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. [more…] Opera 10 and up are special problems: naïve browser sniffers may identify them as Opera 9, or identify Opera 15 and up as Safari or Chrome. Internet Explorer 11 is also a special problem: because it has a significantly different userAgent string, naïve browser sniffers won’t recognize it.

❝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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