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Browsers To Support?

 2:30 pm on Jan 8, 2009 (gmt 0)

Hey all,

A post I made here got me thinking of something. What browsers do everyone try to support? I know IE 6 has a bad reputation, but is there any common list of usage distribution (e.g. 50% of people use IE 7, 30 % use Firefox, 5% use IE 6 etc.).

I've always been of the school of thought that you should look forward and try to please as many people as you can without creating a maintenance nightmare... if this means not supporting older browsers then that is an acceptable risk. Right now i test against IE 7, Firefox, Google. Just wondering what others do?




 3:21 pm on Jan 8, 2009 (gmt 0)

I build with
- FireFox 3 (latest, mac)
I test with
- Opera (latest, mac), Safari, (latest, mac)
- IE6 (the real one, windows virtual machine)
- IE7 (the real one, windows virtual machine)

Every once in a while I open things with IE8beta2, but as long as it's in beta I don't care that much about it as I can;t code for it anyway (it still does have some oddities)

Chrome and Safari share a rendering engine, so I expect little to no trouble with it.

I don't care all that much for IE < 6 as I can't test it anyway.

From my statistics (google analytics) on my most popular site, last 30 days visits (so not hits, just visitors):

IE: 66%
IE8: <1%
IE7: 48%
IE6: 18%
IE5.5: <0.1%
FF: 22%
FF3: 19%
FF2: 3%
FF1.5: <1%
Safari: 8%
Chrome: 2%
Opera: <1%
Mozilla: <1%

If I look at OSes:

Windows: 88%
Macintosh: 9%
iPhone: 1.1%
Linux: 1.0%
iPod: 0.2%
Andriod: 0.1%

Google analytics measures this via a javascript detection, so it should be relatively accurate provided the visitor stuck around long enough for the application to load and report to Google. Since I'm looking at visitors, not hits it should be rather independent on how well the content actually works for the visitor.


 3:33 pm on Jan 8, 2009 (gmt 0)

Hi RobSil,

Browser usage stats will vary greatly depending on your website's target audience. For example if your site is aimed at mom and pops, you could get 90% IE. Targeting webmasters would probably get you 40% IE and 40 % FFox and 20 other. Try google for 'browser usage stats' should give you the information you need.


 4:01 pm on Jan 8, 2009 (gmt 0)

Awesome... thanks for the info! I've spent most of my career server-side dev... moving into web dev and css... so interesting to learn all of this!



 4:17 pm on Jan 8, 2009 (gmt 0)

Ah yes should have added that that site is a travel related one, so it's attracting a broad section of the population out there.


 5:36 pm on Jan 8, 2009 (gmt 0)

Cool. Just ran my site in IE 6... whoohoo! Looks same... I had to fix a margin in 1 spot only. :)

Thanks again for the input everyone!


 7:48 pm on Jan 8, 2009 (gmt 0)


Detailed stats for browsers.


 12:36 am on Jan 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

Interesting to see that the html side has a similar thread going:


 5:30 am on Jan 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

The W3C stats are not really typical, as it tends to draw a much more internet techie type crowd.

But then again, no site is "typical" unless it is something totally generic, like a search engine.


 4:10 pm on Jan 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

This pretty much stays the same (within 1% for any given browser) no matter what timeframe I use over the past year.

Internet Explorer 74.53%
Firefox 19.29%
Safari 3.67%
Mozilla 1.04%
Chrome 0.72%
Opera 0.48%
Yeti 0.12%
Netscape 0.04%
Camino 0.02%
Konqueror 0.02%

As for which browsers to support it should be 100% based on your own traffic.


 4:13 pm on Jan 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

Skip all that entirely. Write for the w3c validator [w3.org] and then check in IE7, Opera, FF, and Safari...done. Browser stats are extremely skewed in one direction or another.


 8:02 am on Jan 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

I would suggest also testingin IE8. (which might be tricky, since IE8 is still only officially beta 2).

Although our sites all seem to work fine in IE8, I have seen a few sites that do not.

Most common issue seems to be with javascript menus - have seen a few sites where the dropdown portion of a js menu cannot be clicked on because it drops out when you move the mouse. Not sure if that is an IE8 bug or ?.

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