Western offers access to Siteimprove, a web governance tool that helps content authors, web developers, and marketers build quality websites.
Siteimprove provides insight on quality assurance (QA), accessibility, search engine optimization (SEO), and performance. Read on to learn how you can provide engaging web experiences that extend audience reach.
There are two options for gaining access to Siteimprove:
- Use the first-time SiteImprove login to auto-enroll as a user. (recommended, works more predictably)
- Email WebTech to request access.
With both options, you will need to let WebTech know which site or group of pages you would like to access to in the platform.
First time login note
If you log in and don't see any data, that's expected. Siteimprove doesn't know which group you need to be in, so let WebTech know which group you need to be added to.
Once you are logged in and have access to your site group, check out the Welcome to Siteimprove dashboard to get familiar with the platform.
The dashboard includes:
- Interactive tutorials for using the QA, Accessibility, and SEO modules.
- 5-minute fixes that are quick wins for your site.
- Additional areas of focus within Siteimprove's modules.
- Where to find help with Siteimprove.
Quality Assurance (QA)
The QA module finds pages that have broken links, misspellings, or readability issues. Making improvements in these areas makes your content easier to use and get across your message.
Head over to the QA module to see where you can start making fixes.
QA Quick Tips
Some links are easy to verify they are broken—others need a manual review to determine if it's really broken. You can confirm these results under the Broken Links page.
Flagged misspellings may be Western-branded spellings of sites or programs, like "myWestern" or "ClassFinder." You can add words to Siteimprove that fall in this category so they don't continually flag.
However, a word that's spelled correctly for your use case may not be the correct spelling for other sites. Make sure to choose "this site" for adding words instead of the "all sites on this account" option.
The Accessibility module finds pages with issues based on the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). Making improvements in this area makes your content accessible to all site visitors, regardless of ability/disability, technology used, or user preferences.
Head over to the Accessibility module to start improving your content's accessibility.
Issues and Potential Issues
Siteimprove flags both issues and potential issues in the Accessibility module. You can start with either type based on your preference, or work on both simultaneously.
Issues are accessibility errors that are automatically found with the platform's crawler.
This includes flags like missing attributes on certain elements, links that share link text but go to different URLs, and headings that aren't structured predictably.
While issues can be dismissed from issue priorities or site targets, dismissing an issue won't improve your score. Learn more about dismissing accessibility occurrences.
Potential issues are accessibility concerns that can't be automatically determined or 100% certain by the crawler.
These issues need human review in order to determine if it's an issue or not. Some flags are whether captions are on a video, or if multiple links go to the same page.
Siteimprove will guide you through a series of questions to figure out if a potential issue is a true issue. Learn more from Siteimprove about reviewing potential issues.
Siteimprove's course platform, Frontier, offers courses to anyone enrolled in the platform. It covers a variety of topics and learning paths to empower your content creation.
If you aren't sure where to start, you can try a topic like quality assurance or accessibility, or look into a learning path like "accessibility for marketers."