CMS can never work alone for website compliance.

From: SiteMorse Technologies
Published: Fri Mar 11 2005

Content Management Solutions (CMS) can help you to achieve a certain level of website accessibility compliance, but they can’t ensure that you reach the highest quality assured standards. Roger Crocombe New Business Director at Steria Public Authorities agrees: "CMS’s can help you to deliver things like text only sites...[but] they won’t tell you how big a page should be; they can’t stop you putting in broken links; they can’t stop you from having a bad design; and they can’t force you to use meta data properly.’

So if a CMS cannot help you to achieve full compliance, what can? Research suggests that a variety of tools should be used and organisations also need strict content management guidelines to ensure that a ‘perfect site’ doesn’t falter. Steria though, since it chose to use SiteMorse, has managed to reduce the number of tools it needs to assess compliancy. Furthermore, most agree that automated testing solutions like SiteMorse help to maintain a far more consistently high level of site compliance and quality including accessibility. It can provide better results than manual-testing methods can achieve alone.

Steria has also noticed improvements in efficiency, quality control and assurance levels, and the speed of customer acceptance has increased unequivocally (partly because SiteMorse is used throughout the iterative project development cycles with the highest levels of compliance always in mind). So there’s no debate, the delivered website is either compliant or not compliant.

"The use of SiteMorse keeps our clients and us on our toes, to ensure that the sites maintain the standards continuously and effectively’, says Harjinder Boparai – Steria’s Content Solutions Practice Manager. He adds: "Achieving compliancy is not a one-stop job but a start to qualitative auditing of the sites, which is the basis of our quality assurance service that is offered to our clients.’

SiteMorse is viewed as a quality benchmark by Steria and its clients, as well as by Chester City Council. That’s why it has been included in the Steria Accelerator Pack, which includes the company’s Accessibility Bundle. Included in this there’s a three-month subscription to SiteMorse. Steria uses SiteMorse to test, not just websites, but also its Content Management Solutions and their ability to provide compliance. Subsequently the company has developed, it says, a high level of expertise of how to get the most out of SiteMorse, and this is demonstrated by the delivery of impressive results for Oldham and Spelthorne councils.

The challenge is to constantly keep them there and to keep making the improvements that can increase website performance and accessibility for a broad range of users. Steria, for example, may deliver to its clients ‘perfect websites’, but they can soon deteriorate if they are not constantly monitored for compliance, and this is where automated testing holds an advantage over manual testing alone. All of those interviewed, agreed that staff cannot get it right all of the time and that tools like SiteMorse, when used together, are helping them to constantly achieve high levels of website accessibility compliance. Levels that even a CMS and manual testing cannot effectively and efficiently achieve alone.
Company: SiteMorse Technologies
Contact Name: claire blasi
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Contact Phone: 02074704710

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