The video below has been widely shared on LinkedIn and is a great animation showing how different web browsers have dominated over time.
Understanding how users access your site has a lot of value. If you know which browsers they are using and what type of devices they view your site, you can ensure your site looks the best and is working correctly for most of your users.
Not all browsers interpret sites the same, and something that looks one way in one browser may look slightly or significantly different in another. Understanding which browsers to prioritize can help make sure you are sticking to budgets and giving your site visitors the best experience.
Since we build websites, this data is essential for us. We want to ensure that we design for, test, and optimize the most popular browsers our client’s users use.
As you can see in that video, Internet Explorer used to dominate for years. We would spend a lot of time optimizing for that browser, which was a challenge.
The web browser and tech data are unique to your business
The animation shows the current landscape with Chrome having 80% market share, Firefox with 5%, and Safari with less than 4%. As a Firefox fan, I was surprised by these numbers. I decided to spot-check our website traffic and three clients that are similar B2B businesses. All of us had around 20% of our web traffic on Safari. This makes sense to me because iPhones and Macs both default to Safari.
The point is that you need to do your research on your customers.
The animation in the video was based on traffic from W3 School’s website, which may have a totally different audience than your own site.
Know your own site’s visitors
You’ll hear a lot of statistics about mobile dominating web searches and that mobile browsing accounts for approximately half of the web traffic worldwide. But it depends on your industry. While that might be true overall, we work primarily with B2B businesses, and most of their customers are accessing their websites on their laptops.
However, businesses in the construction or travel industry may find a higher mobile use than average because their clientele is out in the field. We have an auto service client who is much closer to the worldwide average, probably because their customers may be making an appointment when they get in their car and remember they need an oil change, rather than at their computer.
Check your site’s audience technology
Optimizing your website based on dominant browsers and devices is a good idea, but you need to verify the data for your own site first.
Get in touch if you need help auditing your site’s audience technology.