The SNP’s website is the best in terms of reliability and performance amongst the UKs major political parties, whilst UKIP is the slowest, with Labour the least reliable, according to a web testing survey.
The research was undertaken by Dynatrace, an application performance management company, with hourly tests ran on the websites of the Conservatives, Greens, Labour, Liberal Democrats, SNP and UKIP.
The tests measured response times to requests and how often the page was available, the six websites were ranked against each other to determine relative performance.
Results from the response time test, which recorded how long each homepage took to load, show that the SNP’s site is the quickest, with an average response time of around 3 seconds. Labour came second but some way off the pace with an average time of under 6 and a half seconds, UKIP came bottom, registering an average time of 9 seconds, whilst the remaining parties took around 7 seconds.
Michael Allen, vice president of solutions at Dynatrace, said: “This year’s General Election is being fought on the digital battleground like no other before it.
“As voters try to decide on which way to go in the run-up to the election, they will be turning to the web to stay abreast of all the latest information on party mandates, politicians’ promises and those all-important election gaffes.”
Although it secured second place in the speed test, the Labour page struggles in terms of reliability, with nearly a quarter of all requests failing to load; all other parties had a success rate of over 95%, with the SNP leading the way as its page topped over 98%.
“These days, it’s not enough just to have a website, users expect them to be flawless and they’re very unforgiving if they aren’t,” added Allen.
“Slow loading pages can quickly lead to frustration and cause visitors to click off and go to a competitor for the information they need.
“It’s a little surprising that there’s such a divide between the parties’ digital performance so close to the election; you’d expect to see a lot more effort going into optimising the user experience given how important each and every vote is going to be this year.”