Browser Statistics

My general rule for browser compatibility when I develop a site is to follow a simple formula: if a browser has a 5% or larger share, make sure the site works on that browser, with or without JavaScript. If it’s under 5%, make sure it works so long as JavaScript is enabled (since JavaScript can be used to work around a lot of bugs). If it’s under 1%, just ignore it.

I’m in the preliminary stages of thinking about a re-design for this site, so I thought it would be interesting to look at the browser statistics for my readers before I get going.

Here’s the breakdown for the last month, by browser (including those 1% and above):

Browser Visitors
Firefox 66.9%
Internet Explorer 10.6%
Safari 8.6%
Chrome 8.1%
Opera 3.2%
Mozilla 2.2%

The order changes a bit when you break it down by browser version (again, only those 1% and above):

Browser Version Visitors
Firefox 3.5.x 49%
Firefox 3.0.x 17%
Safari 4.0.x 8%
Internet Explorer 8.0 6%
Chrome 3.0.x 6%
Internet Explorer 7.0 4%
Opera 9.80 3%
Mozilla 1.9.x 2%
Firefox 2.0.x 1%

Notice a browser not on that list? That’s right, fewer than 1% of my visitors use IE 6. As far as I’m concerned, that browser version is no longer supported for this site. It can hang out in the corner with Camino, Konquerer, and Firefox 1.5.

I’m also surprised by both the high position of Safari on the list and the low position of IE 7. It seems that a lot more people with Macs read this site than I expected (24% of my visitors) and that the IE users are actually upgrading (and if you haven’t yet, please do so now; it would be nice to get IE 7 under that 1% mark, too).

I’m still not to the point where I can rely on visitor’s browsers supporting much of CSS3, in large part due to the still-high position of Firefox 3.0.x. I anticipate that number dropping significantly in the coming months, though, so I may revisit this before I get around to actually doing a re-design. Overall, I would say things are trending in an agreeable direction, though (thank you!).

Note: I should make it clear that the above conclusions only apply to this site, and have little bearing on other websites I develop. Unfortunately, IE 6 still has a strong impact elsewhere on the Internet.