Every six months we go through the Google Analytics reports from a handful of our most popular sites across a number of industries in hopes of seeing patterns about web usage.
Why do this? As developers this is really handy info to know; it lets us judge what percentage of web users run different browsers. Over time it becomes more difficult to support older browsers, and we’ll focus our time on newer versions instead. It’s good news for us because newer browsers allow us to code sites in a way that allows more features and interactivity, and it’s a good thing for customers because it’s less time (and money) spent supporting outdated browsers that not many people use.
This year we broke the numbers down even farther to focus on mobile usage. Let’s take a look at what we found.
What’s amazing about this report is that combined Internet Explorer usage has dropped under 40% of total traffic. When we did our first report in the middle of 2008, Internet Explorer made up over 80% of the traffic we saw on the sites we sampled; with the growing popularity of browsers like Chrome and a larger number of people using Macs loaded with Safari, IE’s numbers continue to shrink. The increase in traffic from mobile devices using the Android browser and Mobile Safari on iOS also contributes to IE’s weaker numbers. As a reminder, we recommend that you use Chrome, Safari, or Firefox for the best experience on the web. They’re all free.
Speaking of mobile, this chart is pretty incredible:
Mobile usage on the sites we sampled has more than doubled within the last year alone. As of December 2012, about 19% of traffic to the five sites we sampled comes from a mobile device (phone or tablet). Mobile’s rate of increase continues to accelerate as well. We’ll be talking a lot about mobile in 2013.
Interested in some of our past data? Read our past State of the Browser reports.
The data above represent traffic during the month of December 2012 to five sites developed and maintained at Sephone. The graph shown above is a simple average of each of the five sites and does not represent the relative popularity of the five sites and the effects of that on the percentages.