Whitehouse.gov Analysis

A few notes on the new whitehouse.gov website as I did for the campaign sites after about 5 minutes of sniffing around:

  • Running Microsoft-IIS 6.0 and ASP.NET 2.0.50727. The Bush administration ran Apache on what I think was some sort of Unix. Data is gzip’d.
  • Whitehouse.gov is using Akamai as a CDN and for DNS service.
  • Using jQuery 1.2.6 (someone should let them know 1.3 is out). Also using several plugins including jQuery UI, jcarousel, Thickbox. Also using swfobject.
  • Pages tentatively validate as XHTML 1.0 Transitional! I’m shocked by this. I’ve checked several pages all with the same result.
  • Using WebTrends for analytics. Bush Administration also did.
  • IE Conditional Stylesheets and a print stylesheet.
  • RSS feeds are actually Atom feeds.
  • The website is setting two cookies that I can see WT_FPC and ASP.NET_SessionId which expire at the end of the session which is not prohibited in federal government as per OMB Guidance for Implementing the Privacy Provisions of the E-Government Act of 2002 (using Google Cache for that link since I can’t find it anywhere else, our government should really keep those in a more permanent location).

I should note that this is quite different in architecture than the Obama campaign site which ran PWS/PHP, no notable JS library, feed, and Google Analytics.

Update [1/20/2009 @ 9:00 PM EST]:

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5 Responses to “Whitehouse.gov Analysis”

  1. Err… I’m unclear on your last point.

    “The website is setting two cookies that I can see which expire at the end of the session…”

    That refers to a “session cookie”. Session cookies are allowed as per Attachment A, Section III(D)(2)(a)(v)(2) subsection (a) of the document you cite.

  2. Neil T. says:

    Technical details aside, the design of the site looks fantastic.

  3. Robert says:

    @Samuel Sidler: That’s why I said which is not prohibited They are explicitly allowed despite common perception that government websites should not set cookies. It’s cookies beyond a session which can track a users behavior that are prohibited.

  4. […] site is running and content and as reported by many blogs and news outlets across the world (here, here and […]

  5. Gary says:

    Hi Robert,

    Excellent round up of the technologies, I’ve compiled a similar list on the builtwith blog pre and post inauguration. You can view the technology round ups here. I’ve added a link back to your technology findings as well.



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