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Why is the number of Accessibility issues shown on the Page Report different than the number shown in the Accessibility module?

Sean Needham avatar
By Sean Needham

In some cases, you may notice a difference between the number of Accessibility issues shown on the Page Report than in the Accessibility module.

This article explains why this might happen and what you can do to reconcile the discrepancy.

During the crawl, your website is checked for Accessibility issues. The Siteimprove Accessibility crawler emulates a Google Chrome browser. The issues found and the number of occurrences of each issue are then updated within the Accessibility module. This number is saved from the last crawl, but when you generate the Page Report, the number of occurrences you see there are live. In the intervening time, there are a number of factors which can cause fewer or more occurrences to appear on the Page Report than that listed in the platform.

Siteimprove relies 100% on the Page Report to re-find and highlight issues originally found during the crawl.

These factors include: the browser you are using, whether CSS and JavaScript are enabled, and the nature of the dynamic content on your webpage.

If the number of occurrences in the platform is higher than the number listed on the Page Report, here are some things you can try to re-locate the missing occurrences on the Page Report:

Recheck the page

Re-checking the page will update the results if changes have been made to assets (e.g. CSS or JavaScript) since the last crawl. To recheck, use the recheck button on the top menu bar of the Page Report.

Try using a Chrome browser

Browsers can interpret web pages differently, and as the accessibility checker emulates Google Chrome, we advise viewing the Page Report in Google Chrome if there is a discrepancy.

Toggle the CSS and JavaScript buttons on/off

Issues seen in the Accessibility Page Report are live. Assets such as CSS, and JavaScript may not have been accessible at the time of the initial check. Try toggling the CSS and JavaScript buttons on/off when debugging any discrepancies.

Change the screen resolution

Siteimprove runs accessibility checks in a 1280 x 1024 resolution. If a responsive page is opened in the Page Report in a different screen size, the number of occurrences may differ from the number previously shown in the Page Report. Try a 1280 x 1024 screen resolution if there is a difference in the number of occurrences. Refresh the page (Ctrl + F5 / Cmd + R) after changing screen resolution.

Use the Siteimprove Accessibility checker (chrome extension)

Users have encountered issues loading assets into the Page Report as they are blocked due to cross-site scripting. In these cases, we suggest you view the accessibility results using the Siteimprove Accessibility checker chrome extension.

What then?

If you have tried the above and still have a discrepancy between the number of occurrences in the platform and on the Page Report, it’s likely related to the dynamic nature of the web page and shouldn’t be an issue for end users.

Dynamic content can:

  • be inserted or changed after the page is loaded
  • change each time a page is loaded depending on location, time, cookies etc.
  • change over time

i.e. content viewed in a browser may be different from the content checked by our crawler.

In the Page Report, you have the possibility to mark an issue as “Can’t fix” for either one specific page or the entire site. However, this is not recommended as occurrences of the issue will not be flagged in the future, even those that could have been highlighted on the page.

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