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Performance Tracking  > 2006 Tax Websites

Websitepulse 2006 Tax Performance & Uptime Report Summary


There was no evidence of major service disruption in the WebSitePulse Tax Websites Performance and Uptime Report indicating that the leading tax-related online destinations offered uninterrupted and consistently reliable services to the late e-filers over the last two weeks prior to April 17th.

WebSitePulse Performance Reports measure 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.

Most of the tax websites included in the Report demonstrated significant increase in traffic during the 2005 tax season, and also were among the top ten mostly visible tax websites by WebTrends WebPosition Search Ranking study.

WebSitePulse Performance Reports reflect not only the performance of the websites home pages, but typically measure a complete web transaction representative for the End Users' interactions with a website. Measurements of the multi-step transactions are made every 15 minutes, simultaneously from 3 different monitoring locations. WebSitePulse advanced monitoring system has automated, built-in false alarm prevention and error verification controls that ensure the reliability of the measurement results.

Also, in case of detected errors, WebSitePulse experts and engineers are available 24/7 to analyze the data, and to recommend additional actions to better understand and explain the malfunctions.

The overall performance of the monitored tax websites demonstrated their preparedness to meet the challenges of the expected increase in web traffic near the end of the 2006 tax season.
TaxBrain.com led the group with 100% uptime and the lowest average response time for the entire reported period - March 31st - April 17th.
Half of the websites functioned without any interruptions. The downtime for the other half resulted from brief disruptions only. Usually, some transaction steps did not respond for a short period of time, and therefore the entire transaction was considered as "failed".

TaxEngine had more serious fluctuations on April 6th. Interestingly, after that day, the website was stable and completely accessible for End Users from US Central, while Users on the East and the West Coast should have experienced some inconveniences and instances of unavailability. Also, response times measured from the East Coast were longer than the response times for visitors from the US Central or from the West Coast.

Esmarttax had only one problematic day - April 6th. Another three websites also showed temporary weaknesses that same day indicating that probably most of the late e-filers still preferred to get the job done on the weekend prior to the Easter Holidays.

Even though a multitude of factors are playing a role for Customers' overall online experience, WebSitePulse strongly believes that availability and response times are among the most critical ones, and are directly correlated to the End Users' decisions and behaviors online.

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

Average Response times for the whole period
#TargetSan Francisco, CAChicago, ILWashington, DCAvg. resp. time
1taxbrain.com0.2150.6170.7620.531
2taxslayer.com1.2950.5900.3940.760
3turbotax.com0.4570.9441.0580.820
4taxcut.com1.0860.6910.7270.835
5efile.com1.1870.7290.9070.941
6taxengine.com0.7631.0281.0710.954
7completetax.com0.6940.7661.5220.994
8expresstaxrefund.com1.6541.0550.8701.193
9esmarttax.com1.0121.8071.9031.574
10taxact.com2.2320.9821.5131.576
11hrblock.com2.1311.7081.5501.796
12irs.gov1.8401.7581.8541.817

Average Uptime for the whole period
#TargetSan Francisco, CAChicago, ILWashington, DCAvg. uptime
1taxcut.com100.000%100.000%100.000%100.000%
2irs.gov100.000%100.000%100.000%100.000%
3expresstaxrefund.com100.000%100.000%100.000%100.000%
4hrblock.com100.000%100.000%100.000%100.000%
5taxact.com100.000%100.000%100.000%100.000%
6taxbrain.com100.000%100.000%100.000%100.000%
7turbotax.com99.934%100.000%100.000%99.978%
8efile.com99.868%99.934%99.934%99.912%
9completetax.com99.802%99.934%99.934%99.890%
10taxslayer.com99.802%99.593%99.868%99.754%
11esmarttax.com99.339%99.332%99.198%99.290%
12taxengine.com98.610%99.864%98.478%98.984%

Best regards, and takeITeasy™ with WebSitePulse™

Iavor Marinoff, CEO

Report Methodology:
Performance and availability are measured for a typical web transaction at 15 minute monitoring interval every day between the hours of 6AM and 3AM EST. The WebSitePulse application monitoring service is used to collect data and to create the reports.
The steps in each transaction are comparable for all twelve websites, and reflect the real online visitors' experience. The simultaneous monitoring is performed from 3 US locations of the WebSitePulse monitoring network: Chicago, IL; San Francisco, CA, 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.

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".