Research into Web browsers and their usage globally.

Web browsers are often overlooked.  Obviously when browsing we pay more attention to the content within it, than the program itself, but when it comes to web design, you could say it’s equally as important as what you make for it.

To date, there are 4 main browsers:

  • Internet Explorer - Microsoft
  • Firefox - Mozilla
  • Chrome - Google
  • Safari – Apple

Personally, I use Safari.  But that doesn’t mean that when I’m making my site (this whole post relates to the Typography website project) that I should only consider how it looks and functions in Safari.  I wanna see the browser usage across the whole world to see if we really need to account for other browsers.  For this I need a source but there are a few things to consider:

I don’t really want to take an average of many sources.  I know this seems a bit backwards, but I want the data to reflect usage across the whole world, because the internet isn’t just accessed by the UK, and that seems like a pretty prerequisite and for time limitations I’m not gona find 10 sources that adhere to that.

The reason for this? The first image above [also here] is a map of most used web browser by country.

Blue = IE

Firefox = Orange

Chrome = Green

Opera = Red

As you can see, in Kazakhstan the most popular web browser there is Opera. So let’s say I went to a Kazakhstani website and dug up their web browser hits, it would more than likely show Opera in the lead.  And then you could incorrectly assume Opera is the world’s most popular web browser.  So for this reason I want a website that is accessed by the whole world (probably have to exclude North Korea though).

In reality, there are differences even within countries and within sites.  For example schools and education can play quite a part in browser usage, if you think just how many computers there are in our college. If they all stuck with IE6, and the same for all other colleges around the UK, it would certainly warp the statistics a bit.

So, the first choice for my source of data was Google.  According to Alexa web rankings, google.com is listed as the #1 site.  Unfortunately they do not release web browser usages stats.  YouTube is third and is a site that would work perfectly.  70% of its traffic comes from outside the US and it has localized sites in 23 countries, over 24 languages.  However, probably as being part of Google it too does not release the stats.  Down in 6th is Wikipedia.  It has been translated to 236 languages, 80 of which have more than 10,000 articles.  If you look here http://stats.wikimedia.org/wikimedia/squids/SquidReportPageViewsPerCountryOverview.htm

It has a useful breakdown of each country by population (million) and internet users (% of that population).  You can see that for example, 14% of Africa’s population are internet users, but they only count for 1.1% of the Wikipedia users, but their population is 14% of the world’s total.  Not very popular over there.

But then you get Europe which accounts for 11% of the world’s population, and of which 61% are internet users.  They account for 40% of Wikipedia’s traffic, the most of any continent.

So from this I can conclude that Wikipedia/media is a good source for the data.  And in the 2nd picture [also here] is the data.

And so back to the original point of that was web browsers, you can see in the second picture that worldwide there a variety of browsers that are used all around the world, and that Opera is actually used quite a bit.  In Kazakhstan atleast…

To put these percentages in real numbers, I have used the statistics from the link above that shows the total internet users to be 1990 M.  This also assumes that the internet users use ONLY these browsers, which is unlikely to be the case.

  • Internet Explorer – 680.6 million
  • Firefox – 470 million
  • Chrome – 410 million
  • Safari – 218 million
  • Opera – 99 million.

I have no idea why I just wrote and researched all of this but I’m sure it’ll come handy one day.

  1. jaydevss posted this