Website Accessibility Checking on the Cheap

Screenshot of SortSite report showing issues with a scanned website

Options for automated whole-site error scanning abound, but most are cloud-based with subscription models that pounds school technology budgets year after year.

Enter SortSite by PowerMapper. SortSite software scans entire websites for a plethora of issues (including PDF accessibility) and generates error reports in 3 different formats. The Developer Edition differs from the regular edition in that it accepts command line input, meaning its use can be scripted. At the time of this writing, SortSite Developer Edition perpetual academic license set us back less than $600.

The support pages at powermapper.com offer good tutorials on automating your scans, and should be reviewed thoroughly. We wanted to take our scans a step further and automate delivery of the scan report to an email inbox. Here’s how we did it:

1. Purchase, download and install SortSite, accepting default install parameters.
2. Create directories C:\Input and C:\Output
3. Create a text file in C:\Input, then copy/paste the following text into the file, replacing website2Bscanned.org with the URL you wish to scan:

     <Site>
        <!– scan this URL –>
        <ProcessURL>http://www.mischoolweb.org/</ProcessURL>

        <!– for this scope, options are scopePage, scopeFolder or scopeSite –>
        <Scope>scopeSite</Scope>

         <!– save results in this directory – must have a trailing slash –>
         <ReportOutputPath>c:\Output/</ReportOutputPath>

      </Site>

4. Rename the file, omitting the .txt extension, and give it .ssconfig extension.

5.

 

 

rmdir /s /q c:\Output\

“c:\Program Files (x86)\PowerMapper Software\SortSite 5\SortSiteCmd.exe” C:\Input\mischoolweb.ssconfig

ren c:\Output\FullReport-Word.rtf URL.WebScanReport._%date:~-4,4%%date:~-7,2%%date:~-10,2%.rtf

c:\SendMail\sendemail.exe -f webmaster@mischoolweb.org -s mail.mischoolweb.org:26 -xu sitescanreport@mischoolweb.org -xp secretpassword -t whoever@wherever.org -u Weekly Website Report -m Please find attached files courtesy of MISchoolWeb. -a c:\Output\URL.WebScanReport._%date:~-4,4%%date:~-7,2%%date:~-10,2%.rtf