The Harold & Grace Baker Centre
Since 1984, The Harold & Grace Baker Centre (“Baker Centre”) has provided accommodation, care, and services to Toronto’s senior population. This independent, not-for-profit retirement residence and long-term care home is managed by Revera Inc., a leading owner, operator, and investor in Canada’s senior living sector.
Until recently, in-house staff managed the organization’s website design and development needs. Going forward, they wanted to entrust a professional website company with this responsibility. Besides developing a modern new site that placed importance on accessibility, load times, and mobile responsiveness, they required ongoing assistance with website maintenance, updates, and search engine optimization (SEO) strategy.
While completing a Google search for a reputable website design company, the Baker Centre found Awesome Web Designs (AWD). Following a consultation meeting, they chose AWD to design and create a fresh new website that would be compliant with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).
A new WordPress website compliant with AODA
The Baker Centre requested a new WordPress website that would integrate a mobile-first, responsive user interface, improved SEO, and more extensive content management system (CMS) features. Their new website needed to showcase comprehensive content but in a well-organized manner that integrated user-friendly navigations.
With their target market being Toronto seniors, it was essential to have their new website meet AODA guidelines. Site security was also a top concern for the organization, as was the request to implement a monthly recreational calendar that their staff could update.
A website accessible to all users with WCAG 2.0 Level AA guidelines
To make the Baker Centre’s website accessible to all users, we ensured it conformed to WCAG 2.0 Level AA guidelines. This involved meeting extensive success criteria, such as creating readable and navigable content, providing text alternatives for non-text content, and making a distinguishable contrast between text and background.
The Baker Centre has numerous accreditations and offers many features and life enrichment activities. We consolidated these heavy content areas using accordion drop-down menus to maintain the site’s clean look and reduce load times. Other site content areas were also reorganized to provide more user-friendly navigation.
Instead of using only one contact form, we designed three different forms (general inquiries, tour bookings, and volunteer information). Having the user complete the form that best met their specific needs – and sending that contact form to the relevant Baker Centre staff – allows for a timelier response and a better user experience.
We downloaded and installed a suitable plugin for the organization’s monthly recreational calendar. The creation of end-user instructions will assist non-technical Baker Centre staff with updating this PDF on their own.
Drawing on the AWD team’s expertise with SEO, the website employed extensive SEO best practices. We also effectively migrated their site from HTTP to HTTPS by properly installing an SSL certificate. Doing so enhances site security, website performance, and SEO rankings.
What they say about us
The Results / Future Plans
Looking to the future with new projects for The Baker Centre
AWD will continue working with the Baker Centre by providing ongoing website support, maintenance, and updates. We’ll regularly test, and repair broken links and plugins, and make ongoing recommendations for SEO.