Businesses — Why using Wix and GoDaddy Increases your Lawsuit Risk

Sheri Byrne-Haber, CPACC
5 min readMar 17, 2019
Business web template displayed on large monitor, tablet, and mobile phone

Wait, I can get sued for using Wix and GoDaddy?? What the Actual Heck?!?!

Why yes. Yes, you can. In a heart beat.

Here is a little background on how this story came into being. I’ve recently spent an absolutely mind blowing two days in Anaheim at CSUN pre-conferences followed by the CSUN conference itself. I taught Accessibility Program Management strategies with Gian Wild at the ICT Accessibility Bootcamp (love teaching at bootcamps !) and then spent the day just listening to leaders in the field at the inaugural Digital Accessibility Legal Summit. My joint talk with David Fazio on UX Research involving people with disabilities at CSUN was well attended.

Of course I tried to “chat up” the writing I’ve been doing on accessibility and disabilities on Medium as much as I can, without being too obnoxious I hope. Maybe all this talking about myself (which runs against my Canadian personality) will allow me to sell 13 instead of 12 books some day. I had lunch with Jared Smith from WebAIM and attended a reception with Dan Goldstein, recently retired from Brown, Goldstein, Levy. It was really hard not to act like a COMPLETE fangirl !!

Right after I rattled off some of my article titles, Dan asked me in a very serious voice “Why haven’t you written one called using Wix and Godaddy could get you sued” Here you are Dan — this article is for you. Appreciate the idea !

How can my business get sued over a Wix/GoDaddy template

Here’s how it works. Wix and Godaddy both offer business services related to creating web sites. You may get sued if your website is not accessible under the following circumstances:

  1. Your company is a public accommodation (i.e. has a retail operation)
  2. You live/work in a circuit where being a public accommodation is not required to get sued over inaccessibility
  3. You want to do business with any organization who receives money from the Federal government, which includes feds, the military, states, counties, cities, hospitals, universities, public services like courts, or to anyone who supplies to any of these…

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Sheri Byrne-Haber, CPACC

LinkedIn Top Voice for Social Impact 2022. UX Collective Author of the Year 2020. Disability Inclusion SME. Sr Staff Accessibility Architect @ VMware.