An analysis of 35 UK websites last year has revealed that HMRC’s website performance was on a par with Google, with both organisations coming top of the list.
Keynote, a provider of enterprise monitoring solutions for large e-commerce sites, carried out the analysis of the performance of websites in a wide range of industries over the whole of 2013.
At the top end of the table, it found that Google and HMRC had an average availability of 99.95 percent, with Google having a marginally faster response time of 0.24 seconds, compared with HMRC’s 0.28 seconds.
Cable and Wireless had the third fastest average response rate of 0.4 seconds, and 99.92 percent load success rate.
At the other end of the index, however, news site The Economist had an average load time of 7.45 seconds. Bloomberg had the second slowest load time (4.29 seconds), followed by Lastminute.com (4.21 seconds).
Overall, the 35 sites covered by the analysis loaded in an average 2.07 seconds, close to the recommended response rate maximum of two seconds, according to Keynote. However only 20 of the sites achieved this target.
Meanwhile, 30 out of the 35 sites had an average load success rate above the recommended minimum of 99 percent, with seven sites loading 99.9 percent of the time on average.
Robert Castley, performance management expert at Keynote, said: “A difference of 7.21 seconds between the best average response time and the worst is worrying and will have translated into a very different customer experience.
“As overall site speeds continue to improve, site visitors will become less and less tolerant to those failing to make the grade.”
He said it was interesting that travel and news websites tended to appear in the bottom of the table with regards to speed.
“Both these industries offer timely information, whether it be for the latest deal or a report on breaking news, and it is critical that they don’t keep site visitors waiting,” said Castley.
“At the other end of the scale, banking websites tended to load quicker than others in the index. It is fundamental that banks assure customers of a reliable and responsive service and it is good to see that this is being delivered online.”
Nationwide (0.77 seconds and 99.87 percent) was the best-performing financial services site, followed by Barclays (0.8 seconds and 99.8 percent).
Tesco, meanwhile, was the best-performing retailer (0.77 seconds and 99.92 percent), followed by Iceland (1.01 seconds and 99.89 percent).