BBC and ITV sites lead in web rankings

The BBC and ITV websites have come top in rankings by Keynote, followed by Sky News scoring well with national newspaper websites trailing.

The analyst by Keynote conducts weekly research into three areas -- news and media, telecoms and social networking. The BBC and ITV sites ranked first place for speed and performance respectively in Keynote Systems first UK web indices.

According to the data, during the week beginning July 8, the BBC averaged a response time of 0.25 seconds, ITV followed closely with 0.26 seconds, while Reuters' site was more than six times slower with an average response time of 6.57 seconds.

In terms of availability, ITV, Sky News, Telegraph and Times Online were available for 100% of the week. The BBC was available 99.84% and Guardian Unlimited 98.68%.

Of the social network websites, Friends Reunited and Facebook ranked first and second for speed, with average response times of 0.34 seconds and 0.59 seconds respectively. Facebook also scored 100% for availability. At the bottom, WAYN and failed to meet average performance standards, taking 4.57 seconds and 5.88 seconds to load and achieving performance of 99.56% and 99.8%.

In the telecoms sector, O2 came first in both speed and performance with 0.46 second average load time and 100% availability. Phones4u and T-Mobile also scored highly, while The Link lagged behind, ranking twelfth for both speed and availability.

Martin Stern an analyst at Keynote, said: "As we can see from the results, although the differences in performance among the high profile websites appear fairly small, when your main competitive differentiator is the service you deliver to the customer, those extra seconds it takes to load a page can mean make or break. It's even worse when a site is down, no-matter how brief the period of outage.

"For media companies faced with dwindling subscriptions and an industry shift towards web content delivery, they need to be sure their online presence stands up to the quality of their print or TV channels. Unless media sites can be relied on to deliver up-to-date and breaking news stories online within a two to four second time frame, their ability to cope with unexpected traffic peaks must be questionable."

Response time

Rank Site Time

1. BBC 0.25

2. ITV 0.26

3. FT 0.33

4. Sky News 0.44

5. Reed Business 0.88

6. Telegraph 1.26

7. Guardian 1.96

8. Times Online 2.55

9. CNN Europe 3.57

10. msnbc 4.99

11. Bloomberg 5.60

12. Reuters 6.57

Availability or 'Success Rate'

Rank Site Availability

1. ITV 100.00

1. Sky News 100.00

1. Telegraph 100.00

1. Telegraph 100.00

5. Reed Business 99.85

6. BBC 99.84

7. CNN Europe 99.79

8. Reuters 99.64

9. FT 99.53

10. msnbc 99.52

11. Bloomberg 99.38

12. Guardian 98.68

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