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Merv said on January 5th, 2008 at 12:31 pm :

Nice Job! I don’t think I have ever seen a side by side comparison of the various websites like that. Pretty cool.


Sawyer said on January 5th, 2008 at 3:19 pm :

It’s incredible that with all of the candidates out there with massive budgets, they can’t produce a site that completely meets at least one part of standards/accessibility?

Although, being a fan of Edwards, I happen to like the outcome here, but obviously all of their pages need work.


Candidate Websites: A Cursory Glance « The Smidgin said on January 8th, 2008 at 11:48 am :

[…] (1/8/07): I later found this comparison, which is focuses more on the technical details and actually attempts to be objective. My […]


Contented: content that makes people happy » Blog Archive » Analysis of candidates’ sites cuts both ways said on February 8th, 2008 at 12:02 am :

[…] Rio Akasaka compares home pages for accessibility, validity and speed — not content; opinions on colour schemes sneak in. […]

Jan 5, 2008 | Critique: Presidential Candidate Websites

With politics such a hot issue as of late, I’ve decided to critique websites of 8 of the major political candidates, four from each party. In order to be fair and unbiased, each website will be considered on the basis of the following criteria:

  1. Accessibility: How well does it integrate accessibility tools? Does it have foreign language translations of the site? The site is checked using Lynx Viewer.
  2. Validity: Does it perform well under W3C guidelines? Score given in relative terms: the highest number of errors receives 0 points and the rest are scaled accordingly.
  3. Speed: How fast does it load? This is based only on Vertain Software’s website speed test using a 10 mbps T3 connection and should therefore be considered on a relative basis only.
  4. Finally, to get a bigger picture, a ColorLovers palette is generated from the colors present on the site.

Results are shown at bottom. Please note individual results may vary due to changes in presented content.

Obama for president 2008

Accessibility: No access keys. Lynx outputs something vaguely organized (including a “Skip to content” and “Skip to navigation” link), but fairly poor. Spanish version fairly prominent. 3/5
Validity: 184 errors running XHTML 1.0-T. 1/5
Speed: 3.7 seconds. 2/5

ColorLovers palette for Obama's website

Ron Paul for president 2008

Accessibility: No access keys. Lynx outputs readable content with the latest news, upcoming events, and a little bit about the candidate. No Spanish version. 4/5
Validity: 0 errors running XHTML 1.0-T. 5/5
Speed: 3.17 seconds. 3/5

ColorLovers palette for Ron Paul's website

Hillary Clinton for president 2008

Accessibility: No access keys. Lynx provides fairly organized layout, lots of photographs that unfortunately will never be displayed, but fairly easy to get around. Spanish version available. 3/5
Validity: 12 errors running HTML 4.01. 3/5
Speed: 2.11 seconds. 4/5

ColorLovers palette for Hillary Clinton's website

Dennis Kucinich for president 2008

Note: in upcoming elections, please don’t ever use the number ‘4’ to replace ‘for’ just to make you sound hip. Please.
Accessibility: No access keys. No Spanish version. Lynx provides fairly chunky content, but has all the stuff like “Newsroom”, “Blog”, “On The Road”. 2/5
Validity: Cannot be validated with utf-8. Checked utf-16 and crashes Firefox, so I am peeved. 0/5
Speed: 2.34 seconds. 4/5

ColorLovers palette for Dennis Kucinich's website

Rudy Giuliani for president 2008

Accessibility: No access keys. No Spanish version. Pitiful Lynx layout with no readable content on main page, just links to other pages. 2/5
Validity: 16 errors with XHTML 1.0-S. 3/5
Speed: 4.05 seconds. 1/5

ColorLovers palette for Giuliani's website

Edwards for president 2008

Accessibility: No access keys. Clean Lynx output with main objective right in the dead center of the printout, links displayed. Spanish version slightly hidden but nonetheless there. 4/5
Validity: 30 errors with HTML 4.01-T. 2/5
Speed: 1.80 seconds. 5/5

ColorLovers palette for John Edwards's website

Romney for president 2008

Accessibility: No access keys. Lynx output fairly clean, nice balance between links and content. Spanish version also present. 3/5
Validity: 131 errors with XHTML 1.0-T. 1/5
Speed: 3.72 seconds. 2/5

ColorLovers palette for Mitt Romney's website

Huckabee for president 2008

Accessibility: No access keys. Pretty pitiful Lynx output, with some of them having just numbers where there should be content (like under “Huckabee 101”). No Spanish. 2/5
Validity: 64 errors with XHTML 1.0-T. 2/5
Speed: 2.97 seconds. 3/5

ColorLovers palette for Huckabee's website

Please take note that the results shown below do not reflect in any way my politicial affliations or thoughts. The results were tallied after all tests were conducted.

John Edwards: 13
Ron Paul: 12
Hillary Clinton: 10
Mike Huckabee: 7
Rudy Giuliani: 6
Dennis Kucinich: 6
Barack Obama: 6
Mitt Romney: 6

Summary: John Edwards’ site is clean, fast, and takes into consideration a lot of other factors than the ones we can see. While the site layout, css rollover menus and use of Flash was comparable to other presidential candidates, it loads much faster and provides a lot of content straight from the beginning. Unlike the other candidates his website sports a more countryside, earthy color scheme with brown and green, which brings a bit of freshness into it all.

Hillary Clinton and Dennis Kucinich’s sites were the only two not to use Flash on their main site, a boon to those with accessibility issues. Only Ron Paul’s website validated completely with no errors using XHTML 1.0. None of the websites considered using accesskeys as a feature. Half of the candidate websites examined had Spanish versions available. All but one candidate’s websites have some form of three or four-column design. The overall color scheme is, not surprisingly, red, white and blue.


This entry was posted on Saturday, January 5th, 2008 at 2:40 am, EST under the category of Articles, Web design. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.