2014 Browser Usage roundup: Will IE7 soon go the way of IE6?

Roughly once a year since 2011 I’ve been doing a roundup of browser usage, based on visitors to two of our apps: Citizen Space and Dialogue App*.

As in previous years, I took the last month’s logs from our web servers, and ran them through an open source analysis package called Visitors.  In contrast to previous years, these stats now cover all our servers worldwide – not just in the UK.

Since visits to our Australian servers now account for a notable proportion of our apps’ traffic, this year I have also included a separate breakdown just for our Australian stats.

Worldwide browser usage

I’ve generated two different reports: one for our apps’ management pages (i.e. pages that can only be accessed by logged-in admin users), and one that includes public-facing pages as well. Here are the figures for our admin users:

March 2014 admin visits by browser: IE8: 41.4%; Chrome: 16.5%; IE9: 13.4%; Firefox: 12.4%; IE7: 9.5%; Safari: 3.7%; IE10: 2.1%; IE11: 1.0% Visits to admin pages by browser, March 2014**

It’s a relief to see that IE6 has not made a reappearance in the past year, and also that IE7 usage has dropped from 15.3% in April 2013 to less than 10% a year later.

We currently provide Level 2 support for IE7, which means that all functionality and navigation must work, and all content must be readable in IE7.  However, we’d much prefer to spend our time developing new features that benefit everyone, rather than fixing bugs that only appear in this eight-year-old browser.  Over the next few months we hope to encourage our customers to move to more modern browsers so that we can drop admin support for IE7.

The second chart shows visits to all Citizen Space and Dialogue App pages, including visits from members of the public:

March 2014 visits by browser: Chrome: 21.1%; IE8: 17.4%; Firefox: 14.8%; Safari: 14.0%; IE11: 5.1%; IE7: 4.8%; IE9: 4.3%; Opera: 4.2%; IE10: 4.0%; IE6: 3.9%; Other Mozilla-based: 3.6% Visits to all pages by browser, March 2014**

As you would expect, this shows a much wider range of web browsers, including a few visits from IE6. By the way, I’ve excluded visits from crawlers, bots, RSS feed readers and other things that aren’t conventional human-controlled web browsers.

It’s interesting to compare these stats with last year’s numbers.  In particular, the most popular browser is now Google Chrome, which has overtaken IE8 – last year’s frontrunner.  However, usage of IE8 still remains far higher amongst our users than you’d predict based on global figures from StatCounter.

Browser usage in Australia

Although the majority of traffic to Delib’s apps is served from our UK servers, traffic to our Australian servers now constitutes a notable proportion of visitors (8.5%, based on last month’s stats).

March 2014 australian admin visits by browser: IE8: 28.7%; IE9: 25.9%; Chrome: 23.5%; IE10: 8.0%; Firefox: 7.6%; Safari: 4.8%; IE11: 1.2%; IE7: 0.4% Visits to admin pages on Australian Servers by browser, March 2014**

IE8 is still the most popular browser amongst our Australian admin users, but its lead is far less marked than in the UK.

March 2014 australian visits by browser: Firefox: 20.2%; Chrome: 18.6%; Safari: 14.9%; IE7: 11.0%; IE9: 7.0%; IE6: 6.4%; IE11: 5.8%; IE10: 4.6%; IE7: 4.5%; Opera: 2.3%; Other Mozilla-based: 2.0%; IE Unknown Version: 1.2% Visits to all pages on Australian servers by browser, March 2014**

When we consider all pages, not just admin pages, it’s interesting to see that the most popular browser used to visit our Australian sites is Firefox.  This is in contrast to StatCounter’s figures for Australian Browser usage, which pegs Chrome usage at more than double that of Firefox.  The numbers here are fairly small (16K visits a month) so this could have been skewed by one particularly Firefox-heavy demographic of survey respondents, for example.

Notes

* Visits to our newest app, Budget Simulator, are not included here, as a lot of the administration is done by Delib account managers, and our choice of browser would skew the statistics quite a lot.  Also, the visitor profile of Budget Simulator leans quite heavily towards mobile users.  I feel another blog post coming on!

** For the purposes of these statistics, a ‘visit’ comprises all the requests from a given IP address and useragent on a given day.

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