBot can be a good fit, but for those that want the best in web accessibility, there are better options out there.

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