Home / Best Practices / Siteimprove

Getting Started with Siteimprove

What Is SiteImprove?

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.

Access and Inclusion

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 an 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 webconsulting@asu.eduPlease explain how the URLs meet the above criteria for inclusion.

If you have been given access to ASU's SiteImprove account, you also can run Single-Page Checks on any page.  To request access, email the user's name and email address, along with the group, sites or pages for which the user requests access, to webconsulting@asu.edu

Getting to SiteImprove.com

There are two ways of getting into SiteImprove:

  1. going directly to https://siteimprove.com
  2. via the emailed reports you receive

Via Email Reports

You’ll receive monthly email reports on your group of URLs.

NOTE: To change the frequency of reports, email webconsulting@asu.edu You can also Run Your Own SiteImprove Reports.

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.

SiteImprove email reports


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).

SiteImprove online report

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.

List of all broken links

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.

Accessibility issue types list page

 


Logging Into SiteImprove

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 webaccessibility@asu.edu, and we’ll send you a link to reset your password.

When you first log in, you’ll see the dashboard.
Siteimprove dashboard

 

If your dashboard is empty, choose your group from the "No group selected" drop-down at the top of the dashboard:

Dashboard group dropdown

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. 

 

Accessibility Issues

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.

 Image of pages with issues screen

 

On the Page Report, you can drill down into issues to get more information.

Page Report

 

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.

In-depth issue page


Issues That Must Be Resolved

  1. 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.
  2. Review items: Because the SiteImprove spider is a machine, there are some issues it can’t make a determination about. These have a warning Warning icon is a triangle inside a circle or a review Review item icon 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.
  3. 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.

 

Issues You Can Ignore

Some issues you can safely ignore. (Also see How to Ignore Issues.)

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

How to Approve an Issue or Mark as "Can't Fix"

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:

  1. Go to the Page Report for a URL (Accessibility > Pages, then click on a URL).
  2. Under the Accessibility tab, click into an issue.
  3. Find the small gray gear icon and click on it.
  4. Leave the "For this page" option checked.
  5. 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.
  6. Click Save.

Ignore an issue screen

 

With No A or AA Issues, Is My Site Accessible?

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:

  1. Test that it is keyboard navigable AND 
  2. Test with a screen reader such as JAWS (Win) or VoiceOver (Mac)

You can contact the Disabilities Resource Center or email webconsulting@asu.edu for help with testing.

 

Siteimprove Browser Extension

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.


Where to Get Accessibility Help

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 Guidelines: a simplified version of WCAG 2.0 with less technical detail
  • Access Clinic: UTO's walk-in web accessibility clinics are held from 1-5 pm on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of the month in USB 1114. Anyone at ASU with questions about accessibility may attend--no appointment necessary.
  • Slack: Ask questions in the #accessibility channel on the ASU Web Standards Slack.

 You can also email webaccessibility@asu.edu for help with SiteImprove. For comprehensive help using SiteImprove, visit their help section.

 

Broken Links and Misspellings

View Broken Links per Page

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.

Screen with list of all pages with broken links

 

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.

QA tab in the Page Report

 

How to Ignore Broken Links

If you are certain a link is not broken, you can ignore it from the Page Report.

  1. Go to the Page Report (in the menu, select Quality Assurance > Pages with Broken Links, then click on a Page title/URL).
  2. Under the Quality Assurance tab, select a broken link.
  3. Click the gray gear icon beside the link.
  4. Choose "Apply decision" in the popup window. 

 Approving/ignoring a broken link in Siteimprove

Create a CSV File of Broken Links and Their URLs

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.

 Summary page

Then, on the Broken Links page, click the “Export” icon.

Broken Links page

Finally, select “Include: Pages (Table)," then click the “All rows” button. Your CSV file can be opened by Excel or imported into Google Spreadsheets.
Report options

Where to Get Help

You can email webconsulting@asu.edu for help with SiteImprove. For comprehensive help using SiteImprove, visit their help section.

Additional Crawls and Reports

Re-crawl Your Group's Pages

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 webconsulting@asu.edu

You can also recrawl your pages whenever you want. From your Dashboard:

  1. Go to Quality Assurance > QA Overview.
  2. Select the group you would like to re-crawl from the drop-down at the top.
  3. Click the Re-Crawl group button in the Dashboard.

Siteimprove QA screen 


Run an Additional Report

  1. From the dashboard, select “Settings" > “Reports.”
  2. Choose the “Quality Assurance” or “Accessibility” tab, then click the “Run” button for the report you want to receive.Reports screen 
  3. Next, choose your group from the Group drop-down menu, and click “Run report now.” 

 

Running a report

 

 

Single-Page Checks: Siteimprove Chrome Extension

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.