Scott Hanselman

Summer 2011 Stats - Tailoring your Blog to your Readers' Browsers

August 22, 2011 Comment on this post [16] Posted in Blogging | Musings
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I was poking around in my Google Analytics and checking out some browsers stats as I wanted to make sure my new site redesign looked good on the browsers that matter to you all, Dear Reader. As I said in the redesign post (insert egotistical self-quote here. Seriously, who DOEs that?):

This new site design looks great in every awesome browser like Opera, IE9, Chrome, FireFox, and even all the way back to IE7. This site looks like a steaming pile of ass in IE6. As it should. 
- Scott Hanselman

Of course, as some internal naysayers are right to say, nayly, these charts are invalid as they are inside the HanselBubble where (they say, these sayers of nay) that we all run Chrome 99 and Beta Builds of Windows 7+1.

Nonsense! I say. It's always interesting to see what the user demographic is. With that, to the charts! First, the big one, Visits by Browser.

Chrome 35%, Firefox 28%, IE 22%, Safari 5% and Opera 2% with a bunch of random stuff that doesn't matter.

Interesting, almost looks like the Google Logo. You've got the big 3 in there almost with 1/3 each, but Chrome is ahead and IE and Firefox are more like 1/4 each. We made sure this blogs and works OK on the top 90% of the browsers that hit it and it should look OK on the rest.

Now, let's drill in. First, Chrome:

Chrome v12 and v13 take up over 50% of the pie

Looks like Chrome's auto-updating strategy sure works. I do worry myself, sometimes, that a security bug will sneak in to one of my thrice-daily Chrome updates, but we'll see. There's a balance between security and stability and new features. I hope they've found it. Everyone is basically on Chrome 12 or 13 it seems. I'm on 15 'cause I'm a canary.

What about Firefox?

Firefox 5 has 58% with 3.6 at 10% and 6 at 8.7%

Nearly 60% on 5.0, but 6.0 is doing pretty well given it JUST came out. I'm a little surprised at the Firefox 3.6 numbers. 10% is a little high, IMHO, but there are those that believe that was a great release and have stuck with it.

Next, Internet Explorer:

IE9 with 43%, IE8 with 42%, IE7 with 11% and IE6 with 2.44% 

Big numbers for IE9. I assume that's because Windows 7 isn't Windows Vista and folks are really liking it. Also possibly that folks who read this blog do Microsoft tech and have installed IE9 to be on the latest stuff. Kudos to Jeremy for getting this site's markup to work on IE9, IE8 and IE7. I'm afraid not for you guys on IE6. I'm sorry your corporation is oppressing you.

Screen Resolution

Y'all got some LARGE monitors and high-resolution displays! 90+% of my readers are running screens wider than 1024x768.

90% of my readers are running larger than 1024x768

One could argue from these numbers that I could target 1280 as a browser width, but with this new redesign Jeremy and I decided to support not only mobile (decently, although we need to take a deeper look at how to make the fonts more readable) but also really small resolutions on netbooks and stuff. Here's this site resized to about 800x700:

My site resized really small. I've removed the right rail and expanded the text.

And still this same blog, but now resized to about 1500x1500:

My site resized really big. Looks good.


On the Mobile side, I had about 15k PV from an Android Browser version which is almost as much as Opera on my site, nearly 2%. This explains all the emails I've gotten about a bad cert issue that only shows up on Android. There's almost 6% Safari, and about half are iOS devices.

86% of the mobile browsers that hit my site have a touch screen. I don't have good percentage numbers but I do have this sorted list of visits by mobile device. I know that about 8% of the browsers that hit my site are mobile.

iPhone 21k Visits, iPad 17k Visits, Unknown 6k, iPod Touch 1.4k

I don't obsess over these stats; I maybe look at them twice a year or when making large decisions. It IS useful for you, Dear Reader, to take a look at your own readership. Perhaps they are Cupcake baking Moms, or Linux Hackers, or Fly-fishing Retirees. What browsers do they run? What resolutions are their screens? How fast are their connections? Does your website or blog know who your audience is and cater to not only their minds but also their browsers?

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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August 22, 2011 23:28
I do obsess over these stats. I work on a site with a very low-tech demographic, run by a company that tries to never do anything to inconvenience any customers. This is fantastic for customer retention, but a challenge for a web developer.

With over a million pageviews a day, even a 1% share accounts for a lot of eyeballs, and our IE6 share is currently around 7%. That's higher than Firefox and Chrome combined. Our most common resolution? 1024x768.

I am dreaming of the day when IE6 usage on our site drops to a level where I can recommend that we stop supporting it.
August 23, 2011 0:25
Wow , is there really somebody who uses IE 5.5 ?!!!!!! omfg !
August 23, 2011 1:49
Hi Scott
regarding the new design ... where are the tags?!
August 23, 2011 1:54
Mo - At the top of each post where it says "posted in" or in the upper right corner where it says "posts by category."
August 23, 2011 4:16
Good post.
Also good indication where WP7 devices are positioned...
August 23, 2011 8:24
I just had to stop by and give you props on making sure your page loads well on mobile devices and netbooks. I do most of my reading on a touch/flip netbook and on my phone when I'm on the go and all I have to say is well done, well done.
August 23, 2011 10:29
Did you know that Analytics doesn't count WP7 as mobile and chunk of your IE7 stats is WP7 (pre-mango)?
August 23, 2011 10:31
I wonder if you see stats for users that have "Tracking Protection" configured (or google analytics blocking)?
August 23, 2011 11:44
Thanks for the look-see. I think there was may be a problem with auto-update in FF 3.6, possibly the cause of the spread you are seeing. For example, I recently noticed my FF was on 3.6.18, and when I checked for updates it suggested 3.6.20. Only when visiting the mozilla homepage was FF6 suggested.

August 23, 2011 12:50
Unfortunately allthough the site looks good in the majority of browsers on my xperia x10 phone in the stock android browser I simply get a list of source code and the site point blank refuses to render. This has been this way for a year or so, It had also been the same from android 1.6 > android 2.1 > android 2.3.3 I have been able to test on a milestone phone (Motorola Droid) and it doesn't seem to happen there (android 2.1 update 1), most frustrating, I have been unable to determine the cause of this after playing with text encodings etc.. its a shame as i am denied the site on the stock browser and i don't really want to install another browser for one site :(
August 24, 2011 3:29
IE 999.1. What!?
August 24, 2011 5:02
22% of Your readers are masochists...
August 24, 2011 8:45
"Interesting, almost looks like the Google Logo."

I think you mean Chrome's logo :)
August 24, 2011 12:08
After a bit of to and fro and some investigation of scotts part this site now works on my xperia x10 \o/.
August 24, 2011 12:40
I can't believe that there are still people out there who only read one blog at a time and still go to that blog's website to read it!

My tip is "make sure it looks good on Google Reader", as that is all I ever use to read blogs (except when posting comments). It works brilliantly on the iPhone (and most mobile devices), making the font just the right size with no zooming, keeps all your blogs/feeds together in one lovely collapsable list and stores it in the cloud so you can keep up to date anywhere on any device.

For those poor sods who don't use google reader Scott, your blog could use a simple list of titles somewhere (perhaps on the right panel) which would save a lot of scrolling when looking for a particular post. I know you have lists by tag and a weird calendar thing in a link. As for me I'm happy with Google Reader, do what you want with your formatting!
August 25, 2011 21:18
The redesign looks really great, Scott!

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.