University of Derby website gives best UK HE visitor experience

6 November 2018

The University of Derby’s website provides the best visitor experience out of 317 higher education sites in the UK. It has been rated as the UK’s number one HE website in the respected Sitemorse INDEX.

This comes after Sitemorse ran 270 million tests, checks and measures on the public pages of HE institutions for its quarterly INDEX (UK Higher Education).

A big focus for the University of Derby’s website is accessibility and this is one of the areas tested by Sitemorse – and where the University scored well.

Robert Fowles, the University of Derby’s Digital Marketing Manager, said: “This is great news. We have been working hard to improve our visitor experience since launching our new website in July.

“We are delighted that our accessibility rating has helped us to the number one spot. We recognise that this is only one aspect of accessibility and there is still work to do but this shows we are heading in the right direction.”

The University, along with all public body organisations, has an approaching legal requirement to make websites accessible up to a measureable standard.

The Sitemorse INDEX runs a Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) audit and also searches for broken links, tests HTML code, gauges site performance and ensures content is optimised on web pages and PDFs. It reviews and scores sites based on 1,600+ tests, checks and measures per page.

The INDEX has provided an independent standard for the benchmark in digital compliance since 2002. The results are publicly available, so organisations can review their own scores as well as those of their competitors and others across the sector.

A Sitemorse spokesperson said: “Scoring well typically reflects those that have strong digital leadership and understand the importance of providing the best visitor experience possible – and it reflects positively on the entire organisation’s operations and branding.”

The Sitemorse INDEX is widely respected across sectors including the UK Retail 500; UK police forces; UK local government; UK universities and higher education; hotels; airlines; and the life sciences sector.