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London 2012 website worst performer in online Olympics tests

Derek du Preez | July 26, 2012
The official London Olympics website,, 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.

Compuware's Allen believes that these metrics are all things that should have been designed for when the official Olympics site was built, especially considering its high profile.

"I think a lot of these things they won't be able to change rapidly, it's probably too late now. Many websites look at performance and design from the outset, you would think that if you were building the Olympics website you know it's going to have a relatively short lifespan, but in that time it's going to be under huge amounts of pressure and have high visibility," he said.

"You would think they would have built performance in from the outset."

Although Allen said it would be "very difficult to make significant changes now that we are a few days away from the Games", he does recommend a few measures to reduce pressure on the websites.

"I think you could look to make some rapid changes. One of the problems with was the size of the site - the homepage was 4.3MB, which compares with the Alexa median of 0.4MB and's website of 0.6MB," said Allen.

"That's pretty heavy for a homepage. You could compress a lot of the images, which you could do pretty quickly. That would take a lot of the burden off the network. Or they could look to rapidly provision extra datacentre capacity, but that's an expensive option."

Meanwhile, he also warned against too much major architectural work, like changing all of the JavaScript, because it would be too time-consuming.

In other Olympics news, G4S' CEO, Nick Buckles, confirmed to MPs last week that problems with the company's scheduling system is partly to blame for the shortfall of over 3,000 security staff for the London 2012 Games.

Speaking at a parliamentary committee meeting, Buckles told MPs that he got a call from the group's COO, David Taylor Smith, on 3 July, while he was on holiday in the US, citing problems with the company's rostering software.


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