digital governance

digital governance

2018 Q4/UK Universities and Higher Education : Sitemorse Digital INDEX: Top site University of Derby

The University of Derby tops the Q4/2018 Sitemorse INDEX for UK Universities and Higher Education, leading the way for digital compliance.

Congratulations go to University of Derby for leading the table with an overall score of 6.74 out of 10 (improving its score by 3.06 and climbing 194 places in the INDEX).

The full UK Higher Education / Qtr4 | 2018 results can be found here: http://www.sitemorse.com/rt/1494/a5acecca

The Sitemorse INDEX has provided an independent standard for benchmarking digital compliance since 2002. From its inception, the INDEX has been the fundamental measure of capability for organisations that strive for digital excellence.

Each quarter, the INDEX (UK Higher Education) completes some 270 million tests/checks and measures run on public pages. These include searching for broken links; running WCAG 2.x accessibility auditing; testing HTML code; gauging site performance; ensuring content optimisation is in place for web pages and PDFs; and checking that emails are correctly formed.

Robert Fowles, the University of Derby’s Digital Marketing Manager, said: “This is great news. We have been working hard to improve our visitor experience since launching our new website in July.

“We are delighted that our accessibility rating has helped us to the number one spot. We recognise that this is only one aspect of accessibility and there is still work to do but this shows we are heading in the right direction.”

The site that demonstrated the greatest improvement was Shrewsbury College of Arts & Technology , rising 262 places to rank 11 (with an INDEX score of 5.50). Askham Bryan College came top for functionality, while Imperial College London had the fastest response time and Hull College reported the best HTML ‘code quality’.

Scoring well typically reflects those that have strong digital leadership and understand the importance of providing the best visitor experience possible – and it reflects positively on the entire organisation’s operations and branding.

Organisations are all too often unaware of potentially simple actions that they could take that would offer immediate improvements to their delivery. The results provide extensive insights into the experience that these sites deliver and offer vital information on how they can better meet audience expectations – points that are crucial but impractical to capture manually. Given an increased focus on digital accessibility, both in legislation and litigation, it’s important to ask exactly what is going and to demand improvement.

This is the first Sitemorse INDEX in which public sector sites that score zero (out of ten) for accessibility will be excluded from the INDEX as being unsuitable for ranking, regardless of their performance in other areas, sites excluded ;

1. Sparsholt College Hampshire
2. University for the Creative Arts
3. Manchester School of Architecture
4. The School of Pharmacy (University of London)
5. Bexley College
6. South Downs College
7. University of Chester
8. The Academy of Contemporary Music
9. University College London (University of London)
10. Cleveland College of Art and Design
11. Kingston University
12. Swindon College
13. Islamic College for Advanced Studies
14. Wigan and Leigh College
15. London South East Colleges
16. Edinburgh Napier University
17. Coventry College
18. Tyne Metropolitan College
19. Farnborough College of Technology
20. Dearne Valley College
21. SAE Institute
22. FutureLearn
23. Bishop Grosseteste University College Lincoln

Full details of the accessibility exclusion can be found at https://sitemorse.com/news/2018/11/06/why-sitemorse-index-now-excludes-public-sector-sites-scoring-zero-accessibility/

Top Ten Websites
1st University of Derby (http://www.derby.ac.uk/)
2nd London South Bank University (http://www.lsbu.ac.uk/)
3rd Guildford College (http://www.guildford.ac.uk/)
4th Dudley College (http://www.dudleycol.ac.uk/)
5th Chesterfield College (http://www.chesterfield.ac.uk/)
6th Chichester College (http://www.chichester.ac.uk/)
7th Myerscough College (http://www.myerscough.ac.uk/)
8th University of Lincoln (http://www.lincoln.ac.uk/)
9th Ravensbourne (http://www.rave.ac.uk/)
10th University of Southampton (http://www.southampton.ac.uk/)

Top Five Most Improved Sites
1st Shrewsbury College of Arts & Technology (http://www.shrewsbury.ac.uk/), rising 262 places
2nd London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (http://www.lshtm.ac.uk/), rising 196 places
3rd University of Derby (http://www.derby.ac.uk/), rising 194 places
4th Central School of Speech and Drama (http://www.cssd.ac.uk/), rising 173 places
5th Liverpool Community College (http://www.liv-coll.ac.uk/), rising 164 places

About the Sitemorse INDEX

HOW? Using our software we look at each site individually, mapping out every combination of every one of the top 125 pages and complete around 1,600 tests, checks and measures across User Experience (UX), Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) and Search Capability (SEO). Against the results, our benchmarking methodology is applied to provide a ranked table. The results are then published as the “UK Universities and Higher Education” INDEX.

WHY? The quarterly INDEX Website Review looks at major public and private sectors as the independent benchmark identifying how websites are performing, meeting compliance levels and satisfying their users. It’s also a key indicator for website managers who, while always wanting to be at the top of their game, could be hampered by poor-performing suppliers, non-compliant legacy content and content management systems that often fail to spot errors affecting user experience.

Our services provide you with true ‘digital insight’, ceaselessly monitoring your online content and pointing you to areas that could be potential problems for you, your clients and your stakeholders.

About Sitemorse

Sitemorse  strives to remove human limitations from accessibility compliance and helps organisations drive improved user experience, ensuring that content is always optimised and compliance requirements are always met. The London-based, privately-owned company has now been leading the field of Digital Governance for over 15 years.

Why the Sitemorse INDEX now excludes public sector sites scoring zero for accessibility

Accessibility compliance is becoming ever more important for websites and that’s especially true in the public sector. To reflect this, we are changing the way that public sector sites are ranked in the Sitemorse INDEX. This will mean that sites scoring zero (out of ten) for accessibility will be excluded from the INDEX as being unsuitable for ranking, regardless of their performance in other areas.

Delivering accessibility to a high standard is a critical part of achieving compliance today, and is key to ensuring that organisations serve, and reach, all stakeholders. There is also a close correlation between observing accessibility standards and delivering a good user experience (UX) overall – so accessibility compliance has the potential to significantly benefit both users and providers.

The EU Directive on the accessibility of public sector websites and mobile apps (Directive (EU) 2016/2102 using European standard EN 301 549 V1.1.2 (2015-04)), was implemented in September, and will require all new public sector websites to follow agreed accessibility standards by 23 September 2019 (with legacy sites to follow in September 2020 and apps in June 2021). The directive requires public sector bodies to demonstrate that they are compliant; to resolve issues (or explain why this is not possible and provide alternatives); and to monitor their compliance over time.

Because of this, there is no excuse for poor standards. While organisations may be simply unaware that they are failing (perhaps because they are only using manual assessment), the community as a whole must push for change and the need for all parties to meet their responsibilities.

Each quarter, the Sitemorse INDEX completes many tests, checks and measures across each site. he assessments provides the basis to score each site for search engine optimisation, user experience and governance risk and compliance. This provides an independent, objective view of digital compliance across market verticals so digital managers can assess their own performance and compare it to other organisations in their sector.

Sites that scored zero for accessibility in the UK Universities and Higher Education INDEX, and will hence be excluded from the rankings, are:

1. Sparsholt College Hampshire
2. University for the Creative Arts
3. Manchester School of Architecture
4. The School of Pharmacy (University of London)
5. Bexley College
6. South Downs College
7. University of Chester
8. The Academy of Contemporary Music
9. University College London (University of London)
10. Cleveland College of Art and Design
11. Kingston University
12. Swindon College
13. Islamic College for Advanced Studies
14. Wigan and Leigh College
15. London South East Colleges
16. Edinburgh Napier University
17. Coventry College
18. Tyne Metropolitan College
19. Farnborough College of Technology
20. Dearne Valley College
21. SAE Institute
22. FutureLearn
23. Bishop Grosseteste University College Lincoln

Sites that scored zero for accessibility in the UK Local Government INDEX, and will hence be excluded from the rankings, are:
1. Hyndburn Borough Council
2. Erewash Borough Council
3. Lancashire County Council
4. Chorley
5. South Cambridgeshire District Council
6. Carlisle City Council
7. Wandsworth Council
8. Powys County Council
9. Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council

Sites that scored zero for accessibility in the UK Central Government INDEX, and will hence be excluded from the rankings, are:
1. Victoria and Albert Museum
2. Wallace Collection
3. Investigatory Powers Commissioner’s Office
4. Business Gateway
5. Youth Justice NI
6. Higher Education Funding Council for England
7. UK Hydrographic Office
8. Plaid Cymru
9. Labour Party
10. National Museums Liverpool
11. The Adjudicator’s Office
12. The Parades Commission
13. LEASE (The Leasehold Advisory Service)
14. Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure NI

Sites that scored zero for accessibility in the UK Police Forces INDEX, and will hence be excluded from the rankings, are:
1. Cleveland Police
2. West Midlands Police
3. Ask The Police
4. North Yorkshire Police

Sitemorse is an iNetwork 2018 Partner Excellence Award Nominee

Sitemorse is very proud to announce that it has been nominated for the iNetwork 2018 Partner Excellence Award.

The award allows iNetwork members to recognise the outstanding performance of partner organisations and celebrates “innovation, collaboration, efficiency and going the extra mile in partnership working”.

Sitemorse was nominated for the award by Rahna Riley, Digital Services Lead at Rochdale Borough Council for our work together on the Accessibility Matters project.

The Sitemorse service enabled Rochdale to significantly improve its online user experience, Rahna said. She also praised Sitemorse’s “excellent, speedy and knowledgeable support service”.

Sitemorse has always offered us excellent support, been very flexible in modifying our contract as our requirements change, as well as acting upon suggestions to improve their product/service to meet our needs,” she added. “During service deployment, we collaborated on a joint project to improve the overall score, through online workshops and regular support.”

The collaboration helped Rochdale to focus resources on where they would have the biggest impact – and saw Rochdale climb the Sitemorse UK Local Government INDEX from 392nd place in Q2 2015 to 11th in Q3 2018. Meanwhile, the work contributed to Rochdale winning the MJ Achievement Award 2018 for Digital Transformation.

“Getting the right people, with the right skills at the right price is quite a challenge at a time of austerity,” said Rahna. “Working with Sitemorse helps us employ people with fewer skills and use their support and their product as a self-learning tool to upskill them.

“At a time when the website is hugely promoted through social media, it’s important the website remains accessible and that it doesn’t become ’’the story’. We’ve been fortunate enough to invest in our site through passion, pride, [and having] the right tools and partners to deliver the results we require and that customers expect.

Lawrence Shaw, Sitemorse’s CEO, said, “It’s a real honour to be nominated for an award like this. Fundamentally, our service helps to eliminate human limitations when it comes to digital compliance – allowing improvements to be made quickly and at scale, and without onerous manual testing. However, we can only recommend changes, so optimisation is always a process of collaboration – and Rochdale’s results just go to prove what’s possible for forward thinking organisations.”

The public vote opened today on Monday 24th September at 9am, and closes at midnight on Sunday 30th September. To vote for Sitemorse, please visit the iNetwork website here:
http://annualconference.i-network.org.uk/vote-partner-excellence/

Sitemorse: Time for Transparency On Pricing

London, 25th April 2018 – Sitemorse, a leader in digital governance and content quality management, has decided to take the industry-first step of making its pricing information fully public.

Sitemorse’s CEO, Lawrence Shaw, said: “Our preference is to have clear, open communications and to ensure that interests are always aligned between all parties. That’s precisely why we want to make this information public, removing ambiguity and opacity in order to make the procurement of digital governance services fast, painless and easy. For individuals and organisations looking to boost their performance in governance, web quality (QA) and digital quality management, this can only be a good thing.”

Sitemorse has 3 Service Levels and core pricing packages, suitable for the varying digital landscapes that Digital Managers oversee. The common component across all services is the inclusion of Sitemorse’s Prioritisation Intelligence engine, which uses machine learning to identify where mistakes are being made and their likely impact in order to drive prioritised action. Sitemorse is passionate about moving the market away from endless reporting and to bring data science to Governance / QA.

At each service level, Sitemorse can provide assessments and prioritized actions, which can be accessed directly within the client’s CMS, via email or through the Sitemorse Dashboard.

The pricing hierarchy is based on the number of pages that the Digital Manager has within their control (across sub-sections, microsites, separate domains and pre-launch sites, or any combination of the above).

Download an example service schedule.

The number of social channels to be monitored (QA / Governance monitoring of social content) also plays a part in the Service Level that is purchased. It is also possible to have more than one Dashboard, should the organisation’s digital footprint warrant it.

“WOW….if I invest in Sitemorse, I pay less than the cost of Siteimprove – really? And it includes unlimited PDFs and prioritised recommendations without the hassle of endless reporting?”

Digital Reporter (Sitemorse’s entry-level service that competes directly with Siteimprove [www.Siteimprove.com], and provides an upgrade on their offering) – the key difference is that prioritisation intelligence is included as standard, as it is at all levels of service. Includes live content search and policy management and SMARTview. Unlimited pages, PDFs and Office Docs; and other page options are available.


Digital Dashboard – a new Governance / QA Dashboard for the Digital Manager, allowing you to focus on proactive analysis and decision making, driving improvements and efficiency. Adds the ability to assess any site at any time (independently of your main sites). Recall actual results for up to 3 years. First level of workflow also included. Includes workflow and social page QA/Governance Monitoring and prioritisation intelligence. Unlimited pages, PDFs and Office Docs; and other page options are available.

table 2

Digital Experience Manager – the ideal solution for Digital Managers looking to implement as much automation as possible. Adds full workflow (automated routing and management of actions to individuals), reporting consolidation and daily reporting (live mapping of content consumption vs page exits for example). Executive KPIs and tailored reporting. inCMS™ licence also included. DXM has a number of options – the following simply presents an idea of what you need to consider:

2,500 pages £900. | $1,135
7,500 pages £1,200 | $1,515
10,000 pages £1,800 | $2,270
25,000 pages £2,400 | $3,030

Investment in Sitemorse is monthly, billed annually and in advance. Monthly payment options are available where recurring card payment has been authorized.
Prices are fixed and no discounts are offered – the only reduction is for affiliate clients at 7%.

When you are ready to progress, there is a simple upgrade path – billed for the difference at the next level of automation.

Download an example service schedule.

In the near future, Sitemorse plans to publish more information about precisely how deployment works; how much organisations need to invest in setup; and the likely ROI of using Sitemorse. The company’s aim is to provide as much detail as possible about how purchasing and onboarding the service works.

About Sitemorse

Sitemorse  helps organizations to efficiently drive improved user experience, ensuring that content is always optimised and that compliance requirements are always met. With clients in every corner of the world, Sitemorse  sets out to remove endless reporting from Digital Governance and to instead provide actionable insights so that major changes can be made quickly.

The company has now been moving the field of Digital Governance forwards for over 15 years, while remaining privately owned, and continues to provide clients with new tools and capabilities every year. Most recently, this has included a focus on extending capabilities directly within the CMS, as well as addressing the governance / QA service issue of ‘endless reporting’.

Sitemorse helps digital managers to build strong processes and accountability, to minimise risks and to achieve the highest standards of content quality. And with Sitemorse , there is no need for the substantial infrastructure, support and accordant costs that are required for manual quality and compliance checks.

Media Contact Details
Michael Simon, Sitemorse
London, UK
020 7183 5588