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Browser statistics

Monday, June 1st, 2009 by Servage

browser_stats1We are following statistics for our online resources pretty closely, and have been doing so for a long time. Therefore it’s interesting to follow the visitor’s browsers’ trend, seeing the Internet Explorer loose more and more of it’s turf to alternate software. More and people become aware of the alternatives for their Windows PC, such as Firefox, Opera or Chrome, or they are switching to a different platform such as Linux or Mac.

These statistics are important for us when determining the necessity of certain features, which resolutions we should target, and so on. It’s highly recommended that you follow similar statistics for your own project to know what software your users support.

Servage browser statistics for the past 30 days:

  • Internet Explorer: 50%
  • Firefox: 38%
  • Safari: 4%
  • Chrome and Opera: 3% each

All browsers (except Internet Explorer) are used almost solely with the current versions. Only 13% o the IE users are at the current version 8, while 56% are at version 7, and 30% still hanging at version 6. It’s obvious that non-IE users are more up-to-speed and technologically-enlightened than IE users.

Servage operating system stats for the past 30 days:

  • Windows: 89%
  • Mac: 7%
  • Linux: 2%

Again, the Windows users are not up-to-date with 74% still using Windows XP and only 24% using Vista. The Mac and Linux users seem to run current versions of their respective OS. And interesting side-note is that other devices such as the Playstation3, Playstation Portable, iPhone, iPod or Symbian (used by a variety of cellphones) are popping up in the OS statistics with real measurable numbers. But then again, even Windows 95 was shown by the statistics ;-)

Servage screen resolution stats for the past 30 days:

1024 x 768: 29%

1280 x 800: 19%

1280 x 1024: 15%

There are a bunch of higher resolutions getting in the area of 3-9% each, while it is noteworthy that 800 x 600 (or lower) resolution only get a total of 3%, meaning that effectively we can assume that 97% of our visitors use 1024 x 768 or higher, making it possible for us to increase the default minimum sizes of various functionality in the future.

Browser statistics, 4.1 out of 5 based on 15 ratings
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33 comments (leave a comment)

Aww, Many use Internet Explorer? that sucks.
Mozilla Firefox is the best web browser out there ;)

Firefox is my personal favorite too. I like FF since it operate on Mac, Windows and Linux. There is Google Chrome that has many strong features, but lack good cross-platform support. I believe that the future belongs to those that makes cross-platform apps. to cherish user freedom.

I like Opera and Firefox. The problem is WinXP and then people reinstall they get IE6. M$ should release updated CD’s with IE8. But, we all can spread firefox: http://www.spreadfirefox.com/

For those using WordPress there is Firefox Bar that makes “spreading” easy.

And how did you collect these statistics? Did you use the traffic of http://www.servage.net or did you use the traffic of all servers?

Using Google Analytics on servage.net, we collect and monitor statistics frequently.

My favourite is FireFox, too. Why using IE, when FF exists? IE can’ t read HTML, it can’t show it :P This is just the truth :D

With this quote “It’s obvious that non-IE users are more up-to-speed and technologically-enlightened than IE users.” I think you might be jumping to conclusions ;) I don’t know exactly what type of visitors are browsing your website but if they are visitors from large companies then the reason would probably be ‘company policies’. It’s not cheap for large businesses to upgrade OS’s and applications. I work for a large International IT service provider and I’d say about 50% of our customers are still running IE6 and even Windows 2000 clients! Simply because a project to upgrade IE (or Operating Systems) company wide is to expensive or has a very large impact on set up application policies (remember this also includes updating Active Directory Group Policies, acquiring new licenses, etc!). So I’d say without knowing what type of visitors you are getting you cannot draw that conclusion. I actually think most private persons (at home) using IE are pretty much all using the latest versions (7 or 8).

Another reason why people aren’t using IE8 yet is amongst other things that a lot of applications aren’t compatible with it yet. For instance, I’m using 3D software professionally and their license activation programs can’t run when IE8 is installed. This is a problem of the license app and NOT of IE8. But this is why I, for instance, couldn’t run IE8 yet even if I wanted to.

Also, IE is not as bad as people try to make it out to be. If you don’t like it, that’s fine of course as it’s your opinion. But it is NOT a fact that it’s a bad app. We could point out a pretty large number of flaws in FF as well if that’s necessary!

I am also a Firefox user btw and I wouldn’t use IE anymore either, since I like FF much much better!

Also, Strömqvist, I’m curious: are you guys using Google Analytics only to collect these statistics? Or are you using other methods as well? The reason I’m asking is because a LOT of Firefox users are using things like NoScript which prevents JS from running. This also blocks Google Analytics. So if you were using GA only it would mean the statistics for Firefox users is definitely not up to par. There are probably many more using FF it’s just that they won’t show up in the collected statistics. Which kind of makes these statistics pretty inaccurate / unreliable.

Still, very interesting to get an insight in your collected stats! Thanks for posting these! :)

Regards
John

We use *raw* data from the servers also as part of our decisions, but this stats is based on GA. So yes, you are right that some are filtered out and that is keeping the numbers on the “advanced” browsers low. Because it is more likely that you find a power-user behind a FF and he/she is likely to have add-ons like “blockers” installed. The stats is as you say inaccurate, but gives a pretty good hint on “where this train is going”.

I find these type of statistics incredibly useful, in fact there almost vital to a website owner, that they should be in our account statistics, from the statistics you provided its definate that even where there is inaccuracies it would be good for anyone to therefore: Build a site with high ie6/7/8 and firefox compatibility, to cross check the site looks the same in both *many dont. And to use a screen res of 1024×768 to reach the current significant range of current visitors. The information may not be accurate, but its enough to be able to use to deploy effective websites which can be seen by the majority of users, it means also we can cater for those on lesser systems to a degree as well, this saves time and money in developing modern usable sites. This can only be a good thing and can only improve over time. It should be in our accounts as a “global browser” stats.

Thanks very much for answering my question Strömqvist, I kind of thought you’d also be using other methods. And I agree with you wholeheartedly.

Yes Damien, indeed. So just to clarify, I find these stats very very useful as well! Even if they are somewhat flawed. There’s SO much to gain from data like this. And I totally agree, having these stats available in our package’s control panel would be pretty darn nice! :)

Regards
John

Hello Ladies and Gents.

For me it´s not necessary to think longer about other types of browsers than Microsoft´s IE, since I´ve checked IE 8. A really fast and pretty thing. I´ve build my site only for Internet Explorer 6 – 8, until totay no other browser can show my site in frames, without an ugly horizontal scrollbar, although I only need a vertical one ;-) . Does anybody here know how I can prevent that behavior in Firefox ? I guess it´s impossible – because I´ve tried it very hard without success. So for me Firefox will never become a theme again.
Most of my visitors are musicians, artist, multimedia freaks, or people from myspace – in that scene the spreading is totally different to your stats, because most of the myspace sites are especially made for IE as well. So please have a look on my own stats for the ongoing year since January for my main site http://www.mc-1.net

I guess it highly depends on the target group of your visitors.

{ excessive stats removed by admin }

thanks for your attention
and kind regards from Mönchengladbach, Germany
MC
Marco C.a.n.c.i.a.n
music producer / sound engineer

I’m afraid I have to strongly disagree with you here. I do not see any reason at all to create a page specialized for a certain browser, that in some instances uses proprietary ways of handling content. In my opinion – which is shared by most professional web developers – you should create your website in according to the current web standards. If you create proper, valid code, your site will automatically display (almost) correctly in most non-IE browsers, like Firefox, Opera and Safari. Thereafter one can apply fixes to make Internet Explorer – that does not handle standard compliant code correctly – so that it works there as well. I would like to refer you to an article on our magazine regarding this topic: https://www.servage.net/blog/2009/02/05/is-your-website-standard-compliant/

I am sure you will find, that while you gain more and more experience as a web developer, if you continue “optimizing” your website for Internet Explorer, you will turn more and more frustrated, if you do not switch to standard compliant development.

I’m sorry, Marco, but I’m definitely with Jakob on this one ;) Use compliant code and create custom content for specific browsers if required / desired.
Like Jakob said, IE does not handle compliant code all too well, it’s a little too ‘relaxed’. I think one of the most well known examples of this is the use of the ‘alt’ tag. IE displays the content of the ‘alt’ tag while hovering over the element, where FireFox does not. FireFox is compliant in this case. It is incorrect to display the ‘alt’ content while hovering over the element. According to w3c standards the alt content should be shown only when the original content can’t be displayed (so INSTEAD rather than ALSO). They should NOT be used as some sort of Tooltip. If you want tooltip functionality you should use the ‘TITLE’ tag. It’s a very simple example but if your code is compliant this is not an issue when viewing your pages in different browsers. It IS an issue if you’re basing your code on IE only.
Even if you only expect IE users to visit your website (can you really?), it’s always best to keep the code compliant and add in exceptions for non-compliant browsers (like IE), because… who knows how IE will handle the code in future versions? ;)
And last but not least: you’re using frames? Why? I’m not saying they are evil per se but they really are :D lol get rid of them asap and use proper code to populate your website. Please take a look at this webpage: http://www.html-faq.com/htmlframes/?framesareevil
Not saying that that webpage is authoritative but it does describe the facts pretty accurately. Also, I’m definitely not saying you’re doing a bad job (I don’t know you after all) but I’m just saying, you might want to reconsider using frames and start going compliant :)

Good luck!

Regards
John

Hey Guys,
you are definitely right – for you web pros > thanks for the hints and the very interesting links. But please keep in mind, that I´m not a web developer and I never wanted to be a web designer as well. I´m an artist and musician, but I´m individual enough and to willful, to do it the easy way like millions of my colleagues, setting up a grungy and very sad Myspace profile. That is one of the most important reasons why I´m here at Servage.Net. My sites are absolutely non-profit and non-commercial sites I´ve build with a lot of love to some for me very important details. For example > I must use frames if I wish to listen to content independent music files that play through even if you switch to other subsites or menus as you can see in Jackie´s Flash Site http://www.Jackie-Elles.com. You can listen for hours to the music files, if you have loaded them once into the bottom frame, no matter where you go inside the 6 Layers of the Flash Site with it´s independent BG swf films, loaded into the main frame. For me that is the only easy way to do that. On my own site, http://www.mc-1.net – by the way my site is very compatible to all platforms from Linux Konqueror to Apple Safari, Firefox and Chrome, without W3C compliant, I never said that my site does not work with other browsers – but I like most the kind of colored scrollbars and no horizontal scroll of the IE – on my own site I wanted to use for example the font “technical” without installing on the users site and without Flash Api embedding or JavaScript arias, so I have made all text content as graphical text in transparent 2 or 3 colored gifs. The whole text is not machine readable to protect my site against unwanted search machine access. Furthermore it´s protected through the rewrite engine in .htaccess against hot linking and unwanted other accesses. I wrote the readable search engine friendly content, I want to see at Google, into the non frames area – that works quite cool – I´m the Number 1 – worldwide if you search for my name – that is all I wanted – and it works with my very own concept. For the rest of my time – I´m working in the studio, practice room or somewhere live on stage to make music. Sorry but I have no more time, to check out all the other 1000 way´s to find out the perfect W3C website. Maybe the W3C can ask Microsoft to give them some useful hints, how all the other can fix their bugs :-)) and If you like, check it out > everybody can visit and see my sites – and listen to music if you have Flash 9 or above installed. You are always welcome,

ciao

MC

If you only used statistics from http://www.servage.net visits, I would argue that the statistics are biased. A hosting website is likely to attract web developers and ‘tech savvy’ audience, not an accurate example of the general web population.

As much as I wish FF had nearly 40% market share, it really doesn’t :(

I’d like to point out that having Windows XP doesn’t mean you have obsolete software or don’t install updates. Windows XP Service Pack 3 just came out late last year. Updates come through every week – still an actively supported OS.

Hi All

As a matter of interest …

I can definitely recommend SeaMonkey as a web browser.

Its Open Source, based on the original Mozilla code for Firefox etc., but I find its the fastest one I have tried yet; and it also has built in an email / news client, web editor and IRC chat client for those that need it.

I use it all the time now.

I would be interested to know what everyone else, including Servage, thinks of it?!

(and no – I am nothing to do with the project!)

Best Regards to all

Les :)

Hey,
Interesting to know.
I already base all my websites on 1024×768, as you mentioned that 3% use less.

Personally my favourite browser is Safari 4, its fast and does everything well, and follows WEB STANDARDS, which no one can deny IE doesn’t do it well, IE8 by default uses Quirks mode, and the web developer has to manually turn it to standards mode by a meta tag. Ridiculous!

Where I work we still use IE6 and Windows XP in Classic Mode! Because in the corporation I work we have thousands of computers, to upgrade to IE7+ would mean to upgrade the computers as they are now lacking in speed as it is, and that would be very expensive, especially in the current economy as it is.

Also, the reason for no being up-to-date with all the latest versions is that people don’t know how to update! I noticed my father still on FF2 because he didn’t know there was an update – however given his due FF didnt say there was one because for some reason FF2-FF3 you have to download manually without it asking you.

But yes, I like Safari because of the Web Standards it implements and also it is very stable, and other browsers should indeed following in its footsteps.

Doug

Thank You for the statistics review!
In fact, this is what makes the job and I do not need to build in any third-party codes into the source.
Very-very helpful, and I’d be happy, if these reviews would continue monthly!:)
Great news about 800×600 dying off, wonder how is it doing outside Europe and USA.

Why so many people use IE?
89% are Windows users. Most people use browsers to get the information they want from the internet. And since the IE is default browser for these 89%, many of them do not pay attention of what they use. It’s like with cars: normal people use them to get somewhere, not for tuning or speedracing. (yes, I’m practic fan)

As for myself, I use IE because I am used to. Moreover, I hate that agressive FF compain, with all those “be free”, “don’t pay Bill”, “kill IE” and other speculations.
And, last but not least, it’s time for FF to support scrollbars that would fit the site in colour, besides other usefull features disabled there for now.

I can’t wait till all people finally drop internet explorer 6. Then I can finally remove all my nasty fixes.

30% of users STILL on IE6?!!! Someone please shoot me.

It is normal, i use IE and Firefox, sometimes IE 6.0 works smooth on my computer.

This is an interesting comparison, firefox is getting closer interms of popularity and I think its because it is a very powerful browser and most CMS designs are compatible with it. It also have many add-ons that the user can use.

I can’t wait till all people finally drop internet explorer 6. Then I can finally remove all my nasty fixes.

I recently changed to firefox from IE 8 and I won’t be going back.
You can customize the way it looks so it have a better feel to it and I have found that IE is a bit “buggy” when using it for certain things.
I like the add ons that you get with FF.
I am surprised that Firefox gets 38% as I thought that it wasn’t that well known. Well deserved market share in my opinion.

Thanks for the stats

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Aww Many use Internet Explorer? that sucks.Mozilla Firefox is the best web browser out there ; [...]…

89% are Windows users. Most people use browsers to get the information they want from the internet. And since the IE is default browser for these 89%, many of them do not pay attention of what they use. It’s like with cars: normal people use them to get somewhere, not for tuning or speedracing.

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Aww Many use Internet Explorer? that sucks.Mozilla Firefox is the best web browser out there ; [...]…

That’s fine, but does not necessarily lead to the conclusion that Internet Explorer market’s share dropped below 50%. Especially not if you take a look at other web browser market share statistics.

According to me the most popular browser is Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. Other common browsers used today and in the past include Opera, Firefox and Netscape Navigator for MS Windows and Safari for the Apple Mac platform.

I prefer chrome. I think it s so user friendly. Anyways thank you so much for the statistics review.

Chrome is probably the fastest browser around!

Excellent statistics.You helped me with these statistics to take a 10 on my info class.I don’t know how to thank you.Keep up with great posts like this.

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