Duncan's blog

August 15, 2008

10 Downing Street website re-launched

Filed under: Politics,Web — duncan @ 12:32 am
Tags: , , ,

The 10 Downing Street website has been given a Web 2.0 makeover and relaunched. Not without some teething problems however; the site was down for some time on the 12th, it had/has many 404 errors, and some of the HTML is a bit dodgy for such a high profile site (despite claims of attempting WAI level AA compliance).

From the BBC article:

A Downing Street spokeswoman denied the site had crashed. But she said users on some servers might experience glitches “for the next 48 hours“. “It is just what happens when you launch a new website,” she added.

Sorry, but that’s just not true. I suspect I’ve worked on more website launches than the Downing Street spokeswoman, and having glitches for the first 48 hours isn’t just what happens. If it does happen, it’s usually for a reason – lack of time committed to testing.

While checking the site for some basic HTML errors, I came across the following anomalies. Firstly, discovered this 404 page had a link to an internal IP address that obviously isn’t going to work (the ‘home’ link in the breadcrumbs). Trying to play around with the 404 error handling, I appended ‘blah’ to the URL, and got this weird page (redirects to http://www.number10.gov.uk/Page10276). I also got similar results if I appended 404 on the URL (redirects to http://www.number10.gov.uk/Page6871). Note that second page has different details from their standard 404 page.
Why not try it yourself and see what other URLs work 😉

Number 10 Blah

Number 10 Blah


This isn’t really too surprising; they’re obviously doing a bit of SEO URL-rewriting. It’s more the fact that there’s seemingly test content still up there from 2005 and 2006.

I liked this too – on their Privacy Policy, they have links to all the different domains the site is available from. Guess how many of these work:

Currently, the last three don’t seem to…

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