Obamacare Website Full of Software, Design Problems

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The Obama administration said last week that the Obamacare website was down due to a surge in traffic. But now it says problems with the website are due to design and software flaws, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The website is troubled by coding problems and flaws in the architecture of the system, according to insurance-industry advisers, technical experts and people close to the development of the marketplace.

Among the technical problems thwarting consumers, according to some of those people, is the system to confirm the identities of enrollees. Troubles in the system are causing crashes as users try to create accounts, the first step before they can apply for coverage.

Information technology experts told the Wall Street Journal that the website appeared to be built on a "sloppy software foundation," possibly due to hasty construction.

Engineers at Web-hosting company Media Temple Inc. found a glut of stray software code that served no purpose they could identify. They also said basic Web-efficiency techniques weren't used, such as saving parts of the website that change infrequently so they can be loaded more quickly. Those factors clog the website's plumbing, Media Temple said.

Administration officials, who reported nearly nine million unique visitors to the federally run exchange as of Friday night, said the system underwent maintenance over the weekend.

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