The New Year is a great time to have a fresh start, sort those things you've been meaning to look at and generally get organised. So why not expand that to your website? Many of you have had your websites for a few years now and have been adding on content yourselves. Since then, we have added a plethora of new documents and training videos to our support site which may assist you with keeping your site accessible and professional.
A few things we have noticed on a lot of the websites are listed below, along with how to fix them. (Please note, these amendments and instructions are for our V6 websites. If you have a V5 or V4 website, please contact us to discuss upgrading your site and improving its accessibility.)
Text and Colours on the site that don’t match the rest
If the text and colours on your site don’t match the rest, it may be that you have pasted the text from elsewhere and the styling has come with it. This can make your site look inconsistent and the colours used may not be accessible for people with colourblindness, unlike the colours we have chosen for your site. This is easy to fix using the instructions below:
- Click on the cog underneath the text box with the inconsistent text/colours.
- Click on the “broom” icon in the very top left of your editing icons.
- On the pop up box click only on the buttons that say “remove all word specific markup” and “clean up <font> tags”. Please don’t click on “Remove all HTML tags” for any reason.
- Click Cancel
This will take away all fonts, colours and styling that do not match the website. You can then use the heading, bold, italic and bullet point tools to appropriately style the text.
If you want to paste something into the text box in the future:
- Click on the icon five in from the left that looks like a clipboard with a piece of paper on it (there are two that look similar, you want the one furthest to the right)
- A box will appear that says “paste plain text”. Paste your text into this box (the keyboard shortcut for pasting is to hold down CTRL on your keyboard and then press “v”)
- Click insert. The text pasted will be plain, so again, use the tools provided to add headings, bold text, italics etc. You will also have to manually add links (see our video on adding links )
Document links that start with “/UserFiles/Files” or similarly long link names
When uploading documents, you need to write the name of the document first, highlight it with your mouse, then go through the process of uploading the document.
If you just click into the text box and then upload the document you will get the entire file name including location on your page. This looks messy but is also inconvenient to those with screen readers as it will read out the entire link name. In addition, documents are not always named appropriately or succinctly. We have a training video on how to upload documents which may be of assistance in explaining this.
Uploading Posters as Images
A nice poster can be a great way to advertise an event, or to inform residents of the conclusion of audit. However, if this poster is only an image on your site, it will be inaccessible to the visually impaired.
The best way to make these posters accessible is to either have the text written out somewhere nearby or link the image to a TEXT pdf. Linking a document to an image is the same process as the “uploading documents” video above, you just need to highlight the picture as opposed to text.
PDF’s that are created from scanned images as opposed to being converted from word documents or excel spreadsheets are inaccessible to a large number of people so it always best to upload the original pdf where possible.
“New Heading Text” Components being made on the site
While making changes to the sites for accessibility at the end of last year we removed extraneous “new heading text” components. For future reference, clicking the thumbs up in the very bottom left of your site next to the word "Heading Text" will create a heading text component. It is not a save button. If you have created one that you don’t need, you can use the bin to the far left of the “new heading text” component to delete it. If you don’t delete them they will show on your live site and your residents will be able to see them.
Using Text Components with Multiple Columns as Tables
We have seen some councils using the 3 to 6 text columns components as tables. The way our text components work is that they stack so. This means that if you have contact names in the first column, phone numbers in the second and addresses in the third then when viewed on a mobile you will see all the contact names, then all of the numbers and then all of the addresses.
While tables are not the most responsive, as they can cause you to have to scroll horizontal on a phone, and we always suggest you try to show the information in another way first (such as in a word document) we understand sometimes a table is the only appropriate way to present information. To create a table, right click into the text box and select the bottom option. You can then also right click and hover over the bottom option to get other options such as “add row”, “add column”, “merge cells” etc. If you’re having trouble with your table, please email our support team for assistance.
Though we have removed the link that says “read more” on our news components, the headline is a link and will take you to a page with more information. We have noticed a lot of our clients using the short description box for the entire news story and the page the headline links to is blank.
When creating a news story there is an option to add in a "short description" This should just be a short one sentence explanation of what the news story is about. The bulk of the text should be placed in the "long description" box as this is what people will see when they click on the story headline. We also have an option now for “URL”. If you need to link directly to another site where there is more information, you can now place it in this box and it will take people there when they click on the headline. When not using this box, type “na” in the box.
Stretched text and images touching the edges of the screen
If your text, images or components are touching the edges of the screen on a computer and seem to be a lot longer than the other text on your site, you need to click on the arrows that seem to be pointing away from each other to the far left of the component that seems stretched. This should make it go back to normal.
You may want to set up pages for projects/events that you don’t yet have content for or you may have removed content from a page ready to update it. Leaving these pages live on your site can confuse residents and risks looking unprofessional. If you still need the page, you can always “hide” it until it is populated. To do this, view our “page management” video.