Opened 9 years ago

Closed 9 years ago

#13581 closed New Feature (wontfix)

Config setting to make image alt attribute default to base filename

Reported by: Steve James Owned by:
Priority: Normal Milestone:
Component: UI : Dialogs Version:
Keywords: Cc:


I keep reading that Google is going to get more and more picky about page content as relates to SEO. For images, they need to have the alt attribute set.

Unfortunately, in my case, since the vast majority of my users are not technically inclined, telling them to make sure they set the alt attribute for images they insert in the editor is a losing proposition. It is just not something that many of them want to fiddle with, even though they may later complain that their website does not show up at the top of search results. ;-)

It would be helpful if the editor could provide an assist in the future in the form of a configurable default for image alt attributes. (a default alt) I was thinking this default for the alt attribute could be the base filename for uploaded or pasted images. Ideally, this "default alt" would be shown in the relevant dialogs where it could serve to prompt the user to update it with a better value. Obviously, the default alt's may not be very descriptive, but I would think they are better than no alt attribute at all.

I think there are probably also some other things of this nature that the editor could do in the future to help with SEO. (Examples: checking whether links that are inserted are bad/broken, preventing or flagging hidden text, etc.) Because you are providing a mechanism to edit user content that I (and other developers) do not necessarily control, having some SEO-related configuration settings to help make user's content more SEO-friendly would be awesome. Then maybe they will stop complaining to me about why their websites do not show up at the top of Google. ;-D

Change History (4)

comment:1 Changed 9 years ago by Piotrek Koszuliński

Status: newpending
Version: 4.6.0 (GitHub - major)

I don't think this is the right solution. It'd be neither correct from the a11y perspective, nor good SEO. Also, I wouldn't be surprise if Google was simply ignoring poor alt attributes (which equal the file name or repeat multiple times).

So, a solution for this problem is really forcing the user to type the alt. Only this will produce any value. For instance, Accessibility Checker can be used for that. See the last screencast in It can not only check that alt is set, but also gives the option to quickly set it.

Also, there's a pretty interesting blog post about the relation between a11y and SEO –

I will keep this ticket open for discussion, but I would be rather strongly against any fake solution.

Last edited 9 years ago by Piotrek Koszuliński (previous) (diff)

comment:2 Changed 9 years ago by Steve James

Ok, thanks for the links and blog posts.

If Accessibility Checker is a paid tool after 30-days, I cannot use it. I am volunteer labor w/ strictly open source tools working in service of a non-profit. However, Quail looks interesting.

I will send links to the blog posts to my users... I'm a bit pessimistic about them reading them, though. My users generally do not want to get into the minutia details of HTML or what is good practice from an SEO or accessibility standpoint. That is not to say that they do not care about the benefits. ;-) My users just want to treat CKEditor like a word processor, and they complain to me when it does not work like one.

Enabling the alt text field in image dialogs to be required via a config setting might be useful.

Basically, I am just looking for any ways that CKEditor can help me nudge my users to follow good practices for SEO and accessibility in the content they create with CKEditor.

comment:3 Changed 9 years ago by Piotrek Koszuliński

Perhaps some kind of solution would be to open an image dialog after the image was uploaded. The alt can be easily marked as required, so that would force a user to type something. The only problem is that a user may upload more than one image at a time so there would need to be a stack of dialogs. It would be very hard to implement it correctly so I don't think we can ship with such feature (adding a buggy feature is worse than not having a feature), but you could try to implement this.

comment:4 Changed 9 years ago by Steve James

Resolution: wontfix
Status: pendingclosed
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