New Open Referral UK API for Directory

As discussed at our user forum earlier this year, we are busy developing our new UK Open Referral API that will enable you to share your directory data in a consistent and secure way with other platforms.

As we near the completion of our build, we are now engaging customers to be early adopters. Please contact your account manager, Conrad Maskell or Richard Mullins, for pricing details and further information.

Alternatively, you can email and someone from the team will be in touch as soon as possible.

The Idox Directory team

Ofsted Certificate Updates

We are aware that several Local Authorities will have been contacted by Ofsted and issued with a new certificate for their Ofsted feed.

Ofsted will normally send the Local Authority a link to access their new certificate (Zip file).

Please be aware that Idox cannot access these certificates via this link. This link is only accessible to the Local Authority.

If you have been issued with a new Ofsted certificate, please follow these steps so that we can update your Directory Ofsted feeds:

  1. Download the new certificate (Zip file) via the link sent to you by Ofsted
  2. Please log a new ticket with our Service Desk titled “Ofsted Certificate Update”
  3. Upload the certificate (Zip file) to the Service Desk ticket. If you know when your current certificate expires, please note this on the ticket
  4. Please also include the certificate password that Ofsted have provided you with

Our teams will then update your certificate as soon as possible.

The service desk team can be contacted via the following methods:

New in May and June

Our team have been working on some wonderful Directory updates and refreshes in May and June.

We thought our community would like to have a look:

We welcome Cambridgeshire County Council and their new Local Offer

Liverpool‘s eye catching and comprehensive Start for Life offer

Gloucestershire have a new look GlosFamilies Directory

Sandwell have a refreshed Family Information Service Hub

The Directory Platform team look forward to hearing feedback from citizens and applying that to our future projects.

Ofsted feed update

Ofsted have recently contacted local authorities to give an update about the planned changes to the Family Information Directory (FIDy) service that they provide.

We directly take a feed of data from Ofsted for a large number of local authorities and so would like to take this opportunity to share our plans. The information below will also inform your responses in the form that Ofsted have asked be completed.

What is changing?

The service that Ofsted uses to deliver their data is being modernised. Any party already receiving their data using the current service will need to switch to the new service to make sure that they continue to receive data after Ofsted switch off the current service.

We are in contact with Ofsted regarding the specifications and technical detail of switching to the new service.

It’s also important to note that the data itself is not changing.

When are Ofsted switching off their current service?

December 2024.

When will the new service be available?

Ofsted are aiming for 30 June 2023.

Are Idox intending to connect to the new service as soon as possible?

No. Our view is to allow a little time to pass to mitigate risk of running in to issues that sometimes occur when using a new service.

Our aim is to use the new service in the September to December period.

Thurrock’s Start for Life

We’re delighted to share a new Start for Life piece which is the latest addition to Thurrock’s Young People & Families Directory.

There is a focus on supporting expectant parents and children aged 0-2. This is called the Start for Life Local Offer and citizens can find out what’s available in each locality.

It takes centre stage on the homepage, which you can see by clicking this link:

Or, jump straight to the Start for Life offer by clicking this link:

Google Analytics 4

Do you have a Google Analytics code linked to your Directory website?

If you do, Google are making a change from 1st July 2023 which will affect the way data is collected.

Do Idox need to change our Directory website?
No. In most cases the change can be entirely administered via the Google Analytics dashboard by any person with access to the account and who has the editor role.

What is the change and what do I need to do?
Google have prepared information explaining the change. We’ve included 2 of the most helpful links, below:

“Introducing the next generation of Analytics, Google Analytics 4”

“Add a Google Analytics 4 property (to a site that already has Analytics)”

If you need to check anything with us, or need to change the associated Google Analytics code in your Directory website, please contact our Service Desk team by email or online portal

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Did you know?

Did you know that you can crop your uploaded images, in Media Manager?

If you want to use a stock image but need all your images to be square, for instance, you first have to upload a suitable image (big enough to be able to fill the space) and then the Media Manager crop tool allows you to make a trimmed down copy, to be used on your page.

Simply click and drag to select the area to crop.
If you make a mistake, the crop can be reverted easily, simply by clicking the “Revert image” button that appears.

Categorised as Default

Our Town Directory

Wigan Council is the latest of our customers to go live with a brand new website, built on our latest wireframe.

The project evolved their established Family Information Service Hub into an All Services Hub, branded Our Town Directory.

Check out their new site here: Wigan All Services Hub

Ofsted feed changes

You may have already received details from Ofsted of the planned changed to FIDy.

Our development team is currently liaising directly with Ofsted to understand the changes, and we will update customers once we have a plan in place.

Many thanks,

Directory Team

Writing good image alt text

Image alt text, also known as “alternative text” or “alt attribute,” is a short description that is added to an image on a website. Alt text is intended to describe the content of the image to people who are unable to see it, such as those who are visually impaired and use screen readers, as well as search engine robots.

Writing good alt text is an important aspect of website accessibility and can also improve the search engine optimization (SEO) of your website. Here are some tips for writing effective image alt text:

  1. Keep it concise: Alt text should be a brief, concise description of the image. Aim for no more than 125 characters.
  2. Use descriptive language: Alt text should accurately describe the content of the image. Avoid using phrases like “image of” or “picture of,” as it is already assumed that the text is describing an image.
  3. Don’t stuff keywords: While it’s important to use relevant keywords in your alt text, avoid keyword stuffing, as it can negatively impact the user experience and your website’s SEO.
  4. Don’t use the alt attribute for decorative images: If an image is purely decorative and does not add any meaningful content to the page, you can leave the alt attribute empty or use a null value (alt=””). This will prevent screen readers from reading out unnecessary information.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your image alt text is improving both accessibility and the SEO of your website.