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Move over Internet Explorer!
There's a new kid on the block

 5:39 am on Jan 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

I'm sure many of us have been pouring over 2005 metrics, I know I am. ;)

In the process of producing year end reports, I've seen a noticeable decrease in IE and an increase in Firefox. I mean, for one site, 2004 showed about a 80% IE visitor base. That same site in 2005, shows about a 65% IE visitor base.

Firefox is clearly taking a big chunk out of the IE market share. I am now seeing an average of 20% Firefox users on all sites that I manage. In some instances, it is as high as 30%.

What does all this mean? It means that there are a lot of people out there running into sites that don't work in their Firefox browsers, you know, those IE centric sites? Have you been testing your sites in a Mozilla based browser? If not, now is the time to get things in order.

If the current trend keeps up, Firefox may have 40% market share in the next 6 months, possibly sooner. ;)

P.S. It has been a long time since IE has had any competition for the browser space. It looks like times are a changing and IE may no longer be the defacto standard in browsers.



 11:58 am on Jan 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

Those are only cold facts
Not loudly speaking

Within the results what would really matter is:
Percentage of users by socio/economic strata

The Contractor

 1:01 pm on Jan 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

The problem with looking at stats and comparing FireFox to IE is that you have to take into account the prefetching of pages from various plugins that claim to speed it up. I am seeing alot of this in the past couple months which show FireFox users visiting 10-20X more pages than the average user on sites. These are not site downloaders/scrapers, but those using tweaks/plugins that use prefetch.

I would also throw in that it really depends on your site content and who it's geared for.


 2:34 pm on Jan 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

>> prefetching

Part of the equation, certainly, but usually overstated. I have a forum which attracts an overwhelmingly non-technical audience. I removed all <link rel="next"... elements and I send a 403 for all prefetching. The number of 403s has not increased at all but Firefox usage has increased dramatically over 2005. From January 2005 with IE standing at over 90%, Firefox now has a solid 11-12% share, with Safari between 8-10%. I block all bots (robots.txt and forced login) so there are no pre-fetched Google referrals, and the stats are virtually untainted by bot traffic - it is all "real users".

One thing to note is that IE is used more by casual web users (as it is preinstalled). Firefox is chosen by users who spend a significant time online and appreciate the extra features. Pageviews are often much higher for users of alternative browsers according to my stats.

The simple lesson: if your site doesn't work in alternative browsers, particularly Firefox and Safari, then you are missing out on a significant part of your potential user base.


 2:55 am on Jan 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

Have you been testing your sites in a Mozilla based browser?

My problem is forgetting to check in IE.:) Yep we are seeing the increase in Firefox too.


 12:34 pm on Jan 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

I've seen a steady increase of Firefox on my site, up now to about 18% of my visitors. I just had the opportunity to check another average, very non-tech-oriented site and Firefox usage was around 15%. Numbers like that are becoming standard. It's no wonder we're actually getting IE7 and Windows Vista ahead of projected schedules - MS is worried about their marketshare. Personally, I hope it's too late for them to do anything about it.


 4:19 pm on Jan 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

Techweb reported, a couple of days ago, that IE6 dropped to 82% while FF increased to 10% as did others increase.


 4:27 pm on Jan 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

Guess my users are all casual ;-)

93% IE
6% Safari
1% FF

It really depends on your audience.


 7:42 pm on Jan 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

That can happen sometimes when a site is very Fx unfriendly. Most users have a pretty low frustration threshold, and just move on if something isn't working.

You probably did this already, but it might be worth giving your site another skim in Firefox just to make sure everything's working right. Bear in mind that Flash and Java often seem to give people headaches -- I've always had to reinstall them after installing Firefox.

chris anda photograp

 9:18 pm on Jan 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

Opera is my Puppy.. I like Mozilla too because it is better at remembering passwords 1.5 that is. I must use IE as it is the base for several other apps and browsers.. Oh well.


 5:59 am on Jan 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

I agree, my site has gone from 95%+ IE to around 75% IE, Mozzz is kicking some butt for sure.

Doesn't really matter with the socios and the age and genders et al, sure the numbers vary from area to area and site to site, but the simple fact is, Mozilla is gaining ground, hard and fast.

And, since the Gecko engine has been out, this is the first time it didn't blow and we didn't have to listen to the hype over nothing.

Firefox rules.

p.s.: On a side-note, I am also enjoying how the 'free' guys are kicking the commercial side around pretty good for once.


 3:35 pm on Jan 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

1st September '05 to 24th January '06

1 Internet Explorer/ 32.9 %
2 Firefox/ 25.1 %

Approx 1m visitors.

Three sites, all quite techy.


 3:46 pm on Jan 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

Mozilla Browser Usage by Country [xitimonitor.com]

Europe: 20%
Germany: 30%
France: 18%
Ireland: 17%
UK: 11%

Australia: 19%
USA: 16%

Across the board. For certain industries and groups the FF part is MUCH higher (hightech, internet related, geek, blog), for others MUCH lower (tabloid, adult, home improvement).

My personal sites (tech related):
IE: 57%
FF: 15%
Safari: 2%
Opera: 2%

[edited by: encyclo at 3:08 am (utc) on Mar. 31, 2006]

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