Adding a Custom Standard

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Also on this page: Getting Help with Custom Standards

As a part of the Add Standard process that can be initiated from this page, Org. Admins can add Custom Standards to fine-tune axe Monitor analysis to fit their organization's unique goals. These customized rule sets are referred to as Custom Standards, which can include a combination of the built-in (stock) axe Monitor analysis rules from existing standards such as WCAG or Section 508, and any Custom Rules created for the Organization.

Before you begin, refer to the following related sources of information about Custom Standards:

  • For complete details about how to create a properly-formatted custom ruleset JSON file, including detailed metadata field definitions for rule descriptions, impact, messages, and checks, selector type, etc., see the Rules, Checks and Results topic in the axe DevTools HTML User Guide.
  • For related information about using custom rules in the axe DevTools browser extension, see the Submitting Custom Rules topic in the axe DevTools Browser Extension User Guide.

Each of the custom rules that make up the Custom Standard can be assigned a Custom Priority (Minor, Moderate, Serious, Critical), Violation level (Violation or Potential Violation) and Custom Message (also referred to as the Issue Description). Custom Standards are added at the Organization level and can be applied to any Project within the Organization.

To add a custom ruleset:

  1. From the main menu, select Settings > Organization, then select the Testing Standards tab.
  2. In the 'Testing Standards Organization Settings for:' drop-down menu, click the down arrow, then click on the desired organization to select it.

the Testing Standards tab page displaying an org. selection example in the 'Settings for:' menu

The drop-down menu closes and the collapsed menu field displays your selection.

  1. At the top, right of the Organization Testing Standards page, click the Add Standard button.

clicking the Add Standard button at top right of Organization Testing Standards page

The Add Standard dialog box pops up.

  1. On the Add Standard dialog box, select the Custom radio button option to the right of the Type field.

selecting the Custom option as the Type on the Add Standard modal dialog box

The Add Standard dialog box is refreshed to display functionality for you to specify information about and upload your JSON file.

  1. In the Name text field, type to enter a friendly name for the standard.
  2. In the Axe DevTools version field, click the down arrow and then select a version from the drop-down menu.
  3. In the Options field, check the appropriate checkboxes to specify whether the standard includes Experimental or Best Practice rules, as appropriate.
  4. In the File field, click the Browse... button to locate and select your custom standard JSON file.
The File Upload dialog box closes and the filename is displayed to the right of the Browse button.
  1. Click the Add Standard button.

filling out the fields in the Add Standard dialog box, selecting the json custom rules file to upload then clicking the Add button

The Add Standard dialog box closes and your standard appears as a new row within the Active Standards table.

an example of the added custom standard appearing as a new row in the Active Standards table

You can now make the custom standard the default standard, if desired. For more information, see Changing the Default Standard.

Getting Help with Custom Standards

Deque experts are available to assist you with creating and implementing sets of custom rules to meet the needs of your organization. There are several covenient ways to get in touch with us to request custom standard assistance. Whether it is our main Help Desk, Tech Support, or our Infrastructure Help Desk, multiple contact methods (form, email, phone, etc.) for each are also available for your convenience as noted below:

Deque Help Desk Contact Information:

Deque's web accessibility experts and technical support personnel are eager to help you use your own custom standards. The Support team is ready and capable of answering any technical questions about Custom Standards you can use with the axe Monitor product and/or the axe DevTools Browser Extension product, and may be contacted via:

  • Form: Use the Support Email Contact Form product questions or issues you encounter at any time.
  • Email: Send an e-mail to the Deque Tech Support Help Desk address at
  • Phone: Call the Help Desk @ (703) 225.0380, or the Support Office telephone number @ 888-755-1511, then press 5 for support.
  • Hours: Always available to assist you during normal business hours, M-F 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST.
  • Voicemail: Leave a message any time outside 9AM-5PM, Eastern daylight time.
  • Response time: Within 1 working day of receiving your email or voice mail.
  • Infrastructure Help Desk Contact the for server configuration and hosting operations - whether in Deque's secure cloud or installed on your premises.