Stats Browser Stats

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This page presents web browser statistics from several sources that may be of interest to website designers.

Caution Caution, stats mislead: caching skews raw data; audiences vary for each site; survey methods vary; surveys lack vital details; surveys mis-identify brow­sers; surveys include user agents that aren’t browsers; small sample sizes magnify fluctuations; and stats don’t count those who flee because their browsers aren’t supported.

❝Get your facts first❟ and then you can distort them as much as you please: facts are stubborn❟ but statistics are more pliable❞Mark Twain

more stats quotes

For web designers, the browser engine matters more than the browser, since different browsers using the same browser engine will render pages much the same. The designer should test sites with one modern browser from each major browser engine family, i.e. one Blink brow­ser (e.g. Vivaldi), one Webkit browser (e.g. Safari), one Gecko browser (e.g. Firefox), and one Trident browser (e.g. Internet Ex­plor­er 11). The designer should also test sites with the SeaMonkey browser, which uses a very old version of the Gecko engine.

The table Usage Stats at the top right of this page lists stats from several sources, showing how much stats can vary for different sites:

The best stats for a site are the stats gathered for that particular site: and even these are skewed by caching and faulty browser-detection. For example, consider Kerry Watson’s Browser Statistics page: this page uses three different hit counters whose reports should be com­par­able; but they are not, in part because of faulty browser detection.

Bottom line: use statistics with extreme caution.

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