6th December 2006 Alan Spurgeon

FTSE 250 Co’s Not Accessible

FTSE 250 companies’ websites are slowly edging towards meeting the minimum legal Accessibility requirements.

Web AccessibilityFTSE 250 companies seem to be discarding the financial incentives of making their websites available to an audience, estimated at having an annual spend of £80bn.

B2B consultants Front of Mind’s survey of the FTSE 250 companies websites, highlight that just 22% now meet the criteria for Accessibility level ‘A’ – an increase of 12% on June 2006.

Here’s a snapshot of the statistics;

* 48.7% of pages failed to meet the minimum standard, compared with;
* 8.65% of central government websites
* 25.9% of FTSE 100 websites
* 97.4% failed to meet the recommended standard
* 80.6% of all pages served by FTSE 250 companies showed code failures
* No information technology company websites achieved a Top 40 ranking

Bottom of the table for overall performance was 888.com, a surprising result for a company that relies solely on an online presence.

TOP WEBSITES FOR ACCESSIBILITY
Daily Mail & General Trust
Northumbrian Water Group
Rentokil Initial
Sthree
Berkeley Group UTS
Ladbrokes
Dana Petroleum
Venture Production

TOP 10 FOR OVERALL PERFORMANCE
Daily Mail & General Trust
Northumbrian Water Group
Venture Production
IG Group HDGS
Electra Investment Trust
Rentokil Initial
Dana Petroleum
Amlin
Rightmove
Scottish Investment Trust

Unsurprisingly, several sites that deliver the most accessible content also appear on the list of those that perform best overall for function, performance and code quality. Websites that are level ‘A’ compliant inevitably work more efficiently and offer more delivery options.

Northumbrian Water was overtaken as the top site for overall performance by the re-listing of Daily Mail & General Trust in the 250 from the FTSE 100, where it had held number one position.

The most improved performer was the website of oil and gas company Venture Production; www.vpc.co.uk rose from 151st for overall performance to 3rd.

The latest survey, commissioned by web consultancy Front of Mind and carried out using SiteMorse™ automated testing software, also looked at the overall function, performance and compliance (HTML, accessibility) of websites from a user perspective. To compile the report, more than 31m tests were carried out across the sites and over 5,000 PDF files were reviewed.

PERFORMANCE SNAPSHOTS

Most functional failings: Taylor Nelson Sofres
Poorest code: 888 Holdings
Fastest response time: Alliance Trusts
Biggest fall: Ultra Electronic Holdings (-174)

BOTTOM FIVE – OVERALL PERFORMANCE

Spirent
RPS Group
Taylor Nelson Sofres
888 Holdings (WI)
Qinetiq

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