Local Authorities celebrate their success in Sitemorse Q3 2018 Local Government INDEX

04 Oct 2018

The results of the Sitemorse Local Government INDEX were released in August and show impressive compliance across the sector. Three of the top 10 organisations celebrated their success with press releases to announce their results.

The Sitemorse INDEX runs every quarter, assessing sites and giving them a score and subsequent rank based on user experience, optimisation and compliance which include factors such as loading speed, spelling, function and accessibility.

The INDEX ran in July 2018 and carried out over 290million tests on public pages. Every page was subjected to over 1,600 unique tests, checks and measures.

The top 10 were

Rank

Change

Organisation

Overall Score

1

0

Harrogate Borough Council

10.0

2

+1

Orkney Islands Council

9.7

3

+11

Richmondshire District Council

9.3

4

+194

Broxtowe Borough Council

9.1

5

+7

Scarborough Borough Council

8.9

6

-1

North Devon Council

8.9

7

+123

Gedling Borough Council

8.8

8

+12

Scottish Borders Council

8.2

9

-3

Eden District Council

8.1

10

0

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar

7.9

The top five most-improved were:

Change

Organisation

Score

+228

South Cambridgeshire District Council

7.1

+216

Enfield Council

4.9

+215

Maldon District Council

5.5

+194

Broxtowe Borough Council

9.1

+184

Guildford Borough Council

5.0 


Check out the full results at https://sitemorse.com/index/uk-local-government/2018-q3

The scores achieved in this INDEX were outstanding with all sites in the top 10 scoring 7.9 or higher. Compared with other sectors covered by the Sitemorse INDEX, this shows how high standards are; for example the top score in the UK Universities & Higher Education INDEX in Q3 was 7.2. In total, 4.9% of sites in the Local Government sector scored higher than this.

Not only did Harrogate Borough Council remain in first place, they also improved upon an already notable score, achieving a highly impressive 10 out of 10.  Orkney Islands Council were a very close second, scoring 9.7 out of 10. Interestingly, both the Harrogate and Orkney Islands Council websites are run and maintained by a single member of staff. Harrogate Borough Council’s Web Officer, Clare Cryer, and Orkney Islands Council Web Coordinator, Colin Miller, both are passionate advocates of digital compliance.

The top five most-improved sites all made significant gains up the table. South Cambridgeshire District Council were the most improved site, moving up more than half the rankings by 228 places to 22nd. Enfield Council also made significant improvements this quarter and were the second most improved, moving up 216 places to 178th.

Broxtowe Borough Council also made significant advances and moved up a colossal 194 places to rank 4th with a score of 9.1 (from 4.7 in the Q2 INDEX).

The three councils issuing press releases were: Broxtowe Borough Council, Richmondshire District Council and Harrogate Borough Council. This goes to show how significant the results are to them and that the hard work of the individuals who manage the sites is recognised.

Broxtowe Borough Council: https://www.broxtowe.gov.uk/news-events/news/press-releases-2018/august-2018/broxtowe-borough-council-rise-194-places-to-top-5-of-sitemorse-local-government-index/

Richmondshire District Council: https://www.richmondshire.gov.uk/news/latest-news/new-website-rated-third-best-local-authority-website-in-uk/

Harrogate Borough Council: https://www.harrogate.gov.uk/news/article/178/wwwharrogategovuk_named_as_

Lawrence Shaw, Sitemorse CEO said, “Sitemorse are delighted to see organisations being motivated to achieve the best website experience for visitors and taking their legal obligations seriously, something shared by us at Sitemorse. The standards of this sector are very high and it’s inspiring to see authorities, both large and small, making such prominent achievements.”

We’ve recently seen, the first deadline of the EU public sector accessibility directive (European standard EN 301 549 V1.1.2 (2015-04)) come into force, which requires public sector bodies to make their websites accessible by making them perceivable, operable, understandable and robust. The directive also requires all public sector bodies to publish an accessibility statement on their websites.

These results show many websites are well on the journey to compliance but that there are still many sites which need to improve compliance to meet the impending directive.

The results of Q4 will be available later in October, the results will make interesting reading to see how organisation are complying to the regulator.