Which American universities have the slowest website?

Colleges and universities have some of the busiest web traffic around, especially during application and enrollment months. We monitored the 50 biggest colleges and universities in the United States for website uptime and performance over a 5 day period. We monitored from 35 checkpoints located around the United States, using HTTPS and Full Page Check monitors every 5 minutes.

Of the 50 websites we monitored, 40 maintained perfect uptime rates of 100%. Although the downtime listed below may seem negligible, it’s important to realize that even a minute of downtime can be treacherous for a website.

Universities uptime

Website Uptime Student Enrollment
California State University, Northridge 97.24% (3.71 hours lost) 41,000
University of Georgia 97.38% (3.52 hours lost) 35,000
California State University, Long Beach 98.42% (2.12 hours lost) 37,000
Florida International University 99.45% (44 minutes lost) 55,000
San Francisco State University 99.71% (23 minutes lost) 29,000

If any of the 35 checkpoints in the U.S. registered a failure, a second checkpoint was contacted to confirm it. If it was still unavailable, then the website was confirmed to be down. Only the front page of these websites was monitored, and it should be noted that scheduled maintenance periods were not taken into account.

What were the slowest performing websites?

Slowest performing university websites

Website Speed Student Enrollment
Texas A&M University 6.86 seconds 81,000
Virginia Tech 5.43 seconds 57,000
University of Maryland, College Park 5.15 seconds 58,000
Temple University 5.05 seconds 30,000
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign 4.75 seconds 37,000

The websites were monitored from a real web browser at different points around the country. The Full Page Checks register every element and third party script that is being sent across the page, so it is possible that the page is still technically loading even while the user can interact with it.

How about the fastest websites?

 

Website Speed Student Enrollment
University of South Carolina 1.34 seconds 32,000
University of Massachusetts, Amherst 1.71 seconds 28,000
University of Minnesota 1.71 seconds 51,000
Louisiana State University 2.02 seconds 30,000
University of Texas at Austin 2.07 seconds 50,000

The enrollment numbers are estimations taken from Google based on data from 2014 and 2015. Those numbers could greatly affect website performance and uptime as more and more of the college world is going online. Emails, hybrid and online classes, announcements, class registration, and countless other activities are taking place through the university website. With students, staff, and prospective students relying on these sites to be efficient and available, it is critical their performance remains top notch.

Is there a clear winner?

If we’re looking at just performance and uptime, the University of South Carolina takes the #1 spot. However, if we factor in the number of students enrolled, and in turn more strain put on the website, then the top spot would go to the University of Minnesota. Maintaining 100% uptime, average load speeds of 1.71 seconds, and a customer base of over 51,000 people, the University of Minnesota delivers.

*For the sake of accurate reporting, we only used checkpoints that were located within the United States. For global monitoring needs we have a network of 144 checkpoints located on 6 continents.

How do you think your alma mater website would perform? If you’d like to try us out to monitor your website we have a 30 day free trial!

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