London 2012 website worst performer in online Olympics tests

An analysis carried out by Compuware found that the official London 2012 Olympics website may struggle to cope with high demand

By Derek du Preez, Computerworld UK |  Networking, Olympics

The official London Olympics website, london2012.com, has been found to be the worst performer in a number of online tests carried out to gauge end user experience amongst key 2012 Games websites.

Other sites tested include londonolympics2012, visitlondon.com/london2012, timeout.com/London/Olympics-2012, tfl.gov.uk and lastminute.com, all of which are expected to experience high demand and traffic during the event.

The London 2012 Olympic Games begin at the end of this week.

Compuware completed its analysis on 9 July using SpeedoftheWeb.org, where the websites were tested according to 15 key performance indicators relating to user experience, browser, content, network and server. The performance of the sites was benchmarked against the performance of the Alexa 100, a global web index.

London2012.com performed badly in a number of key areas. For example, the Alexa 100 median for server requests, which looks at the number of client/server interactions required to load the content of a web page, is 61. A high number of server requests indicates inefficient content delivery to the end-user, whilst putting pressure on the server.

London2012.com ranked worst in this test with 261 requests, which compares to a mere 36 requests on londonolympic2012.com. Michael Allen, Director of IT service management at Compuware said that the high number of requests could lead to the website buckling under high demand.

"As the traffic increases we expect that some of the architectural issues that we have identified will proliferate to what is a performance problem. The number of requests, for example, is probably okay if you only have a few hundred users accessing it concurrently.

"However, if you have thousands it's going to put the servers under increased pressure. People will be denied content because a server can only have so many open connections," said Allen.

Compuware suggests that to help resolve this issue, those working on the website should look to group images, such as logos, into one request to reduce the burden on servers.

Wait times were also an issue for london2012.com. The amount of time the browser spent waiting until it could start downloading resources was 1.9 seconds, which compares to 0.04 seconds on lastminute.com. This is likely to be due to a slow network connection or a large number of resources that have to be downloaded.


Originally published on Computerworld UK |  Click here to read the original story.
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