Website benchmark - Lincolnshire and London websites top our UK council benchmark
06 Sep 2012
More strong performances for local council websites are spotlighted in the latest quarterly benchmark of UK local government from Sitemorse, with one local authority moving 46 places up our table to take the top spot.
The latest benchmark also shows an improving performance on accessibility, with some local authorities who did not score well in other areas having a high score. In total 430 authorities around the UK feature in the table this time.
Overall winner North East Lincolnshire Council (@NELincs) scored 9.20 out of a possible ten marks against our testing criteria, leapfrogging many others to reach the top spot. Just behind them are the London boroughs of Hillingdon (score 8.89, up seven places) and Hounslow (score 8.79, up four places).
The rest of the top ten performing sites belong, in order, to Wycombe, Vale of Glamorgan, South Derbyshire, Lewes, Blaby, Highland and Wellingborough, proving that no one part of the UK has a monopoly on good sites.
Below the top ten, good performances were recorded from East Dunbartonshire, up 13, Aberdeen, Mole Valley and Rhonnda Cynon Taff, both dropping slightly from previous top performances, Croydon, Thurrock, Argyll and Bute, up 89 places, Cornwall, North Down , and States of Jersey, which rose 45 places in the table to take 20th position.
Sitemorse surveys the websites of businesses and organisations in a number of sectors using our automated software, and has been benchmarking and publishing the detailed results for a decade. The full results from this and other recent surveys can be seen on our website.
Well over ten per cent of local authorities score highly on accessibility, with marks of eight and nine out of ten recorded. Some sites that do not score well overall – for example Sedgemoor, at 319th, scored less than four out of ten overall but managed an accessibility score of eight. Likewise Stevenage, Monmouthshire and South Oxfordshire.
Apart from the winners, a number of councils have greatly improved their sites, leading to much higher scores than previously. Examples of this are the Winchester, West Lindsey and Basildon Councils which have all risen by around 200 places, Warrington, up 227, and Cardiff, up 245 places – especial congratulations to them.
Sitemorse concluded: We were pleased to see local authorities are taking accessibility to heart, especially because of the diverse audiences they serve and the fact that this is now regulated by law. More people than you might think with comparatively minor disabilities use additional software to access the web, and it can be very frustrating for users when software enhancing vision or sound cannot work with a website. Our benchmark shows more than ten per cent of sites tested scoring eights and nines, better scores on average than in other sectors we test.
A lot of the problems we see are down to poor functionality, basically poor housekeeping, with slow and missing content and images and links that don’t work as they should. A significant number of the pages tested – nearly one per cent - did not have a title, and with more than a million URLs tested this time, that’s a significant number.
About our surveys, and how they work
For more than a decade, Sitemorse has been the world's only single solution for web content governance, monitoring, recording and benchmarking.
Our unique surveys, published several times a year, provide an up to the minute snapshot of the best and brightest business websites, with insight into which are passing – and failing - vital tests in performance, compliance, and accessibility.
Our software is used to test the sites of major organisations in a variety of sectors, (for example, FTSE All Share companies, and the UK Top 500 retail companies) to compile an index of who ‘does the web’ best.
Sitemorse is now the suite of choice for organisations wishing to ensure their sites provide total, holistic web governance and a great user experience. Our hundreds of clients across major corporates, local and national government, utilities, financials and the health sector rely on us to help them improve the performance, compliance and quality of their websites, delivering control and web confidence.
Web content management systems alone cannot hope to cover major issues such as performance, compliance, brand, accessibility and quality without help. Our products integrate (including pre-live checking - within your CMS) to ensure these vital areas are constantly under control.
We offer three levels of products, from our enterprise platform 'Governisation', a blend of governance and optimisation, to a suite of tools to help web editors and managers, as well as free in-browser tools that can be used by any web user to quickly ensure pages are error-free (our web managers toolkit). All our services are SaaS based, with no set-up or management and are designed to ensure that our hundreds of clients in major corporations, the financial sector, and central and local government have total confidence in their websites.
• For further Information: Geoff Paddock, Head of Communications on +44 1525 375057, gpaddock@Sitemorse.com
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