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  • Web Council - September 25, 2014
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Web Council - September 25, 2014
  • Announcements
  • Brand update
    • Mindy Messenger (mlm3@uw.edu) and Dane Odekirk (dizzzy@uw.edu)
      • Beta homepage will soon be viewable
        • Simple header, audience based
        • New search with auto-suggest
        • Main menu can be configured your way
        • Quick Links slide from the right side
        • Popular links no longer at bottom, some will be in page as icons
          • People were not using the link-farm links.
        • Fast facts at the bottom
        • Next week will have a link to the beta so you can go there and kick the tires
      • As work progresses, announcements will be made on the Marketing blog http://www.washington.edu/marketing/blog/
      • Tools to help you do the same thing
        • Boundless Brand portal now available at uw.edu/brand
        • Still loading assets
      • New WordPress template being finalized
        • Already in use on Brand site, homepage, and Faculty site (uw.edu/faculty)
        • Available at github.com/uweb/uw-2014
        • A Drupal version is in the works
        • A library of header images will be provided
        • Theme is fully responsive, works on everything from smartphones to desktops
      • Aspirationally, we are trying to get consistency across UW sites
  • Google & SSL
    • Don Devange, founder/principal of DSquared-Media since 2011, Don@dsquared-media.com
    • SEO implications of encryption
      • Approach from an SEO discovery perspective; will your content still be found, discovered, and used
      • Google rarely identifies ranking signals; they do not say how they decide what is more important in ranking
        • In 2010 did say they use site speed
        • Last month, announced that https will be used as a ranking signal; what to prevent and fix security breaches
          • Motivated by Heartbleed malware
          • Https is considered, at the moment, a lightweight signal for ranking
          • But over time its importance will be increased in ranking to try to push people to more security
      • If switching to https...
        • Encryption happens at the subdomain level; many settings are needed
        • Google sees web domains as separate websites
          • A separate robots.txt will be needed for each subdomain
          • A sitemap file is good
        • Review all URLs and make a keep/kill list
          • Migrated content should redirect to new version
        • Canonicalization & analytics
          • link tag in each page declaring that this page is the canonical one, in case other copies of the page exist
        • Robots.txt
          • Says what is acceptable to index in a search
        • Redirects
          • Don't forget to reset all the redirects so they go to the https version
      • What needs to happen now
        • Right now, nothing!
        • Still a weak signal in search engine optimiation (SEO)
        • Focus on high quality content, using links, navigation; making sure people can use the content
      • Discussion
        • If using Open SSL, make sure you have done the updates that deal with HeartBleed
  • PDF accessibility
    • Terrill Thompson (tft@uw.edu)
    • Quick look at beta.homepage; Terrill and Dan Comden are working with the UW Web team to help make sure it is accessible
    • PDF accessibility
      • A lot of content out there on UW sites is in PDF files
      • Features for accessible documents
        • Alt text for images
        • Good structure with headings, lists
        • Document language declared (en, es, fr)
        • Accessible markup in forms
        • Accessible markup in tables
        • Accessibility is not automatic; authors need to learn how to use these features
      • Types of PDFs
        • Images - least accessible; may be able to extract words with OCR but often does not make sense
        • Image with embedded fonts - may or may not be intelligible
        • Tagged (optimized for accessibility)
      • To Create an Accessible PDF
        • Use an authoring tool that supports
          • the features of accessible documents
          • exports to an accessible tagged PDF.
            • Mac Word does not produce properly tagged PDFs.
            • Windows Word does (if you use Save As) and if you have Tagged checked in the preferences. If you use Print to PDF the accessibility features are lost.
            • InDesign can make accessible PDFs, but only if you following a specific workflow
      • PDFs at the UW
        • We are working with vendors to find a service for fixing PDFs that could be made available to the UW
        • One vendor scanned 300 UW PDFs
          • 28% were properly tagged
          • 11% had image, but only one had alt text
          • 18% had data tables but none had table headers
          • 3% had form fields, but only three had tooltips to help interpret the form
        • Disability Resource office keeps tally on the work they do with PDFs
          • Winter 2014
            • 806 PDFs process for students with disabilities
            • 21.6% required conversion to readable text
            • 81.9% had no tags
        • HTML is a better format for delivering accessible content, and easier to make accessible
          • PDFs are good for when you want to have specific, rigid format, but harder to make accessible
        • Adobe Acrobat Pro can be used to improve the accessibility of a PDF
          • Has an accessibility tool - View->Tools->Accessibility
          • Can do OCR on images to extract text, but results needs to be reviewed
          • Can review and edit tags
          • Can change the read order of elements in the document
          • Can view and edit the tagged structure
        • Exploring other options for remediating PDFs
          • SensusAccess; online document conversion service
            • Converts PDF documents to a variety of formats
            • Does not do a great job, but it can generate a readable document that has some tagging
            • tinyurl.com/uw-doc-convert
              • Anybody with a UW NetID can go to the site
            • Does not create good, tagged PDF
          • CommonLook Global PDF
            • Improved user interface for retrofitting PDFs
            • If interested in participating in the free trial, contact Terrill at tft@uw.edu
  • Mobile Minute
    • How we use our cell phones?
      • We need to know who is using our content as we build our websites
      • 90% of Americans have a cell phone
      • 67% check their phones frequently
  • Amazon  Services UW Web Team case study
    • Dane Odekirk (dizzzy@uw.edu)
    • Amazon Web Services (AWS) is now being used by the UW Web Team
      • Provides a lot of tools for hosting
      • Pay service
      • Using the Amazon Linux AMI sever
    • Currently using
      • EC2 - Elastic Cloud server
        • Can easily launch an instance (server)
        • Also have Volume (harddrive)
      • Elastic IPs
        • Every time you launch a new server, you get a news public IP number
        • Each time you add computers, you get a new number
        • Can point to a single IP address, dedicated to you, never changes
      • Monitoring; a realtime analysis of what is going on
        • Notifications can be set up to send email if things happen
    • AWS also offers Relational Database Server; for databases only
      • Much like EC2
      • Also has monitoring
      • Detailed interface and an app
      • Can be configured to do automatic backups
      • If seeing a spike, can Create Read Replica to duplicate your database; pay for it, but you can turn it off when you no longer need it
    • Discussion
      • Does UW have an agreement with Amazon? No.
      • Managing access; you can create security groups. They are strange, but you can figure them out
      • Can choose where your data is; can also choose to have multi-zone configuration to address geographical redundancy for major emergencies
      • Prices? UW Web Team sites are hosted for about $350 a month.
        • Price for servers is by the hour
        • Bandwidth is expensive for Amazon; beneficial to have all the pieces on AWS
        • Takes care of a lot of worries; backup, auto-upgrades, etc.
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