Stats ⮞ Browser Stats

This page presents web browser statistics from several sources that may be of interest to website designers.

Caution Caution, stats mislead: caching skews raw data; audiences vary for each site; survey methods vary; surveys lack vital details; surveys mis-identify browsers; surveys include user agents that aren’t browsers; small sample sizes magnify fluctuations; and stats don’t count those who flee because their browsers aren’t supported.

Some browsers present special problems. Opera 10 and up are special problems, since naïve browser sniffers may identify them as Opera 9, or identify Opera 15 and up as Safari or Chrome. Internet Explorer 11 is a special problem, since it has a significantly different userAgent string, so naïve browser snif­fers won’t recognize it. And Vivaldi and up are problems because they re­port false version numbers in their userAgent strings.

❝Get your facts first❟ and then you can distort them as much as you please: facts are stubborn❟ but statistics are more pliable❞Mark Twain
more stats quotes⮞

The table Usage Stats lists stats from several sources, showing how much stats can vary:

The best stats for a site are the stats gathered for that particular site: and even these are skewed by caching and faulty browser-detection. For example, consider Kerry Watson’s Browser Statistics page: this page uses three different hit counters whose reports should be comparable; but they are not, in part because of faulty browser detection.

Bottom line: use statistics with extreme caution.

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