In a thrilling climax to the season, Manchester City were crowned Premier League champions last Sunday, but things would have been very different if their website was a barometer of their performance on the pitch.
Regular readers of our blog will know that we monitor the performance of hundreds of UK websites each day, using our in-house developed performance monitoring tool. Sometimes we notice performance problems due to major sporting events such as the Grand National or Cheltenham Festival horse races, at other times we may analyse retail web performance trends at busy periods.
For the last few months of the season we’ve been looking at Premiership football clubs to see what the league would look like if their on pitch performance related to their web page speed. Thankfully for Manchester City there is no correlation between online and on-pitch performance. Based solely on our findings, they’d be facing relegation along with Everton and Southampton. Manchester United would still be playing in Europe and West Ham would top the league!
Obviously these statistics don’t tell the whole story. Not all sites are created equal, the landing pages on these webpages don't all use the same technology and the designs used by each club’s marketing and development teams have a big effect on performance. For example West Ham’s landing page (http://www.whufc.com), is a small page with a single image and a “click to enter” link, this is why it seems so fast. Manchester City’s home page on the other hand is graphically rich, made up of nearly 200 components and is 5.8 MB!
Due to the loyalty that fans show their clubs, these figures won’t worry the Premiership. Supporters don’t (or shouldn’t) change sporting allegiance based on performance and (most of them) will support their team through thick and thin. We’ll continue to monitor these and other sites and report interesting findings in our blog. To hear more about web performance and testing, subscribe to our monthly newsletter.