September 19, 2017

Got Misspellings and Broken Links? Help is on the Way!

If you’ve seen me present to any of the faculty, staff, or administrative groups on campus you’ve probably seen the graphic below depicting broken links and spelling errors throughout the UMW website.

SiteImprove visualsThis image is from an August 2013 demo of a tool called SiteImprove.

I’m happy to announce that as of April 1, UMW has the full-fledged version of this amazing tool. As it does its job and finds website problems, we will send automated reports out to site managers campus wide. Some of you will start seeing these reports as early as May 1.

potential misspellings shown on a SiteImprove report

Potential misspellings are shown with a yellow highlight.

You will then have precise pinpointed information about problem areas of your website (see example). SiteImprove will highlight in bold visual detail any spelling errors that may exist. Yellow highlighting for potential misspellings, red highlights for confirmed misspellings.

What’s next?

The system has built a dictionary for UMW that allows us to indicate false-positives, such as acronyms, user names, and proper names. We are slowly working through upwards of 4,000 potentially misspelled words in the dictionary and will continue to hone those results.

confirmed misspelling shown on a SiteImprove report

Confirmed misspelling displayed with a flashing red highlight.

Feel free to email webmaster@umw.edu with any false positives you encounter so we can be sure to address them in a timely manner.

As users are added to the system and we start to see progress toward correcting these “low hanging fruit” issues, we will begin sending out other reports:

  • search engine optimization opportunities
  • accessibility compliance issues
  • deeper user behavior analysis
  • and more.

What does this mean to me?

SiteImprove report screen showing a broken link.

Broken links are easier to find and fix.

If you’re managing a website on umw.edu, it means you will start receiving automated reports with actionable improvements you can (and should) be making on your site. And you won’t have to go this alone! Starting in the fall, we will hold brown-bag lunches in order to provide group training and discussion sessions for site managers. But don’t wait till fall to start improving your site. Whenever you need assistance, drop us a line at webmaster@umw.edu.

How often will I get a report?

At first, once a month. If you prefer, we can increase frequency to weekly. Just email webmaster@umw.edu and we’ll make the change.

What if the report is going to the wrong person?

Just email us at webmaster@umw.edu. We’ll be happy to straighten things out.

I’m committed to making the UMW web site more viable and accessible. Remember that we’re here to provide support as you work to enhance your presence on the University’s largest public facing communications and recruiting resource.