This site’s browser stats, updated

It’s been six months since I last published these stats, and the recent release of Firefox 3 adds a news hook to the story. I have two separate sources of statistics now – my longtime SiteMeter database and the newer Google Analytics statistics. As it turns out, both sources tell a similar story.

Here’s the graphic analysis via Google Analytics:

browser stats June 2008

That’s the lowest number I’ve ever seen for Internet Explorer, and the SiteMeter stats are roughly 1% lower than that. That’s a 4% drop in the past year, most of it coming in the past six months. Meanwhile, Opera continues to cling to its 2% share, a fraction of a percent above the combined percentage for Safari (Mac and Windows).

According to these statistics, Firefox adoption rates have picked up this year for the first time in the past three years. The question is whether Mozilla can sustain that momentum and transfer it to mainstream users or whether it’s just a blip.

Trend-watchers can look at all previous editions by following these links:

December 2007

April 2007

September 2006

April 2006

August 2005

October 2004

16 thoughts on “This site’s browser stats, updated

  1. Wow, the share for FF on your site surprises me a bit (although I guess it shouldn’t–FF3 is my primary browser). Just curious, what was the split between FF2 and FF3? It should be interesting to watch the shift as Mozilla prompts FF2 users to upgrade in 2 or 3 months.

  2. I’ve switched to FF a while ago. I don’t understand why the numbers for FF are still so low (I would expect to see more like >80% for FF), it’s incredible that so many people continue to use IE… Without my extensions and the inline search I feel naked 🙂

    This for me is like people who continue to use mice with no scroll wheel or with just one button in 2008… crazy. Why deprive yourself of these cool little goodies/details that make such a difference?

  3. Joe: because for many people IE with a couple of addons is more than adequate i covering their needs. I tried FF for a while and still regularly play with the latest versions just to keep my hand in, so to speak. But everything I personally wanted from a browser I can already do in IE + a few addons and in IE I don’t have to put up with extensions falling over eveytime FF changed. Which was my experience far too often, such as when I moved from 1.xx to 1.xy and even more so from 1.x to 2.x nearly all of the few extensions I used failed and it was quite a while before working replacements were available for most.

    Of course, other peoples needs will be different to mine and FF, Opera et al might well be a far better fit for their needs, ain’t choice wonderful.

    By the way, I have in-line search for IE. You know, FF isn’t the only browser people create addons/extensions for. Though admittedly, it is generally easier to do so for FF than IE.

  4. I am forced to use IE at work due to corporate applications not working in FF. So I use Avant or Maxthon at work, while my home computers are all on FF.

    I’m sure most corporate users would be in the same boat.
    In addition, a large number of the IE users would be the clueless ones (ironically the ones who need to shift to FF the most).


  5. The largeness of FF’s share is what surprises me—pleasantly. I’d expect a much smaller share for Firefox. I attribute this site’s higher FF share to the high expertise level of Ed’s visitors.

    Think of the number of people who use their computer just the way it arrived out-of-box. They never run Windows update. They keep using their computer until they have a problem or problems. (Maybe a couple of years.)

    Institutions with shared computers, such as public libraries, use IE out of force of habit. Or because MS makes it attractive for them to not switch.

  6. Danny, that’s a nice theory, but…

    Most visitors to this site (70%+) arrive here via random Google searches, trying to solve a problem or learn about a technology. Judging by the search terms they use to get here they are not advanced users for the most part. It is reasonable to expect that they are more technically sophisticated than average, given that they have figured out how to Google for something. But I wouldn’t assume they’re mostly experts.

  7. Ok, good point.

    I mistakenly assumed most visitors are semi-regular visitors such as myself (and they’re semi-experts, too). I guess your information shows otherwise.

  8. @ Joe “Without my extensions and the inline search I feel naked”

    If you get IE7 Pro you can get a lot of those same features like in-line search, spell checking, crash recovery etc. It’s a great add-on with a few minor bugs, but worth it!

    I like FF quite a bit, but still find myself going to IE more often than not.

  9. I must admit that I am quite clueless about IE add-ons, mostly because of having been burned once by a problem similar to what’s described here:

    Since then, I vowed to never install any “add on” to IE, ever. This was a long time ago with like IE4, but I see that the same good old problem is still there in Vista.

    So I won’t try IE7 Pro nor encourage anyone to do so. Especially that since I’m already installing stuff, I may as well install the real deal. I use IE exclusively for Windows Update (on XP) and whenever I come across an IE-only page. Very rare, but there are still some left out there. 99% of the time I simply go away from those pages, but for the 1% where I need something from them, I fire up good old IE 🙂

    But I’m speaking of stuff I don’t know here (IE7 Pro). It’s maybe super great. But I like to have my IE available in “mint condition” for the rare dumb cases where I need it. However, I do not trust it, and I do not trust any of its “add ons” for fear of mishaps seeping out to the OS (speaking of experience, a long time ago, confirmed by Long’s UX taskforce thing).

  10. OK, I’m too curious, I can’t resist trying IE7 Pro (on a virtual machine). I now realize there is life after all in the IE7 addon world, I had no idea.

    Question for IE veterans: is there an equivalent addon for IE to the “Adblock Plus” addon on FF? (

    I recently realized that a website like is absolutely unreadable in IE. Too many ads all over the place. I never noticed that until I showed a couple of weeks ago that website to a guy who doesn’t know how to installing anything (older guy, using his computer as it came…).

    Is there such an addon for IE?
    On FF, that addon works wonders. No annoying videos, no “talking webpages”, no dumb distractions… this is one of my favorite addons out there.

  11. Do you have any statistics regarding XP vs. Vista? I found these stats and was surprised that Vista was still under used as of May 2008.

  12. The stats or this site are 36% Vista, 61% XP. I’ll share the stats for ZDNet whn I get permission to do that.

    The W3Schools numbers reflect their audience, which is composed of traditionally conservative web developers, so it doesn’t surprise me that the Vista numbers are around 10%. I would expect those numbers to be about the same from corporate sites.

  13. I simply found this on net applications (who I always take for what it is as you should do with Google analytics).
    This gives a different scenario: consider that net applications uses the web access as a standard for measuring trends in many sector.
    And I think that browser sector is more appropriate with this instrument.
    Just follow the link below to see the chart were you clearly see that, this month, IE has still 74%.

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