Getting Started with Siteimprove
- What Is SiteImprove?
- Getting to SiteImprove.com
- Accessibility Issues
- Issues That Must Be Resolved
- Issues You Can Ignore
- With No A or AA Issues, Is My Site Accessible?
- Siteimprove Browser Extension
- Where to Get Accessibility Help
- Broken Links and Misspellings
- Viewing Broken Links per Page
- How to Ignore Broken Links
- Create a CSV File of Broken Links and Their URLs
- Where to Get Help
- Additional Crawls and Reports
- Single-Page Checks: Siteimprove Chrome Extension
SiteImprove is an auditing service that scans web pages for accessibility issues, as well as broken links and misspellings. Reports are sent monthly to site owners, who have access to in-depth information and historical data on issues.
For comprehensive help using SiteImprove, visit their help section.
The ASU account is currently limited to 5000 individual URLs. The criteria for inclusion in this list are:
- URL is ranked in the ASU Google Analytic's top 5000 unique page views for non-SSO pages
- URL is part of a critical university task path (such as a path from the homepage to housing registration)
- URL has been identified as a high-risk page for accessibility issues
If you need historical data or want to permanently track URLs, send your list of URLs to email@example.com. Please explain how the URLs meet the above criteria for inclusion.
You can perform one-time scans on any page with the Siteimprove Browser Extension.
To request access to Siteimprove, email the user's name and email address, along with the group, sites or pages for which the user requests access, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are two ways of getting into SiteImprove:
- going directly to https://siteimprove.com
- via the emailed reports you receive
You’ll receive monthly email reports on your group of URLs.
1. Clicking on the “Download” link in the email report will open a new tab in your browser with a more detailed online version of the report.
2. Clicking on the number of broken links (or accessibility) issues in the online report will take you directly to the page in SiteImprove that lists all broken links (or all accessibility issues).
3. From the list of all broken links, click the magnifying glass to view a cached version of the page with the broken link highlighted for you. You can also view broken links by page.
Likewise, in the list of all accessibility issue types, you can explore the types of issues and how many times they appear in your group of pages. You can also view all the accessibility issues per page.
Probably the easiest way to get to SIteimprove is to log in directly on https://siteimprove.com using your email address and password you set when you received your welcome letter. If you have trouble logging in, email email@example.com, and we’ll send you a link to reset your password.
When you first log in, you’ll see the dashboard.
If your dashboard is empty, choose your group from the "No group selected" drop-down at the top of the dashboard:
The dashboard contains a summary of the data on your group’s pages. You can also get more detailed summaries of all your group's QA or accessibility data under the Overview in each of those sections.
Selecting “Accessibility” > “Pages” in the sidebar menu gives you a list of all the pages in your group. Select the linked Title/URL of one of your pages in the list will take you to the detailed Page Report for that page.
On the Page Report, you can drill down into issues to get more information.
Clicking on an issue opens a panel that tells you exactly what the issue is, where on the page and in the code it is located, and suggestions for fixing it.
- A and AA level issues: The Department of Justice holds (and recent court decisions have upheld) the stance that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to the web. The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 level AA are considered the industry standard to follow. You must address level A and AA issues to be compliant with the ADA.
- Review items: Because the SiteImprove spider is a machine, there are some issues it can’t make a determination about. These have a warning or a review icon next to them. Follow the instructions provided in the issue to check the page manually. If you determine there is no issue, ignore the issue on that page so it won't turn up in your reports again.
- Issues in content: If you work on a CMS, remember that content input by users who are non-developers may not use semantic HTML markup and may contain errors. You may need to pass issues and advice along to your content editors.
Some issues you can safely ignore. (Also see How to Ignore Issues.)
- Any issue in the ASU global header or footer: These are being worked on and will be pushed out to all sites when they’ve passed QA.
- Issues in Webspark core: If the issue comes from markup generated by a Webspark feature, you can probably ignore it. The Webspark team receives all reports, are working on any issues created by the platform, and will push the fixes out in an Update. If you’re unsure whether the issue is the result of content or coding you added, see Where to Get Help.
You should do everything you can fix A and AA issues because leaving these issues unresolved could result in difficulties for your users and liability for the university. However, sometimes Siteimprove will report false-positives and some issues technically can't be fixed. To ignore an issue:
- Go to the Page Report for a URL (Accessibility > Pages, then click on a URL).
- Under the Accessibility tab, click into an issue.
- Find the small gray gear icon and click on it.
- Leave the "For this page" option checked.
- Click the "Add a note" link and add your name, the date and an explanation for why the issue is a false-positive or does not apply to this page.
- Click Save.
Not necessarily. Resolving all WCAG 2.0 A and AA level issues will make your site technically compliant and will probably make it accessible to users with impairments. However, to ensure a page is accessible to all users:
- Test that it is keyboard navigable AND
- Test with a screen reader such as JAWS (Win) or VoiceOver (Mac)
You can contact the Disabilities Resource Center or email firstname.lastname@example.org for help with testing.
If you just want to quickly scan a page for errors or if your page is behind SSO, you can use the SiteImprove Accessibility Checker extension for Chrome. The extension will run a semi-automated test on a page.
Web accessibility is a new topic for many people. If you don't understand your Siteimprove reports or how to resolve issues, you aren't alone. Here are some resources that may help:
- ASU Web Accessibility Best Practices: WCAG 2.1 explained
- Access Clinic: UTO's free, virtual web accessibility clinics are held from 1-5 pm every Wednesday. Anyone at ASU with questions about accessibility may attend. Make an appointment!
- Slack: Ask questions in the #accessibility channel on the ASU Web Standards Slack.
- Email us at email@example.com for help.
For comprehensive help using SiteImprove, visit their help section.
In the Siteimprove sidebar menu, select "Quality Assurance" > "Links" > "Pages with Broken Links." From this page, you can select a page to see a detailed Page Report on that page's broken links and misspellings.
On the Page Report, under the Quality Assurance tab, you'll see details about each misspelling and broken link, as well as the exact location where it occurs on the page.
You should fix errors on your actual web page. Once errors are corrected, they won't appear in subsequent reports.
If Siteimprove has incorrectly identified a misspelling or broken link, you should ignore it, so it won't continue to appear on your reports.
If you are certain a link is not broken, you can ignore it from the Page Report.
- Go to the Page Report (in the menu, select Quality Assurance > Pages with Broken Links, then click on a Page title/URL).
- Under the Quality Assurance tab, select a broken link.
- Click the gray gear icon beside the link.
- Choose "Apply decision" in the popup window.
Log into siteimprove.com. In the “Select a service” menu, choose “Quality Assurance.”
On the QA Overview: Summary page, click the number of broken links.
Then, on the Broken Links page, click the “Export” icon.
Finally, select “Include: Pages (Table)," then click the “All rows” button. Your CSV file can be opened by Excel or imported into Google Spreadsheets.
Reports are sent out once a month. If you’d like to change the frequency to after every crawl (about once a week or so), email firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also recrawl your pages whenever you want. From your Dashboard:
- Go to Quality Assurance > QA Overview.
- Select the group you would like to re-crawl from the drop-down at the top.
- Click the Re-Crawl group button in the Dashboard.
- From the dashboard, select “Settings" > “Reports.”
- Choose the “Quality Assurance” or “Accessibility” tab, then click the “Run” button for the report you want to receive.
- Next, choose your group from the Group drop-down menu, and click “Run report now.”
For pages not included in the list of regularly monitored URLs (the top 5000 per Google Analytics), you can still check their accessibility with the SiteImprove browser plug-in for Chrome.