Under the hood of the DNC and RNC convention sites


I took a few minutes this morning to look at the technology that powers the DNC and RNC convention web sites. It is always interesting to see what technological decisions different organizations take when they are trying to accomplish similar goals.

Democratic National Convention


The URL for the web site was registered with Domain Discover. The whois information lists the registrant as:

Democratic National Committee
430 S. Capitol St. S.E.
Washington, DC 20003

For all of the domain squatters out there, the domain expires in November, so keep an eye out. My best guess is that the servers are hosted by Verizon Business. ServInt, based in McLean, VA, provides the hosting for the name servers which are also used by dnc.org and democrats.org, among others.

The DNC convention web site is served from an Apache 2.0.52 web server running on Red Hat Linux. SilverStripe, a PHP-based, open source content management system, is used to power the site. The main page of the site has a XHTML 1.0 Transitional doctype, but is served as text/html and is not valid XHTML. The site is laid out using divs to define logical elements within the page and CSS to position the elements.

The following are screenshots of the page with JavaScript disabled and with both JavaScript and CSS disabled.

DNC, no script

DNC, no script, no style

Republican National Convention


The RNC registered their convention’s domain with GoDaddy. The registrant is listed as:

Roman Buhler
4056 41st Street North
McClain [sic], Virginia 22101

Mr. Buhler is the president of Roman Buhler & Associates, a lobbying firm based in McLean, VA. Mr. Buhler also served as counsel of the House Administration Committee from 1989 to 2003. Hosting for the web servers and DNS is provided by Smartech, based in Chattanooga, TN.

The web site is served by Microsoft IIS 6.0 using Microsoft’s ASP.Net language. The main page declares a generic XHTML namespace, but does not declare a doctype, is served as text/xml, and does not validate as XHTML. The site is laid out using HTML tables.

The following are screenshots of the page with JavaScript disabled and with both JavaScript and CSS disabled.

RNC, no script

RNC, no script, no style