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Thoughts and observations from Postlight—a New York City agency where everyone cares too much about software.  We build great platforms and great experiences.

Podcast #3: Make HTML Great Again

We renamed our newsletter "Track Changes." Hopefully this is not too confusing. The newsletter archives have moved too! Onward...

Which candidate has the best web platform? To find out, we viewed source. It’s the
Track Changes, the newsletter (and podcast) of Postlight for March 8— subscribe here.

“The last couple election cycles, your typical Republican website looked like it was ten years older than it was, and was prepared by dogs.” –Paul

But things have changed. This week we go deep inside the source code of the presidential candidates’ websites and assess their (web) platforms. Which candidates have the best technology platforms—and which are phoning it in? Spoiler: If you want to be the big winner in the primaries, don’t use WordPress. No insult to WordPress. Just the facts.

You can listen on: 

And now, here’s what we learned:

Hillary Clinton

Site: https://www.hillaryclinton.com/

Validation Errors: 7

Platform: Appears to be native

Fundraising: Appears to be native

Notes: Very modern site, big platform. Event search and caching. Secret comments:

Good platform? Two thumbs up.

Notes: “It’s thoughtful. They didn’t overreach, it seems, and it’s fast.”–Rich “I’ll be honest, it made me more comfortable with Hillary Clinton, to look at her source code.”–Paul

 

Bernie Sanders

Site: https://berniesanders.com/

Validation Errors: 13

Platform: WordPress

Fundraising: ActBlue

Notes: Big mess in there, on a typical WordPress build-out. Nice phone-bank feature.

Good platform? Two thumbs down.

Takeaway: “You know what Bernie should have done? He should have hired a high priced, high powered, capitalist web agency, they would have probably killed it for him.” –Rich

Marco Rubio

Site: https://marcorubio.com/

Validation Errors: 164 (oof)

Platform: WordPress

Fundraising: Stripe

Good platform? Paul & Rich: Thumbs down.

Takeaway: “Just a disaster. They just, they didn’t care. I bet Rubio’s campaign started on SquareSpace.” –Paul

Donald Trump

Site: https://www.donaldjtrump.com/

Validation Errors: 17

Platform: Appears to be custom.

Fundraising: Victory Passport (Targeted Victory)

Notes: Dependencies on jQuery and CloudFlare. Lot of iFrames, which means he’s hiding a lot of his issues.

Good platform? Two thumbs up (for the technology).

Takeaway: “He uses the same technology used in drones to collect money from supporters.” –Rich

Ted Cruz

Site: https://www.tedcruz.org/about/

Validation Errors: 19

Platform: WordPress

Fundraising: Victory Passport (Targeted Victory)

Notes: Didn’t have the foresight to grab tedcruz.com, apparently:

Good platform? Rich: Thumbs up. Paul: Sideways thumb.

Takeaway: “This passes muster, I would say.” -Rich. Also, Ted Cruz may be the Zodiac Killer.

John Kasich

Site: https://johnkasich.com/

Validation Errors: 9

Platform: WordPress

Fundraising: Spark Pay (from Capital One) (siggggggh)

Notes: Pingback + special CSS for versions of IE going back to version 8. This site is built for 2006.

Good platform? Two thumbs down.

Takeaway: “I’m just assuming the average Kasich fan is using a Windows XP machine…they’re at death’s door, both them and their computers.” –Paul 

Ben Carson

Site: https://www.bencarson.com/

Validation Errors: 19

Platform: Wordpress

Fundraising: Victory Passport (Targeted Victory)

Good platform? Two thumbs down.

Takeaway: “More WordPress. If you want to lose an election…” –Paul “This is the most important pattern we’ve found. All of the losers are on WordPress.”—Rich

Chris Christie

Site: https://www.chrischristie.com/

Validation Errors: 19

Platform: Wordpress

Fundraising: Victory Passport (Targeted Victory)

Notes: Ulgh god make it stop.

Good platform? Two thumbs down.

Takeaway: “Again, nothing to do with his political biases or anything, this is a garbage site and it gets a thumbs down.” -Paul

Postlight Sessions: Come see the man who killed Clippy!

March 15, 6:30PM at Postlight's offices. Dean Hachamovitch is one of the most influential human beings who ever served time in the software industry. He served as Corporate Vice President of Internet Explorer at Microsoft — and oversaw the launch of IE9. Under Dean’s management, Microsoft helped millions of people experience a secure, private, responsive, cross-platform, and standards-based Web.

That responsibility was earned: Before IE, starting in 1990, Dean led the development of several versions of Word and Office on both Windows and Mac. AutoCorrect? Dean. Automated formatting? Dean. Clippy? NOT Dean. His team was the one that killed Clippy in 2007. RIP.

Dean is a modest person and does not enjoy being promoted, but the truth is he’s had as much of an impact on culture and software as nearly anyone alive. He has graciously agreed to speak about his work at Microsoft, building software at a huge, global scale before anyone knew what that meant — and, if we are very lucky, he might do his Ballmer impersonation.

At Postlight’s offices in NYC. 

Learn more!

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