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Web User Stats?
e.g. How many users do not use/have javascript?
FuzzyLogik




msg:3279924
 9:57 pm on Mar 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

Mostly, I want to know what percentage of people (in general terms, not specific to a single site) do NOT have javascript enabled or do not support it, but I would love other stats as well (how many blind users, how many don't have CSS, how many use their mobiles, etc)

The javascript question is the only pressing one, however.

 

arieng




msg:3279942
 10:14 pm on Mar 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

If you're okay with sharing your site's data with Google, their Analytics program everything you've mentioned and its free.

FuzzyLogik




msg:3280002
 11:03 pm on Mar 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

But those are only relative to your site, is it not?

dbcooper




msg:3280012
 11:11 pm on Mar 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

user stats +javascript

looks like 4 to 6 percent js OFF, on the whole (but likely US-centric).

penders




msg:3280166
 2:39 am on Mar 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

People (ie. real users) who are not JS enabled... I can't help but question some reported webstats for this figure?! The figure does at times seem a tad high? Or is it?! Are they accurately differentiating between web crawlers/bots (that would often not be JS enabled) and the real Joe Surfer?

If you were to stand on the street corner all day and asked everyone that went by, what would the answer be...? Hhhmmm...

I've never actually met anyone who isn't 'JS enabled' - what do they look like? I have a strong suspicion that they are in fact other web developers, who have been testing their site for 'accessibility' and have forgotten that they've disabled the JS in their browser before trundling around the net wondering why other sites aren't working properly?!

Issue #161 of .net mag recons that between 5 and 10% of internet users don't have JS enabled - yet it says it got it's information from [thecounter.com...] which gives a global non-JS figure of 4%. (That's still a lot of "users")

SteveWh




msg:3280310
 7:09 am on Mar 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

If you're okay with sharing your site's data with Google, their Analytics program everything you've mentioned and its free.

GA relies on Javascript to work at all. If a visitor has JS disabled, GA doesn't even record a hit. They have a "Java enabled" report, but that can only mean true Java, not Javascript. A U.K. Google help page for Analytics says otherwise, but it is in disagreement with the U.S. version, which says Java and doesn't mention Javascript.

Am hoping that if the above is incorrect someone will correct it, but I spent quite a while searching on this and found no evidence that GA can track Javascript usage, and was unable to think of any method by which their JS code could detect when it wasn't being run.

For your own site, you can calculate the statistic yourself by putting this code into your footer or header so it gets included on every page. The image itself doesn't matter. A 1-pixel gif will do. Just make 2 copies. Since the images are requested by the user's browser, it will not be retrieved by robots or scrapers, making your statistics even better.

Every page request results in a call to the first image. The second image is only requested when the user has JS disabled:

<img src="javascriptbaseline.gif" height="1" width="1" border="0">
<noscript> <img src="nojavascript.gif" height="1" width="1" border="0"> </noscript>

Tabulate the result using your site access logs.
BASELINE - NOJAVASCRIPT = JAVASCRIPT ENABLED.
nojavascript / baseline = % disabled.

----

user stats +javascript

Sorry if it's obvious to others, but what does that refer to?

----

This page [w3schools.com...] makes it appear that assuming a 10% JS-off rate wouldn't be too bad a guess.

[edited by: SteveWh at 7:22 am (utc) on Mar. 13, 2007]

tedster




msg:3280339
 8:09 am on Mar 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

The problem I see with javascript stats is that today's web traffic includes a grotesque amount of automated bot traffic which almost never parses javascript. Not only that, but bots often spoof their user agent.

So unless you are being extremely rigorous in filtering out bot traffic from your data, the numbers you get will not accurately reflect human visitors with js turned off -- and that's what you care about.

[edited by: tedster at 9:36 am (utc) on Mar. 13, 2007]

SteveWh




msg:3280373
 9:28 am on Mar 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

I'm glad to say my post above was wrong...

...was unable to think of any method by which their JS code could detect when it wasn't being run

I thought of a method, and tested it, with this result:

If a page contains a reference to a javascript file,

<script src="jstest.js" type="text/javascript"></script>,

the browser DOES issue a request for the file, even if scripting is disabled.

So Google has an easy way to determine that their .js file WAS retrieved but WASN'T run.

Their Analytics report (and Help page) still should be revised to clarify whether they mean Java or Javascript, but it is not impossible that they mean Javascript.

rocknbil




msg:3280441
 11:29 am on Mar 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

I've never actually met anyone who isn't 'JS enabled' - what do they look like?

The one's I've met are between 25 and 50 and range from Starbuck's fans to farmers to real estate agents, usually know Everything There Is to Know about the Internet and Can't Be Told Otherwise, and have lumped Flash, Javascript, and Java all into the same you wanna-crack-my-computer basket. Their impression is they've tightened up their computer's security, sped up the Internet, and removed all the annoying flashing and blinking by discovering this little known secret, how to disable Javascript.

They are out there, and growing in number. :-)

penders




msg:3281452
 8:52 am on Mar 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

If a page contains a reference to a javascript file, .... the browser DOES issue a request for the file, even if scripting is disabled.

Ah OK, so GA can track Javascript usage (I had also been wondering how) - and with a standard HTTP request, they can check the UA etc. (although maybe faked) and 'try' and determine which are bots, as good as anyone else I guess ...?

Robin_reala




msg:3281474
 9:39 am on Mar 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

I left JS off the other day by accident following a test of a site I was doing, and I really was surprised by how much the general snappiness of the web increased. I might have to start doing it more often.

Actually, I wonder if there is an extension for Firefox that lets you whitelist sites where scripting is allowed?

encyclo




msg:3281510
 10:30 am on Mar 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

an extension for Firefox that lets you whitelist sites where scripting is allowed

Certainly, there's an extension for everything. ;)

"Noscript" extension:
[addons.mozilla.org...]

SteveWh




msg:3282216
 10:23 pm on Mar 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

If a page contains a reference to a javascript file, .... the browser DOES issue a request for the file, even if scripting is disabled.

As a postscript, I did this experiment many times over about an hour. The very first time I had JS off, IE7 did request the JS file. That's what I based my above post on, and it does at least prove that the file can be requested when JS is off. However, it never did it again, even when I deleted the JS file from my browser cache. It could nonetheless have been some sort of browser cache thing, but basically after that first access, I couldn't replicate the result. So I consider the question still somewhat open, having been unable to get consistent repeatable results.

Firefox never caused the JS file to be requested when scripting was disabled.

So if you really want to know, it might require more testing on your own. Turn off JS, load the page, check your site log, and repeat until you're really tired of it...

Ah OK, so GA can track Javascript usage (I had also been wondering how) - and with a standard HTTP request, they can check the UA etc.

Hm, I hadn't even thought of that. Yes.

penders




msg:3282312
 12:28 am on Mar 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

So I consider the question still somewhat open, having been unable to get consistent repeatable results. ... Firefox never caused the JS file to be requested when scripting was disabled.

Thanks for the testing/feedback - appreciated.

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