Today's corporate web operations aren't just multinational, they're multi-editor, multi-platform and multi-channel, too. In addition, web content needs to be designed for a growing range of digital channels and devices. And to manage it all, businesses need robust, flexible governance processes that cover a wide range of internal and external compliance standards.
To find out whether you should be taking an automated approach to website compliance, here's a checklist to help you evaluate the effectiveness of your current governance systems and processes.
- Do you have complete visibility of all compliance issues on your sites? If you rely on manual audits and spot checks to find errors, it's unlikely that you'll be able to achieve a comprehensive view of all the compliance issues on every page of your sites and your company may be at risk. Manual audits are also resource and time intensive to undertake and quickly become out of date.
ActiveStandards automates the quality assurance process, providing comprehensive compliance reports and analytics to help you achieve an error-free web presence while saving time, money and resources
- Do you have multi-platform visibility? Today's websites are typically hybrids, made up of multiple CMS, applications and digital channels. Do you have processes in place to ensure consistent brand and quality standards across all your digital channels?
- ActiveStandards is completely platform independent and sits above your CMS, giving you top-level visibility across all the platforms and channels that make up your web presence. It eliminates blind spots, and makes it easy to ensure a high quality and consistent user experience across your digital touch points.
- Are you agile? Today's websites need to be able to quickly adapt to embrace new channels, new technologies, and to comply with changes in laws and regulations. Are your quality assurance processes flexible and scalable? Do they automatically keep you up-to-date with the latest best practice requirements?
- ActiveStandards can be easily scaled to meet your changing requirements such as the addition of a new site, a new channel, or a changing set of monitoring requirements. It also comes with a comprehensive library of best practice compliance standards to ensure you always stay up to date with the latest requirements.
- Do you perform end-to-end quality assurance? In an ideal world all errors would be caught before they make it onto your live websites. However with today's fast and fluid publication processes, few companies can guarantee that all their content is subject to the same rigorous pre-publication checks, and errors inevitably make it out onto the live site.
- ActiveStandards comes with both pre- and post- publication checking tools enabling you to validate your content throughout the publication workflow. Think of it as a safety net for your website.
- Are you metrics driven? Now more than ever, web managers need access to hard facts to inform strategy, optimise operational performance, and justify budgets.
- ActiveStandards offers a unique breadth and depth of reporting, making it easy for managers to set targets and track progress towards compliance, demonstrate ROI and direct resources to where they're needed most.
- Does your web team support and understand your standards? It's only when people understand the importance of standards that they'll get enthusiastic about sticking to the rules.
- ActiveStandards works to foster a standards culture by providing a key educational role. It guides users through the implementation of each standard, explaining what they mean, how to apply them, and how compliance contributes to your top-level strategic goals. Every user can become a standards expert, no matter what their technical level of expertise.
- Do you have clear roles and responsibilities? Without a clearly defined structure of accountability confusion exists about the scope of each team member's remit and the timescales for action, leading to disputes, delays or duplication of effort.
- ActiveStandards enables you to establish the remit for your editorial teams, set clear performance targets and ensure they are being met.
- Are you proactive or reactive? Do you have processes in place to proactively notify your web teams about quality and compliance issues on their sites? Or do you wait for your customers to tell them?
- ActiveStandards sends your web managers and editors a daily email overview of their website's compliance status, alerting them to any issues they need to address.
- Are your websites WCAG / Section 508 accessibility compliant? Accessibility is a legal requirement in many countries. As well as the 36% of the UK's 9 million disabled people who are regularly online, a much larger number of users who are not classified as disabled, also benefit from accessibility features such as being able to increase font size, adjust image contrast and use text to speech in noisy environments.
- ActiveStandards fully supports WCAG 1.0 and 2.0 guidelines, and Section 508.
- Are your websites free of usability problems? Usability is about ensuring your web visitors can accomplish their goals quickly and efficiently, creating happier users and more conversions.
- ActiveStandards monitors sites against a wide range of best practice usability standards, covering everything from screen readability standards, to optimum download sizes to multi-lingual spell-checking and broken links.
- Are you mobile ready? It's important to meet the same high standards for quality and compliance across your digital channels. Do you have processes in place to make sure your mobile sites meet the same best practice standards as your desktop sites?
- ActiveStandards can monitor mobile sites against a wide range of specially developed mobile optimisation standards to ensure your users get the best possible experience of your brand regardless of the device on which they access it.
- Are you on-brand? Do you have effective processes in place to ensure all your sites are following the global brand guidelines? Are all your sites using the correct colours, fonts and images, and using the right corporate terminology?
- ActiveStandards is uniquely customisable and can be configured to monitor your company's own brand and editorial standards, as well as best practice compliance rules.
- Are you confident your sites are compliant with legal regulations? Web managers have responsibility for ensuring compliance with a growing range of local and international regulations such as the EU cookies law, data protection and privacy issues.
- ActiveStandards comes with a range of legal standards designed to protect your property and help you control risk.
- Is your website content optimised for search engines? Are you ranking highly in the search engines for your key terms? Keywords are important – they can impact your search ranking. With 42% of search users clicking the top-ranking link and only 8% clicking the second-ranking link, making sure they are in place is vital.
- ActiveStandards ensures your sites stay compliant with your search engine optimisation strategy, helping you deliver more traffic through better results.
- Do you know what your websites are talking about? Content Management Systems have low visibility of the content of unstructured web files, making it hard for managers to keep track of key content entities such as the people, companies and products mentioned on your pages.
- ActiveStandards uses award winning semantic technology to help you keep track of what your web presence is actually about, making it easier to spot issues and correct errors and inconsistencies.
But I have a CMS! Why do I need a separate system to manage compliance?
Content Management Systems are great. But maintaining consistency and compliance across large, complex, enterprise environments simply isn't something they're designed to do.
To find out more about the issues of enterprise web content governance, and the limits to CMS, take a look at what independent analysts, the Gilbane Group, have to say about the subject:
» Looking Outside the CMS Box for Enterprise Website Governance