Official Olympics Website Won't Win a Gold Medal

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The official London 2012 Olympics website,, has deteriorated since the Games kicked off, according to a number of benchmarking tests carried out by Compuware.

Initial tests were carried out before the opening ceremony, where Compuware warned that the official Olympics website was performing badly in a number of areas, including 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.

Other sites tested include,,, and, all of which were expected to experience high demand and traffic during the event. (See also "10 Great Apps for the London 2012 Olympics: Bask in the Glory of Sport.")

The latest results indicate that the average page load time on was ten seconds. However, 28.8 percent of the 2000 benchmark tests for the site exceeded ten seconds, and almost seven percent of tests exceeded 20 seconds, with times ranging up to 40 seconds.

This compares with an average load time on Transport for London (TfL) of 2.944 seconds.

Penalized by Popularity

"The fact that site was loading slowly prior to the start of the Olympics gives a clear indication that the problems are a result of the site being developed without performance in mind, rather than underlying infrastructure not being able to cope," said Michael Allen, director of IT service management, Compuware.

He added: "We're sure both the content delivery network and the hosting provider are alleviating the pressure on the site, but many of the problems that are contributing to the slowdown stem from the sheer weight of the content on the client's last mile internet link and browser-side code complexity; both of which can only be resolved by addressing the site's design.

"This is a clear example of why when you are developing a site, or any application, you need to think about performance at every step, rather than hoping that if you throw enough infrastructure at the site it will perform."

In other Olympics news, Chinese broadcaster, Tencent, has slammed London's mobile broadband capabilities during the Games, claiming that slow speeds have hindered its ability to upload content on the fly.

This story, "Official Olympics Website Won't Win a Gold Medal" was originally published by Computerworld UK.

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