Top accessibility score helps Derby keep ahead in website rankings

29 April 2019

Commitment to quality

The University of Derby has been rated as having the UK’s best higher education website for the third consecutive quarter.

The University first hit the top of the respected Sitemorse INDEX last year, having launched its new website in July.

The latest figures show that Derby continues to be the standout performer in terms of accessibility. Its score is unmatched by any other institution. 

Robert Fowles is the University of Derby’s Digital Marketing Manager. He said: “When we first hit the top of the Sitemorse index with our new website, we were delighted, particularly in terms of our accessibility rating. To have maintained that position for the third consecutive quarter is testament to the talent and the hard work within the department.

“This ranking demonstrates our commitment to quality, not just on the surface but at a technical level as well. It is one way of showing us how our website is performing against similar organisations – and that we are heading in the right direction.

“We believe higher education should be equitable, inclusive and open to all - and that includes our website. We are opening doors for everyone.”

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How Sitemorse INDEX rates university websites

View the full results to see how the University of Derby stayed at the top of the latest Sitemorse rankings.

View the full Sitemorse INDEXView the full Sitemorse INDEX

Accessibility scores

All public body organisations have an approaching legal requirement to make websites accessible up to a measurable standard.

But the latest Sitemorse INDEX reveals a surprising statistic. A total of 134 out of 349 universities and higher education institutions scored zero out of ten for accessibility. Sitemorse excluded these sites from its INDEX, regardless of their performance in other areas.

The University of Derby scored eight out of ten for accessibility.

Lawrence Shawn, Sitemorse CEO, commented: “It’s great to see the University of Derby leading the way with digital standards in the UK Universities and Higher Education sector. Their tireless work on their digital transformation project has been effective. Derby have risen 275 places over the last 12 months to the top of the table. It’s encouraging to see organisations improving user experience.”

The Sitemorse INDEX measures visitor experience. It runs a Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) audit, 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. It 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.

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