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.
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?
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.
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:
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.
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:
Keep it concise: Alt text should be a brief, concise description of the image. Aim for no more than 125 characters.
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.
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.
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.