Harrogate tops council website index

Harrogate Borough Council has been identified as a leader in digital governance after coming in first place for UK local government in the latest Sitemorse quarterly INDEX. Stoke-on-Trent City Council was the biggest climber in the latest table.

The Sitemorse INDEX reviews sites, scoring and ranking them based on optimisation, experience and compliance and factors such as loading speed and accessibility.

Harrogate took first place with an overall score of 9.5 out of 10, representing a very high standard of optimisation, user experience and content delivery. The council took first place for functionality, accessibility, HTML, email and metadata and was near the top of the table for performance. Stoke-on-Trent City Council was the most improved in the field, increasing its score by 1.96 points to 6.2 and climbing 209 places in the list.

Also in the top ten were:

2. North Devon Council – scoring 8.9 out of 10

3. Scottish Borders Council – 8.8 out of 10

4. North Warwickshire Council – 8.7 out of 10

5. Scarborough Borough Council – 8.6 out of 10

6. Orkney Islands Council – 8.6 out of 10

7. Taunton Deane Borough Council – 8.5 out of 10

8. Richmondshire District Council – 8.4 out of 10

9. Rochdale Borough Council – 8.4 out of 10

10. Spelthorne Borough Council – 8.3 out of 10

Issues discovered on low performing sites included broken links, missing images, faulty email addresses and web pages that came without titles and descriptions. Many organisations are unaware of the issues that are discovered and many more struggle with the substantial challenge of manually monitoring and implementing repairs. Organisations that score highly, however, generally have strong leadership and a firm understanding of corporate responsibility.

Lawrence Shaw, CEO of Sitemorse, said: “When it comes to local government, it’s crucial to ensure that you are delivering on compliance and accessibility. Indeed, providing a positive digital experience really is a core part of their service. Because of that, it’s great to see councils scoring highly for functionality, performance and accessibility – and Harrogate has done well to top the list.”

The results of the INDEX were based on a total of over 115,000,000 tests on public pages (web and PDF) carried out in January 2018. Every page on every site surveyed was subjected to over 1,600 unique tests, checks and measures each.

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