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Compliance Sheriff is completely customizable, giving its users the benefit of a specialized tool that can scan for just about anything. It’s an enterprise solution that can automatically crawl through hundreds or thousands of pages while yielding manageable, real results with little or no false positives. But in order to realize these benefits, you need know where to start!
Usually when we discuss “projects” we are discussing the content that needs to be scanned for Accessibility, Privacy, Site Quality, or something custom. A project can be a website, a Content Management System, or even a product flow such as purchasing a product. For this article my project will be about scanning “Cryptzone.com” for Accessibility.
The first thing to do is to setup your ‘Scan Group’. You can do this by clicking “groups” (while still under the scan tab) then “new”. Give it a name (I’ll use “Cryptzone”) and press “save”. Then go back to “scans” and sort by the drop down menu to the far right. This will allow you to create scans within your specific group.
Next, we’ll need to setup some scans:
Click the “Scans” tab, and you’ll then see two subpages, “Groups” and “Scans”. Choose “Scans” to create new scans.
Once on the “Scans” page, click “New”. This will open your first scan configuration page.
Give your scan a name, then pick a start page. This is a good place to pause and discuss your project and the scope of your scans. Yes, technically you ‘could’ set this scan to the home page of your website, let it crawl 20 levels and see what happens.. However, this approach is not advised for a number of reasons; you will probably end up with a scan that is hundreds or even thousands of pages deep, the results will overlap, and the subsequent report will be so big that no one will want to read it, and quite possibly, may even be too large to be sent via email!
Basically, the more granular you get in the beginning of your projects, the more granular and focused your reports will be. They will be easier to read, with less overlaping data.
Here’s a simple example of how I would plan to setup my project for Cryptzone.com:
And so on. I usually follow the logical order of a website by making use of the navigation bar, but of course that’s completely up to you! Typically an average website will result in approximately a dozen scans or so.
4. Back in my scan config page, I’ll set my first "start page" to http://www.cryptzone.com. I’ll choose a checkpoint group such as WCAG 2.0 A, and save the scan. I’ll leave the options alone for now.
5. Now I’ll click on the scan that was just created (click on the name of the scan itself), so that I’m back in the scan configuration page. I’ll change the name to “Cryptzone Products” then change the start page to “https://www.cryptzone.com/products”.
6. Next comes an important step. I’ll locate the “include filter” under “advanced options” and enter the word “products’. This filter will limit the scan to only scan those pages that have the word ‘products’ in the web address.
7. Next I’ll click “Save as New”.
Now I have two scans. One for the home page, and one for the ‘products’ page. By making use of the “Save as New” button, you can save a lot of time and easily construct several scans for your project.
8. Now I will click on a scan again and enter a new name and new start page and new filter, and repeat the process until I have covered my entire website from multiple angles.
This approach will allow me to rapidly setup my project with multiple scans, and the subsequent reports will then be focused on the area of content of that specific scan only. You of course can elect to use the exclude filter, or even comma separated values within these filters. For starters I recommend using the include filter with just a word or two.
By taking the time to approach your website through multiple scans, each scan will result with a more focused set of results, and with reports that are smaller, and more easily read and interpreted. A few notes about some of the configuration options within a scan page:
Levels – will determine how far the engine will crawl from the start page through links. For example, in my scenario a level “0” scan will crawl Cryptzone.com only. A level “1” scan will start on Cryptzone.com and then crawl through everything linked to that page, and so on. Though you do have the ability to go to 20 levels deep, most organizations set this somewhere between 3-7 levels. This all depends on the scope of your scans, depth of content etc. Just remember that especially in the beginning, its easier to keep these reports smaller, and to go after something like the “Top Ten Issue” list found in the Scan Summary report. You can always adjust the levels later on…
Additional Domains – Compliance Sheriff is configured to scan those pages that belong to your start page, and nothing else. For example, If I start on “Cryptzone.com”, only the links that have “Cryptzone.com in them will be scanned. …..Unless, I add additional domains within this field, for example, facebook.com
Maximum Pages – This setting will limit the total number of pages for a scan, no matter what the “levels” are set to. By default its set to ‘20’, and this is a great place to start. Most of the first issues you’ll see (especially with Accessibility scans) will be associated with your web template, and you can find these issues within the Scan Summary page, under “Top Ten Issues”.
That’s it! Taking the time to setup your projects like the above example will yield better, more granular reports, and will save you and your team time in the long run. For more information about some of the additional options on a scan configuration page you can click the ‘help’ link at the top right corner from within a page.