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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.
I would also throw in that it really depends on your site content and who it's geared for.
Part of the equation, certainly, but usually overstated. I have a forum which attracts an overwhelmingly non-technical audience. I removed all
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.
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.
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.
p.s.: On a side-note, I am also enjoying how the 'free' guys are kicking the commercial side around pretty good for once.
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):
[edited by: encyclo at 3:08 am (utc) on Mar. 31, 2006]