A recent comparative survey of US Fortune 100 company websites tested against FTSE 100 websites showed the former performed better and contained fewer technical errors, according to benchmark automated website testing provider, SiteMorse.

Tested on functionality, code quality, and basic and advanced levels of accessibility, the comparison showed 4.7% of FTSE 100 company web pages failed basic functionality tests against 4.39% of Fortune 100 web pages.

SiteMorse CEO Lawrence Shaw said if a website contained, for example broken links or missing files, it failed in functionality.

On the other hand, SiteMorse found 58.6% of Fortune 100 web pages failed the most basic level of accessibility (Priority A) while only 22.9% of FTSE 100 pages failed.

“This could indicate, Shaw said, a growing trend in the awareness of UK public and private bodies in addressing the need to ensure their websites are accessible.

“Overall this data indicates that flaws exist in the websites of some of the largest, publicly-listed companies in the world, some of which are significant functionality flaws.

“To the general online consumer, and more so, to company shareholders, this is exceedingly poor business practice.

“I find it phenomenal, as technologically advanced as we are that some of the world’s largest publicly-listed companies fail to run this crucial and very public part of their business effectively.

“To my mind it begs the question: ‘Are senior management receiving accurate information from their web managers or media agency’s regarding the quality and efficiency of their websites?’

“I would encourage them to ask their technical advisors for written evidence that their websites are compliant according to mandatory, corporate and industry standards. Otherwise, there’s no guessing the amount of business being lost through ineffective websites.”

The comparative survey, which SiteMorse conducts monthly on both financial indexes to monitor improvements, showed Sage Group had the best performing website out of the FTSE 100 companies, and Marks & Spencer, the worst with 99.2% of web pages failing html standards. Dow Chemicals scored the highest rating out of the Fortune 100 and Costco, the worst.

SiteMorse technology tested the first 150 web pages of the FTSE 100 and Fortune 100 company websites listed in February 2007.

SiteMorse are the world leaders in automated website testing against standards endorsed by industry regulators such as, W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) which sets compliance standards for the online industry.

For full survey results and individual company reports, please visit

Fortune 100 results: http://survey-beta.sitemorse.com/survey/report.html?rt=149

FTSE 100 results: http://survey-beta.sitemorse.com/survey/report.html?rt=140

ENDS

Editor’s Notes
SiteMorse provides companies with a precisely accurate critique of their website tested for functionality, accessibility, compliance and performance. It is unrivalled in its efficiency in automated testing in the web industry, and is the only company in the world to offer web testing to this standard. Companies are presenting with a thorough assessment of all areas where its websites are technically flawed.

Established in 2001, SiteMorse is a British, privately-owned company and offers a range of website testing services that require no setup, downloads or technical support to operate. Over 500 local and central government departments, FTSE companies and financial sector clients use SiteMorse services to help them maintain error-free, fully-functioning and compliant websites.

Compliance standards include HTML, eGMS, W3C, WAI accessibility and specific standards laid down by suppliers (such as Adobe’s defined accessibility requirements for PDFs). The company is in its fourth year of working with SOCITM and SiteMorse products are also used by Government Sector Publishing, Blays Netratings and ISPA for website rankings and awards services.

For further information:

Libby Conway
Account Manager
Redkite PR

T: (+44) 0207 766 5211
F: (+44) 0207 766 5212
M: (+44) 0792 335 5558
libby@redkitepr.co.uk

Published on: 12:00AM on 6th March 2007