No, that’s not Alex Smith’s online persona, but an online toolbar that rates the popularity of websites. Which is better news for Peter Andre than it is for Richard Rogers …

Did you know that Barratt was the most popular builder in the UK? Well, it is in the world of the web, where a popular tool ranks its website as one of the most visited construction (web) sites in the country.

According to a web tool called Alexa, Barratt had the 3,314th most popular website in the UK. It’s way ahead of Wimpey which, in 7,516th, place was the next most popular pages among the industry’s 10 largest firms.

Of course, it’s understandable that large housebuilders top the list, with their sites attracting househunters, but other intriguing statistics can be gleaned. The Alexa ranking offers a warning for any firm considering a change of name. I imagined the Richard Rogers Partnership would have faired as well as Foster + Partners (in 33,529th place), but unfortunately a change of name has swept it into an online black hole. As Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners – or – the practice now only has the 297,622nd most popular site in the country, which ranks below Peter Andre and Jade Goody (strapline: “Jade Goody is not racist”). That’s no place for a mere Pritzker prize winner.

The figures make humbling reading for web professionals like myself. I don’t mind being beaten by, but being pipped by is harder to bear.

The Alexa toolbar can be downloaded from and is useful for anyone interested in how their website is performing. It’s not a perfect tool as those likely to have downloaded it don’t represent a cross section of society. The fact that the World Wrestling Enterprise site is the 185nd most popular in the world rather bears this out.