Website testing with SortSite

SortSite is a popular desktop software for testing of web applications for broken links, browser compatibility, accessibility and common spelling errors. It is also available as a web application known as “OnDemand“.

You can generate a free sample test of your website at:


Deque FireEyes accessibility testing plugin

I’ve done a lot of accessibility testing and development work over my career. One of the many free tools that I use in that role is FireEyes. Deque also has some commercial packages for developer use.

FireEyes adds a new tab on the Firebug tab bar and adds the ability to analyze a web site for WCAG 2.0 Level A and AA and Section 508 accessibility violations. The Stand-Alone version of FireEyes is a browser plugin to the FireFox browser. It requires that the FireBug plugin already be installed


  • Firefox 31-41

    As of 2015aug21, the current version of the extension is NOT signed and will not execute on later versions. [See my later post on this topic]

  • FireBug 2.x – Do NOT install Firebug v3 alpha as the tab will not show.

NOTE: should be on Firebug tab labeled “Worldspace Fireyes”, but does not seem to be available in Firebug3.

NOTE: if you try to download in MSIE, you must rename the .zip to .xpi, and then open with Firefox.


HTML5 INPUT placeholder text

One of the great improvements for forms in HTML5 is the ability to display placeholder text in your INPUT fields. Traditionally, this has required developers to add a variety of JavaScript methods to dynamically update the field, now (for browsers that support it) you can use a simple attribute on your tag elements.

<input type="text" value="Search" onfocus="if(this.value == 'Search'){this.value = '';}" onblur="if(this.value == ''){this.value = 'Search';}" />

<input type="text" value="" placeholder="Search" />


Use ARAI role=”button”

With the widespread use of Rich Web applications, links and other HTML tags are are often used to create buttons. When an element is focused, screen readers announce its tag name. That means users of screen readers will be unaware of the intention of the markup used. For links, the value of the link’s href may be announced and confuse the users. The addition of the ‘role’ attribute helps with semantics and with accessibility tools such as JAWS. In addition, you’ll also want to verify that the tabindex is set to a valid value to allow for keyboard navigation of the page.

Some examples:

<a role="button" href="#">Click Me</a>
<a role="button" href="javascript:callback();">Click Me</a>
<a role="button" tabindex="0">Click Me</a>
<img role="button" tabindex="0" src="example.gif" alt="Click Me" />