View Full Version : What proportion of surfers use older browsers?

02-24-2004, 12:37 PM
Does anyone have any empirical answers of what proportion of non-standards browsers are still used to visit their sites?

I'm catering to quite a compact market of 'older people' who may have got new computers (& hence new browsers packaged with them) but they may also be limping along on IE5 and NS4 - I just don't know. My hope is that if they're paying to have a site developed, they'll have newer browsers - but I've already had feedback from someone who told me my box was wrongly positioned. She is using IE 5 and says she 'likes it and won't change'.

I'm toying with putting a div class="ahem" into all of my pages, but before I spend time working out the codes and @imports, etc, can anyone tell me whether I'm doing it for 1%, 5%, 50%, or 95% of my future visitors?

I go live on 1 March, and am rapidly going grey, too. Thanks!

02-24-2004, 01:28 PM
Point is: you can never truly trust any kind of statistic when it comes to browser usage; just to give you an idea, though, the wonderful people at W3Schools (http://www.w3schools.com/) have compiled some statistics that I believe are as accurate as they can get them, and should give you a fairly good idea: Browser Statistics (http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/browsers_stats.asp).
You could also Google for "browser statistics" or "browser usage statistics" and see what turns up; be careful though to keep an eye on when the figures were drawn up, and for what site; as the figures on W3Schools show, they do change significantly over a year's time.

02-24-2004, 01:34 PM

These were my first two hits when i searched Google for browser statistics. I don't want to come off harsh, as there has been a bit too much of that round here lately, but couldn't you have done a search yourself instead of posting a new thread?

*edit: You beat me ronald :o

02-24-2004, 02:05 PM
The single most reliable source for this kind of data on the overall population on the net would probably be Google Zeitgeist, <http://www.google.com/press/zeitgeist.html>. There are no numbers for the browsers, but the graphs show relations and tendencies pretty clearly. You can see things like ie5.5 droppping below ie5.0 recently, and see that "others" have risen above moz, probably largely because of saf.

02-24-2004, 03:29 PM
:o Picture me hanging my head in shame. I know there have been loads of posts, and I normally pride myself on checking the archives and documentation for the info instead of posting a new message, but I had kittens and panic attacks all through the night about this one, and wasn't thinking straight.

Thanks to Ronald for telling me that my site comes up all clear so far, and to the rest of you for providing links I didn't know about but have bookmarked. And apologies again for making you all repeat yourselves. I'm surprised and proud to see I'm one of the 1.5% who don't use any flavour of MSIE.

I won't worry about the non-standards browsers - I think the hidden div="ahem" is the way to go. I had a look at Eric Meyers pages through NN4.7, and ... well, he didn't have any formatting, but the text was there. But looking at my front page through NN47, I can see there's a lot of work to be done (there aren't any nicely positioned boxes, and the links are superimposed on each other). At least if it shows up a nicely formatted section in advance of the mess, it won't seem as if they've wasted their money (and that's why I spent the night tossing and turning!)

Thanks all

02-24-2004, 07:38 PM
To summarise:

Eric Meyer's site looks plain in NS4 because he uses CSS which is mostly hidden from netscape 4. I think in his case it's the <link> media attributes that are doing it, but you can also use @import in this format, and you'll protect IE4 from the styles as well:

@import "style.css";

That's right for ns4 - plain content, no scripting or styling at all, same as netscape 3, same as what every other plain-text or non-CSS browser will see. It doesn't need styling to be accessible, it just needs proper page semantics (proper use of headings, list etc.).

But IE5 is a modern browser by comparison, and still well used, so it still counts as a browser you need to support fully.

02-26-2004, 05:35 PM
It all depends on your web site and what kind of visitors you get. Here's my quick stats..

1) Internet Explorer 6 71.04%
2) Internet Explorer 5 26.62%
3) Netscape Navigator 6 0.99%
4) Netscape Navigator 3 0.49%
5) Internet Explorer 4 0.46%
6) Opera 0.30%
8) Netscape Navigator 4 0.03%

Of course this is just mine site

02-26-2004, 05:55 PM
Thanks for that. I think most of the stats agree that there's only a couple of percent who are still using Version 4 or lower browsers. So I'm just going to put a couple of lines, hidden, to say 'You aren't getting the best from this site".

Thanks again!

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