Browser Stats For Non-Technical Websites

As a web developer I rely on statistics to keep on top of which web browsers are most popular and should therefore receive the bulk of my focus and testing time. It’s just not feasible to develop a website for all possible browsers without an expensive outlay of effort and aggravation. Unfortunately many popular websites that provide statistics (like W3Schools) are websites which have a technical audience and therefore have statistics which are slanted toward the technically savvy early adopters. People who tend to have a strong opinion on which browser they prefer and aren’t afraid to switch browsers if something better comes along.

This is in contrast to the typical Internet user who most likely doesn’t care too much about which browser they are using and usually doesn’t upgrade unless a new version is pushed to them from their operating system or from a technical friend. So I have here some stats from two non-technical North American websites, one a corporate website for business to business services which will have an audience highly skewed to business people. The second is an arts and crafts website targeting moms. I have a feeling that the statistics for the web overall is somewhere in the middle here.


Internet Explorer still dominates the market by a wide margin. However it’s two latest versions 7 and 8 are in a tight race. Most alarming is the continued prevalence of the insecure web-developer’s nightmare IE 6.0. It still hovers around 15% of average total market share. I know I’m not the only web developer who wishes IE 6 would just die already.

FireFox holds a respectable share between 20 and 25%, though I am surprised that so many FireFox uses don’t keep it up to date.

Third place goes to Safari and I should probably start giving this browser more of my attention. I currently do all my development in Firefox 3.5 and then test it in IE 7 and briefly test on IE 8 on another computer.

New comer Google Chrome has a long way to go in the world of non-technical users at under 1%. By comparison W3Schools, a technical reference website reports Chrome at 7.1% for Sept. 2009. Evidence that it is much more popular among technical users and also evidence of the skewing effect that a website’s audience can have on it’s statistics numbers. You’ll also notice that W3Schools reports vastly different numbers for FireFox and Internet Explorer.

The below table gives the percentage of unique visitors for all the major browsers and also breaks down the top 3 IE and FireFox versions. The stats are for the month of September 2009. I hope this information will be useful for other people like me who are looking for browser statistics for non-technical websites.

B2B Company Website (426 unique visitors)
Internet Explorer 61.9 %
FireFox 24.1 %
Netscape 1.7 %
Opera 1.4 %
Safari 7.9 %
Chrome 0.3 %
Others 2.4 %
IE 8.0 19.9 %
IE 7.0 21.6 %
IE 6.0 19.8 %
FF 3.5 10.7 %
FF 3.0 11.2 %
FF 2.0 1.2 %
Arts & Crafts Website For Moms (717 unique visitors)
Internet Explorer 70.6 %
FireFox 19 %
Netscape 0 %
Opera 0.8 %
Safari 6.9 %
Chrome 0.7 %
Others 1.6 %
IE 8.0 25.2 %
IE 7.0 32.5 %
IE 6.0 12.6 %
FF 3.5 6.2 %
FF 3.0 10.2 %
FF 2.0 1.6 %
Stats are for Sept. 2009.