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Firefox Browser Usage and Support Forum

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Why Is Firefox Stilll Way Behind IE?
Is FF more popular among a certain demographic?

 12:21 pm on Aug 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

Is FF more popular among a certain demographic or is it just gaining popularity slowly?

When i was checking analytics i noticed under browsers that FF was still only 15 % compared to IE at 80 %. I expected FF to be a lot more popular by now, just wondering what others are experiencing.



 3:08 pm on Sep 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

Perhaps us webmasters need to band together and start a more aggressive promotion of Firefox.

Basically if we each take one of our niche websites and make it a bit obnoxious to IE users and tell them to upgrade to FF -we can make a buck or two off of it as well (Google Referrals- we might slowly turn the dominance of the -oh so buggy- MSIE around to something that has a properly working CSS implementation and as an added bonus for those using it isn't riddled with monthly patching needs.

Can't wait for the day I can finally start to ignore IE6 users and their buggy excuse for a browser.


 3:23 pm on Sep 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

<< Basically if we each take one of our niche websites and make it a bit obnoxious to IE users and tell them to upgrade to FF

Some of you Firefox evangelists are already obnoxious. I prefer IE. Let me use the browser of MY choice!


 3:36 pm on Sep 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

Firefox advocates should follow these suggestions originally written for Linux:



 3:40 pm on Sep 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

I've been watching the IE vs. FF trend now for quite some time. I also have available to me a pretty good set of metrics and based on those, this is what I can surmise...

In general, IE appears to have at least 80% of the market share. But, it is all industry specific. I'm looking at one site that appeals more to a technical audience and FF usage is at 32%. I look at another that appeals to a general audience and FF usage is at 12%. Its all over the board.

The writing is on the wall. FF is gaining ground and have been for quite some time. It usually starts with the tech community and snowballs from there. I think it will take quite some time before FF becomes "the browser of choice" from the factory. As marketers involved with web design and development, we are forced to use both IE and FF.

JavaScript is a real pain in the arse between the two especially when you work with developers who are IE centric.


 3:47 pm on Sep 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

It is rarely the webmaster's job to promote or discourage the use of any particular browser. You might do so in a community setting or on a tech site, but if you're selling widgets your job is to make sure your users get the information they need in the browser of their choice.

Back to the original question, I consider the 15% to 20% market penetration of Firefox (alongside 3% to 5% for Safari) as good news, the percentage is certainly significant enough to push back considerably the previous trend of browser-specific pages. It's good for web standards, and the web in general that websites are not technology-specific.

Will Firefox continue to grow? Possibly, but it will never become the dominant force that IE was before Firefox was released.


 4:08 pm on Sep 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

<< It is rarely the webmaster's job to promote or discourage the use of any particular browser.

Thank you, encyclo. What a breath of fresh air in an area where a number of techie folks look down their noses at us lowly non-techies!


 4:41 pm on Sep 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

IE 6, someone mentioned, as though this is out of date...

I use Mac, and on this, IE 5 is the latest version, frozen in time.

Safari - by Apple, comes with the OS - is good and improving.
But basic Firefox does some stuff Safari can't manage (for me, notable differences are with content management systems).

As to 1.5 versus 2 - maybe many people aren't clued in re software advances like this. To most folk, surely Firefox is Firefox, never mind new fangled updates: especially if the browser itself doesn't flag itself as dated.
Add-ons, of course, can really enhance FF - but I suspect non techies may be nigh on oblivious to em.


 4:51 pm on Sep 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

Web browsers are essentially "done" for the time being. Until a couple of years ago, there were big differences in terms of page rendering, security, speed, features, etc., but nowadays they're virtually interchangeable.

I use Firefox, but IE and Safari and Opera work just fine when I fire them up. I suspect my preference is mainly due to being programmed to find this particular browser's look and feel to be more natural and intuitive.

In fact, I'm REALLY programmed to find Netscape to be the most natural, with it's groovy swirling stars and planets logo. I still miss it, but I had no choice but to upgrade from that.


 6:11 pm on Sep 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

Webmasters purposely banding together to produce a poor user experience for IE users? I'm sorry but are you mad? Is this going to be a selling point for potential clients? FF Fanboys are sounding more and more like Mac Fanboys all the time.

Visits from 69 Countries!

IE: 86.76%
FF: 11.16%


 6:23 pm on Sep 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

I use three different browsers (IE, Firebox, and Opera), and I've got to say that most pages simply look better in Internet Explorer, which typically does a nicer job of rendering type and layouts. Even if it weren't the default Windows browser, I'd probably use it most of the time.

One possible reason for this is that so many sites are optimized to look best with IE. It takes a LOT of effort to get a site to look equally good with multiple browsers.

there are lots of tweaks that help a site look better in IE 6 which cause the site to look worse in FF.

Fortunately, this problems seems to be less severe with IE 7.


 6:55 pm on Sep 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

Interesting stuff and why I've always been happy to be a part of this site. You can learn a lot when people share their stats. It's great.

Here are my stats for the month for a travel site:

IE6 - 50%
IE7 - 34%
FF2 - 8%
Safari 4 - 3%
FF1.5 - 1%

EFV I'd be interested to see if this is anywhere close to yours.

Word up.


 8:32 pm on Sep 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

My August server logs showed 41.99% for IE 6, 14.4% for Firefox, and single-digit (or smaller) percentages for other browsers. (I don't know where IE 7 fit into the picture--maybe my log-analysis software bundles IE 7 in with IE 6?)


 8:42 pm on Sep 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

These are Urchin statistics for Browsers & Robots' Combos for my research on computers and the Internet during the first days of September 2007:

1. Mozilla Compatible Agent¦5.0 - (unknown) 237 34.70%
2. msnbot¦1.0 - (unknown) 83 12.15%
3. Internet Explorer¦6.0 - Windows¦XP 54 7.91%
4. Internet Explorer¦7.0 - Windows¦XP 49 7.17%
5. Internet Explorer¦5.5 - Windows¦2000 29 4.25%
6. Firefox¦ - Windows¦XP 19 2.78%
7. Mozilla Compatible Agent¦2.0 - (unknown) 14 2.05%
8. Mozilla Compatible Agent¦4.0 - (unknown) 9 1.32%
9. Mozilla¦ - OS/2 9 1.32%
10. Internet Explorer¦6.0 - Windows¦98 8 1.17%
11. Speedy Spider ¦(unknown version) - (unknown) 8 1.17%
12. Internet Explorer¦6.0 - Windows¦2000 8 1.17%
13. Internet Explorer¦6.0 - Windows¦Server 2003 7 1.02%
14. disco¦(unknown version) - (unknown) 7 1.02%
15. Factbot 1.09 - (unknown) 7 1.02%
16. NSPlayer¦11.0.5721.5145 - (unknown) 7 1.02%
17. Firefox¦ - OS/2 7 1.02%
18. (unknown) - (unknown) 6 0.88%
19. msnbot media¦1.0 - (unknown) 6 0.88%
20. Firefox¦ - Linux¦(unknown version) 5 0.73%
21. Internet Explorer¦5.0 - Windows¦NT 5 0.73%
22. SBIder¦(unknown version) - (unknown) 5 0.73%
23. Firefox¦ - OS/2 4 0.59%
24. Firefox - (unknown) 4 0.59%
25. Firefox¦1.0.4 - Windows¦2000 4 0.59%
26. Firefox¦ - Windows¦XP 3 0.44%
27. Konqueror¦3.1 - Linux¦(unknown version) 3 0.44%
28. Yahoo MMCrawler¦3 - (unknown) 3 0.44%
29. Firefox¦ - Windows¦NT 3 0.44%
30. Mozilla¦1.8.1 - Windows¦XP 3 0.44%
31. Mozilla Compatible Agent¦3.0 - (unknown) 2 0.29%
32. MSFrontPage¦6.0 - (unknown) 2 0.29%
33. Opera¦9.22 - Windows¦XP 2 0.29%
34. Baiduspider ¦(unknown version) - (unknown) 2 0.29%
35. Firefox¦ - Linux¦(unknown version) 2 0.29%
36. voyager¦1.0 - (unknown) 2 0.29%
37. Safari¦419.3 - Macintosh¦PPC 2 0.29%
38. NSPlayer¦ - (unknown) 2 0.29%
39. Yeti¦0.01 - (unknown) 2 0.29%
40. Microsoft URL Control 6.00.8862 - (unknown) 2 0.29%
41. Internet Explorer¦7.0 - Windows¦NT 2 0.29%
42. Wells Search II - (unknown) 2 0.29%
43. Firefox¦ - Windows¦XP 2 0.29%
44. Konqueror¦3.0 - Linux¦(unknown version) 1 0.15%
45. Internet Explorer¦5.0 - Windows¦98 1 0.15%
46. Firefox¦ - OS/2 1 0.15%
47. Firefox¦ - Windows¦XP 1 0.15%
48. Firefox¦1.0.1 - Windows¦98 1 0.15%
49. Firefox¦ - OS/2 1 0.15%
50. Mozilla¦ - OS/2 1 0.15%
51. Mozilla¦2.0 - OS/2 1 0.15%
52. ISC Systems iRc Search 2.1 - (unknown) 1 0.15%
53. Mozilla¦1.7.12 - OS/2 1 0.15%
54. Mozilla¦ - Linux¦(unknown version) 1 0.15%
55. Missigua Locator 1.9 - (unknown) 1 0.15%
56. wjwluljdprulcixifa swndyatshsyp - (unknown) 1 0.15%
57. psbot¦0.1 - (unknown) 1 0.15%
58. Firefox¦1.5 - OS/2 1 0.15%
59. BrightCrawler ¦(unknown version) - (unknown) 1 0.15%
60. Mozilla¦ - Windows¦2000 1 0.15%
61. Firefox¦2.0 - Linux¦(unknown version) 1 0.15%
62. yacybot ¦(unknown version) - Linux¦ 1 0.15%
63. woriobot ¦(unknown version) - (unknown) 1 0.15%
64. Opera¦9.21 - Windows¦Server 2003 1 0.15%
65. Opera¦9.21 - Windows¦XP 1 0.15%
66. Netscape¦6.2 - Linux¦(unknown version) 1 0.15%
67. Internet Explorer¦6.0 - (unknown) 1 0.15%
68. Firefox¦ - Windows¦NT 1 0.15%
69. SurveyBot¦2.3 - (unknown) 1 0.15%
70. NSPlayer¦ - (unknown) 1 0.15%
71. StackRambler¦2.0 - (unknown) 1 0.15%
72. Mozilla¦ - Linux¦(unknown version) 1 0.15%
73. SpiderKU¦0.9 - (unknown) 1 0.15%
74. yacy ¦(unknown version) - Linux¦ 1 0.15%
75. Firefox¦1.0 - Linux¦(unknown version) 1 0.15%
76. tags2dir.net¦0.8 - (unknown) 1 0.15%
77. ia_archiver web.archive.org - (unknown) 1 0.15%
78. FAST Enterprise Crawler 6 used by Virk.dk udvikling ¦(unknown version) - (unknown) 1 0.15%
79. Firefox¦ - Windows¦98 1 0.15%
80. Firefox¦1.0.7 - Windows¦XP 1 0.15%
81. Firefox¦ - Windows¦2000 1 0.15%
82. Netscape 8.1 - (unknown) 1 0.15%
83. Opera¦9.23 - Linux¦(unknown version) 1 0.15%
84. Mozilla¦ - Linux¦(unknown version) 1 0.15%
View Total: 683 100.00%


 9:12 pm on Sep 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

Why Is Firefox Still Way Behind IE?

Firefox 1.0 was released on November 9, 2004.

For the event, the Mozilla Foundation placed an advocacy ad in The New York Times. It was a 2-page ad.

The first page had a bunch of hard to read signatures giving form to the Firefox logo. The bottom read "Are you fed up with your web browser? You're not alone. We want you to know that there is an alternative..."

The second page had the Firefox logo and in large fonts "Introducing Mozilla Firefox 1.0". It had 3 comments from Firefox advocates and 2 additional paragraphs.

Too bad the Mozilla Foundation didn't read [liw.iki.fi...] . They could have published a better ad...

The attitude of Firefox advocates doesn't help. Expressions such as "...the poor, lost souls still using Internet Explorer..." and "...the average slob on the street..." don't help to win new users.

Three years have gone by...

Perhaps a change in attitude should help Firefox advocates increase the usage of their browser.

Perhaps a change in attitude should help them compete with Safari.



 12:02 am on Sep 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

Guess there are quite a few different reasons after all.

For a techie site the situation is totally different

in continental Europe Firefox has nearly 30% market share in some countries even more. Germany 38%, Poland and Hungary 39%, Finland even 45%

Euro tech sites must see the most use of FF.


 1:48 am on Sep 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

I think its not that people don't know they can update. Its that they're afraid to update. I know I am.

Every time I get some random update from Microsoft or other numerous software packages I have installed I cringe.. Will this screw up my system? Why do I need an update when its already working?

I'm not a techno-idiot I know there are security holes and back doors being plugged. Quite often though continued hacks/updates to software tends to lead to more bugs.

I bet people are afraid that making a change will just screw up their computer more.


 2:02 am on Sep 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

Will this screw up my system? Why do I need an update when its already working?

I can't recall the last time that an update did anything noteworthy to my system. And, I've been doing auto updates ever since they started them. I would imagine if you are a "super user" and have fiddled with your registry, etc, you're going to have issues at update time. Not me, everything has always worked out of the box. And if it didn't, an uninstall (complete) and reinstall solved whatever issues were present.

I let IE and FF update when "they need to". No fear here, I feel that I'm in confident hands. If I weren't, we all wouldn't be having this discussion now, would we? ;)


 9:46 am on Sep 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

I believe that statistics depends on your website topic.

I mean, if you have a website aimed to HTML, Linux and all the developers crowd, expect to have loads of Firefox users.

If your website is more generic, like travel, shopping, ringtones, expect IE users. Mainly because they can't be bothered of downloading and learning a new software.

For us is the same, for normal mortals no.

[edited by: HiHo at 9:46 am (utc) on Sep. 10, 2007]


 10:00 am on Sep 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

As far as I am concerned, FF has two major problems. A poor bookmark system [..] and poor fonts for the Chinese language..

Three! Not two! My main issue with FF is that it is not releasing memory when closing tabs, therefore at the end of the day Firefox is eating all my CPU resources (unless I close it).
This is the reason why I have stopped to encourage people to use FF.


 10:08 am on Sep 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

How about this theory...

Firefox was growing at a fast rate until IE7 was released. The main things FF had going for it was tabbed browsing and better CSS support. Now IE7 has those things, there is no reason for most ordinary users to switch.

I know IE7 still has a few CSS bugs but most ordinary people won't care about that. Unless FF can come up with some new unique selling points, further growth might not happen. It's still popular in the techie community due to it's zero tolerance of broken html/css (good for testing) and useful add-ons such as the web developer toolbar. Maybe more mainstream add-ons/features are the way forward for Firefox?


 11:43 am on Sep 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

Most people just use what comes bundled with their machine so FX has a hard slog ahead. What puzzles me is why don't people update - I have 18% of visitors using Fx 1.x and only 2% using version 2. Why! It's free after all.

Just a wired thought..how about educating our website visitors? Can we all webmasters put a download link to Firefox in our respective website?..

Webmasters can even get paid for users downloading and installing Firefox using Google Adsense Firefox referral..So not a bad deal at all...it would be a win-win situation for both the visitors and webmasters...


 1:01 pm on Sep 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

My biggest gripe is that FireFox is really a pain in the butt when coding a page to get it to show up right. Trying to match FireFox and IE is a real pain in the arse. I think a lot of sites don't try to match FireFox and users don't like the way FireFox shows the page so they give up trying to use it.


 1:10 pm on Sep 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

My biggest gripe is that FireFox is really a pain in the butt when coding a page to get it to show up right. Trying to match FireFox and IE is a real pain in the arse.

That's maybe because you're going about it the wrong way round. If you code CSS/HTML for Firefox first, ensure it validates then put CSS fixes in place for IE using conditional comments, you should find it all becomes much easier.

I find Firefox very useful for that purpose (testing), and it is my default browser. I'm not on a crusade though and I don't think I'd bother to promote downloading it on a website of mine without good reason.


 1:16 pm on Sep 10, 2007 (gmt 0)



 1:32 pm on Sep 10, 2007 (gmt 0)


Good idea. I might start going that route. I like FireFox, don't get me wrong. Actually I really like Opera as it is nice, neat and clean and the "paste and go" in the addy bar is sweet.


 6:56 pm on Sep 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

Perhaps us webmasters need to band together and start a more aggressive promotion of Firefox.

No... What we need to do is promote browsers that implement the standards properly. The way i see it, the biggest problem is that we constantly have to tweak web pages to take into account this or that browser's eccentricities. What we should have is a test suite that certifies specific browser versions as compliant or non-compliant and publish this list. We code the website according to standards and expect it to work right in all compliant browsers, if a user visits the website using a non-compliant browser, we warn them and point them to the list of good browsers to use. That's all.

Yeah i know, i'm dreaming...


 7:18 pm on Sep 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

I don't know if any research has been done on demographics of firefox vs. IE users, but I would be willing to bet that the percentage of younger (20s) internet users on Firefox is much greater than older folks. I have a lot of 20s friends using Firefox, even some non-techies, surprisingly.

Anybody know if there's any data out there like that?


 7:35 pm on Sep 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

Personally, I use FF 99% of the time. I have IE7 installed, but I find FF renders pages simply clearer graphically. The text in IE, appears fuzzy, whereas in FF, the edges are well defined and crisp.

I don't run any anti-spyware or anti-virus software on my machine on a regular basis. Maybe once every 6 months I'll download the latest tools and run a scan, but they never find anything. On the other hand, when I used to use IE on a regular basis I HAD to run these things all the time.

I code my pages to standards, then check them in FF, they normally render flawlessly, and then I check and fix their rendering in IE...as it has some bassackwards ways of handling things.

That's the extent of my IE usage.

Personally, I would like to see ALL browsers refuse to render non-standard compliant HTML. Unfortunately, that will never happen.

As a programmer, I can't compile invalid code, and this helps ensure that my code continues to work as the compiler versions increment, and compatibility is maintained. If the same had always been true for websites, we'd have leaner and faster browsers, and less rendering issues.



 7:49 pm on Sep 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

Just a wired thought..how about educating our website visitors? Can we all webmasters put a download link to Firefox in our respective website?


As far as I'm concerned, users are welcome to use whatever browser they want. I have nothing against Firebox, but I have no reason to promote it, either.


 12:43 am on Sep 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

Firefox is designed, from the ground up, as a geek tool.

Plugins, skins, etc.

It's used by folks out there on the long tail of the bell curve not those living in the fat parts.

By loose analogy, it's championed by those willing to get out a soldering iron and hack their cell phone for whatever purposes, or, closer to the truth, download a hacked bios for their wireless router.

It trickles down from there, lubricated only by those evangelistic enough to donate the time for helping those towards the middle of the curve get it installed and their IE habits broken.

Given that, I got my 80 year old dad using it and it only cost me 90 minutes on out of my monthly cell phone plan (so far). :-)


 12:52 am on Sep 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

>>>>> As a programmer, I can't compile invalid code,

I think the idea behind the web was to make it easy for just about anybody to create pages, not requiring a programmer's level of skill.
The web is comprised of about 8 billion pages now; if all pages had to be standards - compliant, there would be about 1 billion pages on the web.
Any company that created a browser that refused to render non-standard pages would go out of business in about 10 minutes.

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