2018 Q4/UK Education: Sitemorse Digital INDEX: Top Site University of Derby

The University of Derby leads the way for digital compliance, topping the Q4/2018 Sitemorse INDEX for UK Universities and Higher Education.

London, United Kingdom, November 10, 2018 --( The University of Derby tops the Q4/2018 Sitemorse INDEX for UK Universities and Higher Education, leading the way for digital compliance.

Congratulations go to University of Derby ( for leading the table with an overall score of 6.74 out of 10 (improving its score by 3.06 and climbing 194 places in the INDEX).

The full UK Higher Education / Qtr4 | 2018 results can be found here:

The Sitemorse INDEX has provided an independent standard for benchmarking digital compliance since 2002. From its inception, the INDEX has been the fundamental measure of capability for organisations that strive for digital excellence.

Each quarter, the INDEX (UK Higher Education) completes some 270 million tests/checks and measures run on public pages. These include searching for broken links; running WCAG 2.x accessibility auditing; testing HTML code; gauging site performance; ensuring content optimisation is in place for web pages and PDFs; and checking that emails are correctly formed.

Robert Fowles, the University of Derby's Digital Marketing Manager, said: "This is great news. We have been working hard to improve our visitor experience since launching our new website in July.

"We are delighted that our accessibility rating has helped us to the number one spot. We recognise that this is only one aspect of accessibility and there is still work to do but this shows we are heading in the right direction."

The site that demonstrated the greatest improvement was Shrewsbury College of Arts & Technology (, rising 262 places to rank 11 (with an INDEX score of 5.50). Askham Bryan College ( came top for functionality, while Imperial College London ( had the fastest response time and Hull College ( reported the best HTML "code quality."

Scoring well typically reflects those that have strong digital leadership and understand the importance of providing the best visitor experience possible – and it reflects positively on the entire organisation's operations and branding.

Organisations are all too often unaware of potentially simple actions that they could take that would offer immediate improvements to their delivery. The results provide extensive insights into the experience that these sites deliver and offer vital information on how they can better meet audience expectations – points that are crucial but impractical to capture manually. Given an increased focus on digital accessibility, both in legislation and litigation, it's important to ask exactly what is going and to demand improvement.

This is the first Sitemorse INDEX in which public sector sites that score zero (out of ten) for accessibility will be excluded from the INDEX as being unsuitable for ranking, regardless of their performance in other areas, sites excluded:

- Sparsholt College Hampshire
- University for the Creative Arts
- Manchester School of Architecture
- The School of Pharmacy (University of London)
- Bexley College
- South Downs College
- University of Chester
- The Academy of Contemporary Music
- University College London (University of London)
- Cleveland College of Art and Design
- Kingston University
- Swindon College
- Islamic College for Advanced Studies
- Wigan and Leigh College
- London South East Colleges
- Edinburgh Napier University
- Coventry College
- Tyne Metropolitan College
- Farnborough College of Technology
- Dearne Valley College
- SAE Institute
- FutureLearn
- Bishop Grosseteste University College Lincoln

Full details of the accessibility exclusion can be found at

Top Ten Websites
1st University of Derby (
2nd London South Bank University (
3rd Guildford College (
4th Dudley College (
5th Chesterfield College (
6th Chichester College (
7th Myerscough College (
8th University of Lincoln (
9th Ravensbourne (
10th University of Southampton (

Top Five Most Improved Sites
1st Shrewsbury College of Arts & Technology (, rising 262 places
2nd London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (, rising 196 places
3rd University of Derby (, rising 194 places
4th Central School of Speech and Drama (, rising 173 places
5th Liverpool Community College (, rising 164 places

About the Sitemorse INDEX

How? Using their software they look at each site individually, mapping out every combination of every one of the top 125 pages and complete around 1,600 tests, checks and measures across User Experience (UX), Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) and Search Capability (SEO). Against the results, the benchmarking methodology is applied to provide a ranked table. The results are then published as the "UK Universities and Higher Education" INDEX.

Why? The quarterly INDEX Website Review looks at major public and private sectors as the independent benchmark identifying how websites are performing, meeting compliance levels and satisfying their users. It's also a key indicator for website managers who, while always wanting to be at the top of their game, could be hampered by poor-performing suppliers, non-compliant legacy content and content management systems that often fail to spot errors affecting user experience.

Sitemorse services provide you with true "digital insight," ceaselessly monitoring your online content and pointing you to areas that could be potential problems for you, your clients and your stakeholders.

About Sitemorse

Sitemorse ( strives to remove human limitations from accessibility compliance and helps organisations drive improved user experience, ensuring that content is always optimised and compliance requirements are always met. The London-based, privately-owned company has now been leading the field of Digital Governance for over 15 years.

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