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How Web savvy are Romney, Gingrich and Obama?


President Barack Obama recently held a Google+ video Hangout; Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich promised to have a permanent U.S. moon-base by 2020; and fellow Republican Mitt Romney, along with Gingrich and Obama, are against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and PROTECT-IP Act (PIPA). So, as politicians go, these guys are all pretty tech-savvy right? Well, yes and no. If you look at their Web sites, which is what Strangeloop, a Web site optimization company, did, you’ll find that neither Republicans nor Democrats are as up to speed as you might like.

According to Strangeloop president, Joshua Bixby, “I wanted to see if [their] pro-tech stance extends to Web performance, so I decided to take a shallow dive into their websites and mobile strategies. I was actually kind of surprised to see some interesting patterns emerge.”

First, “Web site speed correlates (mostly) to position in the primaries. At 46.4% and 31.9%, respectively, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich led the Florida primary. Interestingly, both also lead when it came to site speed. Gingrich’s site is fastest, with a load time of 7.7 seconds (maybe we shouldn’t be so quick to laugh at his plans to colonize the moon), while Romney’s loaded in 9.3 seconds. Rick Santorum and Ron Paul lagged in both areas, trailing far behind in votes and suffering load times of 10.7 and 13.5 seconds, respectively. (Interesting to note: President Obama’s site fared worst of all, with a load time of 13.6 seconds.)” But, then Obama’s not really running yet either.

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