Conservatives win vote for worst performing website

Party websites

The Conservative Party has received a digital battering this week as its campaign website performed the worst of any of the major contenders for Government.

The webpage took an excruciatingly long time to load with an average of 24.78 seconds, according to a study by Site Confidence undertaken in March.

Labour's website took 12.06 seconds to load, but only the Liberal Democrats got the time under 10 seconds with an impressive load time of 6.24 seconds.

Bob Dowson, director at Site Confidence, said in a statement: "An average download speed of in excess of 20 seconds, as recorded for the Conservatives site in March, is very poor. The threshold for sites such as this should be 10 seconds."

He added: "However, running up to the general election, when there is a much greater need for the public to be able to access policy information, parties should aim for even quicker response times."

The Tories website was the only one available for 100 per cent of the month, with Labour's site being down for one hour and 13 minutes.

The Liberal Democrats again performed quite well with only four minutes and 19 seconds of downtime.

All of the parties have also come under scrutiny in a separate survey this week, showing they have not made the most of the online age for the upcoming election campaign.

A survey by the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA) showed that more than three-quarters (79 per cent) of the 2,550 people surveyed couldn't think of any online material they had seen by any of the three major parties, be it adverts, emails or websites.

However, 40 per cent of them wanted more of an opportunity to interact with the parties online.

"Although it's being talked of as a "digital election," political parties are falling short in delivering what voters want online," Jonathan Kestenbaum, chief executive of NESTA, said in a statement.

"Currently, they are using tactical measures such as buying Google AdWords to raise brand awareness but the internet provides the means to have a much more dynamic dialogue with voters."

The election is just over three weeks away so the parties do not have long to improve their online presence before voters hit the ballot box on 6 May.

Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.