Combing Over the Details of Candidates’ Website Speeds

The Republican Party’s field of presidential candidates has brought out the good, the bad and the ugly in politics—but it hasn’t necessarily brought out fast load times on the candidates’ Websites.

Government isn’t exactly known for its speed and efficiency. While tech is helping to speed up many processes long maligned by the general public, many government agencies still have plenty of catching up to do.

Yet presidential candidates should have a more streamlined IT infrastructure, and they should be prepared for an influx of page views and Web traffic before, during and after a debate. Some candidates must have missed the memo.

AppDynamics measured the candidates’ Websites from two locations, one on the East Coast and one on the West Coast, using the Google Chrome Web browser. While the experience of end users varies due to many factors, the synthetic measurements that AppDynamics provides offer an accurate, relative ranking of the performance of the candidates’ Websites.

AppDynamics will be measuring all the campaign Websites of all the presidential candidates every month throughout the election cycle.

For the most recent debate held on Sept. 16,  all eyes were on Carly Fiorina but her Website performance was unimpressive, with page-load times hovering in the mid-teens on both desktop and 4G.

Weighing in at just about one megabyte, the Trump site loaded on desktops consistently in less than three seconds, and on 4G in just over four seconds, both well ahead of the rest of the candidates.

The Bush and Christie campaigns repeated a maneuver they used for the first debate, which was to significantly reduce the weight of their home pages so they would load much faster on debate night, when one would expect a significant spike in traffic.

The “Jeb 2016” site loaded more than twice as fast on debate night than before.

The Christie site shaved more than 40 percent off its load time.


The following is a list of candidates’ Websites and the end-user response time in seconds during the debate on Aug. 6: : 2.3 : 5.9 : 6.0 : 6.3 : 6.5 : 6.6 : 8.4 : 8.3 : 12.8 : 13.5

Winston Churchill once said, “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.”

Churchill never watched a GOP presidential debate in 2015.

Patrick K. Burke is senior editor of CIO Insight.

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