Given that websites are a useful way for MPs to brand themselves, as well as giving their constiuents an easy way to either stay up to date or get in touch with them, I thought it would be interesting to look at what kind of website platforms MPs are using. Helpfully, Parliament provides a list of all MPs, which includes their website, twitter and facebook profiles (if they have them)
- MPs are using old (like really old, as in over 5 years old) versions of WordPress with countless vulnerabilies.
- The largest platform in use accross all MPs is BlueTree (Provided by the Conservative Party)
- 136 MPs websites do not provide SSL (More about why this is bad, really bad here)
Getting all the MPs website
Helpfully, the UK Parliament is making strides in opening up their data in a nice format, a couple of years ago I would have had to scrape their site, process each member individually. Now? I just go to data.parliament.uk and they provide data in a variety of formats.
I built a little scraper to pull in all of the information about Commons members from the JSON feed. Unfortunately it looked like there was a lot of information missing, so I had to go and scrape the whole site anyway.
Working out who used what
Now that we’ve got a list of all the websites (I only managed to find 564 of them), we need to go and process them to see if we can work out what kind of platform they’re using. Some website platforms (like WordPress) have a meta tag named “generator”, and other’s we worked out by looking for certain text on a page e.g. “Powered by Bluetree”