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:
Following is the text in our ssconfig file, significantly stripped down from the example on PowerMappers website. Note that we created a directory named Output.
<!– scan this URL –>
<!– for this scope, options are scopePage, scopeFolder or scopeSite –>
<!– save results in this directory – must have a trailing slash –>
Next, we installed SendEmail, a command line email utility. Then, created our batch file, which we set to run once a week with Jenkins, but could easily be scheduled to run via Task Scheduler. The script also renames the file and appends a date to the name.
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 MiSchoolWeb.WebScanReport._%date:~-4,4%%date:~-7,2%%date:~-10,2%.rtf
c:\SendEmail\sendemail.exe -f firstname.lastname@example.org -s mail.mischoolweb.org:26 -xu email@example.com -xp secretpassword -t firstname.lastname@example.org -u Weekly Website Report -m Please find attached files courtesy of MISchoolWeb. -a c:\Output\MiSchoolWeb.WebScanReport._%date:~-4,4%%date:~-7,2%%date:~-10,2%.rtf
SortSite isn’t perfect. Like all scanning tools, it can’t detect every issue, and oftentimes returns false errors. But, since all automated scanners are like that, shouldn’t you save a buck, and get a new Mac?