Browser Stats: Market Share Doesn't Matter
August 15, 2005 at 4:08 PM
Since there seems to be a lot of news flying around about Firefox losing market share I thought I would remind everyone that market share only matters to the browser manufactures. What you as a web professional should be concerned with is you browser usage stats on your own sites. For example, a browser could have only 1% market share, but if 99.5% of your site's traffic is that one lousy browser, well, you best pay attention to it. With that said, here are the browser stats to date for Digital Web Magazine:
|Browser||Session %||% Change|
|Internet Explorer||21.69%||down 6.21%|
As always, it is important to note that this is a developer site, not a consumer site so the stats do not reflect mainstream web usage. Also, be sure to check out my previous stat reports if you like: February 28, 2005, December 16th, 2004, November 14th, 2004, and October 25th, 2004.
Are your statistics suggesting that Firefox is increasingly becoming the professional's choice? ;-)
Christopher: As a web analyist I would never suggest such a thing based on Digital Web Magazine's traffic alone. I am simply suggesting that there seems to be a disconnect between what the media feels is important to the end user and what the web professional should know is important to the end user. Market share is important for browser manufactures for things like stock prices, precieved value, gauging the sucess of releases, determining future expansion for a company, etc. But it means little to nothing to web professionals because it does not reflect the realities of what kind of traffic a specific site may be getting. The only stats that should matter to a web professional are the stats on their own sites. It's good to keep an eye on the market share for browsers, but you shouldn't base any profesisonal decisions for your sites on it, only use it as a general meter to gauge what other untapped markets you may want to look into. For example. if only 0.02% of your site's users are using IE, you should think to ask yourself why that is. Maybe your on a Intranet and everyone has Firefox. Maybe IE users can't get into the site. Use it as a point of refernece but not a guideline.
I'm surprised that Safari doesn't have a stronger showing here. As for Netscape, that's probably all me. Believe it or not, I do use Netscape quite a bit. It uses the same Gecko rendering engine so the results are the same as Firefox, but on my desktop I use it for a sort of side browser, one that doesn't have all the extensions running on it. The other ones, I keep around for testing only.