When it comes to talking about Siteimprove and web governance, one of the questions we often receive among these is, “But what about my CMS?” Like us, many web managers have already invested their resources into a content management system and trained their employees to implement it.
Our answer? By adding a web governance tool to your website, you’re strengthening your current web resources. You may just find an invaluable method to evaluate your current web operations. How? Read on to find out why web governance resources don’t compete with your current CMS, but complement it.
Say AAA (to no more accessibility errors)
As recent lawsuits have proven, web accessibility is now a requirement, not an option. The WCAG 2.0 levels of conformance fall under three levels, A, AA, and AAA. Although many CMSs contain accessibility features (ability to edit alt tags, meta descriptions, access to the source code for individual pages) it can be exhausting to manually keep track of your website’s accessibility compliance. And how do you know if you’ve found everything?
Web governance tools can help track individual accessibility changes in your CMS and highlight accessibility errors on any page of your website with explanations of what they are, and how to fix them within your CMS. You don’t have to be the web accessibility expert – your entire web team has the ability to learn more about accessibility errors, and what to look out for in the future.
Who you gonna call?
In the words of Mark Greenfield, no web editor is looking forward to “that call” – a call from your superior about a broken link or your website being down. Make sure you have an extra buffer of support with immediate downtime notifications and a tool that will keep an eye on any external links in your CMS. Because seriously, how are you supposed to know when a website you linked to in your CMS last September has changed their domain or closed up shop? Welcome to life with no more angry voicemails.
Content is king, but consistency still reigns supreme
Spellcheck is standard for most CMSs, but depending on your style guide of choice or organizations’ needs, standard spellcheck isn’t enough. How often do you click spellcheck? At the end of every post? And then a second time? Go in to make an edit and spellcheck again? As bad as “that call” is, it’s even worse when you’ve misspelled the new company president’s name on six different webpages or the name of your school district on every PDF on your site.
Like in the case of site outages, a web governance approach offers a second line of defense when it comes to quality assurance, particularly because you don’t just know
when something’s misspelled. Keep an eye out for tools that deeplink directly to issues so that you can easily go in and find them exactly where they are on the problem page. Protect your reputation and maintain credibility (and scrub the name of that guy who confused the company’s Twitter with his own in one fell swoop).
A picture speaks a thousand words (and you should be able to see them all)
As we’ve been migrating our own website content to the new Siteimprove.com, it’s been great to check in and see the status of our entire work product on one platform – how many spelling errors need to be addressed, any broken links to old content, who is in charge of migrating which pages via the Group function, and importantly, which pages we should keep or reconsider based on analytics data.
Although independent broken link checkers and other quality assurance plug-ins can be integrated into a CMS, each one runs separately, and activating them is a manual process. Comprehensive web governance tools offer the complete picture and have all the information you need to make sure projects are on schedule and QA’ed for launch by just clicking between two browser tabs.
Redesign is hard, and choosing the perfect CMS is even harder. You may notice things look a little different on Siteimprove.com as we work through our own CMS with the Siteimprove tool (and continue to repeat Mark Greenfield’s mantra to ourselves: the web is not a project). The site will update and change as the process continues, so hang on tight, and stay tuned for the official Siteimprove.com redesign reveal!
To learn more about what role your own CMS plays in the redesign process, check out the “How to Prepare for a Website Redesign” e-book that’s been our guide from step one.