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Performance Tracking  > 2012 Vacation Planning

WebSitePulse 2012 Vacation Planning Websites Performance Report Summary


In today's modern age it easy enough to book a vacation. No longer do you need to flip through the papers in search of a deal or to have to go through all the hassle with the travel agencies in case your plans change in the last minute. Today everything you need to arrange your dream vacation is just a couple of clicks away – from detailed information about your place of choice to room view, plane tickets and even preferred food on board. All of that is available at your fingertips in a matter of mere seconds.

But is it truly so?

To check how good the online experience of the regular end-user really is, we monitored 12 of the most popular online destinations for vacation booking during the period May 19th – June 30th 2012. For the purpose of this Report, we measured not only the performance of the websites’ home pages, but a typical complete web transaction from an End User’s point of view – going to the Home page, choosing a destination and a vacation period, browsing the search results and selecting a hotel. The Reports measured Uptime and Response Time as the most important metrics for the availability and the reliability of any web-based operation, critical for the End Users' overall online experience. Measurements of the multi-step online transactions were made every 15 minutes, simultaneously from four different monitoring locations.

The results, though considerably better than last year's, still show that there is much room for improvement and better maintenance-planning decisions are needed. Indeed, the latter seems to be an issue with one of the sites – it went down in the middle of the day, on a Monday nevertheless, with an error message on their site stating that a maintenance was under way. Another site reached almost 5 hours of downtime in June. That is never good when the main purpose of your site is to sell. This directly translates into loss of revenue. Since both outages were in broad daylight, we can only assume that it must have been a costly downtime. You can read more about these issues in the Highlights section of our reports.

Still, there is a silver lining – this year two of the monitored sites functioned without any interruptions and managed to reach the 100% uptime mark. Also, the average response time has gone from 20.737 seconds to 10.427 seconds, which means that the end-users needed to wait less than last year. However, the gap between the fastest and the slowest site remains wide.

Overall, we can conclude that the top online destinations for vacation planning have improved much in terms of response time and are now delivering the content much faster and, judging from the 100% uptime marks, more reliably. Still, there is still room for improvement when it comes to handling planned and unplanned maintenances.

The summarized numbers and averages for the entire monitoring period are shown in the tables below:

Average Response times for the whole period
#TargetSan FranciscoAmsterdamWashingtonAvg. resp. time
1kayak.com4.9893.9712.6898.0594.927
2venere.com5.0323.2113.54610.5035.573
3tripadvisor.com5.9165.8032.97914.2337.233
4expedia.com7.5128.5245.46916.4029.477
5choicehotels.com7.9889.1585.64616.7939.896
6hotels.com7.6958.2725.50518.2729.936
7travelnow.com8.50313.7169.28917.07612.146
8wotif.com14.47215.82615.3075.56812.793
9orbitz.com10.11512.8956.93728.46214.602
10cheaptickets.com11.69213.7988.90728.42815.706
11thomascook.com18.72422.23017.88363.45530.573
12booking.com30.5346.42018.24170.53731.433

Average Uptime for the whole period
#TargetSan FranciscoAmsterdamWashingtonAvg. uptime
1hotels.com100.000%100.000%100.000%100.000%100.000%
2venere.com100.000%100.000%100.000%100.000%100.000%
3tripadvisor.com99.990%99.985%99.976%99.990%99.985%
4kayak.com99.966%99.937%99.950%99.916%99.942%
5expedia.com99.959%99.875%99.951%99.910%99.924%
6choicehotels.com99.900%99.910%99.870%99.905%99.896%
7thomascook.com99.993%99.979%99.983%99.438%99.848%
8booking.com99.859%99.814%99.859%99.591%99.781%
9travelnow.com99.680%99.600%99.670%99.716%99.666%
10orbitz.com99.648%99.665%99.615%99.625%99.638%
11cheaptickets.com99.505%99.496%99.481%99.493%99.494%
12wotif.com98.264%98.278%98.294%98.304%98.285%

Best regards, and takeITeasy™ with WebSitePulse™

Iavor Marinoff, CEO


Methodology:
Performance and availability are measured for a typical travel-related booking web transaction at 15 minute monitoring interval, every day, 24/7. The WebSitePulse application monitoring service is used to collect data and to create the reports.
The steps in each transaction are comparable for all websites, and reflect the real online buyers' experience. The simultaneous monitoring is performed from four locations of the WebSitePulse global monitoring network: San Francisco, CA; Washington, DC; Sydney, Australia, and Amsterdam, Netherlands. In case of a detected malfunction or unavailability, the system performs automated error verification from four independent resources and only after the above procedure is performed and has returned consistent results, the detected error is confirmed, recorded, and included in the daily performance reports. In these cases, an advanced WebSitePulse exclusive feature comes into play - Forced Monitoring -, which automatically switches to a 3 minute monitoring interval for increased accuracy.

About WebSitePulse:
WebSitePulse is a leading provider of global, independent, and objective availability and performance monitoring of web sites, servers, network components, web applications, e-business- and email round-trip transactions.

Contact:
For more information about this report please contact:
George T., CTO
phone: 1-407-380-1600
email:


Reproduction:
WebSitePulse launched the Performance and Uptime Reports program to keep the general public and the Internet community informed about the performance of specific websites and the challenges their webmasters, owners and operators are facing on a daily basis, especially when the web traffic intensifies due to some special events through the year. Some of the most popular web destinations, related to each particular event, are selected for the purpose of the Reports, and data from their performance measurements is made available on the WebSitePulse public website.

With the intention to broadly disseminate this information for the benefit of the Internet community, we encourage the use of this information without prior approval and under the following Terms and Conditions:
  • WebSitePulse should be referred as the "Source" of the information;
  • WebSitePulse should be acknowledged as the owner of the copyrights of the information in the Reports;
  • The texts of the Reports could be changed or altered to better suit the needs and the style of the publisher without prior notice to WebSitePulse. However, the integrity and the meaning of the information should be preserved;

The Data from the performance measurements cannot be changed or manipulated and should be used "as is".



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