One record that isn’t likely to be broken during this summer’s London Olympic Games is the speed at which key websites, including London2012.com and NBCOlympics.com, load for visitors. Yottaa, which correctly predicted which advertisers would have website problems after their commercials aired during this year’s Super Bowl, completed an analysis of the major Olympic websites and is predicting slow page loads, crashes and, in some countries, no access whatsoever for the major Olympics websites.
“Most of the Olympic websites are not ready and are not engineered for success,” said Coach Wei of Yottaa. “These sites are way below average industry standards and... are going to have significant problems unless they undertake some major enhancements in the next few days.”
The Olympics open July 27, and NBC has already launched two mobile apps and announced a partnership with Facebook. We’ve reached out to NBC and the International Olympic Committee for comment and will update this post as soon as we hear back from them.
During the study - which occurred before the expected rush of traffic during the Olympic games - the homepage of London2012.com took an average of seven seconds to load, while NBCOlympics.com took 7.3 seconds to load. Those numbers shot up as high as 9.3 seconds in certain geographic locations, including Miami and Hong Kong.
Wei said e-commerce sites shoot for average load times of five to six seconds, and tech sites, such as Google, aim even lower, with two to three seconds trending toward slow.
Both sites are inaccessible in certain countries. Most notably, Wei said, London2012.com is inaccessible in China, which hosted the 2008 summer games.
“It seems like people think this is an event taking place only in the U.S. and Europe,” he said. “It’s like people forgot this is a worldwide event when they designed these websites.”
There are other design problems of both sites that affect performance, Wei said. A notabel one is that the home pages and the overall site footprints are far bigger than most similar sites. The average website has a footprint of about 960KB, Wei said, but both London2012.com and NBCOlympics.com topped 2 MB.
“You would think of people have thought of this, but it’s just not common to have such big pages on a website like this,” Wei said. “They can run into a range of problems.”
Yottaa was formed in 2009, and this is the first time it has conducted such a study for the Olympics. During this year’s Super Bowl, however, the firm analyzed advertisers’ websites and predicted that Coca-Cola and Acura would have website troubles. Both predictions were accurate, Wei said, with Coke’s site crashing at one point.
The most recent study wasn’t all grim news for Olympic fans: Team USA Shop, an official e-commerce site for the U.S. Olympic team, is “very well designed,” according to Wei, and “is not likely to have any major problems during the Olympics.”