We’re pleased to see that two new JADU Spacecraft sites (Broxbourne and Harrow) occupy the top two rising positions in the 2019 Q4/UK Local Government Sitemorse rankings. It’s also great to see JADU stalwart (Harrogate) continue its reign at the top of the Accessibility chart!However, as awesome as it is to see councils rapidly rise through the rankings (Broxbourne and Harrow rose 599 places between them), the release of Sitemorse ratings can be frustrating for those that have seen success but then fallen back down the rankings.
Why does it happen?
Gains are most keenly felt when councils undertake initiatives to design/redesign sites, content and service approaches; big improvements are made and rankings reflect and reward them. But it’s what happens next that can matter the most, and that comes down to ongoing operation and maintenance by internal teams.
Clare Cryer, Web Officer at Harrogate Borough Council is a perfect example of someone that consistently keeps her council at the top of Sitemorse Accessibility rankings. Five years ago, Harrogate was third from bottom in the Sitemorse Index and was just one percent AA compliant (acceptable standard). Working with JADU Spacecraft, Harrogate rose to first place in the Sitemorse Accessibility rankings with 100 percent AA compliance, before moving to AAA (the gold standard) as tested by Sitemorse.
It’s Clare’s relentless focus on accessibility that has kept Harrogate high up the charts ever since. It’s her drive to make sure that every piece of content uploaded meets the required standards and ensures the site is where it needs to be. And, when a ranking does dip, she knows what to do to fix the cause and make the blip temporary.
Getting to the top is one thing - staying there is something completely different. Avoiding the rise and fall is often a matter of consistency and that takes leaders willing to grab the reins.