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Performance Tracking  > 2014 Tax Websites

Websitepulse 2014 Tax Performance & Uptime Report Summary


As we have expected, most people waited until the last minute to file their tax returns online, and tax websites should have been prepared to bear heavy traffic load especially on the very last day of the tax season (April 15th). Those websites that experienced traffic outages could have been an obstacle for some of their customers to save or submit their tax information on time. Disappointed customers would then be highly unlikely to return to the same tax return websites next year.

We couldn’t tell whether there were clients who could not register successfully, but we could tell how each of these websites performed during the monitoring period, as we were reporting their response time and availability on a daily basis. Olt.com, for example, was having great performance and availability until the last day, April 15th, when it experienced traffic overload resulting to the website being unavailable during 2% of the monitoring period. The 2% downtime may not be much, but compared to the other websites, it was the highest. The rest of the monitored websites performed quite well, as the majority demonstrated 100% uptime.

As far as the total response time, taxbrain.com scored an average of 22 seconds which is pretty high comparing to freetaxusa.com, for example, which had only 2 seconds of load time for the whole monitoring period.

Here's the summary for the whole period. A detailed day-by-date report is available here.

Average Response times for the whole period
#TargetSan Francisco, CAChicago, ILWashington, DCAvg. resp. time
1freetaxusa.com1.3461.8242.1311.767
2etax.com6.7171.3872.6153.573
3taxact.com5.4604.7174.5624.913
4expresstaxrefund.com9.4511.7933.9685.071
5fileonline.1040.com8.4525.7252.9685.715
6hrblock.com9.5205.5677.4717.519
7olt.com9.4515.9878.1687.869
8efile.com15.2276.7492.3148.096
9turbotax.com8.13212.0466.3778.851
10taxslayer.com21.4507.4638.31312.409
11esmarttax.com22.08915.6366.82214.849
12taxbrain.com7.44625.58732.74721.927

Average Uptime for the whole period
#TargetSan Francisco, CAChicago, ILWashington, DCAvg. uptime
1turbotax.com100.000%100.000%100.000%100.000%
2expresstaxrefund.com100.000%100.000%100.000%100.000%
3taxact.com100.000%100.000%100.000%100.000%
4hrblock.com100.000%100.000%100.000%100.000%
5taxbrain.com100.000%100.000%100.000%100.000%
6freetaxusa.com100.000%100.000%100.000%100.000%
7etax.com100.000%100.000%100.000%100.000%
8fileonline.1040.com100.000%100.000%99.980%99.993%
9efile.com99.980%100.000%100.000%99.993%
10esmarttax.com99.739%100.000%99.965%99.901%
11taxslayer.com99.868%99.870%99.876%99.871%
12olt.com98.962%95.810%97.934%97.569%

Best regards, and takeITeasy™ with WebSitePulse™

Iavor Marinoff, CEO

Methodology:
The 2014 Tax Reports reflect a complete web transaction, representative for the End Users' interactions with a website. The reporting period covers the dates between April 04 and April 15, 2014. Performance and availability measurements are made for a typical multi-step web transaction at 15 minute monitoring interval, every day between the hours of 6AM and 3AM EST. Between 3AM and 6AM is the time when a scheduled maintenance most likely will be performed by IT staff and that is why we automatically suspend the monitoring process during this time every day. 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 user and tax e-filer experience. The simultaneous monitoring is performed from 3 US-based locations of the WebSitePulse monitoring network: San Francisco, CA, Chicago, IL, and Washington, DC. In case of a detected malfunction or unavailability, the system performs automated error verification from 3 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 spe cific websites and the challenges their webmasters, owners and operators are facing on a daily basis, especially when the web traffic intensifies due to som e 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 WebSitePu lse. 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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